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Dragonfly COBALT vs.............Discussions

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by Condocondor, Jul 8, 2019.
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  1. Tenashus1
    From ifi Audio. It filters out electrical noise coming from the computer in my case. Amazon sells it. So does B & H.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2019
  2. Haden2866
    Thanks for your impression. Helps us build a picture.
    Condocondor likes this.
  3. technobear
    Hmmm. Interesting thread. I seem to have entered a parallel universe where break-in and warm-up don't exist.

    All the impressions and comparisons so far are worthless because:

    1) All modern electronics require at least 200 hours break-in before achieving their best performance and may well go through 'growing pains' (i.e. sound rough at times) before they get there;

    2) All electronics need at least a half-hour warm-up playing music before they sound anything like their best*. If you're doing serious comparisons, make that one hour.

    This is not me repeating popular folk lore. This my direct experience over many years and many components.

    I look forward to hearing how the DFC sounds and compares in about a month from now.

    * and that includes the iPurifiers 2 and 3.
  4. supadupaninja
    Hi guys,

    could you please check the LED color on your Cobalt at 88,2 and 96kHz?

    The manual says: Amber: 88 2kHz Magenta: 96kHz

    Mine is indicating like light green at 88,2 kHz instead of amber and something like light blue at 96kHz instead of magenta.
    I think it might be faulty?
  5. Condocondor
    The DFC has the same amp specs so if you were happy with the way it drove HD6xx then you'll be fine. The HD6xx was not resolving enough for me...it wasn't the DFR which I tried them with. I sold my pair off several months ago. Need to update my profile.
    megabigeye likes this.
  6. Tenashus1
    So much hype with the HD6XX - off topic but true.
    Condocondor likes this.
  7. Condocondor

    I agree that electronics need to be warmed up. I've noticed with my iDSD BL that 40 minutes seems to be optimal. Point taken. I've done that. 200 hours to be broken in? Yep, not done that with either the DFR or DFC. Sold the DFR. Worthless comparisons? Not worthless but not complete either.
  8. megabigeye
    Well, I wasn't quite happy. Like I said, it got loud enough, but something was just missing. Sorry to be so vague, it's been a while and the DFR is currently out of commission, so I can't really revisit it. I was mostly wondering if it was a power issue, or something different. If it's power, then the DFC will likely be the same; if it's something else, there's a chance the DFC would be better.

    Anyway, thanks for your reply.
  9. Condocondor
    Honestly, you need more amp.
  10. teknorob23
    At about 75 hrs of run in i've been listening pretty intensively to the DF cobalt for a day or so now. For the record im a believer when it comes to burn in with pretty much every component involved in sound reproduction, but the amount of time required and the amount of change in the sound does vary drastically. Now either the DFC hasnt burned in at all, or it falls into the camp of not much change, because i cant hear a massive amount of difference compared to when it was fresh out of the box. There maybe a bit more extension and control in the low end plus the mids sound a bit more fluid, but these are definitely not what i'd call night and day differences. By comparison i've been burning in a Neotech UPOCC silver HP cable i made last week which after 150 hours sounds like a different cable (sorry i couldnt help myself pulling the pin out of the cable/snake oil hand grenade with this comment :wink: ), with lovely deep bass and full bodied mids, where neither existed before.

    Anyway with the fire light, i'll quickly scurry back on topic. I've been listening to mainly electronic music, with the DFC plugged in to both my iphone and mac with Focal stellias on the other end. I have also spent a good few hours A-Bing with my trusty and much loved DF red. First off they're tuning sounds slightly different to my ears. The red, to my ears, is slightly warmer/ fuller and maybe a tad more organic sounding, whereas the cobalt is closer to neutral with cleaner airier more uncluttered presentation. Theres definitely more width with extension at both end and the improvement in seperation is instantly noticeable. across the whole range. The sound is a bit more dynamic and weighty but maybe lacks some of the organic charm that has made the red+iphoneX the go to (or repeatedly come back to) combo over any of the DAPs i've dabbled with over the last 18 months or so. Despite all this and now having spent a bit of time with the cobalt, going back to the red it sadly sounds muddy, congested and a bit noisy.

    The low noise floe and reduction in RFI is something worth dwelling as i speculate this might be one of the biggest contributing factors to the Cobalts overall performance. The red is noticeably improved with the addition of spattering jitterbugs (especially noticeable with my mac as the source but then again the listening environment is generally quieter and more conducive to noticing such things), whereas the cobalt seems much quieter and having tried various combinations the jitterbugs, they seem to have little or negligible effect. Even with the iphone i'm hearing much more of the music, lots more micro details and room between the instruments, even at pretty moderate volume levels.

    Is it worth £100 more? well to me yes because after 25 years of 2 channel listening i've come to terms with diminishing returns and in this the function of the cobalt is as good as its form is useful, and i'm not so tempted to pack my Hugo2 when i head off another work trip tomorrow plus the nagging um'ing and ah'ing in the back of my head as to whether of not to buy another Mojo has been put firmly to bed (i prefer the presentation of the DFC and i dont need the added power). I should caveat the H2 statement with a disclaimer that there maybe a tiny bit of new-toy syndrome going on here, but i can let you know when i get back if it was missed or not! :wink:

    An imperfect audio world:)
    DF blue.JPG
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  11. Haden2866
    Thanks for your impression. I haven't heard any of the DF's but I'm very interested in the Cobalt to use on the go with Tidal out of my iPhone. I was leaning towards an IFi Nano B/L as I am generally a fan of the Burr Brown sound, if there is such a thing, but having something with no battery to manage would be very welcome. I had a Mojo for 18 months and sold it but don't miss it - technically a powerhouse and a marvel of detail retrieval but perhaps lacking a little vibe for me. John Darko talks about DFC being more relaxed- sounding than Mojo which appeals.
    Let us know if you perceive any further changes in presentation with more hours on the clock.
  12. joesuburb
    Don't disregard the form factor of the Dragonfly. I never ended up actually using external DACs with my iphone because I had to keep them charged or they were just too clunky in my pocket. I actually use my dragonfly red because of how small it is.
    Condocondor and Haden2866 like this.
  13. Haden2866
    Definitely. Small is the new big.
    Condocondor likes this.
  14. Haden2866
    8CD99C94-D278-4C1E-AD4C-5255BA1E81B2.jpeg Here's my current portable rig, so anything's gonna be an improvement, form-factor wise.
    Condocondor likes this.
  15. teknorob23
    It’s form is huge,if you’ll pardon the oxymoron, plus and as for comparisons with mojo, I don’t have one to compare now, but my daily home listening is with the hugo2 and I’d say there’s more similarities in style of presentation to that than the mojo. Obvs the h2 is a long way ahead in overall performance, but one of things I love most about it is how coherently it presents so much detail with a natural liquidity. The DFC to my ears has a similarly coherent easy presentation, that’s really well separated, whilst maintaining focus. I haven’t listened to the ifi DACs for a while so I can’t really comment there, but as you say it’s definitely easier on the pocket and you can leave your battery at home :wink: :)
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