AudioQuest DragonFly Black - USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp

AudioQuest DragonFly Black - USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp

AudioQuest DragonFly Black - USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp

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Product Highlights

  • Improved Circuitry from Version 1
  • Plugs Into an Available USB Port
  • Provides Improved Sound Quality
  • 32-Bit ESS Sabre Conversion Chip
  • 1/8" Jack Outputs Directly to Headphones
  • Resolutions up to 24-Bit / 96 kHz
  • Can Also Feed Preamp or Power Amp
  • Supports Mac, Windows, iOS, Android
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Model: Black

Black Red

You Pay: $99.95

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AudioQuest DRAGONFLYBLK overview

  • 1Description

The DragonFly Black from AudioQuest is a flash drive-sized Digital Audio Converter (DAC), preamplifier, and headphone amplifier that connects to a USB port. It features a 32-bit ESS Sabre conversion chip that bypasses the device's sound card to deliver higher quality sound from your Mac, Windows, iOS, or Android device (use with mobile devices requires optional adapters). Compared to earlier models, the Black version has improved circuitry between the DAC chip and analog output, as well as a fortified power supply. Its 1/8" (3.5mm) stereo output can connect a set of headphones or allow patching into a larger audio system.

The DragonFly Black can accept audio files ranging from MP3s and CD-standard 16-bit / 44.1 kHz L-PCMs to higher resolution 24-bit / 96 kHz formats. Using USB protocol, DragonFly commands the timing of the audio data transfer, dramatically reducing errors. DragonFly Black employs a unique clock system called a Hybrid-PLL. While not discrete, the Hybrid-PLL performs equal to, or better than, many discrete clock systems. A smart LED indicator on the DragonFly shows the resolution and status of the incoming signal. Additionally, DragonFly's analog circuits are direct-coupled from the ESS converter chip's output, avoiding the need for any extraneous components in the signal path.

1.2 Volt Output
Direct-Coupled, Medium Output: More than enough power to successfully and gracefully drive a wide range of today's efficient headphones. Although DF Black has a lower output voltage than DF 1.2, its more advanced micro-controller and updated DAC chip mean that it can deliver more musical texture and detail, even when used with moderate-efficiency (~95-100 dB/mW) headphones. When used as a line-level device (volume set to 100%), DF Black's 1.2 volts provide enough power to drive all preamplifier, integrated amplifier, or receiver inputs
Microchip PIC32MX
The Microchip PIC32MX (USB 2.0 compliant) is a full-speed isochronous USB audio solution. Compared to other controllers, the Microchip microcontroller offers extremely low power consumption (77% lower than the TAS1020b and 95% lower than the most efficient XMOS solution), 32-bit architecture, and the option for software upgradability (via a desktop application provided by AudioQuest). In addition, the Microchip's ultra-low-noise power supply minimizes the sound-degrading effect of high-frequency interference on the critical audio signal
ESS 9010 32-Bit
Compared to the ESS 9023, the 32-bit ESS 9010 offers improved overall performance and uses a sophisticated minimum-phase digital filter to provide more naturally detailed and dynamic music
Analog Volume Control
Digitally controlled (from the host) analog volume control. With DF Black connected to a PC or mobile device, adjusting the host's volume control will, through proxy, control the DF Black's on-board volume, ensuring maximum resolution regardless of volume setting
Proprietary Asynchronous USB code
A proprietary asynchronous USB code ensures low jitter, low resource load, minimal packet errors, world-class audio playback, and reliable connectivity between our DAC and any computing device compliant with USB Host Mode (as set forth by the USB Organization). The code requires no additional drivers, making DragonFly Black virtually plug-and-play for Apple, Windows, iOS, and Android users (use with mobile devices requires optional adapters)
LED Indicators
DragonFly Black’s LED lights up in different colors to indicate status or sample rate:

  • Red: Standby
  • Green: 44.1 kHz
  • Blue: 48.0 kHz
  • Amber: 88.2 kHz
  • Magenta: 96.0 kHz


UPC: 092592048188
In the Box
AudioQuest DragonFly Black - USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp
  • Carry Pouch
  • Limited 1-Year Warranty
  • Table of Contents
    • 1Description

    AudioQuest DRAGONFLYBLK specs

    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 9010
    Bit Depth 24-bit playback
    Sample Rates 44.1, 48, 88.2, 96 kHz
    Audio Output 1.2 V
    Volume Control Analog
    Dimensions 0.5 x 0.7 x 2.4" / 12.0 x 19.0 x 62.0 mm
    Weight Not specified by Manufacturer
    Packaging Info
    Package Weight 0.4 lb
    Box Dimensions (LxWxH) 8.3 x 6.1 x 1.4"

    AudioQuest DRAGONFLYBLK reviews

    DragonFly Black - USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp is rated 4.4 out of 5 by 10.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic audio upgrade for my laptop and phone I'm very happy with my purchase of this little DAC! The difference in audio quality from my Dell Inspiron laptop is really amazing, especially when I plug in my Shure SE215s. Now I use it all the time when listening to music at work. I don't use it as often with my Moto G5 phone, but when I do (with a USB OTG cable) I can hear a noticeable different in quality. The color-changing dragonfly logo looks cool too, and I suppose it's a handy reference for anyone obsessing about source sample rates. All in all, a very nice little gadget and a recommended upgrade!
    Date published: 2017-06-04
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from Disappointing White this version of the DAC can theoretically be used on iPhone (1.2 and 1.0 didn't work due to power requirements), in practice you can't do it. It is loud, extremely loud when used with any mid to good quality headphones or in-ear monitors. With a mid range headphones and volume at half, the sound is already close to 100db, and with in-ear monitors, the sound at just 4th iPhone position is close to 100db if not over. Compared with the previous edition of the DAC on the same computer, this produces the same level of sound at about 20% volume, that the older ones produced at 80%. I have good working sensitive ears that aren't full of gunk ear wax and I buy high quality headphones. This DAC unfortunately is a no starter with them.
    Date published: 2016-10-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Headphones sound better now Items affecting the sound of your devices are always subjective unless you have sophisticated testing equipment but after installing this on my Mac Mini my headphones (Vmoda XS) do seem to have a cleaner sound. It also made things much louder. I assume that's the added power of the device and it's nice to have the volume turned down so it doesn't seem like things are straining. I am very happy with the device although it does take one of my four USB sockets so I'm thinking of a USB hub now.
    Date published: 2016-07-04
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic Portable DAC I used to use V1.0 on my iPhone, not anymore, the new Black version I got from B&H is phenomenal! Very happy with the sonic quality and the dynamics that it adds to my music. The size and shape was already perfect to begin with, and it has solid build quality. Audioquest knows their stuff! Would even invest in the new Red version if I had better headphones! For the best value, function, and portability the Black version is ideal for me.
    Date published: 2016-05-15
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Only one issue This is a wonderful DAC. As a headphone amp it is overpowered for all of my headphones. It works fine from my MacPro. But from my iPad Pro and iPhone the volume is too difficult to adjust. If there was a high / low gain switch based on headphone sensitivity it would rate 5 stars. I spend all of my time from 0-2 on iDevices. I use the slider to be 0.5-2 but it is very fiddly.
    Date published: 2018-08-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Immediate increase in great sound! Used in my office/computer system. The Dragonfly Black is a great value for the performance provided; compared with my old USB DAC, it not only sounds considerably better with Apple Lossless, it decodes Tidal natively and brings that within shouting distance Apple Lossless. Highly recommended.
    Date published: 2018-07-31
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from This is what you're looking for! Dragonfly started the whole USB DAC & headphone amp industry, and they are the best. I use this with an Apple iMac and Macbook Air. It makes a difference you will notice right away. Much better sounds from all types of music. I wouldn't do without one now.
    Date published: 2018-03-20
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Excellent way of improving sound when using computer. Very useful tool to improve sound when using a computer. Improves clarity with a smoother detail and better sound staging. Great value for the price.
    Date published: 2017-01-11
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