Enter the Dragonfly: NEW Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt Unleashed!

Enter the Dragonfly: NEW Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt Unleashed!

Today Audioquest rocked the audiophile world and legions of the converted by announcing a successor to its game-changing gold-standard portable DAC/amp, the Dragonfly Red.  The new Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt offers a number of improvements over its predecessors, while still punching up to contest other DACs at its $299 price point.

Enter the Dragonfly: NEW Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt Unleashed!

Enter the Dragonfly: NEW Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt Unleashed!

Perhaps the most obvious difference with the Cobalt – and a telling one at that – is the included Dragontail USB-C adapter that comes with the Cobalt.  Like its predecessors, the Cobalt will offer compatibility with mobile devices.  However, Audioquest has implemented some next-generation features that may make the Cobalt the go-to component for mobile audiophiles.

In addition to the USB-C adapter, the Cobalt features improved power supply filtering aimed at specifically reducing the amount of noise present on mobile phones.

Aiding this new feature, the Cobalt packs a pretty impressive CPU in the form of the PIC32MX274.  This meaty microprocessor slashes current draw while simultaneously delivering a 33% boost in processing speed over the Red and Black.

And while less current draw and reduced noise may be aimed at mobile listeners, the Cobalt still sports some improvements that will benefit other listeners, too.

Because, apart from those mobile-friendly improvements noted above (and a 10% smaller form factor), the Cobalt utilizes a Sabre ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip.  Working in combination with this, there’s also a minimum phase roll-off filter at play in the sound, ensuring a more natural listening experience.

The new Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt will be hitting retailers in another week or so, and will retail for $299.

While the older Dragonfly Black and Dragonfly Red models should continue to hold their own in the current DAC/Amp market, the improvements present in the Cobalt position this new Dragonfly to go head-to-head with other more expensive DAC/Amps.  Models like FiiO’s new Q5s DAC amp ($349) or Ifi’s Bluetooth-enabled xDSD ($399) may find themselves faltering when stacked up against this new MQA-enabled, mobile-optimized portable DAC amp.

So stay tuned for our upcoming review!

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Carroll is a headphone junkie residing in Brooklyn. He's a huge fan of Grado, UK hip hop, and the English Language in general. When not testing audio equipment or writing, you'll find him taking photographs or fiddling with circuit boards. You can contact him at carroll@majorhifi.com.