Our pricing for this product is the "MAP Pricing." This means that the prices shown here are the "minimum advertised prices" permitted by the manufacturer.
AudioQuest Beetle Mini-DAC with USB, TosLink and Bluetooth
Building on the success of AudioQuest’s massively popular and award winning Dragonfly series comes Beetle, a desktop mini-DAC (less than 3” in diameter) with more capabilities and more flexibility. Beetle shares much of its genetic makeup with the Dragonfly Black, even using the same ESS Sabre DAC for astonishing resolution. There are no USB drivers required and Beetle is compatible with files up to 24/96. Flexible, unobtrusive, highly affordable and surprisingly potent, Beetle is an evolution of the digital audio hub concept bringing Dragonfly performance to the desktop.
Beetle transcends single-purpose devices like Dragonfly by offering a number of connection options. Like all Critter products, Beetle plays audio via USB from either a phone or a computer. Attach a Toslink cable to a large number of other digital sources (e.g. Network Streamer, Cable Box, Blu-Ray or DVD player) or use Beetle’s enhanced, asynchronous Bluetooth input for wireless connectivity.
Fully Featured Audiophile Component
Every aspect of Beetle has been engineered for great sound from virtually any source. Don’t be fooled by the affordable price tag, this wee critter is chock full of audiophile goodies. Beetle’s Minimum Phase Digital Filter is the antidote to digital harshness, eliminating the ringing and hash of more aggressive filtering schemes. The 64-bit digital volume control offers bit-perfect resolution for outstanding resolution at any volume. Beetle ships with a high-performance, regulated, linear power supply for on-demand current delivery and superior high frequency noise rejection. Analog output is via a 3.5mm (1/8”) mini-jack on the rear, AudioQuest has created a broad range of high-performance mini to RCA cables, give us a call for a recommendation.
Toslink Optical Input
Many years ago Toslink was much maligned for less than ideal sound quality, but that’s the past. Modern Toslink connections rival the sound quality of other digital connections types while also providing both mechanical and RF isolation. The sonic purity of a Toslink connection is incredibly appealing thanks to the onboard ESS DAC’s patented Time Domain Jitter Eliminator. Toslink is now available on more and more devices, plugging them into a Beetle is a quick and easy way to give your digital components a sonic upgrade. Please note, the Beetle’s 64-Bit volume control does not affect Toslink output which is output at the same level it comes in. As with all DACs, Beetle can be optimized with a good Toslink cable, please call us for a recommendation on a Toslink cable to suit your system and budget.
Music is all about timing; if the timing’s off, everything’s off. Asynchronous Transfer USB, more commonly known as Asynchronous or Asynch, allows the master clock inside Beetle to supersede the master clock generated by the computer itself. This is hugely important because USB was designed to connect a mouse or send a document to a printer, it was never designed to generate a master clock for audio purposes. Beetle’s Streamlength® Asynchronous USB operation gives Beetle a substantial sonic advantage by minimizing jitter and providing a rock-stable clock for the music. Get the timing right and everything flows. Beetle has a USB Micro-B input (aka USB Micro), we offer a wide selection of AudioQuest USB Micro cables and we’d be happy to make a recommendation.
Many audiophiles look down their noses at Bluetooth despite its many conveniences. The usual gripe is sound quality and in most cases this is warranted. With a bit-rate 75% lower than CD, it’s hard to argue that Bluetooth offers high-fidelity. However, with the incredible popularity of Bluetooth enabled devices, AudioQuest decided to make lemons into lemonade and give Bluetooth a big step up in audio performance. AudioQuest developed and implemented Asynchronous Bluetooth using Streamlength BT® technology specifically for Beetle. This revolutionary technology is a huge advancement, vastly improving the sound of any Bluetooth source. Bluetooth’s bit-rate may top out at 320K, but Beetle makes any Bluetooth-connected device sound way better than you’ve ever heard it.
Beetle will support MQA playback via USB with an upcoming Firmware update.
Beetle’s firmware can be updated via AudioQuest’s free AQ Device Manager Desktop App which requires a USB connection to a computer.
What’s in the Box?
• Beetle DAC
• Regulated Linear Power Supply (Analog)
• Flight Manual (Owners Manual)
• 1x USB Micro-B
• 1x Toslink (Full)
• Bluetooth (remembers up to 8 devices)
• 1x Stereo 3.5mm (1/8” Mini), doubles as mini-Toslink output
• USB: 44.1kHz, 48kHz, 88.2kHz, 96kHz (16-24bit)
• Bluetooth: Up to 48kHz @ 384kbps
• Optical: 32kHz-96kHz (16-24bit)
Supported Operating Systems:
• Apple OSX
• Apple iOS
• Windows (7,8.1,10)
Bluetooth: 4.0 A2DP 2.6 (software upgradable via AQ’s Desktop Device Manager)
Max Output Voltage: 1.35V
Dimensions (WDH): 2.3”x2.3”x0.75”