The thick end of 5 months after launch at CES in early January 2015, the next big thing from Chord Electronics is finally here. With the Hugo DAC at its core, the TT (for Table Top) maintains the use of batteries and augments them with super capacitors. The idea is to completely segregate the DAC from mains conditions yet offer enough power reserves to improve on dynamics, clarity etc.

On top of this, it has much improved asynchronous USB handling, balanced outputs, remote control and, with more room to play with, improved control ergonomics. It would be fair to say that this last step would be hard not to achieve! It’s reassuringly heavy too.

We fired the beast up today with considerable interest. So far, using just the coaxial digital feed from a known high end source, we have compared it to the ‘base’ Hugo. Suffice it to say that progress has been made and I wouldn’t rule out the possibility of a quite a few portable Hugos either hitting the used market or being put to work in their intended portable context.

Improvements are in all the predictable areas. Not night and day, perhaps, but the TT is tangibly more refined, capable of greater scale and drama. Naturalness and realism are the order of the day with both this and the original Hugo, but this takes matters further. Overall, the TT is simply a ‘nicer’ device. Bigger and ballsier, making the original sound a little bit coarse and slightly drab by comparison.

A properly interesting and appealing product. Pop on by and see what you think.