Chord Electronics Poly (for Mojo 2)

Chord Electronics Poly (for Mojo 2)


With the fantastic Chord Electronics’ summer deal on the Mojo 2 and Poly, I put in a request to review a Poly as I was curious firstly to see how it physically connected and, secondly, whether the quality sound could translate to a wireless platform having previously used the Mojo 2 wired to my Pixel smartphone.

The Mojo 2 won an HF&MS Outstanding award, and it also secured a Best of 2022 at the year’s end; it is a fine piece of equipment, but what can the Poly add?

Design

Chord Poly

Chord Poly Connection points to the Mojo 2

…using local Wi-Fi has been faultless…

The Chord Poly is a wireless streaming module that works with their Mojo (2015 version) or Mojo 2. It offers full HiRes playback on Wi-Fi as well as Bluetooth connectivity. The Poly is also Roon ready has Apple Airplay support, and you can also play from a microSD Card inserted into the Poly with your own saved music.

Poly can create and then connect to a smartphone to enable quality HiRes playback on the move. The internal battery with the Mojo 2 makes it an ultra-portable, high-end audio solution.  Of course, internal battery power reduces all that residual mains noise as well.

Quality

The Poly is very aesthetic for me; I cannot help but fawn over the Poly/Mojo 2 repeatedly with its soft touch and reassuring weight in tandem with the Mojo 2; it is simply compelling.

The small snazzy box (most surprising given the understated Mojo 2 box) contains the Poly itself, a mini-USB to USB charger and one of those mobile SIM card release keys for resetting the Poly if needed.

The Poly is 50 x 62 x 22mm and is just 91g in weight. The quoted playback time is about 9 hours, taking 5 hours to fully charge.

The Poly is currently on offer with Chord Dealers with £100 off at £395; the same deal is available with the Mojo 2 now at £395 until 31 August 2023.

Performance

Chord Poly

Chord Poly detail

Review Equipment

I’m using a Pixel 7 Pro and an iPad to control the Poly using the mConnect App that can stream Tidal, Qobuz at HiRes to the Poly with the Wi-Fi network, or I’ve been using Bluetooth, of course.

I’ve been listening with both Meze Audio 109 Pro in the house and their ADVAR IEMs on the move.

Physically

The Poly was easy for me to set up with the Mojo 2 using Chord’s GoFigure App to connect to Wi-Fi. Thereafter I just connected with the mConnect App to stream HiRes Qobuz or Tidal music to the Poly. mConnect is cumbersome and not in the least fun to use, but I don’t mind it; it is functional, cheap, works and is consistent on a daily basis.

Poly

Poly and Mojo 2 on the desktop

The Poly Mojo 2 combination is solid and doesn’t seem to physically wobble or give, and I’m surprised how robust it feels, given no screws or guides are being used like the Hugo 2 and the 2Go have.

Comments on the size are in the Thoughts section below, but overall, you could slip this Poly/Mojo 2 combination in your pocket more so than you could with the Hugo 2/2Go combination. I’ve had the Poly/Mojo 2 in my rucksack in town with the ADVAR in-ears quite happily in Bluetooth mode. A recent trip to London on the train was a joy; I have to say.

In terms of battery usage, I’ve had really good usage, and the Poly Mojo2 combination can certainly cope with 5 hours of usage, possibly more. I’m inclined to charge these electronic things overnight for full usage, so my battery confirmation only goes to those 5 hours or so.

Of course, the Poly offers a huge source upgrade in the car with a 3.5mm jack upgrade.

Meze Audio ADVAR

The ADVAR are crispy and snappy and deliver high levels of detail; they have good bass when fitted correctly. It’s all here, as offered in the ADVAR and Mojo 2 reviews. The Poly takes you from wired to the streaming source, say a smartphone, iPad or laptop, to a wireless source controlled by, say, the same smartphone or iPad. I’ve had no connectivity issues at all with the Poly, and I’ve been satisfied to see the streaming rate change colour from red (44.1kHz) to green (96kHz) to blue (192kHz). In Bluetooth mode, those tracks all remain in the red.

Meze Audio 109 Pro

Again, the characteristic Meze Audio detail is still here, just a fraction warmer and more open compared to the ADVAR; there’s the comfort too of proper headphones.

Chord Poly with Mojo2

Chord Poly with SD Card

MicroSD card

The Poly takes a microSD card too, just one (the 2Go takes 2); I have one with my dodgier recordings and Bandcamp-type music like the Radiohead hacked minidisc recordings, still essential listening for me, and Ryan Adams’ Suicide Sessions bootlegs. The mConnect App sees these cards in the ‘Local Server’ section of the browser, as it does with my Networked Server. In any event, the SD card is as clean as a whistle and offers my HiRes OK Computer download to the Mojo 2 in glorious 24-bit, 96kHz resolution. This is the only way to listen to OK Computer.

HotSpot

I have to say I struggled with Hotspot at first; however, it works using the GoFigure App. It is pretty cool enabling HiRes playback on the move away from a normal Wi-Fi router.  I was able to play HiRes audio (from the MicroSD Card) in a field miles away from normal Wi-Fi, and the Mojo 2 confirmed I was streaming 192kHz and 96kHz files with the colour changes on the power button.  I cannot say it is easier than just using Bluetooth; however, it is there, and it works; I would use it; it’s a nice option.

Musical Interlude

Here’s the Tidal Musical Interlude Playlist. It was inspired, on the move, by travel. Note, though, the Mojo 2 does not support full MQA unpacking.

Thoughts

…the real benefit of the Poly is going to be if you are travelling

The Poly is as simple as it gets; it is the Mojo 2 that’s complicated, but on a train journey, you can really play with it and tailor it to your needs; it is simply brilliant. I personally feel the real benefit of the Poly is going to be if you are travelling, rather than a daily walk where a quick and easier solution may suffice. If you’re committed to wired in-ear monitors, this is your premium choice on the move.

Around the house, I have often favoured the Hugo 2 with the 2Go with headphones over my stereo (old Naim Classic!), where I can find a quiet corner to escape. It feels the Poly/Mojo 2 combination is at least as good with its ease of setup matching the Hugo 2 combination; the price, of course, could be your deciding factor. The Hugo 2 also has RCA output, and as a streaming source with a 2Go for a legacy stereo, this maybe is the Hugo’s advantage.

The main thing about the Poly/Mojo 2 for me is the Wi-Fi performance is amazingly great, allowing you to access HiRes music easily and accessibly with headphones. Bluetooth performance on the move is exceptional, too; if you can notice the difference on the move, then you have the best ears in the country.

The only thing I’d like from Chord is for these portable and desktop ranges is for them to be upgraded with USB-C across the board in data and power. That goes for Hugo 3, Mojo 3, Poly 2 and the 2Go 2, not to mention the 2Yu 2! Next year is my guess (I have no inside knowledge, it’s just a no-brainer)

Overall

….you need one of these; you won’t regret it…

If you have a Mojo 2 anyway, you need one of these; you won’t regret it, especially not with the current summer dealer deals. If you’re thinking of a Mojo 2, it feels to me that you need one of these anyway to release it from the shackles of the desktop.

copyright HF&MS Ltd 2023

Love
HiRes on Wi-Fi
MicroSD Card

Like
Manual online
Small yet perfectly conceived
Secure physical connection
Connectivity consistently faultless

Wish
AirPlay 2
Chromecast (as an Android User)
USB C charging

Specification

Full details are on the company’s site.

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