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Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt Loaner program

Discussion in 'Sponsor Announcements and Deals' started by Todd, Jul 15, 2019.
  1. Todd Contributor
    Hi All,

    Here is the promised loaner program for the Dragonfly Cobalt. Please read the rules below the picture. I expect a review posted in this thread and for the unit to be sent in a timely manner to the next participant. I will be sending it out tomorrow to the first one to sign up. Here is your chance to hear this new product from Audioquest in your listening environment!

    audioquestcobalt1.jpg

    Loaner Program Rules:

    Send your name and address, telephone number and your Head-Fi user name to me (Todd) at todd@ttvjaudio.com. Do NOT PM me as you will not be included in the program without an email.

    You will get the loaner for 1 week to use in your home with your system. After your one week is up, you must send it to the next loaner participant. Email me (todd@ttvjaudio.com) the tracking info so I can pass it on to the recipient.

    You MUST write a review and post it in this loaner thread. It must be posted in the same thread as this announcement for the loaner program. Please post the review here first and feel free to post it somewhere else if you like!

    Once you have received the loaner, email me to let me know you have it and I will send the address for the next person.

    Our loaner programs are USA only. We are restricted from shipping/selling outside the USA on most products.

    I look forward to hearing from you!

    Todd
     
    TTVJAudio.com Todd Stay updated on TTVJAudio.com at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://www.ttvjaudio.com/ todd@ttvjaudio.com
    tedyesca, jcslone, buonassi and 2 others like this.
  2. Todd Contributor
    Hi All,

    Here are the participants for the Dragonfly Cobalt loaner program... the Cobalt is shipping out today to Fuzzychaos. Enjoy - I look forward to your impressions of the Dragonfly Cobalt in this thread!

    Dragonfly Cobalt Loaner Program


    Fuzzychaos

    Akarise

    Elira

    Ngoshawk

    jcslone

    guerillaw

    wellers73

    Olumm

    mshenay
     
    TTVJAudio.com Todd Stay updated on TTVJAudio.com at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://www.ttvjaudio.com/ todd@ttvjaudio.com
    fuzzychaos and elira like this.
  3. fuzzychaos
    Got the package today 7/19!
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2019
    elira likes this.
  4. twiceboss
    Hi all, is there any chance for me to audition this? I have es100 and xcan to be compared with!
     
  5. Todd Contributor
    Hi All,

    This is the announcement for the 2nd Dragonfly Cobalt loaner program. I will accept 10 more people to participate in this program. There have been a lot of great reviews from the audiophile reviewers and this is your chance to check it out for yourself...

    I expect each person to write a review and sent it to the next person in a timely manner. The rules are the same as always - please abide by the rules so that I am inclined to continue doing these programs...

    The reviews from both programs should be submitted to this thread. That way there should be a fresh review or two a week. I look forward to your impressions of this great new product!

    Loaner Program Rules:

    Send your name and address, telephone number and your Head-Fi user name to me (Todd) at todd@ttvjaudio.com. Do NOT PM me as you will not be included in the program without an email.

    You will get the loaner for 1 week to use in your home with your system. After your one week is up, you must send it to the next loaner participant. Email me (todd@ttvjaudio.com) the tracking info so I can pass it on to the recipient.

    You MUST write a review and post it in this loaner thread. It must be posted in the same thread as this announcement for the loaner program. Please post the review here first and feel free to post it somewhere else if you like!

    Once you have received the loaner, email me to let me know you have it and I will send the address for the next person.

    Our loaner programs are USA only. We are restricted from shipping/selling outside the USA on most products.

    so that I am inclined to continue doing these programs...
     
    TTVJAudio.com Todd Stay updated on TTVJAudio.com at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://www.ttvjaudio.com/ todd@ttvjaudio.com
  6. Wiljen
    Count me in, email on the way!
     
  7. Todd Contributor
    HI All,

    I have put 2 Dragonfly Cobalt DAC/Amps into your hands on loan and am looking forward to your reviews. They should start showing up here soon. I have a few slots still open for the second loaner program if someone is interested...

    The Cobalt is getting rave reviews from the online and print reviewers. I posted a list of those reviews in the Cobalt announcement thread and on my website on the Cobalt webpage.

    The Cobalt is in stock and waiting for a good home...

    Todd
     
    TTVJAudio.com Todd Stay updated on TTVJAudio.com at their sponsor page on Head-Fi.
     
    http://www.ttvjaudio.com/ todd@ttvjaudio.com
  8. alpha421
    Got the loaner for a few more days. For those using Android Pie and UAPP like with my S9, prior to yesterday I was getting full volume spikes whenever I lowered or increased the volume with the physical buttons on my S9. It was damn annoying and after fiddling with UAPP settings, same spikes. Wasn't sure if it was the Colbalt firmware and/or UAPP, but after an UAPP update this morning, no more volume spikes. Strange, but damn good.
     
  9. akarise
    My week with the Cobalt has come to an end so here is my impressions post. Hopefully it will be helpful for those who are considering purchasing the Cobalt!

    I want to preface this impressions post with the fact that I was very busy with work this past week so most of the time that I was listening with the Cobalt, I wasn’t listening critically but was using it to listen to music while I worked. That said, I did set aside some time at the end of the week to do some critical listening and compare it to my LH Labs Geek Out IEM 100. I did all of my listening with the Meze Audio Rai Penta from the Cobalt either plugged directly into my laptop when I was on the go or to an iFi iUSBPower that was plugged into my laptop at home. Most of the music I listened to was FLAC using Foobar2000, with some 320kbps mp3s and also some Spotify. Unfortunately, I couldn’t test the Cobalt out with my Galaxy S7 Edge because it doesn’t have a USB-C port and I don’t have a USB to micro USB adapter.

    Before I get into the sound, I’ll first give my thoughts about what comes in the package. It comes with the Cobalt, a small leather-like sleeve, and a USB to USB-C Dragontail. When I first picked up the Cobalt, I was pleasantly surprised by how solid it felt. In pictures, I thought it looked like it had a plastic shell but holding it in hand made me wonder if it’s actually made out of metal. (This is my first time with a Dragonfly so I’m not sure if they’ve all had a metal shell? Let me know if I’m mistaken!) The design is very sleek and clean and I like how the logo is used as the LED indicator. The LED gives off a soft glow when on and isn’t distracting at all. The sleeve for the Cobalt is well made but it almost fit too tight on the Cobalt to the point where taking it back out was a bit of a chore. However, I’m guessing that it’s because it’s brand new and will loosen up a bit with regular use. The Dragontail seemed solidly built but I didn’t get to use it like I mentioned above. There’s also a code for 2 free months of Tidal and another offer for 1 month free Hi-Res music streaming from Qobuz. I’m personally skeptical about the benefits of those Hi-Res formats so they didn’t interest me but I guess it’s nice for those who are.

    Now onto the sound impressions! When I first got the Cobalt and plugged it in after just using the Geek Out, I didn’t think I noticed much of a difference, except for there was significantly less hiss than the Geek Out when I plugged my Rai Penta in. I was a bit disappointed to be completely honest. However, after a week of exclusively using the Cobalt and then switching back to the Geek Out, I immediately realized that there was a difference. The Cobalt sounded smoother overall, producing a more laid back and natural sound than the Geek Out. Despite it being more laid back, it still sounded very detailed. I think I was noticing very faint sounds in the recordings that I didn’t catch using the Geek Out. Somehow it ends up sounding more detailed yet presents the detail in a way that’s also more natural. In comparison, the Geek Out sounds like it’s trying too hard to throw detail in my face and ends up coming off as forced.

    The one thing I loved about the Cobalt the most during my week with it was the soundstage it produced. The staging was noticeably wider and more open than on the Geek Out, making me feel like I’m sitting further back further in a concert hall rather than right up front. When I originally got my Rai Penta several weeks ago and listened through the Geek Out, I thought they sounded amazing but felt like the soundstage was one of its only weak points. While everything didn’t sound totally in my headspace, I wished that soundstage was larger. Turns out, it wasn’t really a limitation of the Rai Penta but a limitation of the Geek Out! Now tracks that have a larger stage from their recordings actually sound completely outside of my headspace. The Cobalt really makes the Rai Penta sound more like it’s a full-size headphone than an IEM at times.

    While the Cobalt was great in almost every way, I did have one somewhat minor issue with it. I noticed that there was a faint hiss when no music was playing or if the track was relatively quiet. Although the hiss was significantly less than on the Geek Out, I could still hear it. I don’t believe this is an issue with the components of the Cobalt but rather insufficient shielding from RFI because the hissing basically disappeared if I covered the Cobalt in my hand. I didn’t notice it during normal listening, but I’m sure that eliminating the hiss would provide a blacker background for all of the detail to shine through.

    To sum things up, I think the Cobalt is an amazing little DAC+amp for people who are looking to have high quality sound anywhere they go. While there are probably cheaper options for people on a budget that can get most of the potential out of their IEMs or headphones, I think the Cobalt really pushes the limit of what they can achieve on the go without having to spend tons of money on an expensive DAP. I’m really going to miss the sound now that I have to send the Cobalt off to the next person! Thanks to Todd for giving me the chance to experience this little gem!
     
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  10. caenlenfromOCN
    How did you know who to send the loaner cobalt too? I asked awhile ago and no response. I have had the Cobalt for a week now. How long did you get with it? How do I know who to send it to next. I asked Todd on here but no response.
     
  11. elira
    Todd will send you an email with the details.
     
  12. alpha421
    ^Indeed he will.

    Apologies for my belated impressions with brief prefaces of the predecessors:

    When the first DFB came out, I was an early adopter. At the time, there wasn't anything that was that small and sounded good from a company that primarily makes cables. It was warm and full sounding, and didn't need any drivers for it to work and although native DSD playback is wishful thinking, I was very content with the 24/96 resolution. I used it with my smartphone and laptop. For a dollar less than a Benjamin, it's still one of the best purchase made in this hobby. Now my wife owns it and uses it daily with your Shozy BK earbuds as she watches classical music videos on YouTube.

    When the DFR came out, I was an early adopter. For me it contrasted the DFB (all iterations) in every way. The details were more apparent, the upper half of the spectrum breathed more air, and due to these two main characteristic differences, it brought more texture and stage placement that I felt was a little veiled with the DFB. However, I felt the upper end could sound a little brittle as if the control was a little lost and at times didn't sound that pleasant to my ears. My wife agreed and she decided to keep the DFB. For double the DFB price, the DFR and its sexy red sheen couldn't convince me to keep it.

    Thanks to Todd and all his generous contribution with loaner tours, a week went by like a blink of the eye, and it left a positive impression like the first generation did. The control that was lost with the DFR was in the DFC in spades. I'm sure much of the DFC effect is in the filter(s), but the other greatest difference is focus. Not only did the DFC dig out the details better than its predecessors, the focus and control up and down the spectrum made all my iems sound that much more enjoyable. Unlike the DFR, that I felt the stage sounded rather flat and dull at times, the DFC brings a sense of dimension and shape to the music and helps make it sound more alive.

    Sure, the DFC price isn't cheap, but for its smallest form factor, and the sonic palette it brings to the devices and iems I connected it with, with better fidelity over its predecessors combined, the DFC sounds more like a bargain (pun intended). I think it'll make a fine addition to my hi fidelity arsenal.
     
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2019 at 4:04 AM
    wizzman121 likes this.
  13. elira
    Here's my review, not much to say, it's a solid device

    First of all, thanks Todd for the opportunity of testing the AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt. As most of you might know it’s a very small device, of the size of a thumb drive, the color is dark blue (dark cobalt) and it has an amazing finish, it looks pretty good, and feels really nice. The USB plug and 3.5mm socket are a little loose and they move a little bit, seems like the board is a little smaller for the enclosure but I wouldn’t worry about it.

    I don’t have experience with the other DragonFly models, other than listening to them at shows, but so far I’m impressed with the capabilities of it. In the compatibility department it worked fine with my Windows computer, with my Linux computer, my iPhone X and with my Moto G7. Seems like it uses a standard protocol that is compatible with most things, so I would guess that if other DACs work this one will most likely work. Also surprisingly it’s MQA capable, so you can get the full MQA experience using the Dragon Fly, I listened a couple songs on Tidal using Roon and it worked without issues.

    Using it to drive headphones is also a nice experience. It worked fine with all the headphones I tried (Sennheiser HD600, Grado PS2000e, Grado HF3, Audeze LCD-2 Classic, Ollo Audio HPS S4R). The best pairing I got was with the HD600, I feel it lacks power with low impedance dynamic drivers, but overall not a bad experience and certainly better than an on-board sound card.

    Overall sound is very clear and detailed, but a little bright. I have no complains in the sound department. It’s a solid DAC with a decent headphone amplifier in an extremely compact form factor.

    Some suggestions to improve it: make it balanced 4.4mm with more power.

    Conclusion: Amazing portable device, capable of driving most headphones. I would suggest it for someone that needs something small to have on the go. It’s very discrete and can be used on any computer or modern smartphone.

    MQA path (on Roon):
    MQAMagic.png
     
    caenlenfromOCN likes this.
  14. caenlenfromOCN
    My review is going to be a bit shorter:

    The bass slams much better on Cobalt than on DF Red, goes quite deep as well. That is the best pro I have for it, overall it is good in everything. My only negative is that it could be a bit more airy in the vocals, when listening to female vocals it didn't feel energetic. This is just preference though, some people like it more laid back. My Dragonfly V1.2 is still my all time favorite Dragonfly and my portable go to. V1.2 has the bass and airiness I like, or maybe I just have used it so many hours and prefer it's sound. Cobalt does sound overall better, not sure I would pick it over the Red though unless a bass head. Red is better in female vocals for my personal tastes. So really it just depends what genres you listen to most.

    I didn't find Cobalt bright at all as the reviewer above did. Mileage will vary, our ears are all different. To be fair, I do prefer slightly bright, so maybe to me it was just normal? I am the only human on Earth who loved Beyerdynamic T90's... lol
     
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2019 at 3:05 AM

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