Dragonfly Black Upgrade

Can anyone suggest an under $200 upgrade (or enhancement) to the Dragonfly Black?


The Dragonfly Red is $199.00

Hi Johnny,

What headphones are you currently using with the dragonfly black?

Are you looking for a better DAC or more power to your headphones or both?

I’m using several different headphones, experimenting with various kinds of music, though mostly jazz and classical. The Grado SR60’s are up now but I want to try out my Superlux HD-668B’s and my Sony MDRx1000’s (plugged in, not wireless). I also have a pair of NAD VISO HP50’s that I’ve been ignoring.

I’m wondering how to get the most out of these well-reviewed headphones from either my iPhone 7 or my Mac. I’m especially interested in good entry level tube systems just to see what they are like.

The Dragonfly Red is pretty good, especially with your macbook. The lack of volume control with the dragonfly red makes it difficult with the iPhone though to get the correct volume you want as I found it was either too loud or too quiet depending on the headphones I was using them with.

The other options I would consider are iFi Audio Nano iDSD Black label and the Meridian Explorer 2. Both are pretty great options. The Dragonfly Red is the most portable of the three but the nano is relatively unobtrusive as well.

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If you want to enhance the black, there is always the Jitterbug, sometimes sold as a pair. It will also work with the Red.

I need to post a review… My collection of buds and phones with and without the DFB using a short test sound track. I don’t have the gear to do real testing but hopefully my ears will be good enough.