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Chord Electronics Qutest | Standalone DAC

Sale price$2,125.00

Our Take

The Qutest is the our top choice for a DAC under five grand. 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, really want to transcend to absolute digital audio nirvana, pair your Qutest with a Hugo M Scaler, and you may never leave your house ever again.

From Chord Electronics 

Qutest is our "pure" DAC (it does not contain headphone amplification or rechargeable batteries like some of its range stablemates) and is designed to improve sound quality in the home. It is the latest evolution of our most affordable standalone DAC, the multi-award-winning 2Qute, which it directly replaces.

Qutest is based on our award-winning proprietary FPGA technology developed for the class-leading Hugo 2 DAC/headphone amp, giving it proven class-leading technical and sonic performance. Perfectly equipped to bring the benefits our 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.

Chord Qutest

The Qutest chassis is all-new, too. 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.

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 analogue 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.

Materials: Precision machined aluminum casing with polycarbonate  buttons and glass viewing portal. Available only in Jett Black.

Device power supply: 5v 2amp Micro USB

Tap length filter: 49,152 – 10 element Pulse Array design

Connectivity (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

Connectivity (output): 1x stereo pair of RCA (Left and Right)

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)

Variable output: Fixed, but selectable between 3v (blue), 2v (green), and 1v (red) via dual press of ‘Filter’ + ‘Input’ upon startup

Driver support: Driverless with Mac OS X and Linux, driver required for Windows OS

Digital designer: Rob Watts

Mechanical designer: John Franks

Country of manufacture: England


  • Chipset: Chord custom-coded Xilinx Artix 7 (XC7A15T) FPGA
  • Tap-length: 49,152
  • Pulse array: 10 element pulse array 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: 1.61” (H) x 6.3” (W) x 2.83” (D)

In the Box

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

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Customer Reviews

Based on 3 reviews
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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