QED XT Evolution review

It's not ideal for every system, but we think this QED's a bit of a champion speaker cable Tested at £6.50

What Hi-Fi? Verdict

QED is now a twin threat in the sub-£10/m speaker cable market


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    Great detail levels

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    good timing

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    convincing stage


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    Won’t calm a brighter system

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QED ruled the ‘first proper upgrade' speaker cable roost for years with its Silver Anniversary XT cable (£5/m), until Chord Company came along with its splendid £6/m Carnival Silver Screen and made off with last year's speaker cable Product of the Year Award.

Although this XT Evolution cable doesn't replace the Silver Anniversary XT, it can safely been seen as an attempt by QED to wrest primacy from Chord.

It's certainly very impressive on its own terms. Playing Wilco (the song) from Wilco (the abum) by – hey! – Wilco, the XT Evolution unearths impressive levels of detail both great and small.

Striking stereo focus
It's a fast and well-organised listen, with plenty of low frequency modulation and impact as well as lucid soundstaging and striking stereo focus.

Midrange reproduction is intimate and, again, lavishly detailed and there's fine integration across the frequency range. Timing, particularly of barely there transients, is as good as any price-comparable competitor.

There's the sort of merest glint to the very highest frequencies that means the XT Evolution won't be ideal for every system, but those for whom it works – and there will be many – will find that this fine, keenly priced speaker cable works very well indeed.

See all our speaker 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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