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Sabre ESS9038Q2M USB DAC
Compatible with iOS and Android
Low power consumption
Manufacturer : AUDIOQUEST
Shipped within 3 to 5 working days Available within 1 or 2 weeks
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No overcharged 3x payment from 1000€
Like the other two models in the range, the DragonFly Cobalt allows you to listen to your music from your digital device on headphones via one of its USB outputs. The Dragonfly Cobalt replaces the internal digital-to-analogue converter of the device, which is often of poor quality.
The Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt USB DAC is a big blue-lacquered USB drive. A small carrying bag is provided with.
It is equipped with a 3.5mm headphone output in Jack format.
The Audioquest DragonFly Cobalt is much more powerful and is equipped with an excellent converter, the Sabre ESS9038Q2M! It is present in various very high-end DACs. We have already seen this one in high-end electronics up to 10 times the price of this preamplifier!
An extensive research work to reduce the energy consumption of this DAC has resulted in a 77 % reduction compared to the previous version.
The DragonFly Cobalt is compatible with Windows, Apple and Android (see datasheet).
This USB DAC can sample the most basic digital files (MP3), up to those displaying 96KHz at 24bit.
The DragonFly Cobalt has an output level up to 1.2 V. It can supply most audiophile headphone of the market.
The USB protocol used is asynchronous, it limits the Jitter rate, the modulation error rate, and makes the DAC compatible with almost all digital devices of the market.
An indicator light indicates that the DAC is powered on. Its color defines the sampling frequency used: red (Standby), green (44.1 kHz), blue (48 kHz), yellow (88.2 kHz), light blue (96 kHz) and purple (MQA).
The DragonFly Cobalt is directly connected to the USB port of the computer. It does not require driver.
However, if you want an uncompromising "Bitperfect" reproduction, it is advisable to use software such as “Audirvana.” You can dispense with operating system software that alters the native digital signal.
For use it with iOS (iPhone, iPod touch, iPad), you need an Apple Lightning to Female USB adapter.
For Android devices (Samsung Galaxy, Galaxy Tab...), Audioquest supplies a mini USB adapter/female USB.
You can also via a RCA mini Jack cable (ex: Audioquest Big Sur) connect the DragonFly Cobalt to your amp or to an amplified speaker pair.
The dynamics and power reserve are surprising compared to headphones directly connected to the computer or smartphone output.
The transparency and definition are remarkable. We also notice surprising nuance and articulation.
We also find the opening and stability of the sound scene of the Red model.
What makes the strong point of this USB DAC is certainly the balance and harmonic richness that you can completely enjoy with an HD file.
We are fully conquered by this Audioquest DragonFly Cobalt USB DAC! Its excellent price/quality ratio allows you to enjoy your nomad digital music (but not only), at an affordable price!
EISA Award - "Portable DAC/Headphone Amplifier" category - 2020/2021Franck
Native sampling: 24-bit / 96KHz
PC operating systems: Windows® 7/8.1/10, Apple® OS X and Linux®
Mobile operating systems: Apple iOS 5 and newer/ Android 4.1 and newer
DAC microchip: Sabre ESS9038Q2M
Amplification: ESS Sabre 9601
Analogical output: Jack 3.5 mm
Output volume: adjustable
Headphone output level: 2.1 Veff at 10 ohms
Minimum headphone impedance: 16 ohms
Digital input: USB (Class 1 operating for a reduced Jitter rate)
Dimensions (H x W x D): 12 x 19 x 62 mm
Weight: 22 g (without packaging)
EISACatégorie "Portable DAC/Headphone Amplifier" - 2020/2021
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