Chord Electronics unleashes upgrade to its Award-winning QuteHD DAC

Chord Electronics has launched an upgraded version of its Award-winning QuteHD DAC (which won Best DAC £700-£1000 in our 2013 Awards), the £1195 QuteEX.

Billed as Chord's "most advanced small DAC to date", the Chord QuteEX has an advanced new chipset and circuitboard which enables decoding at up to 384kHz PCM (Pulse Code Modulation) and DSD (Direct Stream Digital) at 128kHz over USB.

This compares with the QuteHD's 192kHz PCM and DSD 64kHz capability. Existing QuteHD DACs can be upgraded wit the new chipset and board at the factory for £200 plus shipping costs.

MORE: See all our 2013 Award winners

According to Chord the QuteEX offers a range of bespoke DAC (digital-to-analogue converter) technologies taken from the company's flagship QBD76 HDSD model (£4995). It's fitted with an asynchronous USB input.

Designed to take advantage of today's advanced studio-master quality (DXD) music files, the QuteEX can handle sample rates from 44.1kHz to 384kHz, allowing users to experience music in true high definition.

Like other members of the Chord Chordette range, the QuteEX has a one-piece aluminium chassis that is milled from solid billet in the UK. The top-mounted 'porthole' changes colour depending on the incoming sample rate.

Whether you use Mac OS or Windows OS, Chord's own proprietary driver software is provided.

As well as introducing the QuteEX, Chord is also adding an upgraded DAC to its Chordette X Series, replacing the QX DAC. Called the QEX, it will join the IX streamer, TX headphone amp and SX power amp to complete the X Series. It costs £1195.

By Andy Clough

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Andy Clough

Andy is Global Brand Director of What Hi-Fi? and has been a technology journalist for 30 years. During that time he has covered everything from VHS and Betamax, MiniDisc and DCC to CDi, Laserdisc and 3D TV, and any number of other formats that have come and gone. He loves nothing better than a good old format war. Andy edited several hi-fi and home cinema magazines before relaunching in 2008 and helping turn it into the global success it is today. When not listening to music or watching TV, he spends far too much of his time reading about cars he can't afford to buy.