There were several new items to talk about on the AudioQuest platter of presentation at CES 2017. Multiple rooms showcased several personal audio and more traditional 2 channel rigs on the 30th floor of the Venetian tower in Las Vegas. First up was a new pair of headphones called the NightHawk and the NightOwl Carbon.
The NightHawk Carbon is the successor to AudioQuest’s debut headphone release only a few short years ago. The company describes the new Carbon as “a more sophisticated, more mature version of the original” but still maintains several of the original innovations including pistonic drivers and biocellulose diaphragms. The NightOwl Carbon is a new closed-back variant of the headphone line, bringing even more ambient noise isolation (and outward leakage) to those who need it. Both headphones include 2 pairs of interchangeable earpads and updated cabling. The purchase cost for either headphone is $699 and is available now from select retailers, more details in the embed blow.
Headphones where not the only thing seeing updates in the realm of personal audio. AudioQuest’s popular Dragonfly updates were themselves getting a pretty interesting renovation in the coming months.
The big news to these tiny portables is coming thanks to a firmware upgrade at the end of the month, which owners can download from the AudioQuest website. With the new update, both Dragonflies will be able to decode the much-anticipated MQA file format, now available through the Tidal streaming service (also coming to Pandora). A new, light blue color was on display during playback on the top of the device at CES. The new hue is a welcome addition to the multiple format indicator LED, which makes good use of the limited external facing real-estate of the device. Both the Red ($199) and the Black ($99) versions of the Dragonfly are capable of direct connections to an iPhone, thus acting as both an upgrade to the digital section and headphone amplifier of the portable listening device. AudioQuest recommends a Lighting to USB 3 camera adapter for completing the task to any modern mobile iDevice.
On the other side of the hallway AudioQuest was debuting a pair of new power conditioners called the Niagra 7000 ($7,995) and the Niagara 5000 ($3,995). The pair feature a patented ground noise dissipation system, “non-sacrificial surge protection” and automatic shutoff should the voltage in your residence abnormally push above 17% of optimal AC levels. All good things coming out from AudioQuest these days, interesting to see the new direction the company has taken given the shifting landscape of personal audio (and hifi audio as a whole, for that matter).