Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt - the next generation
Audioquest recently released the next generation of the Dragonfly USB DAC line – the Cobalt.
It uses the ESS SABRE ES9038QM chip. The headphone amp remained the same, as in the Dragonfly Red: ES9601 with 64-bit bit-perfect digital volume control and 2.1V maximal output. In case of the Cobalt they have chosen to use the minimal phase slow roll-off filter to achieve naturally expressive sound that is always emotionally engaging and never fatiguing—a combination of warmth and detail.
The USB receiver chip is new: Microchip’s PIC32MX274 microprocessor draws less current and increases processing speed by 33%. According to Audioquest the power filtering has been also reworked. As a result the imaging and instrument separation became better. The price of the Cobalt is 300 USD with the included Dragontail USB-C adapter.