Meet Cobalt: The Most Beautiful-Sounding DragonFly Yet!
DragonFly Cobalt, AudioQuest’s 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 AudioQuest’s new DragonTail USB-A (female) to USB-C (male) adaptor to easily accommodate the increasing number of electronic devices that feature USB-C ports.
- Contoured enclosure measures just 2.26” x 0.73” x 0.47” (57.5mm x 18.6mm x 11.9mm), making the latest DragonFly 10% smaller than its predecessors.
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.
Killing the Noise
In Cobalt, AudioQuest have taken what they've learned from their 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.
DragonFlys Black, Red, and Cobalt are firmware upgradeable via AudioQuest’s 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. Their 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.
DragonFly Cobalt - Sample rates supported (LED indicator colour code):
Standard (Red), 44.1kHz (Green), 48kHz (Blue), 88.2kHz (Yellow), 96kHz (Light Blue), MQA (Purple)
*Please Note, the sample rate LED indicators differ from the supplied reference image, so 96kHz is now described as a light shade of blue.