I’ve been using the Innuos Zen Mini 3 as my server/streamer with my SuperUniti for about a year to get Roon and Qobuz support. It’s been very good*. But spending too much time on forums and watching YouTube reviews lately has made me crave a DAC upgrade. And I ended up getting the Chord Qutest for Christmas.
However, as good as the Qutest is, I did not find it all that much better than the DAC in the SU. Going back and forth either A/B testing or just long sessions with one and then the other, even trying the Chord powered via a Power Bank, did not yield anything that would stand out as better.
At some point I started playing around with my Kudos X2s, moving them further away from the wall to see if they needed some more space. Well I have to say that doing so made the most difference to the sound. Just moving the speakers 10cm.
In the end the Qutest went back - it just did not give me the SQ uplift I was expecting from all the reviews and forum talk. But by forcing me to move my speakers, what I got out of it is a free upgrade. Which has opened up the sound, made the soundstage wider and deeper and put a smile on my face.
*side note: using Roon on the Innuos Zen also has an impact on the sound, unfortunately a negative one. So I tend to not use Roon, only for background listening.