AudioQuest DragonFly Red and DragonFly Black Amp/DACs Review

RED Performance Features Ergonomics Value BLACK Performance Features Ergonomics Value PRICE $199 (Red), $99 (Black) AT A GLANCE (RED) Plus Step-up USB amp/DAC For computers and smartphones Digital volume control on chip Minus No bit rates above 96 kHz No DSD AT A GLANCE (BLACK) Plus Affordable USB amp/DAC For computers and smartphones Analog volume control Minus No bit rates above 96 kHz No DSD THE VERDICT Among AudioQuest’s latest round of compact USB amplifier/DACs for headphones, the Red has more fine-grained premium sound, while the Black is a superb under-$100 hi-res entry point. Having made tons of money as one of the pioneers of the premium cable industry, AudioQuest has little left to prove. So it came as a surprise four years ago when the company turned its attention to signal sources and developed the compact DragonFly USB headphone amplifier/DAC with respected audio designer Gordon Rankin. But the move made sense for AudioQuest, whose very existence rides on the proposition that sweating the details can make an audible difference.

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