This DAC Gives the Mojo back to Music


Since its start in 2008, Spotify has paid 5 billion dollar worth of royalties to the music industry. Considering how little artists receive, it only confirms the vast scale of the streaming business. Yet the quality of those audio streams is so poor! Chord Electronics’ portable DAC, the Mojo, claims to change this. It was tested—and approved—by our in-house audio buff Harry M.

First some background: if you listen to music via a digital source—a phone, computer, or home system—life gets a whole lot better with a DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter). Be it when listening to Tidal or Spotify on your iPhone with headphones, or while using state-of-the-art loudspeakers to play high-resolution files. In all cases, DACs open up your sound. Yes, you want one.

“This little beast sounds spectacular.
Often better than DACs that cost
three to five times as much”

The Mojo (Mobile Joy) is a relatively tiny DAC by British audio company Chord Electronics. We tested it for three months and ended up buying it. This little beast sounds spectacular. Often better than DACs that cost three to five times as much. The Mojo makes music sound spacious and vocals involving and natural, while offering a nuanced as well as a round, organic sound.

To put the Mojo to the test, we tried the DAC with all kinds of music, hand-picked by our audio wizard. The bass in D’Angelo’s Sugah Daddy has an extra dimension which many DACs don’t reveal. The sense of space and room in Ben Howard’s acoustic version of The Wolves is phenomenal. Paper Trails by Darkside (one of the reference tracks for testing audio gear here at our office) can sound dull on lesser DACs, but with the Mojo you get pulled into the music with deep, low sounds, great dynamics, clean details, and emotion.

The Mojo may not be the prettiest device on the planet, but it’s built like a tank, takes up less space than a pack of cigarettes, and it will perform wherever you are.