DragonFly Cobalt USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp
DragonFly Cobalt, our new flagship DAC, takes what music lovers around the world have come to expect from the multi-award-winning DragonFly family - naturally beautiful, seductive sound - and strips away fuzz and fog that weren't even noticeable until Cobalt removed them.
How is this possible? 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.
Like all previous DragonFly 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.
Cobalt employs ESS's new flagship ES9038Q2M DAC chip. The minimum-phase slow roll-off filter in the 9038 results in 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.
In Cobalt, we've taken what we've learned from our recent research and development in noise dissipation to employ power-supply filtering specifically designed to dramatically reduce the increasingly prevalent noise from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular signals. Successfully combating this noise is absolutely crucial to the 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.
Cobalt features the ESS Sabre 9601 headphone amp and bit-perfect volume control that give it, its combination of power and grip over the music. This solution ensures maximum fidelity, thrilling dynamic contrast, and excellent signal-to-noise ratio. The 2.1-volt output makes Cobalt compatible with a wide range of headphones, including power-hungry, low-efficiency models.
DragonFly Cobalt is firmware upgradeable via our 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 technology itself evolves, thereby delivering musical pleasure for many years to come. Our Desktop Device Manager will also allow you to find your DragonFly's serial number and software version to ensure that the device is up to date.
All this goodness is packed into a sleek new case that measures just 57 x 19 x 12 mm, making the latest DragonFly 10% smaller and even 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 included.
DragonFly Cobalt support Tidal Masters (MQA) playback from iPhones and Android smartphones. MQA's technology folds high-resolution files into smaller files that can be streamed on the go. As MQA Renderers, DragonFly Cobalt completes the unfolding process, allowing music lovers to enjoy a wider selection of high-res music.
DragonFly 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 Dragon Cobalt, listeners can enjoy more than 40 million tracks in lossless 16-bit CD resolution and over 2 million hi-res files.
Whatever music turns you on, wherever you are, an AudioQuest DragonFly USB DAC delivers inspiring, dynamic, and beautiful sound 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, unravelling the emotional expression and nuance that makes music and movies so enjoyable.
Now, more than ever before, naturally beautiful sound is right at your fingertips - however you want it, whenever you want it.
New, more advanced 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 Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular noise.
Includes a form-fitting DragonTail female USB-A to male USB-C Adaptor.
All DragonTail’s use AQ's Carbon-level USB cable.
For a review from Hi-Fi News magazine please click here
Sample rates supported (LED indicator colour code): Standby (Red), 44.1kHz (Green), 48kHz (Blue), 88.2kHz (Yellow), 96kHz (Light Blue), MQA (Purple)
Volume Control: 64-position, 64-bit, bit-perfect
Output voltage: 2.1 v
Headphone Amp: ESS Sabre 9601
DAC Chip: ESS ES9038Q2M with minimum-phase slow roll-off filter for more natural sound
Microcontroller: Microchip PIC32MX274
Dimensions: 57 (L) x 19 (W) x 12 (H) mm