HiFi Bargains: AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt

In the beginning, there was Black. Then Black v1.5, followed by Red. Well, there’s a new sheriff in town and his name is Cobalt. DragonFly Cobalt.

doin’ DAC duty on my iMac for review which is coming soon

A DragonFly is a flash drive-sized digital-to-analog-converter (DAC) and headphone amp that connects to your computer or smartphone (or both) thereby improving the musical output that arrives in your head. While I’m still a fan of the earlier ‘Flys, they both live on the TM Select list-O-DACs, Cobalt has become my favorite because it makes the music that enters my head that much more gripping. And I want my music to grab and never let go.

The bestest part? The brand new AQ DragonFly Cobalt is a wallet-friendly $299.95 making it a genuine HiFi Bargain [footnote 1]. Available everywhere DragonFlys are sold.


Plays all music files: MP3 to MQA and High-Res
Compatible with Apple® and Windows® PCs
Compatible with iOS devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter/Connection Kit)
Compatible with Android devices (requires DragonTail or other USB Adaptor for Android Devices)
MQA Rendering
Drives headphones directly
Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
Asynchronous transfer ensures digital timing integrity


Sample rates supported (LED indicator color code): Standard (Red), 44.1kHz (Green), 48kHz (Blue), 88.2kHz (Yellow), 96kHz (Light Blue), MQA (Purple)
Volume Control: 64-position, 64-bit, bit-perfect
Output voltage: 2.1
Headphone Amp: ESS Sabre 9601
DAC Chip: ESS ES9038Q2M with minimum-phase slow roll-off filter for more natural sound
Microcontroller: Microchip PIC32MX274 reduces current draw and increases processing speed by 33% over DragonFlys Black and Red
Dimensions: 12mm H x 19mm W by 57mm L

1. if that’s too rich, you can still get the DragonFly Black v1.5 ($99.95) or Red ($199.95)