So, what do Kate Middleton and a High-End music on the go (or at home for that matter) streamer/player have in common? Hifi Pig visited London’s rather swanky Goring Hotel in Belgravia to find out at the launch of Chord Poly. 

Well dear reader, the Goring Hotel in Belgravia is where Kate Middleton, now Duchess of Cambridge, left from when she got spliced to Prince William back in 2011. It’s a wonderfully opulent hark to a time past, with the hotel declaring on its website that the venue is  “London’s last remaining family-owned luxury hotel. Crafted over a century by one family, The Goring is the genuine article – a grand hotel with impeccable manners and a subtle streak of wit and wonder.” And with this in mind what better place for Chord Electronics to formally announce the launch of its new Poly add on for the already highly successful Mojo headphone amp/DAC. Obvious really isn’t it, but we Hifi Pig were so happy to be invited along for the event.

As we arrived we were welcomed to the hotel by doormen in top hats and tails and shown to the beautifully luxurious sitting room where high level meetings were taking place with people, some of who we half recognised as being quite important politically. The atmosphere was that of being relaxed, but with undertones of power and influence.

Anyway, we enjoyed a glass of water and awaited to be shown down into a lovely room throbbing with excitement and a whole host of the Chord Electronics team ready to share their enthusiasm for their new baby and present it to the world…you’re getting the whole royal undertones still aren’t you?

Drinks and canapés were served, John Franks (Managing Director and Chief Designer) gave a little speech about the background to Poly before introducing Rajiv Dave (pictured below and the main brains behind Poly) who got down and dirty with the technical aspects of what Poly brings to the Chord Electronics family.

Essentially Poly is an add on to the Mojo that when partnered with Mojo allows music streamed from a range of wirelessly connected devices to be enjoyed at home or on the go. Poly is also a music player: its unlimited-capacity Micro SD card slot can house huge libraries (SD card size is growing all the time) and as such free up storage on smart devices. Full smartphone control using everyday apps enables effortless music playback whether streaming or playing music from the Micro SD.

As well as the obvious on the go benefits to the partnership, you can also stream from your NAS drive at home by pairing the Poly with your home network and streaming that way, you can connect it to your Hifi should you wish for a very compact streamong solution. Poly also connects to mobile hotspots when on the go, and remembers multiple networks with its auto-connect functionality. It has Bluetooth 4.1, AirPlay and DLNA connectivity, offering uninterrupted music streaming when transitioning from indoors to outdoors. Poly also features its own hotspot mode, enabling a connection where devices, networks or countries do not facilitate tethering? It’s a smart bit of kit on paper and I was excited about finding out what it can do, but first let’s meet some of the team from Chord Electronics responsible for getting Poly out their to the masses. What was clear from meeting the team is that they are incredibly positive about the new product and, judging by what we were told about pre-sales, it’s going to be a product that flies of the shelves in the coming months.

James Ayres (Purchasing Manager) and Edd Harris (Marketing Manager)

Robert Wong (Business Development)

Colin Pratt (International Sales Manager)

Tom Vaughan (Engineer)

Mitch Duce (Sales)

So is the Mojo and Poly a marriage made in heaven? First Thoughts.

Well we were given a Mojo Poly to play with and it was the first thing I did when I got back to Hifi Pig Towers. I’d already been using Mojo connected to my laptop listening through a pair of Audeze i10 in ears but my phone didn’t allow for usb on the go and so I couldn’t use it out and about. Snapping the two units together is a doddle and a quick read of the instructions (very intuitive) has me streaming tunes wirelessly from our NAS, using BubleUPnP on the phone as a controller, in a matter of minutes. Really it’s a piece of cake. Sound is exactly as per the Mojo, which is to say very good indeed (i’ll be doing a full review shortly) and it feels a good weight and certainly feels like a quality and well built product. Popping in an SD card and likewise things couldn’t be simpler. What I like about this unit on the go is you can pop it in your pocket, pop in your headphones and control everything from your phone, and judging by the number of people in the City who walk around with their phones permanently in front of their faces, this feature should prove popular with many others. I’ve not tried using Wifi whilst out and about as yet but as I understand it I should be able to sync Poly to my NAS or Dropbox whilst out and about giving me full access to all my tunes…but then given the size of SD cards these days I’m just as likely to go that route.

Needless to say in this day and age and the demands of consumers, Poly is high-resolution audio-compatible with support for the latest studio-quality files; PCM data up to 768kHz resolution and DSD64 to DSD256 (Quad-DSD). Supported file types include ACC, WAV, FLAC, AIFF, OGG VORBIS, ALAC, WMA and MP3. Roon compatibility offers useful flexibility with desktop computers, enabling Tidal and MQA software playback. So pretty much got most bases covered there.

The protective case, an extra, holds both Mojo and Poly but also gives you access to all the relevant buttons and sockets. It’s not a vital bit of kit but it will protect the two units and looks quite smart to boot.

A full review will follow but in the meantime we’d like to extend a massive thank you to Chord Electronics and Dan George (Dan George Communications) for making us feels so welcome. Needless to say I’ve ordered a Poly to go with Linette’s Mojo already and I can existing Mojo owners doing likewise. I can see this being on a lot of people’s Christmas wish list! Chord Mojo costs £399 and Poly £499. There’ll be  very similar pack to the second picture below available around Christmas with pricing to be arranged. Only thing, i’d have loved to have seen Poly called Rising. 

Stuart Smith

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