Chord Electronics' DAC64 was one of those legendary products that was considered virtually unbeatable. It has now seen an update with a mouth full of name: The QBD76.

My first thoughts are on how much better the usability is, it now has it's controls as buttons on the front of the unit instead of odd little unmarked switches tucked away at the back of the unit. A USB input has been added giving a direct output from a computer source.

I still think it's an oddity, but the unit supports high quality Bluetooth audio streaming. Going to be the next big thing apparently... maybe. I'll try it out as soon as I load my phone full of music.

I wasn't sure the DAC64 was going to be topped but I'm quite impressed. It still has the astounding detail and the full, natural sound as the previous model, but it is instantly, significantly better. In a direct A/B comparison with the DAC64, the QBD76 gives a wider sound stage and a much more focused image. There is even less of an impression from the speakers as a box in the room, bringing the musicians that much closer to being in the room with you.

It's $8500, but quite simply, if you're after a no compromise CD solution, this has to be on your shopping list.

Chord's product page