Posted on 16th September, 2019


Audioquest's DragonFly Cobalt is a processor, headphone amp and microcontroller, all rolled into a tiny USB thumb drive that's designed to deliver high-end performance from high-resolution MQA Masters Files.

AudioQuest takes the multi-award-winning DragonFly family to new heights with its latest Cobalt. The flagship DAC is said to significantly “outperform previous technology at controlling and draining radio-frequency noise to deliver naturally beautiful sound to headphones, powered speakers, or complete audio systems”.

DragonFly Cobalt easily connects to laptops, tablets, and smartphones, either directly or with the included USB-C DragonTail adaptor.

The DragonFly Cobalt features a new flagship ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip with minimum-phase slow roll-off filter. A sophisticated Microchip PIC32MX274 controller reduces current draw and increases processing speed by 33 per cent compared to previous AudioQuest technology.

Cobalt can play all file formats and soundtracks, and the 2.1-volt output makes Cobalt compatible with a wide range of headphones, including power-hungry, low-efficiency models. Cobalt is also compatible with Mac and Window computers, Android and iOS devices.

AudioQuest has worked to improve its power-supply filtering to specifically reduce radio frequency noise from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellular towers. According to AudioQuest, Cobalt successfully combats this noise to the preserve the lowest-level musical details, particularly in high-resolution audio.


  • Plays all music files: MP3 to MQA and High-Res
  • Compatible with Apple® and Windows® PCs
  • Compatible with iOS devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter/Connection Kit)
  • Compatible with Android devices (includes DragonTail or other USB adaptor for Android devices)
  • MQA rendering
  • Drives headphones directly
  • Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
  • Asynchronous transfer ensures digital timing integrity

AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt is available now and sells for $549 RRP.

Amber Technology will be exhibiting AudioQuest at the 2019 StereoNET Melbourne Hi-Fi Show, October 18-20 in the State Ballroom, Pullman Hotel Albert Park. Tickets are on sale now.

For more information, visit AudioQuest.


Marc Rushton's avatar

Marc Rushton

StereoNET’s Founder & Publisher and still buried deep in the review room auditioning everything from docks to soundbars, amplifiers and headphones. Marc is also the founder of the annual International HiFi Show.

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Posted in: Headphones HiFi Show
Tags: amber technology  audioquest  hifishow19