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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).
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.
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.
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||20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.2dB|
|THD||<0.0001% 1kHz 3v RMS 300Ω|
|THD & NOISE||117dB at 1kHz 300ohms @3v RMS|
|CHANNEL SEPARATION||138dB at 1kHz 300Ω|
|PULSE ARRAY||10 element pulse array design|
|PCM SUPPORT||44.1kHz, 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): 44.1kHz to 768kHz – 16bit to 32bit|
|2x BNC Coax (Red): 44.1kHz – 384kHz – 16bit to 32bit|
|1x Dual data mode input (using both BNC coax inputs together): 44.1kHz to 768kHz – 16bit to 32bit|
|Optical (Green): 44.1kHz to 96kHz – 16bit to 24bit|
|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|
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.
Don't sweat it, this Chord Qutest comes with a 3 year warranty from Chord that covers manufacturing defects. All products featured on Headphone Zone are backed by an original manufacturer's warranty.
Read more about Chord's warranty in India.
Best DAC £500 - £1200
Best DAC £500 - £1200
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Stars of CES Winner
Editor's Choice Winner
"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 house 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.
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.
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.