AUDIOQUEST DragonFly Cobalt
The DragonFly with the best sound currently available!
DragonFly Cobalt, the new flagship DAC, brings everything music lovers around the world have come to expect from the multi-award-winning DragonFly family – beautiful, seductive sound, of course – and removes fuzz and haze that you only notice after the fact, when Cobalt has removed it. How is that possible? Like the critically acclaimed DragonFly Red, the Cobalt features a 2.1-volt level-proof output that can drive almost any headphone, and bit-perfect digital volume control for excellent signal-to-noise ratio. It works smoothly with Apple and Android devices and is an excellent low-cost MQA renderer.
Audioquest and Gordon Rankin: A wonderful friendship
As with previous DragonFly models, the Cobalt uses Gordon Rankin’s groundbreaking asynchronous StreamLength® USB code. Furthermore, thanks to Gordon’s monoClock® technology, the ESS chip functions as well as all microcontroller functions are controlled by a single ultra-low jitter clock signal generated by the ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip. With this superior clock, the DragonFly Cobalt offers more resolution and transparency than DACs with multiple clocks.
The Cobalt’s forward-looking performance is based on several critical updates:
- New, enhanced ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip with minimum phase filter (slow roll-off) for more natural sound.
- Superior Microchip PIC32MX274 microprocessor for reduced power consumption and 33% increased processing speed.
- Improved power supply filtering specifically designed to reduce WiFi, Bluetooth and smartphone interference.
- Comes with custom-fit DragonTail adapter from USB-A jack to USB-C plug. AQ Carbon quality USB cables are used in all DragonTails.
Why “Slow Roll …?”
ESS’s new flagship, the ES9038Q2M DAC chip, operates in the Cobalt. The chips used in the DragonFlys Black and Red are unbeatable for their price, while the minimum phase filter with slow roll-off in the 9038 provides naturally expressive, emotionally involving and fatigue-free sound – a great combination of warmth and detail that Audioquest find equally exciting and reassuring.
Killing the noise
In the Cobalt, the latest research and development in noise rejection has been applied to create a power supply filter specifically designed to reduce the increasing WiFi, Bluetooth and smartphone interference. Successfully combating this interference is critical to preserving detail in the lowest frequencies, especially when it comes to High-Res audio – and especially when using portable audio devices like the DragonFly for this purpose.
Bit-perfect volume control and 2.1-volt output
The Cobalt features the ESS Sabre 9601 headphone amplifier and bit-perfect volume control that provided the DragonFly Red’s unique combination of power and musical control. This solution ensures maximum fidelity, exciting dynamic contrast and excellent signal-to-noise ratio. Thanks to the 2.1-volt output, a wide variety of headphones can be driven on Cobalt and Red; this includes power-hungry, low-efficiency models.
The firmware of the DragonFlys Black, Red and Cobalt is upgradeable via the free Device/Desktop Manager. In today’s fast-paced digital world, longevity is becoming increasingly rare in hi-fi components – in every price segment. AudioQuest believes that current digital equipment should evolve with technology and provide music enjoyment for many years to come. Device/Desktop Manager also allows you to determine the serial number and software version of your DragonFly and ensure that the device is up to date with the latest technology.
All of this is packed into a sleek new cabinet measuring just 2.26″ x 0.73″ x 0.47″ (57.5 mm x 18.6 mm x 11.9 mm) – making the latest DragonFly 10% smaller and a bit more likely to fit in your proverbial vest pocket. Last but not least, the DragonFly Cobalt comes with AudioQuest’s new DragonTail USB-A to USB-C adapter to support the growing number of electronic devices with USB-C ports.
- Enhanced ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip with minimum phase filter (slow roll-off) for more natural sound
- Microchip’s superior PIC32MX274 microprocessor for reduced power consumption and 33% increased processing speed
- Improved power supply filtering specifically designed to reduce WiFi, Bluetooth and smartphone interference
- With perfect-fit DragonTail adapter from USB-A socket to USB-C plug
- AQ-Carbon quality USB cables are used in all DragonTails