Raw power: Chord Mojo Headphone Amp

So you’ve got your spanking new phone, with enough megabytes of memory to suck up every music track in the iTunes catalogue, enough apps to use a different one every day for the rest of your life, and a camera with so many megapixels that you can zoom in on a gnat on the moon and tell what sex it is.

Great. Except that all that music you load it up with is going to sound arse because the sound technology in it is inadequate. But it doesn’t have to. Not if you put a spectacularly cool box of trickery that is the Chord Mojo between your phone and your headphones.

At ground level the Mojo is a headphone amp. But then to call it a headphone amp is like calling a Ferarri F1 speed machine a car. There’s so much more to it than that. So you really should make a pot of tea, head over to the Chord website and get the full lowdown.

The Mojo is a high-quality mobile DAC (digital-to-analog converter) headphone amplifier, and one that punches well above its weight with a performance to rival DACs with a much scarier price tag. It’s designed to work with all smartphones and music players, has a full recall memory for both input selection and previous volume set level, and can decode a wide range of formats including PCM; WAV; AAC; AIFF; MP3 and FLAC files. It can also drive two pairs of headphones simultaneously. Charging is via a standard USB port, and there’s a battery status and charging indicator light. And operation is so easy even a One Direction fan can manage it.

On the cosmetic side, the Mojo is subtly stylish, with cool-looking colour-lit buttons, and a no-nonsense matt black, aircraft-grade aluminium casing. On the all-important sound side? Well, plug in a decent pair of ear muffs (i.e. not one of the ‘toy’ big-name excuses for hi-fi ’phones) and you might even think you’re sitting in the control booth at Abbey Road.

Chord say ‘Mojo’ Mojo stands for ‘mobile joy’. Well it certainly delivers some of that.

£399, more info at chordelectronics.co.uk/mojo

WORD UP: Chord’s Mojo might be new, but the name of their gizmo is no stranger to rock’n’roll.

Like the words ‘love’, ‘sign here’ and ‘I’m with the band’, ‘mojo’ is all over rock’n’roll like a one-size-fits-all Ramones T-shirt. You had the 60s bands The Mojos and the Mojo Men; the classic Doors’ song LA Woman includes the refrain ‘Mr Mojo rising…’; Tom Petty’s album Mojo; the 50s blues song Got My Mojo Working, first popularised by Muddy Waters; in fact any bluesman who’s ever woken up one morning to find his woman has left him and his dog is dead has sung the word ‘mojo’.

‘Mojo’ means magic charm, talisman, or spell; alternatively, sex appeal or libido. In which case, like ‘love’ and ‘sign here’ and ‘I’m with the band’, it fits rock’n’roll like a glove.

Classic Rock 218: News & Regulars

Paul Henderson

Classic Rock’s production editor for the past 22 years, ‘resting’ bass player Paul has been writing for magazines and newspapers, mainly about music, since the mid-80s, contributing to titles including Q, The Times, Music Week, Prog, Billboard, Metal Hammer, Kerrang! and International Musician. He has also written questions for several BBC TV quiz shows. Of the many people he’s interviewed, his favourite interviewee is former Led Zep manager Peter Grant. If you ever want to talk the night away about Ginger Baker, in particular the sound of his drums (“That fourteen-inch Leedy snare, man!”, etc, etc), he’s your man.