AudioQuest DragonFly Black USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp

AudioQuest DragonFly Black USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp

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Beautiful Music from Computers and Mobile Devices

With the AudioQuest DragonFly Black and Red USB digital-to-analogue converters, any MAC, PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone can be used as a true high-fidelity music player, allowing music lovers to enjoy beautiful sound wherever they go.

Plugging into a device’s USB port they bypass its compromised audio circuitry and deliver cleaner, clearer, more natural sound to headphones, powered speakers, and complete audio systems,

The DragonFly Black’s unique design allows for playback of any file type regardless of resolution. Natively, it is capable of decoding 24-bit/96kHz data.

The dragonfly-shaped LED lights up in different colours to indicate status or sample rate: RED: Standby, GREEN: 44.1 kHz, BLUE: 48 kHz, AMBER: 88.2 kHz, MAGENTA: 96 kHz.

When used as a line-level device (volume set to100%), the DragonFly Black's 1.2 volts provide enough power to drive all preamplifier, integrated amplifier, or receiver inputs.

Compared to other controllers, the Microchip PIC32MX microcontroller offers extremely low power consumption (77% lower than the TAS1020b and 95% lower than the most efficient XMOS solution), 32-bit architecture, and the option for software upgradability. In addition, the Microchip's ultra-low-noise power supply minimises the sound-degrading effect of high-frequency interference on the critical audio signal.

Streamlength™ asynchronous USB code ensures low jitter, low resource load, minimal packet errors, world-class audio playback, and reliable connectivity between our DAC and any computing device compliant with USB Host Mode.


AudioQuest DragonFly FAQs.


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  • USB Stick-Sized Digital-to-Analog Converter

  • Plays all music files: MP3 to high-res

  • 32-bit ESS 9010 DAC with minimum-phase filter

  • Analog volume control

  • Drives headphones directly

  • Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver

  • Asynchronous transfer ensures digital timing integrity

  • Medium output (1.2 volts) drives a wide range of headphones

  • Apple OS X®, Apple iOS®, Microsoft Windows® (7, 8.1, 10), Android™

  • Compatible with Apple and Windows PCs, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter or Made for Android/OTG adaptor)


DragonFly Black and Red Comparison

Feature DragonFly Black DragonFly Red
Finish Black Soft-Touch Finish With Gold Lettering, Protective End-Cap, Leatherette Travel PouchRed Automotive Finish With Gold Lettering, Protective End-Cap, Leatherette Travel Pouch
Native Resolution 1.2 volts
Up to 24-bit / 96kHz
Up to 24-bit / 96kHz
Output 1.2 volts
Direct-Coupled, Medium output
2.1 volts
Direct-Coupled, High output
Microcontroller Microchip PIC32MXMicrochip PIC32MX
DAC Chip ESS 9010 32-BitESS 9016 32-Bit
Volume Control; Analogue Volume Control64-bit Bit-Perfect Volume Control
Desktop/PC Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10; Apple OS X; Linux (no support provided)Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10; Apple OS X; Linux (no support provided)
Mobile Device Apple iOS (5 and newer); Android 4.1 andnewer (see owner's manual)Apple iOS (5 and newer); Android 4.1 and newer (see owner's manual)
USB Protocol Asynchronous USB Streamlength®Asynchronous USB Streamlength®
Dimensions 12mm (h) x 19mm (w) x 62mm (l)12mm (h) x 19mm (w) x 62mm (l)

OUTPUT

BLACK: Although the DragonFly Black has a lower output voltage than its predecessor (the Dragonfly 1.2),its more advanced microcontroller and updated DAC chip mean that it can deliver more musical texture and detail — even when used with moderate-efficiency (~95-100dB/mW) headphones - and that its 1.2 volts is more than enough power to successfully and gracefully drive a wide range of today’s efficient headphones.

RED: With a combination of power, beauty, and finesse, the DragonflyRed delivers greater overall impact, momentum, and grip than the DragonFly Black, while also surpassing its excellent sense of touch, texture, and nuance. In addition, the Red's high (2.1v) output means that it can easily drive the widest range of headphones.

DAC

BLACK: The 32-bit ESS 9010 uses a sophisticated minimum-phase digital filter to provide more naturally detailed and dynamic music.

RED: Like the Black’s ESS 9010, the Red’s 32-bit ESS 9016 uses a sophisticated minimum-phase digital filter to provide more naturally detailed and dynamic music, but surpasses the 9010 in overall performance.

VOLUME

BLACK: Digitally controlled (from the host) analog volume control. With DF Black connected to a PC or mobile device, adjusting the host's volume control will, through proxy, control the DF Black's onboard volume, ensuring maximum resolution regardless of volume setting.

RED: The DragonFly Red employs a 64-bit, bit-perfect digital volume control that resides inside the DAC chip itself—an elegant and sophisticated implementation that ensures maximum fidelity, dynamic contrast, and signal-to-noise ratio. With DragonFly Red connected to a PC or mobile device, adjusting the host’s system volume control will, through proxy, control the DragonFly Red’s onboard volume.


AudioQuest DragonFly Black Reviews

More reviews available on the AudioQuest website.


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