Wayback Wednesday: AudioQuest DragonFly

Disclaimer: This article about the AudioQuest DragonFly is part of the new Wayback Wednesday series which is replacing our “Favourite album of” series. Check out the other Wayback Wednesday articles HERE. This article was published a day early as Nathan was stuck on an airplane.

The AudioQuest DragonFly is one of the most popular units on Headfonia and readers keep asking questions about it all the time. I personally prefer the sound signature and higher quality sound of the RED version but because of its price being $199, a whole lot of people opt for the DragonFly Black which is going for $99.

I posted the double DragonFly review in July of last year and since then I’ve been using the RED on a regular basis. I haven’t really been taking the Black with me though, not that it isn’t good, I just prefer the RED’s Sound. The awesome thing about the DragonFly is that it’s so small and I always have one somewhere in my bag for those days where I have no DAC to test or for when I forgot a DAC to use at work. The RED is not only a backup DAC/AMP though, it’s to good to be considered just that.

A lot of our readers are also using the DragonFly unit with their mobile phone and I have to admit that the DragonFly + i(Phone) is one of the smallest high resolution setups for on the go. Now I’m not a fan of using my mobile phone as a source for my listening, but if I would, the DragonFly would still be my first choice if I was looking for extreme portability.

I can’t think of anything I’d want to see changed in the DragonFly but knowing AudioQuest I’m sure they’ll know how to improve its performance and sound even further. AQ actually said they might have something to preview at High-End Munich…but then again, it could be a new headphone or a new set of cables or who knows what else. I’ll for sure cover it in my High End Munich report.

How are you using your DragonFly? Click below to read the full review.

4.4/5 - (13 votes)

Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.


  • Reply May 9, 2017

    Graham Luke

    My Black and a Jitterbug are feeding desktop Ruark MR 1’s from the PC; the result is just superb. Soma FM sounds absolutely stunning.
    The Red is attached to an iPod Touch, driving Shure’s SRH 1840’s; a match made in heaven.
    These things are just awesome.

  • Reply May 9, 2017

    alan kirschbaum

    I’ve been using my Black on the go with my Amperiors for a year now. Very exciting combination. I’m also using it with a jitter bug and Littledot 1+ with Russian tubes and my 6XXs. Really brings the 6XXs to life.

  • Reply May 10, 2017


    I wonder how this sounds compared to Hifime 9018 DAC.

  • Reply May 11, 2017


    Using the red with my iPad & Grado RS1e’s.Fed with tidal as my streaming option.Fabulous!

  • Reply May 11, 2017


    For my portable solution, I use the Dragonfly Red with the Jitterbug and Dragon Tail on a SAMSUNG Galaxy S2 Tab. I used to use Neutron Music Player until USB Audio Pro added a “bit perfect” option. As it turns out, the more perfect the bits sent, the more magic the Dragonfly produces.

    On the PC, I use Fubar2000 using Kernel Streaming to the Jitterbug, the Dragonfly red, through an AudioQuest Sydney mini-to-mini cable. Then into a Nobsound NS-08E headphone amp using Telefunken tubes.

    I use the Audioquest Nighthawks, first gen.

  • Reply May 11, 2017


    I am listening with delight through the DF Red on my (trans)portable phones i. e. the MA750, K712 and DT770, mainly to classical and acoustic music. A remark to Audioquest for upgrades: more current! and please tame the still too glassy Sabre treble.

  • Reply May 12, 2017


    DF Black/iPhone/nad hp20 for the gym and iPad/hp50 with the dragonfly at home

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