Wow - for 2014 they've been upgraded and reduced in price - Lots back in stock
A new, tiny, quality device to improve sound quality from your computer. Plugs into your computer's usb socket, then you either plug headphones into it or run a cable to your audio system. Made in the USA. (Depending on your computer, to maximize the dragonfly's performance you'll want to set your computer's output to 24bit / 96k output or download asio4all - see the avguide.com review below)
Stereophile 2012: Computer Audio Product of the Year! & Budget Component of the Year! "The fact is, the $250 Dragonfly sounds at least as good as my $900 reference convertor." Art Dudley
WhatHiFi.co.uk: *****: This diminutive dongle turns any laptop or desktop computer into a bona-fide hi-fi system – it’s a fantastic little device
Audiostream.com (Stereophile): Will run circles around your computer's dac.
AVGuide.com : Robert’s review mentioned how suitable this new product is to up-and-coming audiophiles. I can now attest that those newbies will experience significant benefits even in a modest desktop environment. As Robert pointed out, those benefits extend beyond mere sonic considerations. The DragonFly sounds undeniably better than anything most novices will have ever heard; it really does generate greater involvement in and enjoyment from the music
DragonFly is an affordable and easy-to-use device that delivers far superior sound by bypassing the poor quality sound card that is built into your computer. DragonFly is a sleek, flash drive sized Digital-Audio Converter that connects to a USB jack on a Mac® or Windows® PC, turning any computer into a true high- fidelity music source.
Whether you’re on the go or at home, listening on ear buds or connecting your computer to a stereo system, DragonFly reveals all the emotional expression and nuance that makes your favorite music, or movies, so enjoyable. However you connect it, DragonFly simply and easily makes any computer sound better.
How DragonFly Does It
The heart of DragonFly is the 24-bit ESS Sabre™ conversion chip, a high-performance solution that’s typically found in better CD and Blu-ray Disc™ players. DragonFly can accept audio and music files ranging from MP3s and CD-standard 16-bit/44kHz to native 24-bit/96kHz high-resolution, regardless of music file format. If your computer’s software can recognize and play a format, DragonFly will make it sound its best.
However, high-quality digital-audio conversion alone isn’t why DragonFly sounds great. How the audio data is transferred from the computer to DragonFly required particular attention from DragonFly’s design team. Remember that digital audio is stored on computers and delivered to DragonFly as streams of 1’s and 0’s. Making beautiful music out of 1’s and 0’s isn’t a case of simply getting all the music data from point A to Point B. Maintaining subtle digital timing relationships is crucial in order to be able to reconstruct the analog waveform that we hear as dialog or music.
Timing errors have long been the plague of digital audio playback, never more so than in recent years as computers have been pressed into service as audio source components. DragonFly uses a very sophisticated “asynchronous*” USB audio data transfer protocol. Rather than sharing crucial audio “data clocking” functions with the computer, DragonFly alone commands the timing of the audio data transfer, dramatically reducing digital timing errors. In addition, not all audio content is encoded at the same native resolution or “sample rate. ” DragonFly uses two discrete onboard “clocks” so that the math algorithms used to convert the digital audio data to analog are always optimized for the native sample rate of the audio file or stream being played. This ensures the least amount of mathematical manipulation to the native audio data, which results in fewer errors and better sound. A smart LED indicator on DragonFly shows the resolution of the incoming signal.
While the digital domain is where your computer- based music experience starts, the analog domain requires attention too. Digital volume controls too often reduce signal resolution and decrease sound quality. Even when the iTunes volume slider is used, DragonFly’s high-resolution analog volume control carries out the instructions in the analog domain for the best sound quality. And DragonFly’s analog circuits are direct-coupled from the ESS converter chip’s output, avoiding the need for any extraneous, sonically degrading components in the signal path.
All of these refinements allow DragonFly to make music with a natural solidity and clarity that is dramatically superior to the sound you would hear from your computer on its own.
Posted by Daniel S on 12th Dec 2012
This will be brief...cause all the magazine and online reviews are right. The Audioquest Dragonfly is probably the coolest audio product on the market right now...it sounds terrific, is tiny and costs less than a high end headphone cable. Mine arrived today, I plugged one end into my McBook Pro (running Audirvana Plus) and my Sennheiser HD 650 phones (with stock cable) into the other. Result is much clearer, cleaner, articulate sound. A no-brainer if you are into computer audio.