Audioquest's Best Portable DAC/Headphone Amplifier
DragonFly Cobalt is the new flagship DAC from Audioquest. Like the critically acclaimed DragonFly Red, Cobalt has the robust 2.1-volt output to drive almost any headphone, uses a bit-perfect digital volume control for outstanding signal-to-noise ratio, enables seamless compatibility with Apple and Android devices, and is an exceptionally competent and affordable MQA Renderer.
Cobalt's Significant Upgrades Comparing to Dragonfly Red/Black:
- New, more advanced 32-bit ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip with a minimum-phase slow roll-off filter for more natural sound.
- Microchip's superb PIC32MX274 microprocessor draws less current and increases processing speed by 33%.
- Improved power-supply filtering that specifically increases immunity to WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular noise.
- Includes a form-fitting DragonTail female USB-A to male USB-C Adaptor.
All DragonTails use AQ's Carbon-level USB cable.
AudioQuest and Gordon Rankin Partnership
Like all previous DragonFly Portable DAC 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.
Slow Roll-off Filter for Natural Sound Signature
Cobalt employs ESS's new flagship ES9038Q2M DAC chip. While the chips used in DragonFlys Black and Red are unbeatable for the price, the minimum-phase slow roll-off filter in the 9038 results in a naturally expressive sound that is always emotionally engaging and never fatiguing - a beautiful combination of warmth and detail that we find equally exciting and soothing.
Kill the Noise
In Cobalt, Audioquest has taken what they learned from the recent research and development in noise dissipation to employ power-supply filtering specifically designed to dramatically reduce the increasingly prevalent noise from WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular signals. Successfully combating this noise is absolutely crucial to the full preservation of the lowest-level musical details, particularly when it comes to high-res audio - and especially when applied to a portable-audio device such as DragonFly.
Bit-Perfect Volume Control and 2.1V Output
Cobalt features the same ESS Sabre 9601 headphone amplifier and bit-perfect volume control that give DragonFly Red its unique combination of power and grip over the music. This solution ensures maximum fidelity, thrilling dynamic contrast, and an excellent signal-to-noise ratio. The 2.1-volt output makes Cobalt and Red compatible with a wide range of headphones, including power-hungry, low-efficiency, high end models. They are truly remarkable portable headphone amplifiers with enough power.
DragonFly Black, Red, and Cobalt are firmware upgradeable via Audioquest's 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 the technology itself evolves, thereby delivering musical pleasure for many years to come. The 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.
Smaller Size ... and a USB-C Adaptor
All this goodness is packed into a sleek new case that measures just 2.26" x 0.73" x 0.47" (57.5mm x 18.6mm x 11.9mm), making the latest DragonFly portable DAC 10% smaller and even a bit more pocket-friendly.
Finally, to easily accommodate the increasing number of electronic devices that feature USB-C ports, DragonFly Cobalt comes with AudioQuest's USB-A to USB-C adaptor.
Stream Tidal Masters Everywhere You Go
DragonFly Black, Red, and Cobalt support Tidal Masters (MQA) playback from iPhones and Android smartphones. The technology folds high-resolution files into smaller files that can be streamed on the go. DragonFly Black, Red, and Cobalt MQA DACs 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
DragonFly 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 quality 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. From MP3 to Hi-Res, naturally beautiful sound is right at your fingertips—whenever you want it.