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

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by Condocondor, Jul 8, 2019.
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  1. Leo
    Same issue with my unit. It shipped from Music Direct - took 5 days get here thanks to a FedEx delay of a day. Unit is loose and has an audible rattle. Not pleased. Waiting on a RMA notice from Music Direct/FedEx to ship it back and maybe have a working unit within 2 weeks (depends on shipping turnaround). I live in Irvine and local Audioquest company doesn’t take returns.
  2. Tenashus1
    Definitely not cool QC. I'm waiting for my second one too from a different dealer. I'm not ecstatic over the DFC so far, but I'm curious enough to give it a fair shot. I have the DFR as well as an ifi Nano BL and xDSD. For $300, the DFC is going to have to prove itself mightily to me for me to hold onto it.
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
    Wheel Hoss likes this.
  3. Leo
    Yeah, I let the folks at Audioquest know about the issue, but they could only recommend me returning it to the merchant. So hopefully the next unit doesn't have the same issue. If it does then I'm done for now and wait out this round.
  4. paulgc
    Mine does the same a bit. Is it normal?
  5. Tenashus1
    All I know is that I have a Red and a Black that are completely solid with no wiggling. Someone else on this board reported that their Cobalt was completely solid as well with no movement or rattling. Seems like a defect in manufacture to me. So I returned mine. Waiting for a new one.
  6. Hifiearspeakers
    Reposting this here from another Cobalt thread:

    Ok so here’s my take on the Cobalt. I love it and I think It’s worth every penny. But there is a caveat. I only recommend it if you find your audio chain a little bright. Because of the smoother treble tone, the Cobalt would probably make a darker headphone sound too dull. For example, I don’t think it would pair well with a Nighthawk/Nightowl, ZMF Verité, or Ether 2.

    I find the Cobalt slightly warmer than the Red, slightly more mid forward, and with a noticeably smoother treble. And it does all of that while still sounding more detailed, with more defined layering, and an easily heard wider soundstage. Compared to the Red, the soundstage sounds closer to you but with greater width. I’ve heard a few early impressions describe the Cobalt as more U-shaped than the Red. I don’t hear that at all. The mids (vocals) sound slightly more forward and clearer. Actually, everything sounds clearer.

    I liked the smoother treble so much that I even decided to test it with my 800S. And it didn’t disappoint! Even though I know my 800S is being underpowered by the Cobalt, I still preferred it to my Jotunheim/multibit. The Sabre glare is gone with the Cobalt! The Jot is just too bright with the 800S.

    I also tested it with my son’s Fidelio X2HR, which I also find a little bright. Again, it made everything sound wider, more articulate, and with a much better behaved treble end. The X2HR is already known for a wide soundstage (but not as wide as my beloved 800S, Ha!), but the Cobalt pushed it out even further.
    Even underpowered, the Cobalt put a wider soundstage on my 800S than my friends IFI Micro Black Label. So take that any way you want.

    So in conclusion, unless you already own darker headphones or a darker chain, I can’t recommend this little dac/amp enough. It sounds excellent and has an amazing form-factor for portability. I’m an admitted soundstage junkie, which is why I love the 800S so much. And let me tell you, the Cobalt really accentuates that. It just takes every detail, adds more separation, and pushes it all out further.

    The hype is real!

    P.S. My USB end does not wiggle at all. Not a picometer of give. So I would definitely send it back if that’s happening to yours.
    Wheel Hoss likes this.
  7. megabigeye
    I'm a little unclear, is this your experience or somebody else's? If it's you, have you tried it with any darker headphones? Some of my headphones/IEMs (PM-3, UM Pro 50) are on the darker side, so I'm curious about this. One of my amps that relaxes the DT 1990's treble actually emphasizes the PM-3's treble. I assume that this is because what appears at first as "darker" (for my amp, anyway) is actually something else, say, "smoothness" or perhaps euphonic distortion... I wonder if maybe the DFC is the same.
  8. Hifiearspeakers
    This is my post from a different Cobalt thread. I haven’t heard it with any darker headphones, yet. I just know that it makes all of my headphones sound noticeably less bright than the Dragonfly Red, which for my preferences, is a very good thing. I just don’t know if I’d want that signature if my headphones were already tilted darker and/or smoother in the top end. YMMV.
    megabigeye likes this.
  9. megabigeye
    Gotcha. Thanks.
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  10. Condocondor
    I have the iFi Micro iDSD BL and the Cobalt also. My BL is tricked out with iGalvanic3.0, iPower, iSilencer, iDefender, iPurifer3, etc. and my experience is the exact opposite. The Cobalt cannot match the BL's sound stage at all--even with all the above junk attached. Perhaps what I mean to say is that the Cobalt does not scale like the Micro iDSD BL does. I'd have loved to know what music tracks he was listening to. Damn it, now I'll have to retest and compare to make sure again. I'll report back on this comparison.....hence the "vs" in this thread's starter's title name.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    Thesonofkrypton likes this.
  11. Hifiearspeakers
    I listened to a variety of tracks from Babe I’m Gonna Leave You by Zeppelin, Tin Pan Alley by SRV, Patience by G&R, Your Decision by Alice In Chains, Gravity by Alison Krauss, Sleep Alone by Bat For Lashes, Don’t Let Me Down by the Chainsmokers, Wicked Game by Chris Isaak, Long After You’re Gone by Chris Jones, and Two Suns in the Sunset by Pink Floyd.

    I stand by my impressions. I was very surprised and very impressed by the Cobalt. In fact, I just sold my Dragonfly Red this morning.
    Condocondor likes this.
  12. Haden2866
    This is very encouraging. I'm gonna wait until there's a few more impressions with fully burned-in units then I'm gonna be like
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  13. Condocondor
    I too am very impressed with the Dragonfly Cobalt! It is much better than the DFR. It's not better, in any catagory, than my iFi Micro iDSD BL. Nope. What is really incredible about the COBALT is how close it does come...... and how damn small it is. It's very damn small...lol. It IS worth it's asking price considering it's size and what it does. I've not tried it with MQA yet.
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019
    Hifiearspeakers likes this.
  14. Hifiearspeakers
    I wouldn’t call the Cobalt BETTER than the Micro BL. That thing is a beautiful powerhouse of an amp with a far greater ability to drive a multitude of cans. But I PREFERRED the sound of the Cobalt more than the Micro BL with my 800S, because it had a smoother treble presentation and a slightly wider soundstage. And that shocked me because at 300 ohms impedance, I know that my 800S was not getting enough juice to be driven properly by the Cobalt.

    I also tested the Micro Silver against the Cobalt and arrived at the same conclusion. I’m only talking specifically about the 800S and Fidelio X2HR, which are known to be brighter cans. If I still had my LCD 4Z, I may have arrived at the opposite conclusion.
    Condocondor and teknorob23 like this.
  15. TooPoorForHiFi
    Dragonfly Cobalt Vs iBasso DC01 PLEASE!
    Condocondor likes this.
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