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Audioquest DragonFly RED, DAC/Headphone Amplifier

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To satisfy the largest possible number of headphone enthusiasts, AudioQuest knew it would also need to design a model with higher output voltage. Red, with its output of 2.1 volts is the result. In our exclusive interview with AudioQuest, we were told:

“Of course, we also took that opportunity to incorporate better parts to deliver further improved sound quality.”

Important ingredients in Red’s next-level performance:

  • ESS ES9016 DAC chip — fast roll-off filter for even more natural detailed sound.
  • Microchip PIC32MX270 microprocessor — 32-bit architecture and extremely low current draw.
  • ESS Sabre 9601 provides 2.1 volts of output  about the same output as a CD player, so Red drives any pair of headphones on the market without breaking a sweat. You can also connect Red from your computer directly into your audio system, and its output will be the same as a CD player. 

We think Black sounds beautiful, but if you require the more powerful output to drive high-efficiency headphones or powered speakers, DragonFly Red takes performance to the next level. The difference you will hear on a good pair of headphones or powered speakers is well worth the extra money. 

Red offers more holographic details that will substantially improve the sound of your music for only a slightly higher price compared to DragonFly Black. At under $200, Red is the ultimate combination of performance and value. 


  • ESS ES9016 DAC chip
  • PIC32MX270 microprocessor
  • ESS Sabre 9601 provides 2.1 volts of output
  • Pro-level Performance