Audioquest DragonFly Black USB DAC
The Audioquest DragonFly Black, the most affordable model of the award-winning DragonFly family, has been praised by Darko. Audio as “the quintessential everyman hi-fi product,” while its more sophisticated sibling, DragonFly Red, combines significantly improved performance with still exceptional value. The ESS 9010 DAC chip in Black and the higher-performance 9016 chip in Red employ minimum-phase filtering for naturally detailed sound.
While the Audioquest 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.
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.
The Rest Of The DragonFly Fleet: Audioquest DragonFly Black and Red
While the original DragonFly created a new category of portable DAC, its USB power draw made it compatible with computers only. Black and Red answered the call of music lovers everywhere for DragonFlys that could be used with Apple iOS mobile devices and Android smartphones and tablets. These DACs proved for once and for all that convenience and performance need no longer be mutually exclusive.
All current-production DragonFly models incorporate 32-bit ESS Sabre DAC chips.
The DAC chips we’ve selected are remarkably powerful and sophisticated, yet we’ve intentionally limited DragonFly’s processing capabilities to 24-bit/96kHz resolution. This makes using DragonFly as simple as it’s always been: All models are fully compatible with PCs without having to download and install new drivers.
Most importantly, DragonFly is designed to honor the music you already own and love. Whether you’re listening to Spotify, YouTube, Tidal, Qobuz, ripped CDs, or state-of-the-art high-resolution files, DragonFly will deliver a more emotionally compelling and enjoyable experience.
Stream Tidal Masters Everywhere
DragonFlys Black, Red, and Cobalt support Tidal Masters (MQA) playback from iPhones and Android smartphones. MQA’s technology folds high-resolution files into smaller files that can be streamed on the go. As MQA Renderers, DragonFlys Black, Red, and Cobalt complete the unfolding process, allowing music lovers to enjoy a wider selection of high-res music.
Stream Qobuz’s Vast Catalog Of Outstanding Hi-Res Music
DragonFlys Black, Red, and Cobalt support Qobuz high-res playback from iPhones, Android smartphones, and MacOS and Windows computers. Qobuz streams and downloads music in bit-perfect FLAC, the most widely used format for mastering and archiving, at resolutions of up to 24-bit/192kHz. With DragonFlys Black, Red, and Cobalt, listeners can enjoy more than 40 million tracks in lossless 16-bit CD resolution and over 2 million hi-res files.
Naturally Beautiful Sound Is Right At Your Fingertips
Whatever music turns you on, wherever you are, an AudioQuest DragonFly USB DAC delivers inspiring, dynamic, and beautiful sound to earbuds, headphones, powered speakers, or complete audio systems.
With a DragonFly, music appreciation and exploration are limitless: Plug into an Apple or Windows® computer or connect to an iOS® or Android mobile device. Play YouTube or Vimeo videos. Go hunting on Bandcamp or SoundCloud. Explore playlists on Spotify or Pandora. Stream high-res audio from Tidal or Qobuz. No matter the choice of musical pleasure, DragonFly delivers beautiful sound, unraveling the emotional expression and nuance that makes music and movies so enjoyable.