Dragonfly COBALT vs.............Discussions
Aug 23, 2019 at 9:09 AM Post #466 of 1,111

audiomonkey777

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DFC is close in sound quality to my Micro iDSD Black Label. The Black Label has more power and better sound staging than DFC. I can use the XBass and 3D+ switches on the BL to improve some recordings and add some fun. However, the DFC has a very slightly better defined bass response; it's a bit tighter. But honestly, it's so close. The Micro iDSD BL is more musical, more versatile, more powerful, and more fun. The stunner is how close DFC comes to iDSD BL performance in a package that so damn small!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm late getting in here as been away but yup, still preferring my BL with my Meze and my Finals. It's just got that bit more oomph!
 
Aug 23, 2019 at 3:02 PM Post #467 of 1,111

JasonCA

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For anyone who already has an ES100 (about $100) for current daily IEM use, why should or should they not consider adding the DFC (about $300) as an alternative DAC to their current Head-Fi inventory to play around with?

Sound differences (if any) vs price? What is there to be gained? Or, would the honest advice be to simply not bother?
 
Aug 23, 2019 at 3:50 PM Post #468 of 1,111

a-LeXx

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For anyone who already has an ES100 (about $100) for current daily IEM use, why should or should they not consider adding the DFC (about $300) as an alternative DAC to their current Head-Fi inventory to play around with?

Sound differences (if any) vs price? What is there to be gained? Or, would the honest advice be to simply not bother?

For usage with iDevices - yes, why not? Is a valid option to play with.

For android - unless yo use UAPP, android‘s support for dacs that do not have a dedicated volume control is awful. So, if you use android with UAPP - then the same as with ios, why not...

If you however want to use something besides uapp, e.g. amazon music, any dragonfly is a real usability nightmare in terms of volume setting/adjustment. ES100 or BTR3 with their dedicated volume controls that change analog gain in 2 dB steps is a huge step up in usability for such cases...
 
Aug 23, 2019 at 4:50 PM Post #469 of 1,111

bcwang

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I have a iPhone XS Max as well as a pixel 3A. To answer some hissing questions, I’ve tried it with the SE846.

-I notice very little hissing with se846 on either the pixel 3a or iPhone, no difference I can tell between the two in fact. On both phones, the volume control operates the same as far as I can tell, I use the first 3 clicks on both phones for almost all music with that headphone.

I don’t know what’s going on with other posts about android phones having huge hiss and iPhone being quiet. Maybe the particular android implementation.

However with the pixel 3a I am not using UAPP so I don’t get mqa with the tidal app correctly. Everything comes out at 48khz. That I know is a limitation with this phone without UAPP but I just wanted to say the volume control works fine.

With my 64audio U12 I also find almost no hiss, although it is louder. Some songs the first click above mute is already kind of loud. I wish they had more fine tuning at the low end of the volume like the explorer 2. This is tailored for mobile use which means many IEM users. I only can choose between 2 or 3 volume settings at the very bottom of the scale. That isn’t very useful. Maybe a firmware update could change the steps to be more suitable.
 
Sep 4, 2019 at 1:18 PM Post #470 of 1,111

McCol

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Looking for a small Dac for my S10+ to use with various earbuds that range in ohm value from 150-500 and Senn 660s. Initially looked at the Cobalt then turned my attention to either the xDSD or Fiio Q5s however I want the small form factor of the Cobalt.

Anybody tried these types of earbuds or the 660s headphones with the Cobalt, and if so did it have enough juice to drive them sufficiently?
 
Sep 4, 2019 at 1:52 PM Post #471 of 1,111

Hifiearspeakers

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Looking for a small Dac for my S10+ to use with various earbuds that range in ohm value from 150-500 and Senn 660s. Initially looked at the Cobalt then turned my attention to either the xDSD or Fiio Q5s however I want the small form factor of the Cobalt.

Anybody tried these types of earbuds or the 660s headphones with the Cobalt, and if so did it have enough juice to drive them sufficiently?

The 660s only has an impedance of 150 ohms and they have a fairly high sensitivity. So the Cobalt should easily be able to drive them.
 
Sep 4, 2019 at 4:29 PM Post #473 of 1,111

Deftone

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Looking for a small Dac for my S10+ to use with various earbuds that range in ohm value from 150-500 and Senn 660s. Initially looked at the Cobalt then turned my attention to either the xDSD or Fiio Q5s however I want the small form factor of the Cobalt.

Anybody tried these types of earbuds or the 660s headphones with the Cobalt, and if so did it have enough juice to drive them sufficiently?

Drives them fine.
 
Sep 5, 2019 at 12:58 PM Post #474 of 1,111

revand

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For anyone who already has an ES100 (about $100) for current daily IEM use, why should or should they not consider adding the DFC (about $300) as an alternative DAC to their current Head-Fi inventory to play around with?

Sound differences (if any) vs price? What is there to be gained? Or, would the honest advice be to simply not bother?

I do not have an ES100, since I am using a Hiby W5 player.
However recently I reviewed the Cobalt on my Hungarian blog and found so far the best portable audio device of 2019.
(To read my review just use Google Translate)
I compared the Cobalt with my Hiby W5 - Vorzüge Pure II+ portable player and even with the Chord Mojo.
I am convinced to say that using my Meze 99 Classics headphone and KZ ZS5 (ChiFi) IEM the AQ DRF Cobalt was clearly the best player!
I just read the HIFI NEWS Magazine's latest Cobalt review and they found it exactly the same stunning device as me...and they gave the Cobalt 88%!!!
So far such high marks went only to devices cost 10 thousand £ or more!
43C41CD2-74FF-4115-823E-CE940011E84F.jpeg
Even if I do not have a Cobalt at the moment I have a firm opinion that Cobalt is a marvelous device and worth the USD 300 asking price.
 
Sep 5, 2019 at 1:38 PM Post #475 of 1,111

118900

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I do not have an ES100, since I am using a Hiby W5 player.
However recently I reviewed the Cobalt on my Hungarian blog and found so far the best portable audio device of 2019.
(To read my review just use Google Translate)
I compared the Cobalt with my Hiby W5 - Vorzüge Pure II+ portable player and even with the Chord Mojo.
I am convinced to say that using my Meze 99 Classics headphone and KZ ZS5 (ChiFi) IEM the AQ DRF Cobalt was clearly the best player!
I just read the HIFI NEWS Magazine's latest Cobalt review and they found it exactly the same stunning device as me...and they gave the Cobalt 88%!!!
So far such high marks went only to devices cost 10 thousand £ or more!

Even if I do not have a Cobalt at the moment I have a firm opinion that Cobalt is a marvelous device and worth the USD 300 asking price.
Compared to the DFR I agree. The more you listen to it the more it grows on you. Haven’t heard it against the mojo.
 
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Sep 6, 2019 at 8:04 AM Post #476 of 1,111

audiomonkey777

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Looking for a small Dac for my S10+ to use with various earbuds that range in ohm value from 150-500 and Senn 660s. Initially looked at the Cobalt then turned my attention to either the xDSD or Fiio Q5s however I want the small form factor of the Cobalt.

Anybody tried these types of earbuds or the 660s headphones with the Cobalt, and if so did it have enough juice to drive them sufficiently?

I've got an ifi nano BL which I love which works great, but I've heard fantastic things about their xDSD too. It's next on my shopping list tbh. It's the next step up for me. They have a lot of reviews on their site at https://ifi-audio.com/products/xdsd/ and there's a thread on here too which you've no doubt seen. Not sure about the Cobalt. I like the size but there's something about the xDSD and plus I know from my nano, that it's a sound i like. interested to hear what you decide.
 
Sep 6, 2019 at 8:09 AM Post #477 of 1,111

Tenashus1

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I've got an ifi nano BL which I love which works great, but I've heard fantastic things about their xDSD too. It's next on my shopping list tbh. It's the next step up for me. They have a lot of reviews on their site at https://ifi-audio.com/products/xdsd/ and there's a thread on here too which you've no doubt seen. Not sure about the Cobalt. I like the size but there's something about the xDSD and plus I know from my nano, that it's a sound i like. interested to hear what you decide.
I have all three, and interestingly enough, I keep running to the Cobalt.
 
Sep 6, 2019 at 1:16 PM Post #478 of 1,111

Hellraiser86

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No offense. :) But the SE846 is just a damn good IEM, it happend... It's just a too good a magnifying glass for any noise floor that's there. And I'm not using it with an oversized tube amp, complaining that it's too noisy, but with a non-battery powered amp, taking the same power which comes from the smartphone, and still the smartphone with a ****ty embedded dac and lots of possible noise sources due to further active components manages to generate a lower noise floor than a dedicated thingy which is basically a USB transceiver + DAC + integrated amp, which actually should be dead silent...
If it’s just for the hiss you can use ifi‘s inear.
I use it with my Solaris on the Hugo, QP2R and the DFR. Because it hisses really hard (or maybe I am very sensible for this^^)
 
Sep 6, 2019 at 2:00 PM Post #479 of 1,111

bcwang

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If it’s just for the hiss you can use ifi‘s inear.
I use it with my Solaris on the Hugo, QP2R and the DFR. Because it hisses really hard (or maybe I am very sensible for this^^)

I find the cobalt to not hiss with the se846. Either they did a good job with it or my hearing sensitively has gone bad recently. Normally the se846 hisses with almost every amp I use it with, some products very badly, but I can’t notice any hissing with the cobalt.
 
Sep 6, 2019 at 2:00 PM Post #480 of 1,111

a-LeXx

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If it’s just for the hiss you can use ifi‘s inear.
I use it with my Solaris on the Hugo, QP2R and the DFR. Because it hisses really hard (or maybe I am very sensible for this^^)

Nope, this iFi's thingy doesn't work with SE846 and any of the DFXs.

The problem is - on a low dampening setting, the output impedance of the IEMatch is around 4Ohm, it's WAY too high for an SE846, which itself has an impedance of around 4Ohm at around 3kHz... On a high dampening setting, IEMatch has an output impefance of around 1Ohm, which is not that bad, but DFR/DFC do not have enough power to drive it, they start to distort early, the dampening factor is just too high.

I do have an IEmatch from iFi, but I use it for different purposes. With my SE846 I mostly use a Fiio BTR3, perfectly black background, nice DAC, no complains...
 
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