Audioquest DragonFly (Black)
While DragonFly Black uses a high-quality headphone amp and analog volume control, DragonFly Red includes a more advanced ESS headphone amp and a bit-perfect digital volume control that resides on the 9016 DAC chip itself—a sophisticated implementation that gives Red a unique combination of power and grip over the music. DragonFly Black outputs 1.2 volts—enough power to successfully drive all preamplifier input circuits and a wide range of today’s efficient headphones. With its higher 2.1-volt output, DragonFly Red is compatible with a wider range of headphones, including power-hungry, low-efficiency models.
AUDIOQUEST, GORDON RANKIN: A BEAUTIFUL PARTNERSHIP
Like all previous DragonFly models, Cobalt uses Gordon Rankin’s precedent-setting StreamLength® asynchronous-transfer USB code. Further, in Gordon’s monoClock® technology, a single ultra-low-jitter clock generated from the ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip runs the ESS chip functions as well as all microcontroller functions. This superior clock enables DragonFly Cobalt to provide greater resolution and clarity than DACs with multiple clocks.
WHY THE “SLOW ROLL…?”
Cobalt employs ESS’s new flagship ES9038Q2M DAC chip. While the chips used in DragonFlys Black and Red are unbeatable for the price, the minimum-phase slow roll-off filter in the 9038 results in naturally expressive sound that is always emotionally engaging and never fatiguing—a beautiful combination of warmth and detail that we find equally exciting and soothing.
KILLING THE NOISE
In Cobalt, we’ve taken what we’ve learned from our recent research and development in noise dissipation to employ power-supply filtering specifically designed to dramatically reduce the increasingly prevalent noise from WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular signals. Successfully combating this noise is absolutely crucial to the preservation of the lowest-level musical details, particularly when it comes to high-res audio—and especially when applied to a portable-audio device such as DragonFly.
BIT-PERFECT VOLUME CONTROL AND 2.1-VOLT OUTPUT
Cobalt features the same ESS Sabre 9601 headphone amp and bit-perfect volume control that give DragonFly Red its unique combination of power and grip over the music. This solution ensures maximum fidelity, thrilling dynamic contrast, and excellent signal-to-noise ratio. The 2.1-volt output makes Cobalt and Red compatible with a wide range of headphones, including power-hungry, low-efficiency models.
DragonFlys Black, Red, and Cobalt are firmware upgradeable via our free Desktop Device Manager. In today’s fast-paced digital world, longevity in a hi-fi component is increasingly rare—at any price. AudioQuest believes that today’s digital devices should evolve as technology itself evolves, thereby delivering musical pleasure for many years to come. Our Desktop Device Manager will also allow you to identify your DragonFly’s serial number and software version to ensure that the device is up to date.
- Plays all music files: MP3 to MQA and High-Res
- Compatible with Apple® and Windows® PCs
- Compatible with iOS devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter/Connection Kit)
- Compatible with Android devices (requires DragonTail or other USB Adaptor for Android Devices)
- MQA Rendering
- Drives headphones directly
- Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
- Asynchronous transfer ensures digital timing integrity
- DragonFly Black – Status/Sample rates supported (LED indicator color code): Standby (Red), 44.1kHz (Green), 48kHz (Blue), 88.2kHz (Amber), 96kHz (Magenta), MQA (Purple)
- DragonFly Cobalt – Status/Sample rates supported (LED indicator color code): Standby (Red), 44.1kHz (Green), 48kHz (Blue), 88.2kHz (Yellow), 96kHz (Light Blue), MQA (Purple)
- Volume Control: Analog Volume Control (Black); 64-position, 64-bit, bit-perfect (Red, Cobalt)
- Output voltage: 1.2 (Black); 2.1 (Red, Cobalt)
- Headphone Amp: Texas Instruments TPA6130 (Black); ESS Sabre 9601 (Red, Cobalt)
- DAC Chip: 32-bit ESS 9010 with minimum-phase fast roll-off filter (Black); 32-bit ESS 9016 with minimum-phase fast roll-off filter (Red); ESS ES9038Q2M with minimum-phase slow roll-off filter for more natural sound (Cobalt)
- Microcontroller: Microchip PIC32MX (Black, Red); Microchip PIC32MX274 reduces current draw and increases processing speed by 33% over DragonFlys Black and Red (Cobalt)
- Dimensions: 12mm H x 19mm W x 62mm L (Black, Red); 12mm H x 19mm W by 57mm L (Cobalt)