Audioquest has released an asynchronous USB DAC that’s the size of a memory stick

The AudioQuest Dragonfly USB DAC measures just 19×12×46mm (60mm including the USB connector) and plugs into the USB port on any computer to allow you to bypass the computer’s internal sound card, so you’ll hear sound quality that’s vastly superior to what would be heard if you plugged into the computer’s audio output jacks. ‘DragonFly is the answer to the challenge of getting state-of-the-art sound from a computer, whether in a component-based home entertainment system, on the desktop, or on the go,’ says Arne Delacher, of Amber Technology, which distributes AudioQuest products in Australia.

Audioquest’s analogue output is switchable between variable and fixed output voltages. In variable mode, the Dragonfly will deliver up to 2-volts output, more than sufficient to easily drive a pair of headphones, but also more than enough to drive powered speakers or a separate power amplifier. The volume control is entirely analogue. ‘Too often you find that digital volume controls reduce signal resolution and decrease sound quality,’ said Delacher. In fixed output mode, the DragonFly behaves like a conventional DAC, enabling you to send a line-level signal to any preamp or AV receiver with its own volume control.

Rather than sharing crucial audio ‘data clocking’ functions with the computer, DragonFly uses the asynchronous data transfer mode to almost eliminate digital timing errors. In addition, thanks to two completely independent internal clocks (one for 44.1/88.2kHz signals and the other for 48/96kHz signals), the algorithms used to convert the digital audio data to analogue audio signals are always optimized for the native sample rate of the audio content being played. Delacher told Australian Hi-Fi Magazine: ‘The dual independent clocking ensures that the DragonFly doesn’t rely on imperfect mathematical approximations for certain sample rates, and the result is better tracking and better sound.’ AudioQuest’s DragonFly accepts music files and audio data up to 24-bit/96kHz. A chameleon LED indicator is used to show the resolution of the incoming signal. Available now, the AudioQuest DragonFly has a recommended retail price of $299.

For further information, please contact Amber Technology

altPictured Above: AudioQuest's Dragonfly USB DAC will improve the sound quality of your laptop.