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Audioquest 15660 DragonFly Converter, Black
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- USB Stick-Size Digital-Audio Converter
- Plays All Music Files: MP3 to High-Res
- Drives Headphones Directly
- Variable Output Drives Powered Speakers or Power Amp
- Fixed Output Feeds Preamp or Receiver
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Building upon the award winning Audioquest Dragonfly, the Dragonfly 1.2 is a high quality digital to analogue converter and headphone amplifier for computer users. With a refined signal path and improved power supply to the DAC, transparency and sound quality have been improved.
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Top Customer Reviews
Driving headphones of reasonable quality, it is immediately apparent that this is an upgrade over the sound cards on the 2 laptops in my home - an 8 year old Dell with Windows XP and a 2 year old Sony Vaio with Windows 7. The sound is more natural with cleaner treble and mid range and deeper bass. Instrumental separation is also improved - much easier to listen to for long periods.
For those that want a bit more than just plug in and play their existing files, the Dragonfly is also good enough to differentiate the better quality of High Resolution 24 bit downloads over CD quality 16 bit and, then again, CD quality over MP3. It also highlights the superior playback quality of software like Foobar 2000 over iTunes, although I understand you can downloads plug-ins for iTunes that will bridge the quality gap.
The better the quality your headphones or playback system, the more differences are apparent. What the Dragonfly cannot do is produce quality in excess of good DACs costing 10 times the price as some have suggested and it is unreasonable to hope that it might. So provided that your expectations are reasonably realistic then you should be very happy with a Dragonfly 1.2 DAC.
My verdict? You have to seriously consider buying one of these if you are in the market for a portable DAC.
In all honesty the difference between the Arcam and the Audioquest is by no means night and day. In fact, the differences are quite subtle where sound quality is concerned. However, I believe that the Dragonfly has the edge: that touch more clarity and sense of space, more control of the bass notes making them that bit more taut and defined. There is the sense of a veil being lifted. It is hard to believe such good sound comes via a glorified memory stick! ;-)
Add to this the excellent price and the extremely convenient size and you have a winner. True, it cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but feed it with good quality music files and I doubt you will be disappointed.
Sorry Arcam, but I will be selling my rPac onward very soon.
EDIT: Listening again this evening, I decided to directly compare between plugging the Klipsh x10 earphones directly into the earphone socket of the laptop and using the Dragonfly. Firstly, I have to admit that the Acer output is not bad at all (things have improved in recent years). However, that said, having switched back to the Dragonfly, it's the latter I prefer.Read more ›
It beats my Audiolab 8200 cd player hands down for sound quality.
The Audiolab is nearly £1000 new and highly rated by the Hifi press.
Also makes a great headphone amplifier.
sounds strong and very sweet.
A true bargain at the price jf you have the gear to hear the difference.
I downloaded usb audio player pro trial which only gave me 8 songs but that was enough to buy it.
The sound is so clear, precise and warm I cannot believe this is coming off my cheap phone from standard mp3 files.
Features & Functionality
One of the key visible difference by which one can identify the DragonFly V1.2 from the original V1.0 is the 3.5mm headphone jack—it now sports a grey colour instead of the original black colour. The DAC is actually designed with only the most practically essential functions that includes:
• The 3.5mm jack that can power headphones directly or can be used to connect to a Pre-amp/Amp too.
• 64 position (computer controlled) analogue volume control. There are no channel imbalance issues here that some manual volume controls are by design plagued with.
• Asynchronous USB data transfer feeding a 24bit ESS Sabre DAC. So there is no need for an external Asynchronous USB to S/PDIF or TOSLINK converter that some Synchronous DACs require to sound good with computer audio.
• The LED indicator, in the shape of a dragonfly, changes colour depending on the resolution of the music being played.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
a dramatic improvement, whether through powered speakers or headphones-Audioengine/Grado/Bose/Bowers&Wilkins, out of Lenovo i7 laptop. A must-buy.Published 1 month ago by Stuart Cloete
The USB is slightly loose - this means it distorts without being properly positioned. When it does work, it's second-to-none; it powers AKG 702 Reference headphones for me, in... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Andrew Chu
Is it possible to get HiFi sound from a USB sized stick I asked myself. Is it market hype? Can it be true? Only way to find out - try it. Read morePublished 4 months ago by R H Wheeler
I was lucky to find an open box deal on this, but irrespective of the bargain price, it's well worth the full asking price. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Amazon Customer
I bought this to replace a Cambridge Audio DACMagic XS. No contest. A definite upgrade. Even makes a good job of MP3 and WMA playback. Some nods as good as my £400 Audiolab QDAC.Published 5 months ago by Damian Griffiths
Improves sound from my 2014 macbook pro. Greater clarity and depth to all the music I have tried so far, even from AAC files and spotify sources. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Fantatsictoast1
Brilliant: The Dragonfly has transformed Spotify's sound quality: Thoroughly recommendedPublished 6 months ago by MR R J CLARK