From MP3 to MQA and High-Res: Naturally Beautiful Sound at Your Fingertips—Cobalt takes everything DragonFly Red is
Whenever and Wherever You Want It
famous for — the same drives-anything 2.1-
volt output, bit-perfect digital volume con-
trol, seamless compatibility with Apple and
Android devices, and MQA-rendering and
Hi-Res capability—and incorporates some
important new upgrades:
New, more advanced ESS ES9038Q2M DAC
chip with a minimum-phase slow roll-of
filter for more natural sound
More sophisticated Microchip PIC32MX274
microprocessor that reduces current draw
and increases processing speed by 33%
over DragonFlys Black and Red
Improved power-supply filtering, specifically
designed to reduce WiFi, Bluetooth, and
Includes a form- fitting DragonTail USB-C
to USB-A adaptor—like all DragonTails,
using AQ’s Carbon-level USB cable
From MP3 to MQA and Hi-Res, DragonFly
DAC/Amplifiers preserve the body, warmth,
and natural color in all your music. Experi-
ence more beauty at home and everywhere
Meet Cobalt: The Most Beautiful-Sounding DragonFly Yet!
DragonFly Cobalt, Audioquests 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
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
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
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 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.
- 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): 44.1kHz (Green), 48kHz (Blue), 88.2kHz (Amber), 96kHz (Magenta), MQA (Purple)
- Volume Control: Analog Volume Control (Black); 64-position, 64-bit, bit-perfect (Red, Cobalt)
- Output voltage: 1.2 (Black); 2.1 (Red, Cobalt)
- Headphone Amp: Texas Instruments TPA6130 (Black); ESS Sabre 9601 (Red, Cobalt)
- DAC Chip: 32-bit ESS 9010 with
minimum-phase fast roll-off filter (Black); 32-bit ESS 9016 with
minimum-phase fast roll-off filter (Red); ESS ES9038Q2M with
minimum-phase slow roll-off filter for more natural sound (Cobalt)
- Microcontroller: Microchip PIC32MX
(Black, Red); Microchip PIC32MX274 reduces current draw and increases
processing speed by 33% over DragonFlys Black and Red (Cobalt)
- Dimensions: 12mm H x 19mm W x 62mm L (Black, Red); 12mm H x 19mm W by 57mm L (Cobalt)