DragonFly Red

AudioQuest



USB Digital Analog Converter  + Preamp + Headphone Amp

Introduced to the media at the 2016 Consumer Electronics Show, DragonFly Black and DragonFly Red were named “Stars of CES” by What Hi-Fi? Magazine. But this is only the beginning.

DragonFly is an affordable and easy-to-use device that delivers far superior sound by bypassing the poor quality sound card that is built into your computer. DragonFly is a sleek, flash drive sized Digital-Audio Converter that connects to a USB jack on a Mac® or Windows® PC, turning any computer into a true high- fidelity music source.

Whether you’re on the go or at home, listening on ear buds or connecting your computer to a stereo system, DragonFly reveals all the emotional expression and nuance that makes your favorite music, or movies, so enjoyable. However you connect it, DragonFly simply and easily makes any computer sound better.

The Next Generation: DragonFly Black & DragonFly Red

While the original DragonFly defined the market for micro-DACs, its USB power draw made it compatible with computers only. Music lovers have craved a more portable version—one that could be reliably used with Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.

We’re delighted to present two new options that do just that: DragonFly Black and DragonFly Red.

Convenience and performance are no longer mutually exclusive. With DragonFly Black and Red, any computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone can be used as a true high-fidelity music player, allowing music lovers to enjoy beautiful sound wherever they go, whenever they please.

Beautiful Sound From Any Computer, Anywhere

  • USB Stick-Size Digital-Audio Converter
  • Plays All Music Files: MP3 to High-Res
  • Drives Headphones Directly
  • Variable Output Drives Powered Speakers or Power Amp
  • Fixed Output Feeds Preamp or Receiver
  • Asynchronous Transfer Ensures Digital Timing Integrity
  • Dual Fixed-Frequency Master Clocks Enable Optimal ‘Clocking’ (Digital Timing) For All Sample Rates

Even smoother and more open sound!

Among the improvements, the circuitry between the DAC chip and the analog output stage has been refined to create a more direct signal path, leading to even greater transparency and immediacy. Also, the DAC’s power supply has been fortified, which gives the sound more “grip,” and even greater dynamic contrast.

The heart of DragonFly is the 24-bit ESS Sabre™ conversion chip, a high-performance solution that’s typically found in better CD and Blu-ray Disc™ players. DragonFly can accept audio and music files ranging from MP3s and CD-standard 16-bit/44kHz to native 24-bit/96kHz high-resolution, regardless of music file format.  If your computer’s software can recognize and play a format, DragonFly will make it sound its best.

However, high-quality digital-audio conversion alone isn’t why DragonFly sounds great. How the audio data is transferred from the computer to DragonFly required particular attention from DragonFly’s design team. Remember that digital audio is stored on computers and delivered to DragonFly as streams of 1’s and 0’s. Making beautiful music out of 1’s and 0’s isn’t a case of simply getting all the music data from point A to Point B. Maintaining subtle digital timing relationships is crucial in order to be able to reconstruct the analog waveform that we hear as dialog or music.

Timing errors have long been the plague of digital audio playback, never more so than in recent years as computers have been pressed into service as audio source components. DragonFly uses a very sophisticated “asynchronous*” USB audio data transfer protocol. Rather than sharing crucial audio “data clocking” functions with the computer, DragonFly alone commands the timing of the audio data transfer, dramatically reducing digital timing errors. In addition, not all audio content is encoded at the same native resolution or “sample rate. ” DragonFly uses two discrete onboard “clocks” so that the math algorithms used to convert the digital audio data to analog are always optimized for the native sample rate of the audio file or stream being played. This ensures the least amount of mathematical manipulation to the native audio data, which results in fewer errors and better sound.  A smart LED indicator on DragonFly shows the resolution of the incoming signal.

Superior Sound From Your Computer

While the digital domain is where your computer- based music experience starts, the analog domain requires attention too.  Digital volume controls too often reduce signal resolution and decrease sound quality.  Even when the iTunes volume slider is used, DragonFly’s high-resolution analog volume control carries out the instructions in the analog domain for the best sound quality. And DragonFly’s analog circuits are direct-coupled from the ESS converter chip’s output, avoiding the need for any extraneous, sonically degrading components in the signal path.

All of these refinements allow DragonFly to make music with a natural solidity and clarity that is dramatically superior to the sound you would hear from your computer on its own.

Specifications - DragonFly Red

 USB Stick-Sized Digital-to-Analog Converter
Plays all music files: MP3 to high-res
Compatible with Apple and Windows PCs, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter or Made for Android/OTG adaptor)
Drives headphones directly
Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
Asynchronous transfer ensures digital timing integrity
High output (2.1 volts) drives almost all headphones, including power-hungry models
32-bit ESS 9016 DAC with minimum-phase filter
Bit-perfect digital volume control

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