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AudioQuest DragonFly RED USB DAC $280.18 (RRP $359) + Delivery (Free with Prime) @ Amazon UK via AU

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@Addictedtoaudio: $359
@Minidisc: $314.11

Would be a nice upgrade from Black. For $150 more you can get a Cobalt @Minidisc

Price History at C CamelCamelCamel.

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closed Comments

  • lg v20 can do the same thang?

    • +6

      i have used my v30 as a "wireless dac"

      i think the professional, semi enthusiast stuff. even from Fiio like the BTR will do a better job given if your other equipment is up to snuff.

      If you're farting it out of a Logitech z623 then why bother.

      • +3

        Both the V20 and V30 use the Sabre ES9218 DAC which is also used in the Fiio BTR5.

        Can't remember which DAC the Dragonfly Red uses off the top of my head but I believe it's an earlier version in the same lineup of DACs.

        For me personally, I'd recommend the BTR5 over the Dragonfly Red, you can pick one up off Amazon between $160-$180 and it's a much more versatile product considering it offers a balanced 2.5mm jack and you have the option of Bluetooth.

      • how do use v30 for that?

  • +8

    Scam company that sells $900 hdmi cables, avoid

    • +4

      No idea why you're being downvoted here, Audioquest sells ridiculously expensive Audiofoolery.

      From overpriced HDMI cables (that offer no audio or visual benefit), to overpriced (but very pretty) AC power cables, to the joke that is a "power conditioner", AQ is almost always not worth your money.

      • When the shills at head Fi recommend something, the masses flock to buy em

      • not disagreeing with you here, but that is the name of the (audiophile) game.

  • I've been looking into buying a DAC for a while now and reading expert reviews on these ones they didn't come out too good. If you're interested check out the review by Amir in the audio science review forum. Basically not a very good implementation of a DAC with a few audio quality issues.

    • It’s all depends on what you are chasing. It’s for use on the go with your smartphone or replace the onboard dac for your computer. The headphone, amp and speakers on the output stage is important too.

      For mobile, it has a more natural and smoother sound than the LG v40. However, will drain your battery and have extra things attached to the phone. I use the LG instead due to convenient and surrounding noise.

      For computer, significantly improves the sound quality, dynamic, details and sound stage compare with the onboard dac. Simple setup with 3.5mm output to an amp then to speakers and sub.

      For hifi, head-fi etc, a dedicated dac is better than the dragonfly red.

      • +1

        I second this too. Besides raw measurements, synergy and pairing are also something to consider. For example, the Dragonfly Red pairs really well with my Sony IER-M7 (to my ears). If one wants something ultraportable and simple to setup, Dragonflies are a good option. Otherwise go all out for iFi micro iDSD Black Label or the new Signature. But that is not a mobile setup, more of a portable one.

    • +1

      Just get a fiio btr5. It is a mobile DAC/amp combo that can be used with your computer via usb and phone via Bluetooth. It sounds great and is plenty powerful and cheap as, especially given what you get compared to audio equipment double the price.

    • Just ge an o2 objective dac. There's papers actually explaining why it's transparent and not just here say from the echo chambers of forums

  • +1

    I can't believe this is still just as expensive as when I bought my Red almost 3y ago. I loved it so much I upgraded to the Cobalt. Definitely worth getting especially if u listen to lossless. Awesome with Tidal MQAs. Note that I use it only on an iPhone or iPad with the dongles, and USB2/3 don't make a diff in what u hear. I also have the LG G7 and yes the Dragonflys are warmer.

    • I am too surprise at the price in the Red, thinking of getting the Cobalt but not sure if the resolution of my speakers and amp can hear the improvements. Currently using the nuforce uDac3 on the computer with a Marantz PM7004, Monitor Audio Radius speakers and M&K sub. It’s for casual listening while I am on the computer.

  • I maintain that Audioquest's pretty interconnect cables are the only good thing about them.

    The Tempotec Sonata HD Pro (AKA the Hidizs S8) measures better for only $60. The Dragonfly series measure very mediocre for how much they cost.

    If you want a well measuring desktop DAC that will blow everything here away (measurably of course, we're still very much audibly transparent here), look into the $150 SMSL Sanskrit 10th Mk. II.

    MQA is snake oil, so just ignore it.

  • +2

    Think something like the FiiO BTR5 is a more versatile and better product at a cheaper price.

    • I have this. Love it. It’s just so versatile and, honestly, more than good for me.

  • I can't say I ever really hear much difference between DACs. Certainly not what you would consider an improvement. Speakers are the only thing that make significant changes in the sound. I used to have a $15k seperates system but have "downgraded" over the past 10 years. Most of it is snake oil. Paticularly a lot of the rubbish that What Hifi publish.

    • +2

      Well people think they hear things change when they swap out audio gear. Little do they know it's just at a different volume when they do the comparison.

      Confirmation bias is a real thing that people reject in this hobby. There's a reason why all scientific and objective information is deleted or moved into a small hidden section on head Fi forums… So people can continue being snobby and peddling snake oil in the industry.

    • Are you saying there is not a big different or no different at all in your $15k system? Dac using the same chipset might have similar sounds characteristics. I have tried a few DACs, to me there are difference between DACs, not as much as changing speakers or amps. The sound characteristics, sound stage and dynamic varies between them, some are minor and subtle and you might miss it if you are not looking out for them. Saying that the limitations can also be at how much my speakers can resolve or convey. Like someone says above, there is no point having an expensive DACs for some basic speakers. The road might able to support 300km/h but the car can only do 200, then your system is limited to the weakest link.

      There are many snake oil products outhere. Reviews and forum echo chambers sometimes have vested interest. I’ve learn to try out the product where possible and decide if it suits me or not.

  • I have the XtremPro X1 dongle with sabre chip and around $65 delivered from Amazon. Big upgrade from my Dragonfly Black and is universally well reviewed but sucks more battery power. I haven't used it for a while due to a flaky usb port on my phone (not the dongle) but was happy with it as a portable solution with 58x and Hf580. I used it with UAPP android app.

    • Any good links for MQA files?

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