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

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by Condocondor, Jul 8, 2019.
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  1. bcwang
    I ran into an interesting situation today. I decided to try my cobalt to play through my stereo system using a macbook pro. Tidal detected the dragonfly and automatically set it up to "exclusive mode", "locked volume", and not "pass through" mqa so it could do software unfolding and send it to the dragonfly.

    Now, I have to say at this point I am lucky the dragonfly was connected to the line-in of my stereo and not my IEMs. Because it was now essentially playing at full volume, the tidal volume control was locked to full volume as normally would be done to support MQA. And the volume control of the OS was not taking effect, maybe because of exclusive mode. I could not select the dragonfly and have a working volume slider.

    So anyone know what's going on here and how to safely have volume control on OSX while keeping full quality MQA output?
  2. fire2368
    Does anyone have an AK SR15 and compared it to this?

    I'm not sure if it's better to go phone/ipad + cobalt or just have the AK SR15 as a DAP.
  3. Cynistrategus
    Remember all those early posts about the rattling Dragonfly Cobalt? Well, I've found out that the headphone jack side of the plastic USB enclosure is just a cap that appears to only be held in by friction. Guess how I know?

    Yes, when I put the Cobalt into tight USB plugs now, I can now eject that cap and remove the board from the entire blue plastic enclosure if I'm not careful. Wonderful.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2019
  4. bcwang
    Photos of the insides and the shell please!

    By the way, are you sure it’s plastic and not metal?
  5. Cynistrategus
    I believe you are right, most of the case feels like metal, but the cap feels like plastic to me. It looks like the headphone jack may have been fastened internally and appears to have detached from the inside of the case. RMA to happen.

    Dragonfly Cobalt Dissasembled.jpg
  6. juansan
    totally unacceptable for a product at that price (or cheaper for that matter).
  7. Thesonofkrypton
    You should send that to audio quest if you haven't already. Absolutely shocking.
    juansan likes this.
  8. chimney189
    Does anyone know if the Spectra X is more powerful that the DFC?
  9. someyoungguy
    I used to have the Nextdrive Spectra X and now have the Dragonfly Cobalt. I've used B&W P7s with each, and on both I have/had the volume very low on a Windows 10 laptop - about 6-8 on the volume slider out of 100. So I haven't done a direct comparison but they seemed equally powerful in use. The specs on the Spectra X say it is 2 Vrms output to almost exactly the same on paper.
  10. Ultrainferno
    I'm shocked to see things like this happen to the Cobalt, and I hope AQ has been notified. I certainly hope they would refund or replace immediately.
    In my review sample (I couldn't tell if it was checked upfront) the build quality is perfect and I have no issue whatsoever with it.
    My review, in case you're interested, is here: https://www.headfonia.com/audioquest-dragonfly-cobalt-review/
    To me this is the best DF, purely looking at sound and not price. If the price is worth it, is only up to you to decide.
    juansan likes this.
  11. Haden2866
    image.jpg 0B8C0C98-5175-4883-BE01-ACDB0B3185D2.jpeg I've been living with Dragonfly Cobalt (DFC) daily now for a month or more.
    My primary use case is pretty simple - I use it hooked up to an iPhone 8 Plus playing Tidal, on- and offline, HiFi and Master.
    I happen to have an IFi Audio iSilencer so I have left that in the chain - at some point I will take it out and see if I miss it. Lightning to USB is a silver cable by Lavri Cables - this includes the Apple CCK chipset so only one cable is required.
    A strip of 3M Commander (like Velcro) fastens DFC, iSilencer and cable to the back of the phone - it's removable and very discrete, which is a consideration for me; this is a work phone. No issues with DFC build quality for me.
    At the business end, where the rubber hits the road, I mostly use Flare Audio Flares PRO IEMs. Twice a day I plug it into the aux input of my stock Toyota Avensis car stereo for a half-hour commute. Sometimes I use various easy-to-drive headphones. As I type this, the mobile rig is plugged into my Minirig portable 2.1 system; I'm in a hotel room in London; the sound is phenomenal.
    I had a Mojo for 18 months or so - sold it in the end but don't miss it. Compared to Mojo, from what I can remember, DFC has a livelier sound, a wider, more spacious soundstage and perhaps a slightly euphonic quality. It's a very engaging listen - definitely has the special sauce. Not as detailed, for sure but a more relaxed presentation overall, I would say.
    Nice. I will be using this every day for the foreseeable future.
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2019
    McCol, ElectricL and GDuss like this.
  12. al2813
    I sat this week in a hi-fi store in Stockholm and thanks to the wonderful sales guy (who knew I wasn't going to buy anything and still offered me the demo plus a listen to their B&W 800 D3 setup) I had the opportunity to test both the Red and the Cobalt with my iPhone XS Max with the Qobuz app and my Tin Audio T3.
    to my non experienced ears the SFC has a much bigger sound stage. A lot more space. There's no real comparison. I was however a bit disappointed on the volume side. I had to go quite high on the volume.

    I am now looking at getting a DAC for my iPhone to avoid carrying two phones (currently I carry an LG G7 for music only). The DFC looked an interesting option due to its size, but I am not convinced to pay 300 euros for it, so am looking at other options (Topping NX4, E1DA 9038S). Not sure yet which one to take. I would like to spend 150 max so that I can keep more money for extra headphones.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2019
    ElectricL likes this.
  13. someyoungguy
    Seems like after the update to iOS 13 I can't get my iPhone to recognize DFC. Anyone else having this problem? The dragonfly light comes on but there's no option available to select it as an output.
  14. Haden2866
    No problems here - iOS 13.1.3, DFC firmware v1.0.
    I've never seen an option to select the output before - what apps have you tried playing from?
    juansan likes this.
  15. someyoungguy
    Hmmm, I’m using an iPhone XR with iOS 13.1.2. I don’t know what DFC firmware I’ve got, but I’ve never updated it so I presume 1.0.

    I haven’t used the DFC with my phone for a few weeks and updated the iOS during that time, so only noticed this morning. Tried restarting the phone and that didn’t fix it. I usually use Onkyo HF player, but I tried YouTube as an alternative app and likewise no output from DFC. Usually at the bottom next to volume control you can bring up a pop up window which will show you the available audio output options, but DFC doesn’t show as an option for me.
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