DragonFly Cobalt

AED 1,100.00 (Exc. Tax)

AudioQuest’s 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.

Est. Delivery Time for Backorders: 2-3 Weeks

In stock (can be backordered)

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Description

DESCRIPTION

DragonFly is a USB digital-to-analog converter (DAC) designed to deliver cleaner, clearer, more naturally beautiful sound from any computer, smartphone, or tablet. DragonFly’s unique design allows for playback of any file type regardless of resolution. Natively,
DragonFly is capable of decoding 24-bit/96kHz data. (For files with higher sample rates, your computer or mobile device, in conjunction with its playback software, will resample the data to a compatible resolution. For more details, see “The Importance of Format.”)

DragonFly represents the culmination of several significant achievements.

Working closely with Microchip®, a leading provider of microcontrollers and analog semiconductors, AudioQuest and acclaimed engineer Gordon Rankin developed sophisticated software that enabled the implementation of a new, high-performance class of USB microcontroller. Thanks to their exceedingly low power consumption and extremely low-noise power supplies, the Microchip® microcontrollers achieve unprecedented levels of efficiency and signal-to-noise ratio, regardless of bit- or sample-rate. Meanwhile, significant advances in DAC chips have allowed us to surpass the performance of even our multi-award-winning DragonFly Red.

DragonFly Cobalt uses monoClock® technology and the StreamLength® asynchronous USB code.

With monoClock® technology, a single ultra-low-jitter clock generated from the ESS ES9038 DAC chip runs the ESS headphone amplifier as well as all microcontroller functionalities. This single ultra-low-jitter clock enables DragonFly Cobalt to produce greater resolution and clarity than DACs that employ multiple clocks.

StreamLength® asynchronous USB code ensures improved delivery of the audio samples to the DAC chip. It produces low jitter, low resource load, minimal packet errors, world-class audio playback, and reliable connectivity between our DAC and any computing device compliant with USB Host Mode (as set forth by the USB Organization). StreamLength® is compatible with the USB Audio Class (UAC) and requires no additional drivers, making DragonFly virtually plug-and-play for Apple™, Windows™, iOS™, and Android™ users.

Additionally, DragonFly is software upgradable. 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. With our free Desktop Device Manager *monoClock® and StreamLength® are registered trademarks of Wavelength Audio, ltd. application and a few simple clicks, when new software is available DragonFly can be upgraded at no additional cost. And, to easily accommodate the increasing number of electronic devices that feature USB-C ports, DragonFly Cobalt comes equipped with our DragonTail USB A-to-C extender cable.

To stay up to date on the latest DragonFly news, please register your product at https://www.audioquest.com/page/aq-product-registration.html.

FEATURES

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.

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, Audioquest have taken what they’ve learned from their 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.

FIRMWARE UPGRADEABLE
DragonFlys Black, Red, and Cobalt are 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. Audioquest’s 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.

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.

Additional information

Weight0.50 kg
Dimensions3 × 15.6 × 21.2 cm

FURTHER DETAILS

FURTHER DETAILS

Identification
Red Automotive Finish With Gold Lettering, Protective End-Cap, Leatherette Travel Pouch

Native Resolution
Up to 24-bit / 96kHz

Output
2.1 Volts

Direct-Coupled, High output — With a combination of power, beauty, and finesse, DF Red delivers greater overall impact, momentum, and grip than either DF 1.2 or DF Black, while also surpassing their excellent senses of touch, texture, and nuance. In addition, Red’s high (2.1v) output means that it can easily drive the widest range of headphones. When used as a line-level device (volume set to 100%), DF Red’s 2.1 volts provide enough power to drive all preamplifier, integrated amplifier, or receiver inputs.

Microcontroller
Microchip PIC32MX

The Microchip PIC32MX (USB 2.0 compliant) is a full-speed isochronous USB audio solution. Compared to other controllers, the Microchip microcontroller offers extremely low power consumption (77% lower than the TAS1020b and 95% lower than the most efficient XMOS solution), 32-bit architecture, and the option for software upgradibility (via a desktop application provided by AudioQuest). In addition, the Microchip’s ultra-low-noise power supply minimizes the sound-degrading effect of high-frequency interference on the critical audio signal.

DAC Chip
ESS 9016 32-Bit

Like the ESS 9010, the 32-bit ESS 9016 uses a sophisticated minimum-phase digital filter to provide more naturally detailed and dynamic music, but surpasses the 9010 in overall performance.

Volume Control
Digital: 64-Bit Bit-Perfect Volume Control

DragonFly Red employs a 64-bit, bit-perfect digital volume control that resides inside the DAC chip itself—an elegant and sophisticated implementation that ensures maximum fidelity, dynamic contrast, and signal-to-noise ratio. With DragonFly Red connected to a PC or mobile device, adjusting the host’s system volume control will, through proxy, control the DragonFly Red’s onboard volume.

Desktop/PC Compatibility
Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10; Apple OS X; Linux (no support provided)

Mobile Compatibility
Yes: Apple iOS (5 and newer); Android 4.1 and newer* For Android devices, see owner’s manual.

Software Upgradable
Yes (from desktop application): Please download AudioQuest’s Desktop Manager Application and register your product.

USB Protocol
Asynchronous USB Streamlength®

Streamlength™ asynchronous USB code ensures low jitter, low resource load, minimal packet errors, world-class audio playback, and reliable connectivity between our DAC and any computing device compliant with USB Host Mode (as set forth by the USB Organization). Streamlength requires no additional drivers, making DragonFly Red virtually plug-and-play for Apple, Windows, iOS, and Android users.

Dimensions
12mm (h) x 19mm (w) x 62mm (l)

DRAGONFLY MODEL COMPARISON

ENCLOSURE AND ACCESSORIES: Cobalt blue automotive finish with silver lettering | Protective endcap | Contoured enclosure | Leatherette travel pouch | DragonTail USB-C adaptor
NATIVE RESOLUTION: Up to 24-bit / 96kHz
OUTPUT: 2.1 volts. Direct-coupled, high output: Enough power to easily drive the widest range of headphones. When used as a line-level device (volume set to 100%), DF Cobalt’s 2.1 volts provide enough power to drive all preamplifier, integrated amplifier, or receiver inputs.
HEADPHONE AMP: ESS Sabre 9601
MICROCONTROLLER: Microchip PIC32MX274. Same features as Red and Black, but reduces current draw and increases processing speed by 33%.
DAC CHIP: ESS ES9038Q2M. With minimum-phase slow roll-off filter for more natural sound.
VOLUME CONTROL: 64-Bit Bit-Perfect Digital Volume Control
DESKTOP/PC COMPATIBILITY: – Apple OS 10.6.8 and later | Microsoft Windows 7 and later | Linux (no technical support provided)
MOBILE COMPATIBILITY: Apple iOS 5 and later (requires Apple Camera Adapter; Lightning to USB 3 recommended) | Android 5.0 and later (requires micro-USB DragonTail, USB-C DragonTail, or
other USB adaptor for Android devices)
MQA RENDERING: Yes.
UPGRADABLE FIRMWARE: Yes.
MONOCLOCK TECHNOLOGY: In Gordon Rankin’s monoClock® technology, a single ultra-low-jitter clock generated from the ESS DAC chip runs the headphone amplifier, as well as all microcontroller functionalities, enabling DragonFly to produce greater resolution and clarity than DACs that employ multiple clocks.
DIMENSIONS: 12mm (h) x 19mm (w) x 57mm (l)

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