Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt Portable DAC And Headphone Amplifier "Don't look at the finger, or you'll miss all that heavenly glory" Bruce Lee, Enter The Dragon-fly!

A high quality streaming service such as Qobuz or Tidal delivers high resolution audio heaven! So, why can’t I hear the difference everyone's raving about?

Is this another case of the wool being pulled over our eyes, like serving up a cheap whisky in a heavy glass tumbler and believing that it tastes better?


7 years ago, Audioquest mobilised the world of digital to analogue converters (DACS) with the Dragonfly. While not the first of its kind, Audioquest's work with Gordon Rankin, the digital audio engineer supremo, recognised that most music played via a phone or computer didn’t sound very good. Principally, if the source is digital and you are listening on a mobile device, somewhere in the chain, that information will have to have gone through a low grade digital to analogue conversion process.

DAC circuitry is typically shoehorned into the ever shrinking mobile device - a space measured in nanometres and which is open and exposed to all manner of signal interference which further degrades the sound quality. The Audioquest Dragonfly series is one of the most affordable and portable USB DAC solutions to this problem, whilst offering improved naturally beautiful sound and incorporating a headphpne pre-amplifier all neatly packaged in a USB self powered stick. Just plug in, add headphones and away you go. It’s that simple.


Today, the Dragonfly portable DAC and Headphone amplifier series comprises of the Black, Red and Cobalt. The Black and Red both use the ESS 9010 DAC chip, with the Red employing a higher performance chip and 2.1v rather than 1.2v in the black that allows driving of larger headphones.

The flagship Cobalt has the new, more advanced ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip with a minimum-phase slow roll-off filter that offers an even more natural sound. The Microchip's superb PIC32MX274 microprocessor draws less current and increases processing speed by 33%. Improved power-supply filtering specifically increases immunity to WiFi, Bluetooth, and cellular noise.


During testing in all cases and genres of music the sound stage opens up - certainly no sheep involved. The space, clarity and layers revealed make for a more engaging listening experience. The headphone amp in the Cobalt really drives bigger 'cans' effortlessly. Listening to the opening section of Tchaikovsky, Symphony No. 6 in B minor the Bassoon (or Bass clarinet depending on recording) played pppppp (that's six pianissimo) is night and day in comparison with directly connecting to the source.

But don’t take our word for it! Pop in to Audio T Bristol and have a listen with your mobile phone or laptop with the Audioquest Dragonfly Editions and experience the improvement in sound quality yourself. We can promise you there’s no wool or cheap whisky to be seen and you should hear a big difference!

Audioquest products are available from the following branches of Audio T: Brighton, Bristol, Cardiff, Cheltenham, Enfield, Online, Oxford, Portsmouth, Preston, Southampton, Swansea

Chord Electronics Hugo 2 DAC Headphone Amplifier 'Knocks It Out Of The Park' Again!

It has been a long wait, but oh boy was it worth it. We now have the all new Chord Electronics Hugo 2 portable DAC and headphone amplifier available for demonstration.

Chord Electronics Hugo2

Chord Electronics Hugo2

A complete re-design of the multi-award winning benchmark DAC, the MK2 Hugo raises the bar once again. In truth, they hardly needed to, as the old one still has the gong but that isn't Chord's way; if it can be bettered then they're 'gonna' do it!

Hugo 2 inputs

Hugo 2 inputs

We are hearing significant improvements in detail, dynamics and timing over the old model thanks in part to the dramatic increase in the number of taps within the Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) silicon.

All inputs and filter options are displayed via coloured LEDs much like that of the Chord Electronics Mojo for ease of use. Although initially designed to be the world's best portable DAC and headphone amp in reality the original mostly found it living amongst the best home Hi-Fi systems as the primary DAC, such was its giant killing credentials. This fact was not lost on Chord, so one of its new features is that it automatically stops charging the internal battery when it's plugged into the charger for 24hrs which extends battery life. 

Additionally Hugo 2 is now fully remote controlled, another nod to non-portable application.

Full feature list and technical specification can be found here.

You can read the latest What Hi-Fi? review of the Hugo 2 here.

Hugo 2 is available in black or silver.

Now with remote control

Now with remote control

Come in and have a listen at Audio T Reading.

Chord Electronics Hi-Fi products are also available at the following branches of Audio T: 

New Naim Uniti Atom, Chord Electronics Hugo 2 & Russell K RED 120 Arriving Soon

After quite an extended period of having little new product to blog about; just like the proverbial bus, three come along at the same time... well nearly.

After numerous delays Naim has finally given a likely manufacturing date for the first of the superb Uniti products, the entry level Atom which will commence shipping by the end of this month, we can't wait. I first heard it at the official launch back in November partnered with a pair of Focal Sopra 1s. What seemed like a most unlikely pairing turnout to be a revelation and breaking most system building rules. This promises to be a top seller.

Naim Atom

Naim Atom

Not wishing to rest on the laurels of their success, Chord Electronics have launched Hugo2. The original Hugo set the standard for portable a Dac/Headphone amp but they have been beavering away to produce what on paper promises to be a true bar-raiser...again; such is the genius of their designers and Bob Watts in particular. Due this month though we understand the first shipment is already completely sold out but we will have a permanent demo unit so don't delay.

Chord Hugo2 in silver and black

Chord Hugo2 in silver and black

Missing from the line-up in the Russell K loudspeaker range is a slim, affordable floor stander which is by far the most popular speaker type at present. Well, the wait is over. Due to arrive in 2-3 weeks, the all new Red 120. A 2.5 way compact floor stander with a massive heart. We heard these a month back and were taken by them immediately. The competition better look out because these are seriously good!

Russell K Red 120 Shown here in walnut, other finishes available. 

Russell K Red 120 Shown here in walnut, other finishes available. 

Naturally I will be blogging about these three exciting additions and any others as soon as they arrive so watch this space as they say.

Simon & Marc - Audio T Reading

Portable Musical Mini Hi-Fi To Fill Your Christmas Stocking

Looking for some battery operated musical goodness? Do you need a little pep in your pocket? Some pizzazz in your purse? Maybe a little spice in your satchel!

Keep reading if you're looking for some great portable Hi-Fi gifts to liven up Christmas for your friends and family..  

Wireless music on the go from B&W and KEF. A perfect gift for Christmas.

Wireless music on the go from B&W and KEF. A perfect gift for Christmas.

Both units offer bluetooth connectivity.

Both units offer bluetooth connectivity.

The Bowers and Wilkins T7 gets a 5 star review from WhatHifi. You can read it  here .   It's available to from most of our Audio T stores and  website .

The Bowers and Wilkins T7 gets a 5 star review from WhatHifi. You can read it here

It's available to from most of our Audio T stores and website.

The KEF Muo has also received plaudits for its sound quality. The famous publication from the USA, Absolute Sound had this to say about it "Further proof that great things can, and do, come in small packages". Read it here

The KEF Mue is also available from many Audio T stores and our website.

Ahhh!!!  A Christmas HugoChromoMojo sandwich, ooooooohh, tasty.

Ahhh!!!  A Christmas HugoChromoMojo sandwich, ooooooohh, tasty.

Now for those of you that already know the Hugo & Mojo from Chord Electronics, well we don't to say much more.

But for those of you new to these two little beauties, here is what we and the hi-fi world at large say about Hugo and Mojo.

Chord Hugo blog.

Chord Mojo blog.

Both are available to order on our website. The Hugo retails at £1400. The Mojo retails at £399.

All the products are available to demonstrate at our Manchester store.

Feel free to pop in and ask Dave, Munir, Simon, Mike or Haden to show you the products mentioned here.

Chord Electronics Hi-Fi products are available from: 

KEF products are available from: 

Bowers & Wilkins products are available from: 

It's Christmas Time And We Have Hi-Fi Gifts To Suit All Budgets!

We've got all sorts of Hi-Fi goodies in store for the music lover in your life to give as a major present, stocking filler, or just to treat yourself for Christmas!

Here's Boswell with a small selection for your perusal.

There's the new fabulous B&W P9 Signature headphones, a new level of sophistication from this renowned company

We have of course all of the other B&W headphones for you to try.

Or how about the fabulous Chord Mojo portable headphone amplifier and DAC currently available with a FREE leather carry case. (Offer ends 05-01-2017).

How about helping your system to fulfill its potential with a cable upgrade? We have a wide range from Audioquest  and The Chord Company

Non Christmassy colours are available!

Non Christmassy colours are available!

If you listen to your music on vinyl, there is also a wide variety of accessories for your turntable. From a little carbon fibre brush to keep your most prized needle sparklingly clean, through record cleaning brushes, new cartridges from Ortofon and Rega, and the wonderful Project VC-S record cleaning machine. We even have record players for under £200.

Of course we also have our full range of excellent electronics and speakers to choose from and don't forget our Big Red Sale Winter sale has started, so there are some fantastic savings to be made!

We'll take this opportunity to wish you all a peaceful and merry Christmas and look forward to seeing you over the holiday period.

Paul, Francis, Jason and, of course, Boswell the bear. 

Audio T Brentwood 

01277 264730

The Twelve Hi-Fi Gifts of Christmas!

We here at Audio T know how hard it can be to choose a gift for your music mad loved ones so this year we have you covered. Here are our top twelve suggestions to help you give the gift  and joy of music this Christmas.

On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a Sonos Play:1!

This diminutive wireless speaker has a huge sound! Using the Sonos excellent free app, opens up a world of audio streaming from your own collection, Internet radio and streaming services such as Qobuz, Spotify and Tidal. Perfect for the person who loves streaming music from their phone or computer.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a Chord Electronics Mojo!

This little headphone amp/DAC has made huge waves this year, winning numerous awards and accolades and for good reason! The Mojo is simply stunning, transforming your phone into a mini hi-fi! Also pictured is the very useful Mojo cable pack and durable carry case (both sold separately) Perfect for those who are listen to a lot of music on the go. At the moment you can buy a Mojo and get a FREE carry case (Offer ends 05-01-2017)

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a Denon D-M40 and Q Acoustics 3010 speakers!

This little system is fantastic as a entry into HI-Fi or as an additional system in another room in your house. Capable of playing CD, DAB radio and music via USB, this is a gorgeous combination of amplifier and speaker. Perfect for a first audio system.

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Sennheiser HD4.30i headphones!

This headphones are amazingly good value for money, strong defined bass and punchy mids combine for a lovely sound and the fact they are comfortable and foldable makes them great for wearing on the go. Perfect for anyone who listens to music when they are out and about.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Sennheiser HD 599 headphones!

The HD 599’s are brilliant headphones for home use. They have a gorgeous open sound which never gets fatiguing and are easy to listen to for hours. Perfect for those who like to listen through headphones at home.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…Dynaudio Emit M10 Loudspeakers!

We have been very impressed with the Emit line by Dynaudio, they have a balanced sound yet are still exciting to listen to and the little M10’s are no exception. Perfect for someone who needs new speakers for a entry to mid level system.

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a Rega Planar 1 turntable!

Vinyl is all the rage at the moment but to take advantage of this you need a good turntable, which is where the Planar 1 comes in, offering superb looks, build and importantly sound quality….what more do you want? Perfect for someone who wants to get into vinyl.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a Project Debut Carbon DC!


The Debut Carbon is a large step above entry level. It comes with a fantastic cartridge in the Ortofon 2m Red and combined with the carbon fibre arm makes for a highly enjoyable combination. Perfect for those who want to take their basic setup up a gear.

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a Project VC-S vinyl record cleaner!

One of the best upgrades you can do in a turntable setup is clean your vinyl, the result is staggering. The VSC makes short work of this otherwise mundane task, using its powerful vacuum to suck up any dirt and excess liquid from the surface of your favourite record or LP. Also pictured is Project’s Brush it and Clean it (both sold separately), essential tools for any turntable owner. Perfect for those who are serious about their vinyl.

On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…an Arcam rHead headphone amp!

A lot of the time we just suffer with poor quality through headphones for convenience sake, however a good headphone amplifier can change that completely. The R-head is one of the best on the market at the price and can transform your headphone listening experience. Perfect for the person who wants better quality sound from their headphones.

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a phono stage!

We couldn’t decide on just one phono stage so we thought we’d recommend a few, pictured are the Project Phonobox MM, Project tube box DS, Nytech Audio CDP122 and the Rega Fono MM. These boxes all have the capability to transform your setup, just let us know your system and we can recommend the best match! Perfect for someone who wants to either start or improve their vinyl setup.

On the twelth day of Christmas my true love gave to me…a Naim Mu-so QB!

This mini system has taken the market by storm and with very good reason! The Mu-so QB allows you to play your music via, Wi-Fi, Tidal, Spotify, internet radio, Bluetooth, usb and many more with stunning audio quality. It makes a great additional to an existing Naim setup in the form of multi-room or serves as an introduction to high quality audio. Perfect for just about anyone who wants to add high quality music streaming to a room in their house.

We hope this list has been useful for you, and as always we are always here to help you in store to make further recommendations and provide demonstrations of anything in the store. Many of the items listed are included in our winter Big Red Sale so please get in contact for more information.

From Hefin, Nick and Gareth, at Audio T Cardiff we wish all of you and your families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

Chord Electronics Mojo Portable Headphone Amplifier And DAC

I have only been at the company a short time and I was very excited to be given the opportunity to write a blog, so I decided to pick one of my current favourites, the Chord Electronics Mojo, an award winning portable headphone amplifier and DAC (digital to analogue converter). While it may look small it’s certainly not light weight, it feels very solid in your hand and gives you the impression that it is built to last.

Fits comfortably in the palm of your hand - hand not included ;-)

Fits comfortably in the palm of your hand - hand not included ;-)

The device has a very simple layout and is operated with the use of only 3 buttons these are power on and 2 volume controls (+ and -). By using a series of button press combinations you are able to easily adjust the input / output settings of the DAC. For example holding down the volume control buttons when the device is being powered up will set it to the LINE out function.

How do I use it?
The Mojo can be used with a variety of different digital sources. It can be used with a PC or Mac an iPad or Android tablet or phone. It can also turn its hand to being used in a system as a standalone DAC.

What does it sound like?
To listen to the Chord Electronics Mojo I used two different sets of headphones: the impressive Audioquest Nighthawks as well as my trusty Sennheiser HD 25-1 so I would be able to see how it would sound using two different brands of headphones.

USB, optical and coaxial inputs

USB, optical and coaxial inputs

The sound ‘quality’ was immediately noticeable, clarity and dynamics stood out, with the DAC doing wonders and the amplifier giving grip and drive to the headphones. I used a variety of music genres so I could get an honest opinion across the musical spectrum. On the Audioquest Nighthawks I got the impression that there was smooth clear balance to the sound and they quite obviously benefited being plugged into such an accomplished DAC come headphone amp. My trusty HD25’s have never sounded so good and I honestly didn’t think they could sound that good!

This product is in my opinion the leader in its class and will not disappoint when it comes to a great audio experience, really bringing out the sound stage enhancing the listening experience, in the grand scale of things the Chord Electronics Mojo really packs its punch for the buck.

For the techno minded and audiophile readers the technical specs are as follows:
Mojo has 3 digital inputs 1 x TOS-Link optical capable of playing 44.1KHz to 192KHz PCM and DSD64 in DoP format. 1 x 3.5mm COAX SPDIF capable of playing 44.1KHz to 384Khz PCM (768KHz special operation) and DSD64, DSD128 in DoP format. 1 x micro USB capable of 44KHz to 768KHz PCM and DSD64, DSD128 and DSD256 in DoP format

Blogger and Audio T Bristol Store staff member  - James Cannon

Chord Electronics Hi-Fi products are available from the following branches of Audio T:

Chord Music And Chord Electronics Launch Event At Audio T Southampton

We are delighted to say that we will be hosting a launch event for the very exclusive ChordMusic range of cables on the evening of Friday 18th and all day Saturday 19th November.


As if this isn't enough we will also take the opportunity to launch full range Chord Electronics, having recently taken delivery of the awesome DAVE DAC and mighty SPM1050 MkII power amplifier.

Along with showcasing this stunning reference system in our demonstration room, fully wired with the ultimate ChordMusic interconnects and speaker cables, we will also be one of the very first retailers to demonstrate the new Chord TToby power amp partnered with Hugo TT DAC/pre-amp.  A wide range of Chord Company cables will be available to hear on this system.

SO TToby.jpg

We hope you can join us for a terrific opportunity to hear some awe inspiring high end electronics and cables create a truly unforgettable listening experience.

Refreshments will be provided and representatives of The Chord Company and Chord Electronics will be here to answer any questions.  

Exclusive offers will be available only to those attending this unique event on the evening of Friday 18th or during Saturday 19th November.

See you soon!

Alan and John