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  • AudioQuest DragonFly USB DAC 2 VERSIONS AVAILABLE AudioQuest DragonFly USB DAC Quick View

    $99.95
    Buy Now
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    AudioQuest DragonFly USB DAC


    Have a question about this product? Please email our audio advisor or call 1-877-929-8729 with any questions or concerns regarding your equipment purchase.


    DragonFly Black & DragonFly Red


    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 Androidâ„¢ phones!
    Yes, that last point is a biggie. From the day that the original
    DragonFly came out, we got requests for a DragonFly-quality
    DAC to use with smartphones. Finally, thanks to newly
    available parts, power draw is now well within what any
    phone will authorize.


    We've been busy for years making this new generation of
    DragonFlys possible. AudioQuest worked alongside Microchip
    Technology to develop a new high-performance, full-speed
    USB microcontroller (a DAC's input processor) that delivers
    improved signal-to-noise ratio and significantly lower power
    consumption. Drawing 77% less current than the DragonFly
    v1.2's microcontroller, the new Microchip MX microcontroller
    enables true compatibility with Apple and Android smartphones
    and tablets. For use with Apple iOS devices, Apple's
    Lightning-to-USB Camera Adaptor is required; for use with
    Android devices, a Made for Android (OTG) adaptor, such as
    our DragonTail USB Adaptor For Android Devices, is required.
    We hesitate to brag about specific electronic parts in the
    DragonFlys because the implementation of those parts is
    as crucial as their quality. Please don't make the mistake of
    thinking that DACs with the same microcontroller or primary
    processor all sound alike! Depending on the circuit design,
    control of noise, power supply regulation, quality of the many
    passive parts, etc., a supposedly "lesser" DAC chip can easily
    outperform a "better" DAC chip in a different DAC.


    Also, as with cameras and their previous race to have more
    pixels than the other guy, playing the numbers game can
    distract and deceive. While the DAC chips in both the Black
    and Red DragonFlys have great capability, we have chosen
    to limit DragonFly Red and Black processing to 24-bit/96kHz.
    This makes using the DragonFlys as simple as it's always been,
    fully compatible with PCs, etc., without having to download
    and install new drivers. Though maybe more importantly,
    faster processing can mean more noise, so while playing
    24/192 files with some of the best component DACs does offer
    sonic advantages, many DACs actually sound better when
    the computer down-samples a 24/192 file to 24/96 before
    sending the data to the DAC. Our point is that AudioQuest
    plays a music-quality game first and foremost. DragonFlys
    are designed to be the-best-they-can-be Emotional Transportation
    for your music, whether Spotify, YouTube videos, Tidal,
    ripped CDs, or state-of-the-art Hi-Res files.


    Back to bragging about our internals: 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. While DragonFly
    Black uses the same high-quality headphone amp and analog
    volume control found in the DragonFly 1.2, DragonFly Red
    includes the latest ESS headphone amp and a bit-perfect
    digital volume control that resides on the 9016 DAC chip
    itself-a sophisticated implementation that ensures maximum
    fidelity, dynamic contrast, and signal-to-noise ratio.


    Those of you who remember how we bragged about the
    DragonFly v1.0 and v1.2 having an analog volume control
    might now be going "huh?" Good question! It's a matter of
    capabilities. The earlier DragonFlys and the Black feature
    an analog volume control because that's a better-sounding
    approach than most digital volume controls, which cut off
    bits in order to reduce the volume. However, when a digital
    volume control, as in the new DragonFly Red, doesn't
    compromise the signal, doesn't reduce finesse and subtlety
    and low-level detail, then a bit-perfect digital volume control
    is superior. Once more, it's not about a particular part or
    sample rate or buzz word-it's about honoring the quality of
    the resulting sound above all else.


    DragonFly Black outputs 1.2 volts-enough power to capably
    drive all preamplifier input circuits and all reasonably
    efficient headphones. Meanwhile, with its higher 2.1-volt
    output, DragonFly Red is compatible with an even wider
    range of headphones, including power-hungry, low-efficiency
    models. For reference, DragonFly 1.0 and 1.2 featured
    1.8-volt output.


    The difference in maximum output between DF Black and DF
    Red is essentially irrelevant with our NightHawk headphones,
    as they can be easily driven by either model, but Red's
    higher output is an important advantage with some of the
    more inefficient headphones on the market. However, the
    difference in sound quality between the two new models
    is always meaningful, and is important whether feeding
    headphones or the Aux input of an audio system. At the same
    volume, Red has much more "torque," "grip," and "muscle"
    than Black. Red simply sounds cleaner and clearer overall,
    enabling a larger soundstage with each instrument or voice
    more nearly in its own space.


    And, more good news: The new DragonFlys are software
    upgradeable through complimentary Windows and OS X
    desktop applications. As new developments arise in music
    player applications, streaming protocols, or other associated
    software, DragonFly users will be able to incorporate those
    updates into their existing devices.


    DragonFly Black for only $99, with better sound than any
    previous DragonFly for less money than any previous
    DragonFly, and DragonFly Red with much better sound at
    only $199-and both compatible with phones-how much
    good news can you stand?!


    AudioQuest
    $99.95
    USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp (2 Versions Available)
    Buy Now
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