It’s been almost four years since the original DragonFly (v1.0) launched and then a year and half later, DragonFly introduced the updated v1.2—for €149.
Now, AudioQuest is to introduce two new DragonFlys that will work with Apple and Android™ phones!
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 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.
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. While DragonFly Black uses the same high-quality headphone amp and analogue 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.
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?!
DRAGONFLY BLACK & RED
- Play all music ﬁles: MP3 to high-res
- Compatible with Apple and Windows PCs, as well as iOS and Android devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter or Made for Android/OTG adaptor)
- Asynchronous Class 1 USB data transfer using the Streamlength™ protocol
- Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
- Medium output (1.2 volts) drives a wide range of headphones
- 32-bit ESS 9010 DAC with minimum-phase ﬁlter
- Analog volume control
- High output (2.1 volts) drives almost all headphones, including power-hungry models
- 32-bit ESS 9016 DAC with minimum-phase ﬁlter
- Bit-perfect digital volume control