Given its size and design intent, the Mojo will overwhelmingly be used as a headphone amp for audio enthusiasts; and as a quality-improving smartphone interface for the masses. In my view, despite its tremendous sound quality potential and my own positive findings within my high-end system, an audiophile with a mid-level-and-up system will seek a dedicated DAC. Chord of course offer a variety of superb choices among the best in the biz. The unit itself features a rather nicely constructed all-aluminium chassis about the size of a cigarette pack. Deep curved machined cutaways house a trio of novel spherical buttons which can be pressed to activate a number of functions (on/off, volume up/down etc). Their semi translucency allows illumination via colour-shifting internal LEDs with different tones indicating various functions. The ‘spheres' spinning free within their housing make for some nice subconscious button-spin play like turning or ‘counting' Buddhist prayer beads. You'll know what I mean once you've done it; and you will do it.

On the side panels you'll find the connectivity options with two headphone outputs via mini jacks on one side while the opposite end is populated with a coaxial digital input (curiously via mini jack too, presumably because a standard RCA would have compromised the small form factor), a micro-USB connector, a charging socket again with micro-USB and finally Toslink. Charging via the aforementioned socket is conducted by connecting to a USB port on a computer. The batteries are fairly long-lasting: eight to ten hours after a four-hour charge.

John Franks and his digital design specialist Rob Watts have placed Chord at the forefront of FPGA technology for some time now and the company have garnered high acclaim for their digital-to-analogue converters. The Mojo's DAC samples frequencies from 44.1kHz to 768kHz and DSD of the 64, 128 and 256 varieties via the micro-USB port while resolutions via optical and coaxial are up to DSD128 respectively, all in DoP formats. The volume buttons' multi-coloured light show indicates the resolution being played. For DSD playback however (oh, and FLAC compatibility too), an Onkyo Music Player App will have to be acquired.

Mojo via iPhone 6s.
Connection to iPhone 6s requires a cable adaptor from female USB to Lightning plug. I was supplied with such a cable for the purposes of the review, however this will have to be an added buy. Cans used for the review were the excellent Bowers & Wilkins P5, Yamaha's studio quality HPH-MT220 and Kennerton's beautiful high-end Magister (these last ones are quite special in terms of Mojo synergy). Also briefly used were Klipsch's superb X10i high-end in-ear buds which I've had as my go-to mobile monitors for a number of years.