Chord Mojo + Poly DAC Streamer Review

The Chord Mojo and Poly have been out for 6 and 4 years (respectively) now, and have been top sellers for the British company who specialize in unique and luxurious designs, and custom FPGA DACs. I've only recently been an owner of this duo and my main reason for purchasing this set was significant discounted used pricing on and the inclusion of Roon into my audio chain. 

The Mojo is Chord's well-regarded portable DAC/Amp that takes the FPGA DAC set-up of the Chord Hugo 1 and Hugo TT and dumps it into a small palm-sized transportable amp/dac with 2 headphone jacks, and USB and Optical inputs. The Mojo has been heavily reviewed in the past so I won't touch up too much on its capabilities and how it works on its own. 

For those who do care though, I do find the Mojo to be a nice, warmer than neutral portable unit with a high level of depth and quality. I don't think it hits above its price class anymore, but is still well within its rights for the offer price, especially when you buy it used. Its limitations are, of course, its use of the out-dated micro-usb inputs, but that's not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things.

The real take I want to talk about here is how the Poly works in unison with the Mojo to give a digital transport and Roon endpoint that can (or cannot) compete with Android-based digital audio players.

The Poly came out in 2017 with a lot of fanfare. It's a rather expensive module that connects to one end of the Mojo through the micro-usb ports. The Poly adds several capabilities to the Mojo with only a minimal footprint increase:

1. Wifi streaming for Roon, Airplay or DNLA
2. SD Card + MPD/DNLA Server

The Poly also has its own rechargeable battery, and its single micro-usb port can charge both Mojo and Poly, though not simultaneously. The Mojo will charge first, followed by the Poly. Both Poly and Mojo will last about 8 hours of playback.

Using the Poly

I have used the Poly in all its modes at this point now: Roon Streamer, Airplay Streamer, DNLA and MPD server using the SDCard slot, and using both normal wifi access point method and using it as a wifi hotspot.

It is an interesting beast. And not the most user-friendly solution, even with its most up-to-date firmware at the time of writing: v2.04. I have heard from Chord directly that a new firmware is in its final testing phase, and its already been released for the Chord 2Go (the Hugo 2 equivalent).

Poly Set-Up and GoFigure App

The GoFigure App is available on both the Android Play Store and the Apple App Store and is the main controlling mechanism for the Poly. The app uses bluetooth to connect to the Poly and for the most part, it works every time. It's a tad slow however, with connection to the device taking a minute or so, but once it's connected, it seems pretty stable.

In the GoFigure app, the user is able to change between wifi and hotspot settings, Roon and "Everything Else" and also play MPD Playlists if available on the SD Card. In addition, firmware updates are made available through this app.

My biggest gripe about this app is that its interface isn't the most user-friendly nor the most intuitive. This is especially true given the use of the SD Card features. The MPD server that the Poly runs does not use traditional m3u playlists, but instead, uses MPD playlist, and requires additional client software to create playlists. More on that later...

Roon End Point

Setting the Mojo-Poly as a Roon Endpoint was super easy. Once you're connected to the same wifi network, and activate the Poly to Roon mode in the GoFigure App, it was almost instantaneously available as a Roon Audio Device in the Roon interface. Once added, I never had connectivity issues with the Mojo-Poly as long as I was within my wifi network. 

Once connected, I was quickly able to pick music through my Roon app on my phone and it would play instantly on the Mojo-Poly with the volume marbles used to control gain. This was the primary purpose for my purchase and I am happy this works very well.

SD Card + MPD Server

When I was looking into the Poly, one of the features that looked promising was the inclusion of the microsd card slot. I thought, hey, this could be a digital audio player replacement! 

I was kind of wrong. I put in a 512GB microsd card and it took a good 15-20 minutes for the GoFigure app to load up the data into its database. And, each time you change the contents of the card, you'll have to refresh the database again, for another 15 minutes. Yikes.

Then, I found out the GoFigure app can't actually play the music, unless you have pre-existing playlists. So I thought I'd just make a couple m3u playlists that every other music player uses. Wrong. I actually had some already on the sdcard and was wondering why it didn't recognize it. Oh, that's because the Poly only reads MPD playlist. What the heck is that?

After some more research, and reading the actual manual, I found out that the Poly runs an MPD or DNLA server that hosts and plays the files if you use a compatible client. Luckily there are some on Android and iOS that I was able to use. My favorites for each are MAFA for Android, and Rigelian for iOS. Both of these are MPD Clients.

Connecting to the poly through these 3rd party apps was also a challenge. You'll need to load up the GoFigure app and find the ip address once you are on wifi. If you use Hot Spot mode, you'll just have to pray that the MPD client will recognize the Poly hotspot and server, because I couldn't get it to work on some of the various client apps.

Anyway, once loaded, I was able to quickly load up albums, artists, and folders, BUT, no album art! What the heck?

Yes, that firmware thing I was talking about earlier. The current firmware only has an older MPD server installation which does not allow for many basic tagging features including embedded album art. The new Chord firmware for the 2Go does include this, but currently not for the Poly.

So, I have to rely on the album art downloads from the client software, which is quite hit or miss on getting the right albums or even artist pictures.

If I run it through DNLA clients, then this is less of a problem, but there just aren't any good "free" or inexpensive ones on Android or iOS that also have nice user interfaces. In fact, most of them have awful, awful interfaces to use.



Poly is a frustrating device. It has quirks. It isn't refined, and it cost a lot of money at full retail pricing. I didn't pay anywhere near that price luckily, and in fact, paid less than the full retail price of poly for both the Mojo and Poly and the Dignis case, so I got something I think is worth the value I paid. At full cost, I'd be weary and would perhaps lean with dealing with an Android-based device.

Roon seems to play nicer with Android now in one of the more recent updates, letting users finally use their hardware keys correctly. Had I known, I would have considered an Android DAP again. Perhaps I will?

In the meantime, I am pretty content with the Chord Mojo+Poly for Roon and it works absolutely flawlessly for that regard. If I use it as a portable music player using its internal SD Card slot -- well -- that's a more frustrating experience.