Audioquest DragonFly RED


Audioquest DragonFly RED


Audioquest DragonFly RED :  DAC/USB Stick

The new DragonFly models also incorporate improved 32-bit ESS Sabre DAC chips the 9010 in Black and the higher-performance 9016 in Red both of which employ minimum-phase filtering for naturally detailed, more authentic sound.

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 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.

Hard to believe! It’s been almost four years since the original DragonFly (v1.0) changed the world’s concept of what a DAC could and should be. At only £215, but with expensive component-quality performance, DragonFly was hailed around the world as the perfect introduction to the pleasures of high-performance audio. A year and half later, DragonFly rocked the audio world again when we introduced the updated v1.2 for only £129. The sound was simply a little cleaner, a little better controlled, and more relaxed unequivocally better. And, the new price helped bring better-sounding music to even more people. Now, AudioQuest is truly pleased to introduce two dramatic steps forward two new DragonFlys with unprecedented audio quality and even higher performance-to-cost ratios and, drum roll, they work with Apple and Android™ phones!

Please Note: the DragonFly Red has a ‘Bit Perfect Digital Volume Control’ which means that within the DragonFly Red, it has its own internal volume control which by default is set to 50%. To control this volume, AudioQuest have recommended using an app called ‘USB Audio Player Pro’ which has a Software Volume Control built in to increase the DragonFly’s internal volume. 

Specifications :   Audioquest DragonFly RED

  • Play all music files: MP3 to high-res
  • Compatible with Apple and Windows PCs, as well as iOS and Android devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter or Made for Android/OTG adaptor)
  • Asynchronous Class 1 USB data transfer using the Streamlength™ protocol
  • Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
  • High output (2.1 volts) drives almost all headphones, including power-hungry models
  • 32-bit ESS 9016 DAC with minimum-phase filter
    • 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 integrityBit-perfect digital volume control
    • DragonFly Black and Red – 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)