AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt USB Digital-to-Analog Converter

Model: DRAGONFLYCOB UPC: 092592098398 Item: 173297


In Stock
Shipping Information
Show Store Details
754 Route 309 (Bethlehem Pike) Montgomeryville, PA 18936
  • Mon - Fri: 9:30am - 6pm
  • Sat: 9:30am - 5pm
  • Sun: 12:00pm - 5pm
(215) 368-8343
Show Store Details
38 Greenfield Avenue, Ardmore, PA 19003
  • Mon - Fri: 11am - 6pm
  • Sat: 10am - 5pm
  • Sun: CLOSED
(610) 649-7002
Choose a Store Location

More Product Details

Questions? We're here to help.

Product Information

DragonFly Cobalt, the latest and most sophisticated member of the award-winning DragonFly franchise, is a USB DAC (digital-to-analog converter), preamplifier, and headphone amplifier. It bypasses the audio circuitry in laptops, computers, and smartphones to deliver cleaner, clearer, more naturally beautiful music to headphones, powered speakers, or complete audio systems.

With AudioQuest’s DragonFly USB DAC, music appreciation and exploration are limitless: Plug into an Apple or Windows® computer or connect to an iOS® or Android mobile device. Play YouTube or Vimeo videos. Go hunting on Bandcamp or SoundCloud. Explore playlists and podcasts on Spotify, Pandora, or Deezer. Stream high-res audio from Tidal or Qobuz. No matter the choice of sonic pleasure, DragonFly unravels the emotional expression and nuance that makes music and movies so enjoyable. Now, more than ever before, naturally beautiful sound is right at your fingertips—however you want it, whenever you want it.

Compared to previous models, DragonFly Cobalt incorporates some important new features, including a new, more advanced ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip with a minimum-phase slow roll-off filter for more natural sound; a more sophisticated Microchip PIC32MX274 microprocessor that reduces current draw and increases processing speed by 33% over DragonFlys Black and Red; and improved power-supply filtering specifically designed to reduce the WiFi and cellular noise that plague mobile devices.

 All of this is packed into a sleek, attractive enclosure that measures just 2.26” x 0.73” x 0.47” (57.5mm x 18.6mm x 11.9mm), making the latest DragonFly 10% smaller and that much more portable than its predecessors.

 To easily accommodate the increasing number of electronic devices that feature USB-C ports, DragonFly Cobalt comes with AudioQuest’s new DragonTail USB-C to USB-A adaptor. When the electronics world fully embraces USB-C, DragonFly will be poised to take full advantage.

  • Plays All Music Files: MP3 to High-Res and MQA
  • Compatible with Apple and Windows PCs
  • Compatible with iOS Mobile Devices (requires Apple Lightning-to-USB adaptor) and Android Mobile Devices (requires USB adaptor, such as included AudioQuest USB-C DragonTail or optional micro-USB DragonTail)
  • Drives Wide Range of Low- to High-efficiency Headphones
  • Variable Output Drives Powered Speakers or Power Amp, Fixed Output Feeds Preamp or AV Receiver

Check out our full review of the DragonFly Cobalt in the video, below!



Features & Specs

  • Flagship ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip with minimum-phase slow roll-off filter for more natural sound
  • Microchip PIC32MX274 microcontroller draws less current and increases processing speed by 33% over previous DragonFlys
  • Improved power-supply filtering specifically designed to reduce WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular noise
  • Includes new DragonTail USB-C to USB-A adaptor

What It Does

  • Dramatically improves sound from MP3s, YouTube, etc.
  • Delivers high-end performance from high-res and MQA & Masters files
  • Bit-perfect variable output drives powered headphones, powered speakers or power amp
  • Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver


  • Windows 7-10
  • Apple macOS 10.6.8 and later
  • iOS 5 and later (requires Apple USB adaptor)
  • Android 4.1 and later (requires micro-USB DragonTail, USB-C DragonTail, or other Android USB adaptor)
  • Linux (no technical support provided)

Sample Rates (indicated by LED color)

  • 1kHz (Green)
  • 48kHz (Blue)
  • 2kHz (Amber)
  • 96kHz (Magenta)
  • MQA (Purple)


What's in the Box

What's in the Box

  • DragonFly Cobalt
  • DragonTail USB-A to USB-C
  • DragonFly Pouch
  • Registration Card
  • User’s Manual


Customer Reviews for AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt USB Digital-to-Analog Converter

5.0 / 5.0
1 Review
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt USB DAC/Amp is the best!!
Comparing the AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt to the DragonFly Red, and feeding 44 khz WAV tracks from my iPad Pro 11-inch to the DragonFlys, I played the first 70 seconds of Steven Wilson's Luminol (at the 44/24 data rate) playing the Cobalt first (3 times), then the Red second. Almost immediately my impression of the stereo image was that it's less open and full with the Red. That alone didn't seal the Cobalt deal though.

I ended up playing the same 70 seconds 3 times with the Red, then repeated 3 with the Cobalt followed by 3 with the Red. I've always thought of the Red as a very smooth reproducer, particularly compared to the DragonFly Black. But this time the Cobalt edged (no pun intended) out the Red with a smoother yet detailed sound. Some users might not hear the differences, but if they are practiced at evaluating DACs, they should pick up on these differences pretty quickly.

When I heard about the DragonFly Cobalt, I thought the $100 USD jump from the Red was a bit much, but the factors of sound quality and the inclusion of the DragonTail USB-C adapter did seal the Cobalt deal for me.
I will try to incorporate listening with the AudioQuest JitterBug in the full review, but in the meantime I'd recommend the Cobalt here and now for certain users:

1) Perfectionists. 2) Those with good enough hearing and experience to appreciate the differences. 3) Those who won't hear the differences immediately, but who trust AudioQuest to put into the DAC what they say they put in. Don't put any special trust in my review, since the music you play and many other factors could net out the differences. Do read as many reviews as possible, focusing on the best-respected reviewers of portable audio gear, especially DACs and amps.
July 16, 2019


Customer Q & A

Have a functionality, compatibility, or otherwise product-specific question about this product? Ask it here! If you have a customer service or shipping question, please direct it to our customer service department

Start typing your question and we'll check if it was already asked and answered. Learn More
Browse 1 question Browse 1 question and 2 answers
Why did you choose this?
World Wide Stereo Store
Best portable DAC form Audioquest, newly released! I already own the RED and can't wait to try the Cobalt.
Rafael C G on Jul 17, 2019
Best portable DAC form Audioquest, newly released! I already own the RED and can't wait to try the Cobalt.
Rafael C G on Jul 17, 2019
I like my Dragonfly Red... want more.
Dan D on Jul 8, 2019
I like my Dragonfly Red... want more.
Dan D on Jul 8, 2019