I often have news about digital-to-analogue converter (DAC)/headphone amp combos – little electronic boxes that magic up superior musical reproduction from average machines. I’m not saying that previous recommendations are now obsolete, but this little guy from California’s AudioQuest is the most magical yet. The the size of a fat USB stick, the DragonFly Cobalt makes music from your phone sound not just loud, but gloriously rich and natural. I’ve been playing tracks in Tidal’s top-level Master quality (which uses the superb new digital format MQA) through an iPhone and into quality headphones like Flare’s Pro 2HDs.
Connecting Cobalt is not un-Heath Robinson-esque if you’re out and about. You need a Lightning-to-USB dongle for iPhones. And, if you’re a sound nut like me, you’ll also want to add AudioQuest’s £36 JitterBug to join the contraption and remove another level of imperfection: jitter – not that I’m even sure I can hear it.