- Plays all music files: MP3 to MQA and High-Res
- Compatible with Apple® and Windows® PCs
- Compatible with iOS devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter/Connection Kit)
- Compatible with Android devices (requires DragonTail or other USB Adaptor for Android Devices)
- MQA Rendering
- Drives headphones directly
- Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
- Asynchronous transfer ensures digital timing integrity
Audioquest DragonFly Cobalt USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier
Audioquest DragonFly Cobalt USB DAC/Headphone Amplifier
The DragonFly Cobalt is Audioquest’s new flagship DAC. The latest and most sophisticated member of the award-winning DragonFly franchise is a USB DAC (digital-to-analog converter), preamplifier, and headphone amplifier. It bypasses the audio circuitry in laptops, computers, and smartphones to deliver cleaner, clearer, more naturally beautiful music to headphones, powered speakers, or complete audio systems. While DragonFly can natively decode resolutions up to 24-bit/96kHz, it can play any file type regardless of resolution, from MP3 to MQA and Hi-Res.
DragonFly Cobalt 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? 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 PERFORMANCE IS MADE POSSIBLE BY MULTIPLE SIGNIFICANT UPGRADES:
- 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 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.
- 10% smaller than previous DragonFly models
AUDIOQUEST, GORDON RANKIN: A BEAUTIFUL PARTNERSHIP
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.
WHY THE “SLOW ROLL…?”
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 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.
KILLING THE NOISE
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 WiFi, 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.
BIT-PERFECT VOLUME CONTROL AND 2.1-VOLT OUTPUT
Cobalt features the same ESS Sabre 9601 headphone amp 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 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 models.
BEAUTIFUL SOUND IN A SMALLER PACKAGE… AND NOW WITH A TAIL
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 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.
- Plays All Music Files: MP3 to MQA and Hi-Res
- Compatible with Apple and Windows PCs
- Compatible with iOS Mobile Devices (requires Apple Lightning-to-USB adaptor) and Android Mobile Devices (requires USB adaptor)
- Drives Wide Range of Low- to High-efficiency Headphones
- Variable Output Drives Powered Speakers or Power Amp, Fixed Output Feeds Preamp or AV Receiver
- Includes form-fitting Carbon-level DragonTail USB-A to USB-C adaptor
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 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.
STREAM TIDAL MASTERS EVERYWHERE
DragonFly supports 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, DragonFlys Black, Red, and Cobalt complete the unfolding process, allowing music lovers to enjoy a wider selection of high-res music.