QED X-TC review

We really like this budget speaker cable from QED - it might be short on some bottom end heft, but it makes up for it with everything else

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

A great budget cable from QED


  • +

    Balanced sound, good dynamics and detailing

  • +



  • -

    Needs more bottom end heft

Why you can trust What Hi-Fi? Our expert team reviews products in dedicated test rooms, to help you make the best choice for your budget. Find out more about how we test.

Predictability can be either a blessing or a curse. There's the blissful safety of knowing what's about to transpire, or the crushing inevitability of a given result.

In the case of QED's speaker cables, however, the transference of positive attributes within the range, such as an even and well-integrated tonal balance, and more than capable detailing, can only be a good thing.

And so it proves to be with the well-made and firm-feeling X-TC. This sits squarely in the lower end of the competitive budget cable market at a very reasonable price of £4.00 a metre.

Given John Barry's grandiose Space March (Capsule In Space) the X-TC is able to handle the rippling strings and solemn dynamics with ease, while syncopated electronica such as Four Tet's A Joy propels itself along in its own weird way just fine, with the lithe QED neatly capturing the tricky subtleties and time signatures.

Treble and midrange to the fore
Locking horns with Chord's all-powerful and Award winning SilverScreen however, the X-TC shows itself in want of some lower-end heft, which in turn highlights the treble and midrange frequencies a fraction too much for our liking.

It still proves to be a worthy rival though, and at £2 cheaper than the Chord, one that won't affect your wallet quite as much in these austere times.

Despite its few shortcomings, this is the most capable budget cable we've seen here in a long while, and it should be firmly on your audition list.

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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.

Read more about how we test