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Article: Subjective: AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt Review

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1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

I use that app, as it’s a must on Android. However, an absolute requirement for me is offline music. The app can’t do it. Also the whole volume control thing is a mess with that app and the DragonFly. The Qobuz interface isn’t nearly as good through that app. 

 

On iOS everything works perfect with the native Qobuz app. 

 

If by off-line, you mean music files on your phone, then UAPP will play those. OTH, perhaps you mean images saved from a streaming service?

 

I use the DF Red and UAPP with a Samsung Galaxy S10.  The volume control works fine for me. Although, when there is a complete update of the Android OS, I sometimes run into problems with volume control and have to uninstall and reinstall UAPP. and reset one of the volume settings in Android.

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12 minutes ago, lucretius said:

 

If by off-line, you mean music files on your phone, then UAPP will play those. OTH, perhaps you mean images saved from a streaming service?

 

I use the DF Red and UAPP with a Samsung Galaxy S10.  The volume control works fine for me. Although, when there is a complete update of the Android OS, I sometimes run into problems with volume control and have to uninstall and reinstall UAPP. and reset one of the volume settings in Android.

Offline = Qobuz albums I’ve downloaded but not purchased. 


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1 hour ago, The Computer Audiophile said:

Offline = Qobuz albums I’ve downloaded but not purchased. 

 

Ah. So then you're stuck with the Qobuz app and the Android system resampling of all output. So far Qobuz has not allowed third parties to support the offline listening mode.

 

Don't know why you're having a problem with the DF volume in UAPP though. I did not experience that with a Black, and @lucretius reports above he's had no such problem with a Red. It also works fine with my FiiO Q1 mkII. This may be worth asking about in the developer's support thread over on head-fi.


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26 minutes ago, lucretius said:

Chris notes the sound difference between the Cobalt and Red DF is a "touch of bloom".  What is that?

 

 

 

 

From - http://www.integracoustics.com/MUG/MUG/bbs/stereophile_audio-glossary.html

 

 

bloom A quality of expansive richness and warmth, like the live body sound of a cello.


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It's interesting to find that many reviewers who are not so hung up on the objective side of testing are thoroughly recommending the Cobalt. And they're not all Audioquest 'shills' either....

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18 minutes ago, Graham Luke said:

It's interesting to find that many reviewers who are not so hung up on the objective side of testing are thoroughly recommending the Cobalt. And they're not all Audioquest 'shills' either....

 

That’s the beauty of multiple reviews from people with wide ranging opinions. No company can please everyone all the time. 

 

Many reviewers who ignore objective information also thoroughly recommend MQA. But that’s another story. 

 

I only have the subjective tools attached to my head ( 👂) with which to conduct reviews. 

 

 


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It's interesting to find that many reviewers who are not so hung up on the objective side of testing are thoroughly recommending the Cobalt. And they're not all Audioquest 'shills' either....

 

Having said that, I've little desire to 'upgrade' from my Black and Red. The Black does service round the back of the PC whilst the Red feeds a Gilmore Lite or various IEM's. I love 'em!

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I could never get the Red or Black to work with Windows 10.  I tried on and off for a couple of years and finally gave up.  I was never able to get stable playback for more than a few minutes, so really couldn’t say if it was an improvement over the built in DAC with my laptop.

 

I tried everything, and with more than one computer or laptop.  I can appreciate that the innumerable combinations and permutations of drivers with any OS can be an issue, but surely Windows 10 as a popular platform could be a focus.

 

I gave away the Red, my wife uses the Black, which she prefers - using it with Windows 7.

 

It seems like a good thing, but if it doesn’t work it’s just an unfulfilled promise.  

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1 hour ago, SJK said:

I gave away the Red, my wife uses the Black, which she prefers - using it with Windows 7.

 

What will she do on January 14th? I'm considering allowing at least one PC here to remain on Win7 with third-party security.

I gave my DF Black away to my daughter, who has no trouble using it on a Mac. I prefer the AKM sound and these are ESS.


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22 hours ago, left channel said:

 

What will she do on January 14th? I'm considering allowing at least one PC here to remain on Win7 with third-party security.

I gave my DF Black away to my daughter, who has no trouble using it on a Mac. I prefer the AKM sound and these are ESS.

She’ll go back to using the DAC chip built into the laptop.  I think they’ve come a long ways and to many will make the Dragonfly obsolete.  I’m not saying the Dragonfly isn’t better, but when it doesn’t work that doesn’t matter much. 

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On 8/31/2019 at 2:57 PM, firedog said:

 

There are certainly much better $300 DACs on the market if that's what you want. They aren't small like the Cobalt, which is why they sound better and the Cobalt is portable but not up to SQ snuff. The Cobalt is for laptop/portability use.  Miniaturization costs money.

Which $300 DACs are better...?

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33 minutes ago, Graham Luke said:

Which $300 DACs are better...?

Teacs can be bought for that price and are very good. Topping Dacs are also good. 


Main listening (small home office):

Surge protector +_iFi  AC iPurifiers >Isol-8 Mini sub Axis Power Conditioning+Isolation>CAPS IV Pipeline Server + Sonore 12V PS>Kii Control>Audiolense DRC>Kii Three >GIK Room Treatments.
 

Secondary Listening: CAPS Pipeline>IFi iOne DAC>Schiit Freya>Kii Three . Also an SBT and a RB Pi 3B+ running piCorePlayer as an SBT emulator. 

All absolute statements about audio are false :)

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Thanks for the review.  I am enjoying my cobalt with my Android car in my Lexus.  Best.


HQ Player (#1) & Audrivana (#2) (wow! love the Apple w/music!!) .. these two software make my system "Amazing!", Purist USB- Benchmark DAC2 HGC (love it!), Purist Audio XLR , ATC SCM25A's (To Die For!) & Focal sub6 . Triode Power Cables with Uber Buss (Yes!) Also enjoy Audeze LCD3 w/"fat pipe cardas."

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