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Hello everyone ~ this is my first post so please be gentle when you reply...

 

I have recently bought a Chord Hugo 2 to use with my B & W PX headphones. My music is on a MacBook Pro and a iPhone X.

 

i connected the Hugo 2 to my MacBook using the USB cable, plugged in my headphones and waited for a new listening experience to waft over me.

 

But ~ I can tell no difference compared to connecting my headphones directly to the MacBook. I have tried Apple Music and Tidal files with no difference. I have tried every combination of settings on the Hugo 2 and nothing makes any difference. 
 

Have I just wasted the best part of £2000 or have I missed something obvious? Does the Hugo 2 need to be run in (I’ve only used it for a few hours so far)? Could I have a faulty unit? Is my hearing not good enough to tell a difference? Is there a secret button hidden somewhere that only audiophiles know about?

 

i really hope someone can help because I have never been so disappointed with a piece of equipment. After reading all of the mostly gushing reviews, I don’t understand why the sound quality using it is the same as not using it. 
 

Thanks in advance!

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Don't think it's faulty if you are getting sound out of it. Not sure what made you spend 2000 on a DAC/amp instead of 2000 on a better headphone? That seems backwards.. B&W PX is probably not resolving enough to benefit from a Hugo 2. Their potential is maxed from a phone or laptop, by design. 

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3 hours ago, Bromsgrovebaggie said:

Hello everyone ~ this is my first post so please be gentle when you reply...

 

I have recently bought a Chord Hugo 2 to use with my B & W PX headphones. My music is on a MacBook Pro and a iPhone X.

 

i connected the Hugo 2 to my MacBook using the USB cable, plugged in my headphones and waited for a new listening experience to waft over me.

 

But ~ I can tell no difference compared to connecting my headphones directly to the MacBook. I have tried Apple Music and Tidal files with no difference. I have tried every combination of settings on the Hugo 2 and nothing makes any difference. 
 

Have I just wasted the best part of £2000 or have I missed something obvious? Does the Hugo 2 need to be run in (I’ve only used it for a few hours so far)? Could I have a faulty unit? Is my hearing not good enough to tell a difference? Is there a secret button hidden somewhere that only audiophiles know about?

 

i really hope someone can help because I have never been so disappointed with a piece of equipment. After reading all of the mostly gushing reviews, I don’t understand why the sound quality using it is the same as not using it. 
 

Thanks in advance!

 

I used a much cheaper Chord Mojo along with MacBook, there was a clear difference for the best with different headphones. But, of course, better headphones gave better sound quality. I'm sure your DAC is very good. Did you check manual and set everything properly? What kind of software player do you use to play music from MacBook? You can try HQPlayer or Audirvana with free trials to compare. 

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If you're playing MP3 files then you - all on your own - are wasting the £2000 DAC in inferior compressed music. And, what's playing the music files? What software? Are you using Apple Music or something better?

 

Don't expect too much if you're playing music from your iPhone into the DAC, either.

 

You bought a first rate DAC, it's intended to be fed via a true audiophile player to play bitperfect, non-compressed music files, CD Quality or Better (Tidal Masters) and first rate headphones wouldn't hurt either. The B&W are Bluetooth, active and noise canceling. This is great if you're listening on the subway, train or airplane. B&W is telling users that they sound best via Bluetooth and that plugging them in isn't the ideal way to use them.

 

I found a discussion on Head-fi.org:

 

Quote

the PX is designed to sound it's best wireless. And it does. I compared a lot is my ears clearly tell me the same. B&W themselves say so too when I asked them (they are very responsive via FB Messenger). The best possible sound quality is via Bluetooth Aptx-HD. Followed by AAC and the SBC, which makes sense. USB-C playback is only there for conveniece to allow playback during charging.
Maybe your Macbook uses Aptx-HD while playback via your phone uses AAC or SBC? iPhones don't support Aptx(-HD) for instance.

 

Perhaps it's going to take a while for you to get everything setup and in order to really enjoy your fantastic DAC/Headphone Amp. You've made a big leap and it's going to require you to go a bit further. OR return/sell the DAC and enjoy those headphones as they were intended, to play highly compressed, compromised music files from consumer grade devices in a noisy environment.

 

PS. The suggestion of using the MacOS version of Audirvana Pro player is a great place to start. You can use it to play and organize music on your Mac and with Tidal all together in one place. And, seriously, try Tidal Masters it costs a bit more per month but worth it. Or try Qobuz. It's "Studio" option is cheaper than Tidal Masters per month and is 100% uncompressed music files. No MP3s at all.

 

 

 

 

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2 hours ago, stefano_mbp said:

.... Hugo 2 is not MQA compliant ... 

I am aware, I meant the HiFi account option to get CD quality music. I was thinking it was called “Masters”. My mistake.

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Thank you to everyone for the replies.

 

I am using Tidal to play back the music on my MacBook with a HiFi account which, as I understand it, is CD quality. I will try the other programs suggested to see if they help.

 

After reading all of the comments, from what I understand is the problem is with the headphones which are not up to reproducing the differences I would expect to hear using the Hugo 2. Is that a fair summary?

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