AudioQuest Upgrades DragonFly, Beetle USB Stick DACs

Upgraded USB stick-style DACs from AudioQuest play back any audio files from MP3 to high-res while reducing jitter and gaining compatibility with mobile devices.


AudioQuest used CES 2016 to showcase the latest upgrades of its popular line of USB stick-size DACs with the new DragonFly Black, DragonFly Red and Beetle models for enhanced computer audio.

All three of the digital-to-analog converters feature improved performance using new 32-bit ESS DAC chips and low-noise, high-efficiency Microchip microprocessors, while DragonFly Red and Beetle add a 64-bit bit-perfect digital volume control. Previously, the DACs used 24-bit chips.  The higher-performance 32-bit ESS DAC chips offer improved signal-to-noise ratio and lower distortion, while the Microchip microprocessor reduces power consumption by 77 percent, making these DACs truly compatible with Apple and Android mobile devices. The upgraded DACs produce a lower phase noise/audio jitter while the digital volume control of DragonFly Red and Beetle ensure no loss of resolution as volume is increased. All three DACs are well-suited for headphones, while Red offers the highest output making it the best choice for power-hungry models.

The simple asynchronous USB stick is compatible with Apple OS X and iOS (5 and newer), Windows 7, 8.1, 10, and Android Jellybean 4.1 and newer (as long as the device supports USB Host Mode).

The Beetle has asynchronous Bluetooth compatibility withOS X and iOS, Windows 7, 8.1, 10, and Android Cupcake 1.5 and newer.

The devices do not require DC-to-DC converters or other noise-generating power supply components and employ analog-linear power supplies. All of the new DACs are software upgradable.

DragonFly Black has an MSRP of $99. DragonFly Red is $199. Beetle is $199.