QED Performance Graphite Optical review

Best optical digital cable, Awards 2012. It's well made and robust, and tweaks have improved the sound

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

Best optical digital cable, Awards 2012. Fantastic value for money.


  • +

    Accurate and competent


  • -

    Nothing at this price

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Optical cables are key in various audio set-ups, from Sky+HD 5.1 sound to digital music, and in our experience you can buy better quality than a free bundled wire.

The Performance Graphite is a well-made cable, with a flexible but tough body, and beautiful, high-quality plugs. The sound it conveys is versatile and balanced, equally adept at expressing bass and treble.

This sturdy little cable worked well with our reference CD and DAC set-up, allowing them to reveal verve and punch when needed, together with transparency and a pleasing sense of detail.

With both movies and music, we heard improvements in system sound when using the QED, including greater detail and dynamics

Play Rodrigo y Gabriela’s Hora Zero and delicate nylon strings are pronounced and authoritative, while drums pack a visceral punch. It is also startlingly clear, conveying a real sense of texture and painting a detailed aural picture.

And the price is great for the quality. That's why it's won awards two years in a row.

See all our digital cable reviews

What Hi-Fi?

What Hi-Fi?, founded in 1976, is the world's leading independent guide to buying and owning hi-fi and home entertainment products. Our comprehensive tests help you buy the very best for your money, with our advice sections giving you step-by-step information on how to get even more from your music and movies. Everything is tested by our dedicated team of in-house reviewers in our custom-built test rooms in London, Reading and Bath. Our coveted five-star rating and Awards are recognised all over the world as the ultimate seal of approval, so you can buy with absolute confidence.

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