AudioQuest DragonFly Red | ESS 9016 Asynchronous USB DAC

AudioQuest DragonFly Black Asynchronous USB DAC


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Details & Highlights

Product Highlights

    Audioquest is closing the gap between digital music lovers and hard–core audiophiles with the DragonFly Red. Previous models of the DragonFly Digital–to–Analogue Converter (DAC), preamp and headphone amp all–in–one, would plug directly into a PC or laptop USB port, bypassing the computer's sub-par internal sound system, to widen and enhance sound detail for clear and naturally beautiful audio through speakers and headphones. DragonFly Red takes portable Digital to Analogue Conversion one step further by allowing devices like MP3 players, smartphones and other non–USB devices, to use the DragonFly DAC to bring audiophile–grade sound to portable, digital music lovers. An upgraded 32–bit ESS Sabre 9016 DAC chip ensures more authentic sound from the DragonFly Red with a total output of 2.1 volts to effectively and directly drive modern headphones and all preamplifier input circuits. As an added bonus, the Dragonfly Red is software upgradeable through a free Windows or OS X desktop app designed to incorporate future upgrades and developments in music player applications, streaming protocols or other associated software.

Details from AudioQuest

    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 Black's 1.2 volts provide enough power to drive all preamplifier, integrated amplifier, or receiver inputs.

    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.

    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.

    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.

    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.


Features & Specs

Best Seller
Manufacturer's Warranty
    1 Year Limited Warranty
Detailed Specifications
    Dragonfly Red
  • USB Stick–Sized Digital–to–Analog Converter
  • Plays all music files: MP3 to high–res
  • Compatible with Apple and Windows PCs, as well as iOS and Android mobile devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter or Made for Android/OTG adaptor)
  • Drives headphones directly
  • Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
  • Asynchronous transfer ensures digital timing integrity
  • 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
Product Bullets


Included Coverage from AudioQuest: 1 Year Limited Warranty

Category ID: 133 | $199.95