One of our favourite portable DACs, the AudioQuest DragonFly Black, is currently available for only £69 – and it might just be one of the best-value system upgrades you'll ever make.
Though it may appear to be just a humble USB stick, its digital-to-analogue conversion is bound to trounce that of your laptop, tablet or smartphone – any of which can be connected either directly or via the included adaptor. And this £20 saving only makes the deal sweeter.
Plug in a decent pair of budget or midrange headphones, feed the DragonFly with some good-quality files, and you'll be met with an incredibly clear soundstage, with tons of detail, and a rhythmic intelligence and joie de vivre that can quickly become addictive.
The spacious soundstage is another draw, as is a dynamic range that can handle both grandiose sonic shifts and the intimate details of expression.
This isn't the only great DAC in AudioQuest's DragonFly range – the Cobalt won a What Hi-Fi? Award in 2019, taking over from the Red that won last year – but it is the most cost-effective way of making a budget system sparkle.