DragonFly Series

DragonFly Series
USB DAC + Preamp + Headphone Amp

AudioQuest DragonFly Black & Red

Beautiful music from computers and mobile devices.

The Original DragonFly

Launched in 2012, press and public alike have enthusiastically embraced AudioQuest’s multi-award-winning DragonFly USB digital-to-analog converter/preamp/headphone amp as the rare audio product that bridges the gap between die-hard audiophiles and mainstream music lovers. DragonFly plugs into a computer’s USB port to bypass the computer’s compromised audio circuitry and deliver cleaner, clearer, more naturally beautiful sound to headphones, powered speakers, and complete audio systems. Small, affordable, easy to use, and remarkably effective, DragonFly was named Stereophile’s 2012 “Computer Audio Component of the Year” and 2012 “Budget Component of the Year;” Tone Audio’s 2012 “Digital Product of the Year;” Computer Audiophile’s 2012 “Computer Audiophile Product of the Year;” AudioStream’s “Greatest Bits;” and What Hi-Fi?’s 2014 “Product of the Year.” Perhaps most memorably, DigitalAudioReview.net’s John Darko quipped: “A DAC with the DragonFly’s performance at the DragonFly’s price point is as rare as rocking horse sh*t.” We couldn’t have said it better.

DragonFly digital out from Apple iPhone 6

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

The DragonFly Black and Red are 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 are now able to incorporate those updates to their existing devices.

MQA for DragonFly is Here!

Owners of AudioQuest DragonFly Black and DragonFly Red USB DACs can now update their devices to firmware version 1.06 which includes support for MQA rendering and optimizations for use with Android devices.

Updating your DragonFly Black or Red is fast and easy. The update along with instructions and other info can be found here.

For FAQs related to MQA playback on DragonFly, click here.

For more news about MQA and DragonFly, click here

DragonFly digital out from Apple iPhone 6

DragonFly Downloads

DragonFly Desktop App (Now Available)

Flight Manual DragonFly 1.0 & 1.2
EN / ES / FR / DE / NL / IT
PT / PL / RU / CN / JP / KP

Flight Manual DragonFly Black
EN / JP / KP / TH / CN

Flight Manual DragonFly Red
EN / DE / JP / KP / RU / SE / TH / CN

Register your DragonFly for news, software updates, and more!

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DragonFly Black

  • USB Stick-Sized Digital-to-Analog Converter
  • Plays all music files: MP3 to high-res
  • Compatible with Apple and Windows PCs, as well as iOS and most Android mobile devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter or Made for Android/OTG adaptor)
  • Drives headphones directly
  • Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
  • Asynchronous transfer ensures digital timing integrity
  • Medium output (1.2 volts) drives a wide range of headphones
  • 32-bit ESS 9010 DAC with minimum-phase filter
  • Analog volume control

DragonFly Red

  • USB Stick-Sized Digital-to-Analog Converter
  • Plays all music files: MP3 to high-res
  • Compatible with Apple and Windows PCs, as well as iOS and most Android mobile devices (requires Apple Camera Adapter or Made for Android/OTG adaptor)
  • Drives headphones directly
  • Fixed output feeds preamp or AV receiver
  • Asynchronous transfer ensures digital timing integrity
  • High output (2.1 volts) drives almost all headphones, including power-hungry models
  • 32-bit ESS 9016 DAC with minimum-phase filter
  • Bit-perfect digital volume control

Click here for a complete DragonFly model comparison

AudioQuest DragonFly with NightHawk and Mac digital music

Suggested Accessories

Bridges & Falls analog interconnects

Analog audio cables for the Beetle DAC

NightHawk headphones

AQ NightHawk Headphones with Beetle

DragonTail for Android


DragonTail USB 2.0 Extender


Apple ® Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adaptor


JitterBug USB filter

Optimize the Beetle with JitterBug

USB Type C Adaptor

USB A to USB C adaptor

DragonFly Red and Black Reviews

Business Insider on DragonFly Black: This is arguably the best audio upgrade you can make for under $100

“…the DragonFly Black has helped me discover nuances in some of my favorite songs that I’d never heard before.” —Brandt Ranj, Insider Picks, April 2017

▸ Read full article here

John Darko of DigitalAudioReview.net names DragonFly Black one of his Favourite Bits of 2016

“Mainstreamers don’t want to carry a second portable device on which they only play music. They want superior sound quality from their existing devices: a Mac, a PC, a smartphone or a tablet. The DragonFly Black gives them precisely that for a price that a) won’t leave mouths agape and b) will likely give audiophiles pause when considering a third party DAP.” – John Darko

▸ Read full article here

Computer Audiophile: DragonFly Red is DAC of the Year

“The original DragonFly was one of those products everybody just had to have. The new DragonFly Black and DragonFly Red improve upon the original and expand its use into new territories.” – The Computer Audiophile

▸ Read full article here