UPGRADE YOUR HOME SET-UP'S SOUND
Unlike other DACs by Chord Electronics, the Qutest does not have headphone amplification or rechargeable batteries. It is a pure DAC made to improve your home listening set-up. With its FPGA DAC, you get superior technical and sonic performance. With 49,152 taps, this DAC is able to support even Native DSD 512 (Octa-DSD).
MULTIPLE CONNECTIVITY OPTIONS
Connect to a wide variety of devices with the Qutest’s optical, 2 BNC Coax and USB Type-B digital inputs. These are galvanically isolated to give an instant performance upgrade as well as to modernise ageing digital source components. Connect to future Chord Electronics devices with Hi-Res dual-data digital inputs. RCA analogue outputs let you connect to headphone amps, preamps and integrated amps.
SUPPORTS ALL YOUR CHOICES
The Qutest lets you select from its four frequency-shaping filters and input selection controls. This can be done via the two fascia-mounted spheres. You can also choose whether you want the output voltage to be 1, 2 or 3 RMS for connecting to a range of devices. It supports a wide range of frequencies like 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 358.8kHz, 384kHz, 717.6kHz and 768kHz.
HIGH-QUALITY, DURABLE ALUMINIUM CASING
The Qutest sports a show-off-worthy chassis. This all-new chassis has been precision-machined from solid aircraft-grade aluminium for better durability. The PCB has been kept in a shallow cavity in the casing for additional isolation and protection from external vibration.
|DEVICE POWER SUPPLY||5v 2amp Micro USB|
|DIMENSIONS||4.5cm (H) x 16cm (W) x 8.8cm (D)|
|BOX CONTENTS||Chord Qutest DAC|
|1.5m 5v 2a Switching Micro USB Power Supply|
|2m Type A to Type B USB Cable|
|Qutest Owners Overview Manual|
|Raw Silk Drawstring Bag|
|CHIPSET||custom coded Xilinx Artix 7 (XC7A15T) FPGA|
|FREQUENCY RESPONSE||20 Hz – 20 kHz +/- 0.2dB|
|THD||<0.0001% 1 kHz 3v RMS 300Ω|
|THD & NOISE||117dB at 1 kHz 300ohms @3v RMS|
|CHANNEL SEPARATION||138dB at 1 kHz 300Ω|
|PULSE ARRAY||10 element pulse array design|
|PCM SUPPORT||44.1 kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz, 176.4kHz, 192kHz, 358.8kHz, 384kHz, 717.6kHz, and 768kHz.|
|DSD SUPPORT||Native playback supported. DSD64 (Single) to DSD512 (Octa-DSD)|
|DRIVER SUPPORT||Driverless with Mac OS X and Linux, driver required for Windows OS|
|INPUT||USB Type B (White): 44.1 kHz to 768kHz – 16 bit to 32 Bit|
|2x BNC Coax (Red): 44.1 kHz – 384kHz – 16 bit to 32 Bit|
|1x Dual data mode input (using both BNC coax inputs together): 44.1 kHz to 768kHz – 16 bit to 32 Bit|
|Optical (Green): 44.1 kHz to 96kHz – 16 bit to 24 BIT|
|OUTPUT||1x stereo pair of RCA (Left and Right)|
|Variable output||Fixed, but selectable between 3v (blue), 2v (green), and 1v (red) via dual press of ‘Filter’ + ‘Input’ upon startup|
|GENERIC NAME||Digital Audio Converter|
|COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||United Kingdom|
|IMPORTER DETAILS||Importers Name: Ferrari Video
Address: 63/18, 1st Main Road, Gandhi Nagar, Chennai - 600020
Contact No: 044-24420733
The History of Chord Electronics
The Chord electronics marked its beginning with the world of aviation where they believe in unyielding standards. Right from the beginning in 1989, John Franks, the owner of the company has been instrumental in developing the philosophy of the company. The very first amplifiers designed by the Chord Electronics were delivered to the BBC. The company then went on to do business with world-class studios such as the Abbey Road, Sony Music (New York) and eventually The Royal Opera House. The success of Chord electronics in the professional space lead to increasing demand for a domestic range incorporating the best of the finest professional products. All the Chord Electronics products made in Britain use proprietary technologies and offer studio-grade audio performance with all the Chord Electronics products.
Inside the Chord Studios
When Jamie spends one half of his time in the studio and the other half in the location, he needs best in class Digital to Analogue converters to keep up with his task and this is precisely why he places his trust on nothing else but Chord Electronics. Jamie has already installed the Hugo TT DAC in the Studio room as well as the listening room to feed his monitors and then employs Hugo for mixing on the go along with headphones.
The FPGA DAC Technology
The cutting-edge FPGA DAC Technology is consistent across the Chord's DAC range like the Mojo, 2Qute, Hugo, Hugo 2, and Dave were instead of using the traditional industrial DAC chip, they use the advanced field-programmable gate array.
Learn how to make the most out of your Chord Qutest with information on how to protect and clean your device from time to time. Get information on battery life indicators and configuring these with other devices.Read More
3 Year Warranty
Don't sweat it, this Chord - Qutest comes with a warranty
from Chord Electronics that covers manufacturing defects.
All products featured on Headphone Zone are backed by an original manufacturer's warranty.
Read more about Chord Electronics's warranty in India.
Best DAC £500 - £1200
Best DAC £500 - £1200
Best Product Award
Stars of CES Winner
Editor's Choice Winner
Best DAC £500 - £1200
Best DAC £500-£1,500
"What Hi-Fi? Awards 2019 winner. Chord has managed to do it again. The Qutest sets a new benchmark at this price. Clear, precise and subtle performer with stylish build."Read More
"The Chord Qutest is a perfect fusion of science and art.Capable of astounding clarity, Chord’s Qutest DAC cuts the cost of audiophile grade digital decoding."Read More
"Gosh, what is there not to like about the Qutest as a pure DAC? It gives resolutely detailed and fantastically natural sounding with just about any amp I can throw at it."Read More
"The Qutest was detailed, natural, very atmospheric with great 3D imaging. The Qutest is a cuddly, small aluminium box which is machined from a solid billet of aluminium and then black anodised."Read More
This is the best and only DAC that you'll ever need. The sound is extremely clean. Soundstage is huge and it looks beautiful. It is built like a tank and is quite heavy over 700 gms. It has no ventilation holes and is dust proof. So maintenance is easy. When I first opened the box, my first reaction was wow. The box looks so awesome and the qutest looks even better!
I pair the Qutest with Schiit Magni 3 for listening through headphones (Hifiman Ananda, HD 800, HD 598SE, ATH M50x). This combo sounds awesome. You can clearly hear the difference between high quality flac and mp3 which is expected from a good DAC. I earlier would use dragonfly black and now I never seem to use it after listening to the Qutest. Of course dragonfly black is better for portable listening on the go.
I also paired the Qutest with my studio monitors Yamaha HS8 through a hardware volume controller and the sound can just blow your mind. Extremely clear sound.
Be aware that there can be pops and crackles if you listen to flac 192 khz and above on windows 10. This is not a problem of Qutest, but an issue in the way Windows processes USB audio. You can use Foobar2000 with ASIO driver to reduce the pops and crackles. However, with high bit rates like 24 bit 192 khz and above, there may still be ocassional pops. I prefer using Ubuntu linux with Audacious audio player where there is no such issue of pops or crackling. You need to make sure you select USB in the audio output option of Audacious for best sound quality.
Definitely recommended if you are willing to spend for stunning audio quality.
Thank you for the detailed review & for sharing your setup details. We hope you had a comfortable shopping experience. Cheers!
Thanks to headphonezone received the within 24hrs of placing the order. Its been a week with the DAC 3 days with me and 4 days with a friend (so that I could get an unbiased review). Initially I was skeptical of the purchase as the price is 1.2L (which was way above my budget) and the combined price of my speaker + amp is 60K . This DAC has replaced my current CA Azur Dacmagic. Look wise awesome (specially the lights), sonically terrific. The sound is very smooth and non-fatiguing. Could clearly spot the difference with the previous DAC. My friend also noticed the same difference with a higher end amplifier+speaker combo.
Definitely a recommended buy.
Thank you for the great review. Happy to know you had a comfortable shopping experience. Cheers!
I have been using the Qutest for a few months now and it has definitely had enough time to burn in properly. A few quick thoughts on the packaging - it is excellent and you definitely know it is a premium product from the moment you start to open the box. The DAC itself is small but weighty. It is beautifully built with smooth edges, everything feels solid and this is something that will last for years. First impressions are positive even before you plug it in and switch it on.
About the sound - this DAC has been reviewed by many publications and reading the reviews (all exceedingly positive) gives one confidence to buy the product without a prior audition. Switching it on and it has a bit of a hard edge to the sound. The burn in takes ages so you need to be patient for it to reach full performance. And it is worth it! In my collection I have CDs I have owned for nearly 15 years and I heard details that I had never heard before. These are subtle things that greatly increase your appreciation and enjoyment of a piece of music and the reason to be an audiophile. It becomes much easier to understand the lyrics being sung (something that is not always the case with other DACs). All this resolution does not mean a hard or fatiguing upper midrange or treble. Contrary to this - with the best recordings the sound is smooth and sweet yet highly resolving! On the other hand - if your music is not well recorded you will instantly know it. There are filter options that allow you to tune the sound to taste but the difference is still subtle. The other point worth highlighting is that this DAC sounds excellent with standard resolution files / streams and does not need high resolution files or streams to sound it's best. Provided the rest of your system is well balanced and you are not looking at an overtly warm or euphonic sound this is absolutely perfect.
Highly recommend this to anyone looking at an excellent DAC at this budget. It handles all the formats you need except for MQA (not an issue for me). I hope to add the M Scaler in the future once my funds allow it.
Hi Rahuul, We appreciate your feedback and the time that you took the time out to leave us this note. It is very important to us that each customer of ours gets the best deal on the headphone they buy.
One of the best DACS I have ever heard, period. The soundstage is sublime, I listened to Coke Studio for about 2 hours straight with a Massdrop THX AAA 789 and HD800S, bliss, heavenly, felt like I was in the middle and the sound was all around me, definitely a big yes from my side.
We are incredibly grateful that you took the time out to leave us this note. We look forward to serving you again.
It’s soundstage full of very crisp yet clean and concise. I dare not forget to mention it’s explicitly detailed instrumentation they fills the space between my klipsh floor standing speakers.
Qutest offers brilliant resolution. Sweet texture and nuance cling to the wheeling cymbal, double bass and crisp vocals.
The four filters are almost the same. While they don’t make the world of difference, they’re worth experimenting with and I realised they for a person with a keen ear they do. To my ears they did not make much of a difference but to my daughter’s ears they did. She could make out the changes from warmness to coolness and a neutral feel. Guess age is catching up with me.
Over the past few days, I have been running this continuously and can make out that this needs a bit of running in. So don’t judge it right out of the box.
The music I have been playing is Amber Rubarth and boy or boy... this little thing bring best of her recordings especially the chesky produced ones. One can feel the room in which the recording was done. Then I moved onto the jazz kemerata by Carlos Franzetti and it was brilliant. Subsequently played retrospective by Christy baron am I must say this does an awesome Job. After listening to a lot of vocals and jazz, I moved to check how it plays a bit more complex music like the ones by Brian Eno and david bowie. It’s brought out the best of their work. Lastly, I must mentioned the sound track of Thir thin red line by Hans Zimmer man. This starts off with a very low bass and while a lot of people may not agree to me adding a sub woofer to a stereo set up, But I do have a small KEF active one in the loop. The qutest did a brilliant job here too.
The spacing, staging and separation that it provides is worth every rupee spent on this little one with a huge heart!
I must also mentioned that this is my first purchase from headphone zone and the team work is worth a mention. Prompt and on time delivery.
Thank you Raghav and team. Good work guys and keep it up awesome work.
So glad to know that you love them:) We look forward to serving you again. Happy listening!
If you are looking for a pure audiophile desktop DAC, this is what you get. Chord Qutest has a sound signature which is I was looking for a long time. It is smooth, warm, though can be somewhat analytical too, if you play with the filters.The soundstage is huge, the bass is thick and tight, mids are pleasing, highs are airy and can be sparkling (based on source and filter). The tonality is just right with accurate representation of instruments, as it should sound. For example a piano should sound like a piano and that tonality is kept true for other instruments too. This gives a unique flavour to this chord. It is special. It lets you simply to enjoy new details in the music and mostly importantly to enjoy the music.
Hi Koushik, .We are grateful that you took the time out to leave us this note. We look forward to serving you again.
My heartiest compliments to headphone zone for a wonderfully curated and seamless experience.
I am a regular audiophile consumer and must say this was the best for a high end audio equipment purchase
Keep the mojo going headphone zone and service rewards handsomely.
We thank you for this lovely review & we are glad you are enjoying it! Keep the music playing.
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