Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp
This product can only be shipped to U.S. addresses.
The Audioquest DragonFly Red features Beautiful Sound from ANY Mobile Device or Computer!
The High Output (2.1 volt) DragonFly Red is a USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp all in one small, portable device!
"Stepping up to the DragonFly Red took the sound to the next level. The Sine's bass is stunning -- deep, tuneful and precise -- and the DragonFly Red lets you hear how good the Sine can be... AudioQuest is on a roll, so the DragonFly Black and Red are easy to recommend to audiophiles seeking better sound, without spending a lot of cash." - Steve Guttenberg, www.cnet.com
Hard to believe! 2016 marksalmost four years since the original DragonFly (v1.0) changed the world’s concept of what a DAC could and should be. At only $249, but with expensive component-quality performance, DragonFly was hailed around the world as the perfect introduction to the pleasures of high-performance audio.
A year and half later, DragonFly rocked the audio world again when Audioquest introduced the updated v1.2 — for only $149. The sound was simply a little cleaner, a little better controlled, and more relaxed—unequivocally better. And, the new price helped bring better-sounding music to even more people.
Now, AudioQuest is truly pleased to introduce a dramatic step forward — DragonFly Red with unprecedented audio quality and even higher performance-to-cost ratio — and, drum roll, it works with Apple and Android™ phones!
Yes, that last point is a biggie. From the day that the original DragonFly came out, Audioquest received requests for a DragonFly-quality DAC to use with smartphones. Finally, thanks to newly available parts, power draw is now well within what any phone will authorize.
"AudioQuest's DragonFly Red puts high-end DAPs on notice... More so with Red than Black, AudioQuest pose a rhetorical question: if a smartphone provides the interface and streaming apps and the DragonFly Red gives us audible superiority over the iPhone itself as well as many rival DAPs, is spending (often heavy) cash on a dedicated player a serious over-indulgence? Pass the Mylanta... DragonFly Red and Black are the finest examples of everyman hifi to ever grace these pages. Their value quotients explode the dial." - John H. Darko, www.digitalaudioreview.net
Audioquest has been busy for years making this new generation of DragonFlys possible. 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 true compatibility with Apple and Android smart- phones and tablets. For use with Apple iOS devices, Apple’s Lightning-to-USB Camera Adaptor is required (Click Here to get more info or to purchase separately from the Apple Website.); for use with Android devices, a Made for Android (OTG) adaptor, such as Audioquest's DragonTail USB Adaptor For Android Devices, is required (Click Here to get more info or to purchase from Elusive Disc!).
Audioquest hesitates to brag about specific electronic parts in the DragonFlys because the implementation of those parts is as crucial as their quality. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that DACs with the same microcontroller or primary processor all sound alike! Depending on the circuit design, control of noise, power supply regulation, quality of the many passive parts, etc., a supposedly “lesser” DAC chip can easily outperform a “better” DAC chip in a different DAC.
Also, as with cameras and their previous race to have more pixels than the other guy, playing the numbers game can distract and deceive. While the DAC chip in the Black DragonFly has great capability, AQ has chosen to limit processing to 24-bit/96kHz. This makes using the DragonFlys as simple as it’s always been, fully compatible with PCs, etc., without having to download and install new drivers. Though maybe more importantly, faster processing can mean more noise, so while playing 24/192 files with some of the best component DACs does offer sonic advantages, many DACs actually sound better when the computer down-samples a 24/192 file to 24/96 before sending the data to the DAC. AudioQuest plays a music-quality game first and foremost. The DragonFly Black is designed to be the-best-it-can-be Emotional Transportation for your music, whether Spotify, YouTube videos, Tidal, ripped CDs, or state-of-the-art Hi-Res files.
Back to bragging about the internals: The new DragonFly Red also incorporates improved 32-bit ESS Sabre DAC chips — (the higher-performance 9016 in Red) — which employs minimum-phase filtering for naturally detailed, more authentic sound. The DragonFly Red includes the latest ESS headphone amp and a bit-perfect digital volume control that resides on the 9016 DAC chip itself—a sophisticated implementation that ensures maximum fidelity, dynamic contrast, and signal-to-noise ratio.
Those of you who remember how Audioquest bragged about the DragonFly v1.0 and v1.2 having an analog volume control might now be going “huh?” Good question! It’s a matter of capabilities. The earlier DragonFlys and the Black feature an analog volume control because that’s a better-sounding approach than most digital volume controls, which cut off bits in order to reduce the volume. However, when a digital volume control, as in the new DragonFly Red, doesn’t compromise the signal, doesn’t reduce finesse and subtlety and low-level detail, then a bit-perfect digital volume control is superior. Once more, it’s not about a particular part or sample rate or buzz word—it’s about honoring the quality of the resulting sound above all else.
With its higher 2.1-volt output, the 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 DragonFly Black and Red is essentially irrelevant with the AQ 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 DragonFly Red is 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.
The DragonFly Red with much better sound at only $199, and compatible with iphones, how much good news can you stand?!
• High output (2.1 volts) drives almost all headphones, including power-hungry models
• 32-bit ESS 9016 DAC with minimum-phase filter
• 64-position (digitally controlled) 64 bit, bit-perfect digital volume control
• USB Stick-Sized Digital-to-Analog Converter
• Plays all music files: MP3 to High-Res
• Drives Headphones Directly
• 64 Bit, Bit-Perfect Variable Output drives headphones, powered speakers, or power amp
• 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
• Asynchronous transfer ensures digital timing integrity
• Direct-coupled digital-to-analog circuitry from the ESS Sabre DAC chip through the analog volume control and analog output section
• Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
• Minimum-Phase digital filter for more naturally detailed, dynamic music
• Plays all music files: MP3 to High-Res
• Compatible with Apple and Windows PCs
• Compatible with iOS devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter/Connection Kit)
• Compatible with Android devices (requires USB Adaptor for Android Devices)
• Drives a wide range of low to high efficiency headphones
• Analog variable output drives powered speakers or power amp
• Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
Sample rates supported, LED indicator color code: 44.1kHz (Green), 48kHz (Blue), 88.2kHz (Amber), 96kHz (Magenta)
Output voltage: 2.1 vrms
Output impedance: 0.65 ohms
Suggested minimum load impedance (headphones, electronic input): 12 ohms
Analog audio - frequency response:
DC - 22kHz (44.1kHz sample rate)
DC - 24kHz (48kHz sample rate)
DC - 44kHz (88.2kHz sample rate)
DC - 48kHz (96kHz sample rate)
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