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Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt

$599 $475

Brand Audioquest

Meet Cobalt: The Most Beautiful-Sounding DragonFly Yet!

USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp

From MP3 to MQA and High-Res: Naturally Beautiful Sound at Your Fingertips—
Whenever and Wherever You Want It

DragonFly Cobalt, our 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.

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 PRECEDENT-SETTING 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.

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.

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. Our 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. Click here to download the latest Device Manager available for your operating system.

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.

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 Red’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%.

Extremely low power consumption with 32-bit architecture and the option for software upgradability (via AudioQuest’s free Desktop Device Manager).

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

UPGRADABLE FIRMWARE

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 62mm (l) 

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