Chord Electronics

Chord - Qutest

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Designed in
the UK

Ideal for

Best for
Indoor Use

3 Years of





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.



DIMENSIONS 4.5cm (H) x 16cm (W) x 8.8cm (D)
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
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


User Guide

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.

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Warranty & Media Reviews

3 Year Warranty

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

What Hi-Fi? Awards
Nov, 2019


Best DAC £500 - £1200

What Hi-Fi? Awards
Nov, 2018


Best Product Award

EISA Award
Sep, 2019


Best Buy Winner

July, 2018


Stars of CES Winner

What Hi-Fi?
Jan, 2018


Editor's Choice Winner

Hi-Fi Choice
Feb, 2018


Best DAC £500 - £1200

What Hi-Fi? Awards
Oct, 2020


"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."

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"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."

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"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."

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Inner Fidelity

"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."

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YouTube Reviews

Watch the most popular YouTube reviews for the Chord - Qutest

Customer Reviews

Based on 9 reviews
Heavenly sound!

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.

Chord qutest

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.

Qutest-2 qute

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.

Big heart in the little qutest!!

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!

Qutest - Connects you to the soul of music

Before the Qutest, Chord Mojo was my DAC of choice for my Adam Audio F7 active speakers. So yes, Qutest is a massive upgrade to the Mojo for a speaker setup.

In a pithy phrase - silky smooth. Qutest has no harshness (white filter) - I’ve heard 80s rock and pop on Spotify and it never sounded so smooth. Vocals stand out with clarity and intelligibility. Old Hindi songs (often poorly recorded) are now enticing.

The other standout is bass. Bass lines are clear and my room’s impact has decreased. It reflects better the source material and my speakers’ character.

If you don’t like digital music and feel disconnected to its soul, get the Qutest.

(Chain - Allo Usbridge Signature to Qutest to Adam Audio F7s)

So glad to know that you love them:) We look forward to serving you again. Happy listening!

Chord Qutest DAC

Introducing Qutest into the audio chain just opened up the soundstage. Instruments came alive. Vocals/mid-range sounds very warm. The bass sounds tight and the high’s are very balanced and not harsh/bright. I highly recommend this DAC to all audio enthusiast. My setup involves JRiver MC 27 —[USB ASIO]—> Qutest —[RCA]—> Emotiva_PT-100 —[RCA]—> Emotiva_XPA-DR2 —> Klipsch_RP8000F. I appreciate the “creative” Home Audition offer from Headphone Zone. This allowed me to experiment w/ the Qutest before placing the order.

So glad you like it. We really appreciate your review. We look forward to serving you again. Happy listening!


Chord - Qutest


seriously impressive


Chord - Qutest

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