AudioQuest Dragonfly Red
AudioQuest Dragonfly Red
Description of the Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB:
As noted, the units are about the same size as a normal USB stick, so they slide easily into a pocket, a backpack or a purse. They’re extremely lightweight considering how much technology is packed inside.
In the box, all DragonFlys include a leatherette travel pouch to protect them while you’re on-the-go. The male USB type-A connections plug straight into a computer’s USB port.
While the original DragonFly was only compatible with computers, now optional adapters allow the new DragonFlys to work with Apple iOS and Android devices too.
With Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB, better sounding quality is now possible on-the-go — even with your favorite streaming apps.
Whether it’s connected to your laptop or your phone, DragonFlys is powered directly from a USB connection, so there’s no need for an extra power cord.
On the opposite end, a female 3.5-inch mini-plug lets you connect the Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB to a pair of headphones, a set of powered speakers, or an audio system.
There’s magic here. It all happens inside the Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB, where a very special internal DAC chip converts the digital signal from your smartphone, tablet or computer to the improved analog signal that you hear.
With a more powerful headphone amp packed inside, Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB makes headphones and powered speakers come alive. No matter how you stream or play music, DragonFly greatly improves the sound coming out of your laptop or smartphone.
While all of its parts are sourced worldwide, DragonFlys are still assembled in the United States at an AudioQuest facility in Ohio.
The Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB just feels great in our hands. At Audio Advice, the red automotive finish and gold lettering scream high performance and impresses all of us.
We love how the LED illuminates different colors to show the status of the unit. At a glance, you know exactly what sample rate the little bug is playing — and the way the little dragonfly logo changes color is (we confess) a guilty pleasure.
AudioQuest worked with Gordon Rankin on the design for the original DragonFly. Gordon is a heavyweight in the audio world and worthy of a Google search.
He’s the founder of Wavelength Audio, a brilliant designer, and the first to properly develop asynchronous USB for high-end audio.
His company improved computer audio when it released the Wavelength Audio Cosecant at CES in 2004. All the DragonFly models have featured Gordon’s designs.
The challenge for AudioQuest was to make a new high-performance model even better than the previous DragonFlys at only a slightly higher price-point. Put quite simply, AudioQuest has packaged more for your money with Red.
The Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB digital audio converter is the ESS ES9016 chip. It’s a higher performance DAC chip than the one in DragonFly Black, and uses a “minimum-phase filtering” process with a fast roll-off filter.
Think music with more natural dynamics and an enhanced stereo image with clearer details.
Used by music industry professionals, the Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB DAC chip inside the Red can be found in recording systems, mixing consoles and digital audio workstations.
AudioQuest told us they’re even noticing an uptick in use by new music artists, record labels, and DJs who share projects and collaborate using DragonFlys.
Turns out, when you’re an aspiring artist hoping to land a record deal, the Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB is a far better way to make a positive impression than going straight from a phone’s headphone jack.
Even Universal Music Group is in league with AudioQuest, using Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB in their corporate offices! Woah!
Specifications of the Audioquest Dragonfly Red USB:
Compatibility Desktop: Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10; Apple OS X; Linux (no support provided)
Mobile: Apple iOS 5 and newer; Android 4.1 and newer
Use with mobile devices requires adapters (available separately)
Connectors Digital Input: 1 x USB Type-A; male
Analog Output: 1 x 1/8" / 3.5 mm TRS stereo; female
DSP 32-bit ESS 9016
Bit Depth 24-bit playback
Sample Rates 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz
Audio Output 2.1 V
Volume Control 64-bit digital control
Dimensions 0.5 x 0.7 x 2.4" / 12.0 x 19.0 x 62.0 mm