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

Discussion in 'Portable Headphone Amps' started by Condocondor, Jul 8, 2019.
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  1. megabigeye
    Are you thinking of my post from the other Dragonfly thread? I don't think I've seen anybody else here mention the USB.
    If you were talking about my post, I meant having a USB-C socket, not a plug, so that you would use a short cable or adapter. I think I was just thinking that this way they could have made it a little less cumbersome and put the USB and headphone jacks next to each other, which, in my opinion, would solve the ergonomics problem.

    I don't usually comment on designs that are already released. That's like crying over spilt milk. If I remember, I think I was mostly complaining because I needed more coffee. :wink:
  2. NZtechfreak
    May have been, read too many threads, pretty sure a couple of people had mentioned it. As you say, crying over spilt milk. Just to be clear, I'm not complaining about things here at all, perfect for my use-cases, just that I can see how some people might want it differently. I try to be mindful that everyone's needs are different, and I don't feel entitled to dictate to other people how they should go about things because I prefer something else (not accusing anyone of doing that here particularly, but it's a pretty common occurrence in general).
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
  3. megabigeye
    ...Oh yeah, and I recently leaned that USB-C has an analog audio mode, which is how most phone dongles work, and I was thinking it'd be cool if they could have implemented that in some way so that the DFC could be used for voice calls.
    NZtechfreak likes this.
  4. Wheel Hoss
    Gonna buy it soon. Just have to pay for a move, then it’s mine.

    So sooner or later you’ll get a comparison. :)
  5. Saberlarry
    I'm interested in the DFC, tried the DFR a few weeks ago for about half an hour with my iPhone X and was not that impressed, maybe there were several factors:
    - My music library consists of either iTunes purchases, which account for 97-98% of my storage, or 320 kbps mp3/Spotify premium => Maybe testing on lossless files or Tidal would be easier to notice details?
    - I used a custom-made adapter (not Apple's product). As far as I know, the DFR has problems with the thin Apple cable and the DFR manual even tells you to use the big one for the best audio experience.

    Overall I feel like there was little to no difference between the Lightning to 3.5 cable from Apple and the DFR, but keep in mind I am nowhere an audiophile or whatsoever. I just want to have the best portable listening experience on my phone and other devices. My IEMs are Astell&Kern Billie Jean, which I find good enough for my usage. So the question is, technically, if you look at my IEMs specifications + current setup, is the DFC worth it? Or do I have to replace my library with better music files and app? (heard Onkyo is a good one for lossless listening). Thanks!
  6. Gus141
    Anyone else not getting a magenta color on the LED for 96kHz music? My LED is white for 96kHz. I get all the other colors as described in the manual but 96kHz tracks make the Cobalt’s LED show white. Now, maybe it’s just a really faded magenta, but I’ve changed out enough printer cartridges to know what magenta looks like. Just thought I’d ask. I’ll post in other forums as well and report back.
  7. supadupaninja
    I mentioned this fact already in post #34. Unfortunately nobody answered.

    Mine was obviously indicating like light/white green at 88,2 kHz instead of amber and something like light/white blue at 96kHz instead of magenta.

    Don’t know if this is an issue. But either the LED color on the unit or the manual is wrong as I’m definitely not color blind.
    Gus141 likes this.
  8. Gus141
    Just went back and read all the posts; sorry I missed your post #34 before. I also agree 88.2kHz isn’t exactly amber either; I have a neon-yellow-green (nice color actually, but far from amber). And your description of 96kHz as light/white blue perfectly matches what I’m seeing. Thanks for the confirmation.
  9. Gus141
    A couple of people responded in an Audiophile Style forum that they also see LED behavior that doesn’t match the manual. At least I know it’s not a problem with my DFC.
  10. naqvc
    I'm really tempted to buy these but the price is putting me off as I can purchase a 6 months old used Chord Mojo for cheaper. I will wait for comparison reviews before deciding. I have the iFi iDSD Black Label which is awesome but need something more portable for phones/ipad.
    I wish they had priced it £199.
  11. joshnor713
    I'm in the exact same position. Have the Mojo (+Poly) and iDSD BL as well. Would love the Cobalt for an extra level of portability, but no way at this price. Not hurting for it fortunately. Can wait til the price drops in the future.
  12. jnorris

    Don't hold your breath waiting for the price to drop. Audioquest doesn't do that.
  13. megabigeye
    Hey @supadupaninja and @Gus141,
    If the light is a concern you guys, you should drop AudioQuest an e-mail and see what they have to say about it. I've found their customer support to be pretty responsive, even though it took something like 48 hours for them to reply. The Cobalt is new enough that they may not even be aware of this problem, so you might want to point them to this thread and wherever else people have been talking about it.

    @Saberlarry, whether or not you can tell a difference between a decent DAC and your iPhone depends on a few things:
    1) the actual difference— personally, I can hear a distinct difference between my DFR and my Samsung S9, though between the DFR and my MacBook Air, the difference is very subtle, to say the least; I don't use an iPhone, so can't speak directly to it, but there are plenty of people in the other DragonFly thread that can hear a difference.
    2) other equipment, including files and playback software— I've not heard the Billie Jeans, but I've read a few reviews and I don't doubt that they're resolving enough to hear a difference if you know what you're looking for; as regards the files, each person's hearing acuity is certainly different, but I'd be a little surprised if you could actually hear a difference between 256kbps MP3 and lossless, especially if you're not an audiophile "whatsoever." The difference between 256kbps and 320kbps MP3 or lossless is extremely subtle, and the difference between 320kbps and lossless is, for all intents and purposes, non-existant. Spotify, on the other hand... Well, they claim that their "Very High" quality streaming is 320kbps (though I'm not sure if it's MP3, OGG, or what), but to me it sometimes (but certainly not always) sounds a bit compressed, though I don't have any equivalent files to do a comparison. My point is not to sweat the 256kbps files from iTunes, but maybe double check stuff on Spotify... Now that I'm thinking about it, are the files from iTunes MP3 or AAC? AAC 256 are actually about equivalent to MP3 320, and therefore almost completely indistinguishable from lossless. I have found a difference in playback apps— on android UAPP sounds a lot better than Google Play Music— so it might be a good idea to trial the Onkyo player if you can do it for free.
    3) Yourself— you say you're not an audiophile, but you've already bought some pretty good IEMs and you're thinking about a DAC/amp, which means you're interested in good sound. Guess what that makes you? An audiophile! Maybe not, like, King Audiophile, but more like an audiophile squire, or something. You're learning. Anyway, part of being able to distinguish between equipment is learning what to look for. My best advice in learning what to look for is to listen, just relax and listen to the music. I think the best advice I've seen is to not listen to how it sounds, but to pay attention to how it makes you feel. Another funny thing about comparing audio equipment is that it's often very difficult to tell the difference when going from a decent component to a great component, but it's much easier to tell when you go from great to decent. This makes it kind of difficult to get a good sense of a piece of equipment if you're only listening to it for a few minutes, like at a store or show, or whatever. You really have to have sufficient time for your ears and brain to adjust and you have to be able to relax.

    Anyway. Hope this all helps.
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2019
    teknorob23 and Saberlarry like this.
  14. joshnor713
    Not from Audioquest, from merchants. Sales happen.
  15. Haden2866
    I had a Mojo for 18 months and, with an iPhone, it was a pain to manage a battery and two additional cables (Apple CCK and USB A - USB micro). Oh, and I always used to plug Mojo into my Neco Soundlab v5 amp, which brought, to my ears, significantly improved bass texture and a little extra headstage width. So another battery and cable not to mention quite a large stack overall.
    I am looking forward to hearing DFC and the thought of no battery to manage, a single cable (Lavri Cables Lightning to USB A socket, with CCK chipset built-in) and no stacking makes me happy. Mojo is technically awesome but overkill, power-wise, IMO for IEM use which is my primary use case. I'm looking for something with a little more vibe and swing now, even at the expense of that last 5% of detail.
    Wheel Hoss likes this.
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