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Chord Electronics Qutest | Standalone DAC

Regular price $2,125.00 Sale price$1,595.00 Save 25%


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Chord Electronics Qutest: the Award Winning Standalone DAC Whose Performance Belies its Compact Size

  • Class-leading digital conversion based on Chord's award-winning proprietary FPGA technology
  • Precision machined aluminum casing with polycarbonate buttons and glass viewing portal
  • User-selectable variable output voltage (1, 2, and 3V RMS) for flexible connectivity with a wide range of partnering devices
  • Tap length filter of 49,152
  • Full PCM support of 44.1 to 768kHz, and DSD support up to DSD512

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Bloom's Take

The Chord Qutest is a pure DAC designed to improve sound quality in the home, and it’s easily our top choice for a DAC under five grand. The Qutest has retained its What Hi-Fi? Best DAC status every year since its inception (2018-2022) and is a proven class-leader of its kind. 

The Qutest is effortlessly cohesive and musical, yielding a soundstage full of crisp, detailed instruments. It uses the same DAC architecture and coding as the more feature-rich and portable Hugo 2, but without batteries, Bluetooth, or amplification. Until you reach the Hugo TT 2 level, you simply cannot find a better DAC. Pair this with a high-quality headphone amp, or use it in your 2-channel setup - we promise you will be absolutely floored by its performance. And if you really want to transcend to absolute digital audio nirvana, pair your Qutest with a Hugo M Scaler, and you may never leave your house again.

From Chord Electronics

Qutest is based on Chord's home-grown technology developed for the Hugo 2 DAC/headphone amp, giving it proven class-leading technical and sonic performance. Perfectly equipped to bring the benefits of Chord's digital technology to a wide range of connected devices, it features a galvanically isolated USB-B, optical, and coaxial digital input, giving an instant performance upgrade, plus the ability to modernize aging digital source components.

Under the Hood

The Qutest chassis is all-new as well. It has significantly greater mass than its predecessor and has been precision-machined from solid aircraft-grade aluminum billet. The Qutest PCB nestles within a shallow cavity in the solid aluminum chassis, giving the circuit board greater protection within the casework and additional isolation from external vibration compared to previous designs.

Chord Qutest DAC and Anni amp stacked with Audio-Technica headphones

Qutest offers Hugo 2’s proprietary user-selectable frequency-shaping filters and input selection controls, available via two fascia-mounted spheres, introducing useful flexibility. It also features RCA analog outputs for connection to integrated amplifiers, preamps, and headphone amps, plus high-resolution dual-data digital inputs for connection to future Chord Electronics products.

A further new feature is a user-selectable output voltage available in 1, 2 and 3V RMS outputs for flexible connectivity with a wide range of partnering devices.



  • Input
    • USB-B (White): 44.1kHz to 768kHz | 16 to 32bit
    • (x2) BNC Coax (Red): 44.1kHz to 384kHz | 16 to 32bit
    • Coax, Dual Data Mode (Yellow, using both BNC coax jacks together): 44.1kHz to 768kHz | 16 to 32bit
    • Optical (Green): 44.1kHz to 96kHz | 16 to 24bit
  • Output
    • Stereo (L/R) RCA


  • PCM Support: 44.1kHz / 48kHz / 88.2kHz / 96kHz / 176.4kHz / 192kHz / 358.8kHz / 384kHz / 717.6kHz / 768kHz
  • DSD Support: Native playback, DSD64 (Single) to DSD512 (Octa)
  • Variable Output: Fixed, but selectable between 3v (Blue), 2v (Green), and 1v (Red)
  • Driver Support: Driverless with Mac OS X and Linux, required for Windows


  • Chipset: Chord custom-coded Xilinx Artix 7 (XC7A15T) FPGA
  • Tap-length: 49,152
  • Pulse Array: 10 element design
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz +/- 0.2dB
  • Output Stage: Class A
  • THD: < 0.0001% 1kHz 3v RMS 300Ω
  • THD and noise at 3v RMS: 1117dB at 1kHz 300Ω ‘A’ weighted (reference 2.5v)
  • Noise 2.6 uV ‘A’ weighted: No measurable noise floor modulation
  • Channel Separation: 138dB at 1kHz 300Ω
  • Weight: 1.7 lbs
  • Dimensions: 6.3” x 2.83” x 1.61”
  • Chord Qutest 3 Year product warranty

In the Box

  • 1.5m 5v 2a Switching Micro-USB Power Supply
  • 6.5' USB-A to USB-B Cable
  • Chord Qutest Owners Manual
  • Safety Instructions Sheet
  • Raw Silk Drawstring Bag

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Customer Reviews

Based on 5 reviews
Robert B.
Great DAC

The CHORD QUTEST provides an extra layer of detail without any added harshness to the sound. Even better, music I thought was causing a room mode emphasizing higher frequencies in my room, no longer hit those unpleasant frequencies. While I don't notice much difference between its filter settings, BOTTOM LINE, music is more enjoyable with the CHORD QUTEST in my system.

Allen Kilpatrick
Standalone DAC

I would say I have a modest Mid-Fi 2 channel set up in my happy hour listening room. We have a turntable, cd transport and a good library of music. However I have gotten to where I stream most of the time using my MacBook via USB or a Wyred 4 Sound modified Sonos Port via coaxial digital. I have those plugged into the Chord Qutest and also my CD transport. The USB is streaming at 192 kHz and the Sonos Port at 96 kHz. I swear I can’t tell an audible difference between the two. But I can say the Chord Qutest has taken my setup to the next level and sounds really good to these old ears. The music has become more enjoyable.

Brian Sullivan
Chord Qutest

Excellent sounding DAC highly recommend it ! Great service from Bloom Audio !

Ethan Scarcelli
Chord Qutest

Sounds amazing and was even better when I combined it with the Hugo M Scaler. Also got MCRU linear power supply for both with made the sound even smoother and warmer. All Moon Audio silver Dragon cables running to HiFiman EF-1000 then to Susvara. Can’t be beat imo.

Tyler Haynes
Excellent pure DAC!

It’s so hard to find a pure DAC these days! Sometimes I just need a DAC, not a headphone amp too. While rather expensive for what you get (Chord *eyeroll*), the Qutest is definitely a solid purchase and I can tell it will stand the test of time.

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