Audioquest Dragonfly DAC & AKG K550 Headphones - £299.95 or £289.95 Delivered (With VIP Voucher) @ Richersounds
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Audioquest Dragonfly DAC & AKG K550 Headphones - £299.95 or £289.95 Delivered (With VIP Voucher) @ Richersounds

43
Found 24th Apr 2013
This is not a deal for everyone, but one for those that value exceptional audio quality from their PC/Mac. Might be of value to some???!

The Audioquest Dragonfly Digital to Audio Convertor (DAC), that is a What HiFi Award Winner in their 2012 awards, can not be had for less than £215.00 and the AKG K550 headphones for around £140 from any authorised AKG dealers to ensure you don't get fake items. However, Richersounds are doing both items for £299.95, but you can use their VIP Voucher to get both for £289.95 - just phone their sales hotline, email your voucher to them and you'll get both with the £10 off. Great DAC and great headphones for a reduced price. A saving of around £65 on both items is a fantastic deal and great reviews on both products from Amazon listed in the first post. Seen a number of the sealed items of the headphones come up on the Bay so must be a good price for those that are looking to offset the cost of the Dragonfly DAC that is not discounted!

Here's the info:

This package includes the AKG K550 and the Audioquest Dragonfly.

Audioquest Dragonfly

"All hail hi-fi's newest superstar." What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision magazine.

A SOUND UPGRADE FOR YOUR PC, MAC OR LAPTOP

With the huge amount of digital music out there, many of us now listen to our music libraries via a PC, Mac or laptop. While there's little that can beat them for storage and ease of use, the sound quality isn't always the best and can easily be improved. Where PCs and even Macs fall down is in the quality of their built-in DACs (Digital to Analogue Convertors). Good enough to do the job but certainly not up to hi-fi standards. This is where USB DACs such as the Audioquest Dragonfly come in. Whether you use headphones or have your computer connected directly to your hi-fi, the Dragonfly simply offers a massive improvement in sound quality. By connecting into a USB socket, the Dragonfly bypasses the computer's built-in DAC, instead passing sound through its own, high-end hi-fi quality device. Simply plug in your headphones or 3.5mm cable and you're good to go.

BIG SOUND FROM A SMALL PACKAGE

Although tiny, the Dragonfly is every bit as impressive as many full-size DACs. The technical specification includes a high quality 24-bit ESS Sabre DAC that's usually found in more expensive hi-fi. Asynchronous transfer and twin clocks ensure perfectly timed and controlled digital information enters the DAC, meaning you get a highly accurate and precise sound quality. Compared to a computer's headphone output you'll notice a much more dynamic sound with far more detail and openness. In essence, the sound will simply be more lifelike - and then some!

PLAYS MULTIPLE MUSIC FILES, RIGHT UP TO 24-BIT/192KHZ (downsampled to 96kHz)

Despite its tiny size, the Dragonfly will also play back a wide variety of music files. Twin clocks ensure perfect playback of 44.1kHz (CD quality), 48kHz, 88.2kHz and 96kHz. As a final neat touch, the dragonfly logo glows various colours to indicate the file frequency! Green for CD (44.1kHz), blue for 48kHz, amber for 88.2kHz and magenta for 96kHz.

Despite its technical proficiency, the Dragonfly is quick and easy to install. Once set-up you only need to plug it in and you're ready to go. It might be small but the Dragonfly is capable of transforming the sound of your computer. Expect great things from this tiny device!

AKG K550

"Rousingly musical headphones with no obvious deficiencies" What Hi-Fi Sound & Vision magazine.

GROUP TEST WINNERS

Fresh from their group test win where the AKG K550 headphones triumphed over nine rivals, these headphones come with the highly coveted 5-star What Hi-Fi award.

STUDIO EXPERIENCE BRINGS REFERENCE SOUND QUALITY

With decades of experience in the studio few can beat AKG's heritage. With the K550s, AKG have sought to recreate that studio sound with toned down aesthetics. Using large 50mm drivers and a closed back design gives these headphones a deep, powerful bass that's also very tightly controlled and realistic sounding. Perhaps surprisingly for a closed back design, the K550's also sound spacious and airy. Thanks to what AKG call, "Real Image Engineering", the K550's sound open, accurate and engaging - even over extended listening periods.

TOTAL COMFORT

With their large earpieces, the K550's wrap around your ears for total audio immersion. They're also lightweight and with the broad headband, very comfortable to wear. Although larger than the average headphone, the closed back design prevents sound leakage, making them ideal for quality music on the go. The fold-flat ear cups also make them easier to pack in your bag

If size doesn't matter but sound does, then the AKG K550 headphones are simply the best in their class - just ask What Hi-Fi!

43 Comments

Original Poster

Audioquest Dragonfly DAC reviews here.

AKG K550 reviews here.

voted hot for the DAC - using one myself mainly when travelling - outstanding sound from such a little device!

PS. HertzVanRental - loving my x100! took some stunning shoots over the last trip!

Voted hot - DAC is about £215 and the 'phones about £140.
(edit to add - which is exactly what the OP said, d'oh).
Edited by: "scappers" 25th Apr 2013

Wow the DAC alone is £250 on the internet. This is a very hot IF you think the DAC's worth that much.

Original Poster

Fakyata

voted hot for the DAC - using one myself mainly when travelling - … voted hot for the DAC - using one myself mainly when travelling - outstanding sound from such a little device!PS. HertzVanRental - loving my x100! took some stunning shoots over the last trip!



Loving my x100 too Fakyata and did some test shots at ISO3200 with zero noise - Wow, Wow and double Wow!

Hoping the Dragonfly DAC is as good as the x100!!

Fantastic price for this combination of highly regarded gear!

A bit suspicious, 200 quid worth of hardware can be fitted into tiny USB thing? What is the secret and how come everyone is not doing it.

Pretty peculiar to include the K550's though, seeing as they don't exactly have a high impedance and will run just fine without a DAC.

I've owned the K550's and personally wouldn't recommend them. The build and look is fantastic, but as they are reference cans, the sound is very, very neutral. I just didn't find them fun at all. Oh, and if you wear glasses... don't even bother - the arms open up the seal and make them sound like £10 cans.
So I'd personally only recommend them for studio or professional use. Far better ones out there for casual users...
Edited by: "mamboboy" 30th Apr 2013

ultrak3wl

A bit suspicious, 200 quid worth of hardware can be fitted into tiny USB … A bit suspicious, 200 quid worth of hardware can be fitted into tiny USB thing? What is the secret and how come everyone is not doing it.



The secret is simple, it's the design and functionality offered by the DAC chip. Size in this case doesn't matter.

ultrak3wl

A bit suspicious, 200 quid worth of hardware can be fitted into tiny USB … A bit suspicious, 200 quid worth of hardware can be fitted into tiny USB thing? What is the secret and how come everyone is not doing it.



Probably a decent R&D bill hence the price that not everyone can pay for but from a name with enough "prestige" to carry it off. Frankly audioquest stuff while perhaps very good does tend to take the ****, they're the clowns trying to sell "premium, gold plate, oxygen free, crafted by Jesus and blessed by the spirit of Mother Teresa" hdmi cables for £200+. I'd be a bit dubious until finding somewhere I can hear it with my choice of cans.

Not an audiophile personally but my hearing's pretty good so when I can hear the singer lick their lips between lines etc it's high quality

Edited by: "mercutio98uk" 30th Apr 2013

wow thats expensive but would the audio quality be much better to something like a g930?

mamboboy

Pretty peculiar to include the K550's though, seeing as they don't … Pretty peculiar to include the K550's though, seeing as they don't exactly have a high impedance and will run just fine without a DAC.



What, the headphones will just work on their own? How?

mamboboy

Pretty peculiar to include the K550's though, seeing as they don't … Pretty peculiar to include the K550's though, seeing as they don't exactly have a high impedance and will run just fine without a DAC.

Using an amp or DAC with such headphones usually won't improve their … Using an amp or DAC with such headphones usually won't improve their sound much, and might even make them sound worse or create other problems like excess noise and channel balance issues. This is especially true if your headphones already get loud enough for your tastes. Generally, 16 – 32 ohm headphones with a sensitivity rating of at least 100 dB/mW do not need an amplifier. The exception might be balanced armature IEMs due to output impedance issues.


No, what I mean is you generally use a DAC on high impedance headphones that need to be driven. AKG K550 have a low impedance so they don't need one. It could actually make the audio worse...



...These run at 30 ohm...
Edited by: "mamboboy" 30th Apr 2013

£300 for a set of headphones!?

There really is one born every minute.

mamboboy

No, what I mean is you generally use a DAC on high impedance headphones … No, what I mean is you generally use a DAC on high impedance headphones that need to be driven. AKG K550 have a low impedance so they don't need one. It could actually make the audio worse...



You don't know what a DAC is do you?

Wow, I wouldn't expect a pair of headphones this expensive to still be made of plastic and PVC

montblanc

Wow, I wouldn't expect a pair of headphones this expensive to still be … Wow, I wouldn't expect a pair of headphones this expensive to still be made of plastic and PVC


lol you should steer clear of Grado's then.

bigsky

You don't know what a DAC is do you?



There we are - a kid who heard a bells ringing but don't really know in which church... to drive any high ohm cans you need an AMP not DAC - Also K550 are one of the best sounding closed cans out there in that price range - and even beat more expensive Denon AH-D2000 - they deliver slightly better bass, and somewhat better upper-mid and low treble performance, they also provide much better isolation. Talking about much better phones for casual use - which one did you mean ? - Beats ?... Also they not really a reference cans...

montblanc

Wow, I wouldn't expect a pair of headphones this expensive to still be … Wow, I wouldn't expect a pair of headphones this expensive to still be made of plastic and PVC




Yessss porosus croc pads and platinum unibody should be included at that price ...

It's still pretty clear that nobody seems to k ow what a DAC does.

Forget amping, impedance. Just accept it will sound better than your onboard card, if you want to know more, Google it.

Now, back to my Brio-R and M-DAC :-)

mamboboy

No, what I mean is you generally use a DAC on high impedance headphones … No, what I mean is you generally use a DAC on high impedance headphones that need to be driven. AKG K550 have a low impedance so they don't need one. It could actually make the audio worse...



You're thinking of an AMP, not a DAC. Having said that, a lot of entry level USB DACs have a headphone amplifier built in, such as Fiios, and the one listed here. Maybe that's what you're thinking of?

I'm really surprised at the amount of heat this is attracting.
There's no doubt the AKG are great pair of cans. But this Audiogene DAC is not a very good value for what it is IMHO. It's a classic example of an audiophile ripoff product.
Those with a desktop pc would be much better off with Asus Xonar Essence stx

The_Hoff

It's still pretty clear that nobody seems to k ow what a DAC does.Forget … It's still pretty clear that nobody seems to k ow what a DAC does.Forget amping, impedance. Just accept it will sound better than your onboard card, if you want to know more, Google it. Now, back to my Brio-R and M-DAC :-)



Ofc we know what DACs are even w/o googling it... Using cheap baresford with pc - as I cant see any reason why to use it with my tubes and cheviots

basergorkobal

I'm really surprised at the amount of heat this is attracting. There's no … I'm really surprised at the amount of heat this is attracting. There's no doubt the AKG are great pair of cans. But this Audiogene DAC is not a very good value for what it is IMHO. It's a classic example of an audiophile ripoff product.Those with a desktop pc would be much better off with Asus Xonar Essence stx




Yes I absolutely agree with you -however this DAC its great if you travel alot with your laptop and still want to listen to somethin better than onboard chip

Original Poster

basergorkobal

I'm really surprised at the amount of heat this is attracting. There's no … I'm really surprised at the amount of heat this is attracting. There's no doubt the AKG are great pair of cans. But this Audiogene DAC is not a very good value for what it is IMHO. It's a classic example of an audiophile ripoff product.Those with a desktop pc would be much better off with Asus Xonar Essence stx



basergorkobal have you heard the Dragonfly DAC? I was sceptical that a USB device could produce such an improvement to the sound quality - I've also got a MF V-DAC II for comparison. However, I plugged it in and adjusted my settings iaw the instructions and WOW it was just incredible - a real change and improvement that I was getting from the HK Soundstick III via my iMac. It was that good I spent nearly all night listening to my collection to hear the sounds I'd never heard before on the tracks!

Anyway, it can't be that bad:

whathifi.com/awa…acs

It also can't be that bad when RicherSounds send you the Dragonfly open boxed and do the deal with an extra £50 off!

bigsky

[quote=mamboboy] [quote=bigsky] [quote=mamboboy] Pretty peculiar … [quote=mamboboy] [quote=bigsky] [quote=mamboboy] Pretty peculiar to include the K550's though, seeing as they don't exactly have a high impedance and will run just fine without a DAC.

Talking about much better phones for casual use - which one did you mean … Talking about much better phones for casual use - which one did you mean ? - Beats ?... Also they not really a reference cans...




Hurr, durr, because not liking a certain headphone automatically means I love Beats. Never owned a pair and never will.

I paid £135 for these and sold them on in a week. If you search the history here you'll see I posted these multiple times because of the What HiFi review and because they kept dropping in price to ~£130.

I tested on my Xonar D2 (Burr-Brown DAC's) along with the £25 Superlux HD 681 and found I preferred the Superlux! OK, perhaps the clarity wasn't as defined, but the Superlux produce a warmer sound while still being fairly bright and detailed. The AKG's have almost no aggression, no dynamism, just a completely flat frequency response which I find incredible for closed back headphones. They are just plain boring, excelling in easy listening or classical, but as soon as you push them toward something like metal they become extremely brash and harsh on the ears..

They ARE reference class, even the AKG website says this, but I guess you're opinion is better than the makers of them?

If you plan on kicking back, playing your vinyl, CD or FLAC collection to appreciate every detail then these are for you. But ordinary desktop use; a mixture of music, gaming, movies there's so many better options out there. These are just too neutral sounding for that. Which is why I personally can't recommend these for CASUAL users. The Audio-Technica ATH-M50S destroys them in every way apart from soundstage.



Edited by: "mamboboy" 1st May 2013

Fakyata

Yes I absolutely agree with you -however this DAC its great if you travel … Yes I absolutely agree with you -however this DAC its great if you travel alot with your laptop and still want to listen to somethin better than onboard chip



It costs a bloomin' arm and a leg though. If you are listening to music in mp3, or via youtube on your pc a simple £25 Xonar DG will be enough. If you want music while travelling grab a £20 Sansa Clip+. For laptops and such you will need a separate dac/amp. I don't know much about this area but Fiio make the E7 which you can get for ~£70 but will also connect to your iPod.

Unless you are listening to audiophile grade stuff, which most people don't listen to, you don't need to sell your house to get good audio. Just grab a decent pair of well built headphones (e.g Beyer DT770) and you're good to go.
Edited by: "AST3R" 1st May 2013

Looks like a solid DAC though at that price Id be afraid to lose it. If anyone is after a DAC which is both cheap and sounds awesome I can't recommend the hifimediy sabredac its pretty ace.

@The_Hoff

Man I got a brio-r last month...never thought i could fall in love with an object.

AST3R

lol you should steer clear of Grado's then.



My grados were £80 and I regret it because they broke due to dodgy wiring and cheap plastic xD

A Digital to Analog Convertor (DAC) is a expensive word meaning Sound Card.

Banned

dac magic plus does similar or same job as the asus essence st does. Dac is Not an upgrade for tower pc, IF you have good sound card. For any mac for sure it upgrade.

Edited by: "artcheezzz" 1st May 2013

A bit suspicious, 200 quid worth of hardware can be fitted into tiny USB thing? What is the secret and how come everyone is not doing it.

oops sorry pressed f5 and it put my comment back in

If you spend £300 on a set of headphones you are a dick....

Original Poster

hardstylemw

If you spend £300 on a set of headphones you are a dick....



If you don't read the deal and see that you can get for less than £290 a set of reference headphones and a DAC you are a dick.....

Banned

hardstylemw

If you spend £300 on a set of headphones you are a dick....


More likely you are the dick if u listen headphones for £20. i guess aldi is your the only shop as well + you must drive ford focus or bike.

Banned

Btw i would recommend Beyerdinamic dt770 or 880 or 990 over this one.
not "pro"
Edited by: "artcheezzz" 1st May 2013

artcheezzz

Btw i would recommend Beyerdinamic dt770 or 880 or 990 over this one. … Btw i would recommend Beyerdinamic dt770 or 880 or 990 over this one. not "pro"


What? The DT770/80 Pro's are awesome.

Banned

AST3R

What? The DT770/80 Pro's are awesome.


Yes i do agree 100%, but not "pro`s" worth a little extra.

artcheezzz

Yes i do agree 100%, but not "pro`s" worth a little extra.


I'm confused. Are you referring to the DT770 premium? If they were the same price then yes I'd agree the premiums are better, but when I was buying my pros, the premiums were £100 more. Plus if you bought the 250 ohm you would have to buy an amp. With my 80 ohm pro's I can run them from my sansa clip+ and they sound brilliant.
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