Pro-ject S2 Vs Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt

Does anyone have an opinion of how the Pro-ject S2 SQ compares to that of the Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt? Specifically, I’m talking about feeding the DAC from a Raspberry Pi 4 USB and using headphones from the DAC. My Dragonfly supports 24/96 while the Pro-ject is rated at 32/768 when connected with USB. Both are MQA capable.

What source formats are you planning to play? If it’s MQA then they’re equals. For example, a 192kHz 24 bit MQA file is in a 48kHz container, which is ‘unfolded’ to 96kHz. The renderer in both DACs will result in 192kHz.

You will only know by comparing both in your system. DACs are very dependent on the system they are in as to how they will perform. Much like any component. Get one online and try you can always return it if it does not cut the mustard.

Tidal and Qobuz.

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Well, rather than consider a Pro-ject S2, is there a highly capable DAC that I should consider sticking on top of my Raspberry Pi 4 that would outperform the Dragonfly Cobalt for headphone use. It doesn’t matter what outputs it has as long as I can plug in headphones with 3.5 mm jack and it must be MQA capable. If course, I would need to use a different case.

What kind of headphones are you trying to drive?

They are Sony WH1000XM3. I should probably leave well enough alone, but I’m thinking I may be leaving something on the table with the 24/96 Dragonfly Cobalt.

You responded fast. I just sent you a PM. Have a Meridian Prime DAC HA for sale if you’re interested.

I possibly am as I was looking into this one.

I’ll send you a PM.

Will 24/192 sound different or better than 24/96 through a $350 pair of Sony headphones?

Maybe. Probably depends more on your hearing and the quality of the recording then the sampling rate.

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That sounds like I should probably stick with my Dragonfly Cobalt then. Thanks.

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It’s really tough to judge whether or not upsampling is going to make it sound cleaner or not. Those of us using tubes are actually adding a layer of distortion to sweeten the sound to be more natural. Those AQ stick DACs are nice devices. For what they do, they perform well.

I wasn’t really thinking about upsampling. I was thinking about playing 24/192 with no down sampling.

Again, really comes down to the quality of the recording. 24/192 has a lot more “pixels” than 24/96. There’s comes a point of diminishing return too. 24/384 and higher… one of my other DACs (Benchmark DAC3) maxs out at 24/192. Other DACs I have do 24/384 and DSD…they all sound pretty good. Coming from the same source like Tidal MQA, the 24/192 versions should sound crisper than the 24/96 versions.

The music is all streaming from Tidal and Qobuz.