Quad gets active with compact 9AS speakers with built-in DAC

The latest addition to the Quad hi-fi range is the £600 9AS active speakers with built-in DAC (digital-to-analogue converter).

The 9AS speakers feature a built-in amplifier in each unit, thus eradicating the need for an external power amp. Quad has also built a DAC into the speakers, which is able to support 24-bit/192kHz audio.

Each pair comprises a 'master' and a 'slave' unit; both units feature a 100W Class AB power amplifier. The master accepts all audio inputs, as well as controlling volume levels. The slave meanwhile is fed audio data via a line-level output from the master. A subwoofer output is available to create a 2.1 set-up if you want extra bass.

The drivers in the 9AS speakers comprise a Quad mid/bass unit with a 10cm woven Kevlar cone, plus a newly designed 2.5cm fabric-dome tweeter.

The 9AS speakers can be placed in almost any location, thanks to a three-position bass EQ facility, which equalises low-frequency response. This means they can be free standing, placed on a shelf or even close to a wall. Quad claims no matter where they are positioned, they will "deliver crisp, clear and musically insightful results."

Quad has fitted the 9AS speakers with a range of inputs. On the digital side are asynchronus USB and S/PDIF connections, all of which can receive 24-bit/192kHz audio data. For analogue sources, RCA inputs are on hand.

A 3.5mm jack input is also provided for the connection of portable devices.

Volume controls and input selection is handled via either a remote control, or a touch-sensitive panel found on the base of the master speaker.

The Quad 9AS active loudspeakers are available this month for £600 per pair. Buyers can choose from high-gloss black, high-gloss white or ruby finishes.

By Max Langridge

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Max was a staff writer on What Hi-Fi? and subsequently spent a good few years writing news and features for various technology and hi-fi publications, before jumping on a plane in search of a more fruitful life in Australia. Now based in Byron Bay, he writes about tech, health, fitness and style.