The new AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt portable DACs arrived today! At €299, it ranks just above the DragonFly Red, to which it brings several decisive improvements. Including a new DAC and a new micro-controller to increase sound performance…
This AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt uses a latest generation ESS Saber ES9038Q2M converter with HyperStream II technology. It takes the place of the ES9016 present on the DragonFly Red. Dynamic range is now 129 dB, and total harmonic distortion (+ noise) -120 dB! This DAC still takes advantage of the asynchronous USB transfer mode encoded by Gordon Ranking. This Cobalt version also benefits from a new PIC32MX274 microcontroller. This ensures faster data processing, while being less energy-consuming.
A better sound?
Compared to the DragonFly Red, the new AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt portable DAC delivers more spacious and natural sound. Dynamic peaks are also better managed. The Darko Audio review also claims that no USB DAC at this price sounds as good… Portable or not! And the most interesting thing is that it can be used both on a Mac / PC computer (Linux possible but not supported by the brand), and on an iOS / Android smartphone. Come and try it at the Paris 11 store, in association with nearly 100 audio headsets 😉
For the rest, nothing new: we are on a self-powered portable USB DAC, capable of processing digital streams up to 24 Bits / 96 kHz (with MQA compatibility). The mini-jack output delivers 2.1V. Finally, it comes with an AudioQuest DragonTail USB to USB-C adapter.
DragonFly: Update For MQA Compatibility And Fixed Volume Issues On Android.