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Audioquest DragonFly Red

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The Next Generation: DragonFly Black & DragonFly Red

While the original DragonFly defined the market for micro-DACs, its USB power draw made it compatible with computers only. Music lovers have craved a more portable version—one that could be reliably used with Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.

We’re delighted to present two new options that do just that: DragonFly Black and DragonFly Red.

Convenience and performance are no longer mutually exclusive. With DragonFly Black and Red, any computer, laptop, tablet, or smartphone can be used as a true high-fidelity music player, allowing music lovers to enjoy beautiful sound wherever they go, whenever they please.

AudioQuest, Gordon Rankin, and Microchip: A Beautiful Partnership

AudioQuest and DragonFly designer Gordon Rankin worked alongside Microchip Technology to develop a new high-performance, full-speed USB microcontroller solution that delivers improved signal-to-noise ratio and significantly lower power consumption.

Drawing 77% less current than the previous microcontroller, the new Microchip PIC32MX microcontroller enables true compatibility with Apple and Android smartphones and tablets.

Further, we simply cannot overstate the significance of Gordon Rankin’s contributions to AudioQuest. The new DragonFly models embody many of Gordon’s most innovative, creative, and elegant digital-audio solutions to date.

Improved 32-Bit Digital Performance

For greater overall performance, the new DragonFly models also incorporate improved 32-bit ESS Sabre DAC chips—the 9010 in Black and the higher-performance 9016 in Red—both of which employ minimum-phase filtering for naturally detailed, more authentic sound. While DragonFly Black uses the same high-quality headphone amp and analog volume control found in DragonFly v1.2, DragonFly Red includes the latest ESS headphone amp and a bit-perfect digital volume control that resides on the 9016 DAC chip itself—a sophisticated implementation that ensures maximum fidelity, dynamic contrast, and signal-to-noise ratio.

DragonFly Black will output 1.2 volts—enough power to successfully drive all preamplifier input circuits and a wide range of today’s efficient headphones. Meanwhile, with its higher 2.1-volt output, DragonFly Red will be compatible with a wider range of headphones, including power-hungry, low-efficiency models.

While the DAC chips we’ve selected are remarkably powerful and sophisticated, we’ve intentionally limited DragonFly Black and DragonFly Red’s processing capabilities to 24-bit/96kHz resolution. This makes using the DragonFlys as simple as it’s always been: they’re fully compatible with PCs without having to download and install new drivers.

Most importantly, DragonFly is designed to honor the music you already own and love. Whether you’re listening to Spotify, YouTube, Tidal, ripped CDs, or state-of-the-art high-resolution files, DragonFly will deliver a more emotionally compelling and enjoyable experience.

Free Desktop Application for Software Upgradability (for DragonFly Black and Red only)

In addition, the new DragonFlys will be software upgradeable through a complimentary Windows or OS X desktop application. As new developments arise in music player applications, streaming protocols, or other associated software, DragonFly users will be able to incorporate those updates to their existing devices.

DragonFly Red
IDENTIFICATION Red Automotive Finish With Gold Lettering, Protective End-Cap, Leatherette Travel Pouch
NATIVE RESOLUTION Up to 24-bit / 96kHz
OUTPUT 2.1 volts
Direct-Coupled, High output — With a combination of power, beauty, and finesse, DF Red
delivers greater overall impact, momentum, and grip than either DF 1.2 or DF Black,
while also surpassing their excellent senses of touch, texture, and nuance. In addition,
Red's high (2.1v) output means that it can easily drive the widest range of headphones.
When used as a line-level device (volume set to 100%), DF Red's 2.1 volts provide enough
Power to drive all preamplifier, integrated amplifier, or receiver inputs.
MICROCONTROLLER 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 upgradibility (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.
DAC CHIP ESS 9016 32-Bit
Like the ESS 9010, the 32-bit ESS 9016 uses a sophisticated minimum-phase digital filter to
provide more naturally detailed and dynamic music, but surpasses the 9010 in overall performance.
VOLUME CONTROL Digital: 64-Bit Bit-Perfect Volume Control
DragonFly Red employs a 64-bit, bit-perfect digital volume control that resides inside the
DAC chip itself—an elegant and sophisticated implementation that ensures maximum fidelity,
dynamic contrast, and signal-to-noise ratio. With DragonFly Red connected to a PC or mobile
device, adjusting the host’s system volume control will, through proxy, control the DragonFly
Red’s onboard volume.
DESKTOP/PC COMPATIBILITY Windows 7 / 8.1 / 10; Apple OS X; Linux (no support provided)
MOBILE COMPATIBILITY Yes: Apple iOS (5 and newer); Android 4.1 and newer* For Android devices, see owner's manual.
SOFTWARE UPGRADABLE Yes (from desktop application): Please download AudioQuest's Desktop
Manager Application and register your product.
USB PROTOCOL Asynchronous USB Streamlength®
Streamlength™ 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).
Streamlength requires no additional drivers, making DragonFly Red virtually plug-and-play for
Apple, Windows, iOS, and Android users.
DIMENSIONS 12mm (h) x 19mm (w) x 62mm (l)

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We offer FREE delivery to the mainland UK (excluding Channel Islands, Isle of Man, Isle of White, Isles of Scilly, and some of the remote Scottish Isles).

For other areas please contact us for a quote. Select items can be delivered internationally by prior agreement. Again please contact us for a quote. We will always do our best to help.

Our aim is to dispatch goods within 2 working days of an order being placed. Please allow 5 working days from the time of your order to receipt of item. If an order is expected to take longer than this our order fulfillment department will contact you to inform you of this.

Where multiple items are ordered, we will dispatch them all in one package. If you have ordered any special or customized items, or items otherwise not immediately available, we will dispatch the order when all items are available. If you have any concerns regarding this, please contact us and we will do are very best to help you.

Audioquest DragonFly Red




Nintronics offers generous trade in prices to help make your next upgrade as seamless as possible, while greatly reducing the overall price of your purchase. Depending upon the items involved, Nintronics will be happy to send out one of our nationwide installation engineers to collect your traded in items and unbox, setup and calibrate your new equipment.

Audioquest DragonFly Red

"Please include age, condition, make, model and serial numbers of the units you wish to trade in. Please note if you have the original accessories, boxes, invoice etc... This will help with increasing your trade in value."




Nintronics Ltd, Unit 7, Martinfield Business Centre, Welwyn Garden City, AL7 1HG
Tel: 01707 320788 Email: sales@nintronics.co.uk

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