Designed in the
THE ULTIMATE PORTABLE AMP/DAC
The AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt has been developed in partnership with Gordon Rankin and Microchip Technologies. It has a better signal to noise ratio and a much lower power consumption than the original DragonFly. It consists of Gordon's monoClock® (single ultra-low-jitter clock). Thanks to the new Microchip PIC32MX274 microcontroller, the processing speed increases by 33%. This makes it perfect to play music at all kinds of resolution (including MQA) and from any music streaming app of your choice.
ESS ES9038Q2M DAC CHIP & 9601 AMP FOR POWERFUL SOUND WITH LESSER NOISE
The DragonFly Cobalt has an output of 2.1 volts—enough power to successfully drive all preamplifier input circuits and a wide range of today’s efficient headphones. Its improved power supply filtering specifically reduces the noise of WiFi, Bluetooth and cellular signals. It comes with a 32-bit ESS ES9038Q2M DAC chip that employs minimum-phase slow roll-off filtering for naturally detailed, more authentic sound. The ESS Sabre 9601 headphone amp and bit-perfect digital volume control add that much-needed power. You can use the source device's volume controls to adjust the DragonFly Cobalt's volume.
WORKS BEST WITH ANY DEVICE OF YOUR CHOICE
The DragonFly Cobalt's software can be easily upgraded thanks to the Desktop Device Manager. It includes a form-fitting DragonTail USB-A to USB-C Adaptor. All DragonTails use AQ's Carbon-level USB cable. Streamlength™ asynchronous USB code ensures low jitter, low resource load, minimal packet errors, world-class audio playback, and reliable connectivity between the DAC and any computing device with a USB input. It requires no additional drivers, making the DragonFly Cobalt virtually plug-and-play for Apple, Windows, iOS and Android users.
SUPPORTS MQA FOR MASTER-QUALITY SOUND
The Dragonfly Cobalt supports Master Quality Authenticated (MQA) playback. This is an award-winning audio technology that's meant to deliver the sound of the original master recording. MQA files are tiny and can easily be streamed using Tidal.
|STATUS/SAMPLE RATES SUPPORTED (LED INDICATOR COLOR CODE)||Standby (Red), 44.1 kHz (Green), 48kHz (Blue), 88.2kHz (Yellow), 96kHz (Light Blue), MQA (Purple)|
|VOLUME CONTROL||64-position, 64-bit, bit-perfect|
|HEADPHONE AMP||ESS Sabre 9601|
|DAC CHIP||ESS ES9038Q2M with minimum-phase slow roll-off filter for more natural sound|
|MICROCONTROLLER||Microchip PIC32MX274 reduces current draw and increases processing speed by 33% over DragonFlys Black and Red|
|DIMENSIONS||12 mm H x 19 mm W by 57 mm L|
|SUPPORTED INPUTS||3.5 mm Stereo Jack|
1. AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt USB DAC
2. DragonTail USB-A to USB-C Adaptor
|3. Travel Pouch|
|4. Flight Manual|
|GENERIC NAME||Headphone Amplifier|
|COUNTRY OF ORIGIN||China|
|IMPORTER DETAILS||Importers Name: Audio One Private Ltd.
Address: Lalani Aura, 5th Floor, 34th Road, Khar (W), Mumbai - 400052
Contact No: 022-66716544
AudioQuest: Extraordinary Audio Products since 1980
Founded in 1980, AudioQuest is popular for producing and selling a host of audio products and accessories including headphones, Digital-to-analog (DAP) converters, audio cables, power-conditioning products, phono cartridges and other audio accessories. Each AudioQuest product is designed to deliver extraordinary performance and value.
The Perfect Blend of Quality and Style
AudioQuest offers a wide range of products and accessories from affordable to state of art products. Across this range, the one thing that remains constant is the blend of high-grade materials and sophisticated design. This allows AudioQuest to deliver clear and natural audio which sounds exceptional.
Makers of Critically Acclaimed Headphones
AudioQuest has produced the critically acclaimed NightHawk and NightOwl headphones along with award-winning DragonFly DACs. So be it headphones or DACs, rest assured of the high standard quality across the AudioQuest product range. AudioQuest is dedicated to promoting the pursuit of pleasure while respecting the pursuit of musical truth.
DragonFly is specifically designed to connect to external audio devices, such as headphones, powered desktop speakers, complete audio/video systems, and iOS and Android mobile devices.
Note: DragonFly v1.0 and DragonFly v1.2 are designed to work with computers and laptops only; they are not designed for use with iOS and Android mobile devices. However, all current-production DragonFly modelsóîBlack, Red, and Cobalt---re compatible with iOS and Android devices.
With all current-production models of AudioQuest's DragonFly USB DAC (Black, Red, Cobalt), music appreciation and exploration are limitless: Plug into an Apple or WindowsŚ¬ computer or connect to an iOSŚ¬ or Android mobile device. Play YouTube or Vimeo videos. Go hunting on Bandcamp or SoundCloud. Explore playlists and podcasts on Spotify, Pandora, or Deezer. Stream high-res audio from Tidal or Qobuz.
No matter the choice of sonic pleasure, DragonFly unravels the emotional expression and nuance that makes music and movies so enjoyable.
While all DragonFly models offer enough output to drive most headphones, DragonFly Black (1.2-volt output) comfortably drives most medium- to moderate-efficiency models and DragonFlys Red and Cobalt (2.1-volt output) easily drive even the lowest-efficiency models.
All current-production AudioQuest DragonFlys (Black, Red, and Cobalt) feature an MQA renderer that enables playback of MQA audio files and streams, delivering the sound of the original master recording. When connected to an MQA Core signal (within TIDAL Masters or Audirvana, for example), DragonFly's purple display indicates the unit is rendering an MQA stream or file.
iOS, iPhone, iPad, iPad Pro
Fortunately, aftermarket programs such as JRiver Media Center and Foobar2000 bypass the Windows "Hardware and Sound" application and allow native 88.2kHz decoding. For more information please visit www.jriver.com or www.foobar2000.org.
There are no reported audio issues with Windows 8.1.
Yes. DragonFly Black, Red, and Cobalt can be used with Apple iOS devices. An Apple Camera Adapter is required to connect DragonFly to an Apple Lightning device.
In our tests, Apple's Lightning-to-USB 3 Camera Adapter (with charging port) sounds better and is more reliable than Apple's less expensive Lightning-to-USB Camera Adapter, while also providing the ability to charge during playback. Your mileage may vary. Some users prefer the size of the smaller adapter, while others prefer the performance of the larger adapter. We encourage experimentation.
When DragonFly (Black, Red, Cobalt) is connected to an iOS device using Apple's older Lightning to USB Camera Connection Kit, I can hear clicks and pops in the background of the music. What should I do? In some rare instances, the combination of an iOS device in conjunction with the standard CCK and DragonFly Black, Red, or Cobalt causes a clicking in the background of the music.
Neither we nor Apple have been able to determine why this is, but, in circumstances where this occurs, we've found that using Apple's Lightning-to-USB 3 Camera Adapter resolves the problem. In addition, this connector offers improved audio performance over the smaller unit and provides the ability to charge the attached iOS device while listening to music.
To verify that your Android device complies with isochronous USB audio, download and run USB Host Check.
In our early pre-production testing, we found that some Android devices (4.1 OS and newer) do not provide native support for audio over USB. If you find that your Android device (4.1 or newer) does not support audio over USB, we ask that you please contact the manufacturer of your device. To determine whether your device supports audio over USB, consult the user manual or visit the manufacturer's website.
Despite Android's support of USB audio output, there are still hardware manufacturers that do not completely adhere to the USB audio class specification. If you experience this, we recommend the USB Audio Player Pro application.
UAPP includes its own USB audio device driver that is compliant with the USB Organization's USB Audio Host Mode Class specification. Further, it is compatible with various audio formats and will manage music on both the Android's internal memory and inserted SD cards. With the phone connected to the Wi-Fi network, this application can also find and connect to DLNA servers/libraries. USB Audio Player PRO Version 5 now supports audio from Google Music, Tidal (including Tidal Masters), Qobuz, and Shoutcast, and includes an MQA Core Decoder, which will unfold MQA streams from 44.1/48kHz to 88.2/96 kHz and can be combined with DragonFly for further unfolding of even higher sample rates.
When using DragonFly with headphones, powered speakers, or a power amplifier, it functions in variable output mode, and we recommend the following steps:
DragonFly Black is equipped with a 64-step analog volume control. With DragonFly Black connected to a PC or mobile device, adjusting the host's system volume control will, through proxy, control the DragonFly Black's onboard volume. This ensures maximum resolution and the highest sound quality, regardless of volume setting.
In DragonFly Red and Cobalt, we were able to employ a highly sophisticated 64-step, 64-bit, bit-perfect digital volume control. It works similarly: With DragonFly Red/Cobalt connected to a PC or mobile device, adjusting the host's system volume control will, through proxy, control the DragonFly's onboard volume. Here again, we've optimized the volume control to ensure maximum resolution and the highest sound quality, regardless of volume setting.
You can also use DragonFly as a traditional fixed-output source component (such as a CD player, DVD player, or Blu-ray player), connected to a standard input on a receiver or preamplifier. When used in this manner, DragonFly functions in fixed output mode, which allows the overall volume level to be adjusted with the audio/video system's master volume control. For this application, both the music player's volume control and the computer's main (operating system) volume level should be set to maximum.
For the best sound quality, the computer should be configured so that it sends music and audio data to DragonFly that matches the native rate of the music. For example, since all CDs use a sample rate of 44.1kHz, 44.1kHz tends to be the "native rate" of most digital music. In most cases, for most people, this will be the best sample rate to choose.
Choosing a sample rate that is higher than the native rate of a music file will convert the audio data using mathematical approximations that can potentially decrease the sound quality.
Conversely, if you have high-resolution music files, configuring your computer for 44.1kHz (or any other lower sample rate) will cause the computer to down-sample your music to a lower resolution.
When possible, always configure the computer to output the native sample rate of the music you are listening to. Many music player software suites on the market manage this process for you.
By selecting sample rates that are directly divisible, the computer avoids having to do sonically degrading, complex math in its conversions, and allows DragonFly to sound its best.
Stand-alone media players (for Apple and Windows)
For any technical support or questions regarding the functionality or use of these recommended playback applications, please contact the manufacturer. AudioQuest cannot provide technical support for any of these recommended playback applications.
These limits are designed to provide reasonable protection against harmful interference in a residential installation. This equipment generates, uses, and can radiate radio frequency energy, and, if not installed and used in accordance with the instructions, may cause harmful interference to radio communications.
However, there is no guarantee that interference will not occur in a particular installation. If this equipment does cause harmful interference to radio or television reception, which can be determined by turning the equipment off and on, the user is encouraged to try to correct the interference by one or more of the following measures:
Modifications not expressly approved by the manufacturer could void the user's authority to operate the equipment under FCC rules.
While repeatedly plugging and unplugging DragonFly will not affect its lifespan or reliability, in general we have found that DACs measure and sound better after being left on for at least 24 hours.
However, because some of JitterBug's filtering is included in DragonFly Cobalt, a JitterBug is not necessary and not recommended with mobile devices or when only one USB port is available. When using Cobalt, you can still optimize the digital audio from a computer, car stereo, or other hardware by adding a JitterBug (in parallel only) into a different USB port.
1 Year Warranty
Don't sweat it, this AudioQuest - DragonFly Cobalt comes with a warranty
from AudioQuest that covers manufacturing defects.
All products featured on Headphone Zone are backed by an original manufacturer's warranty.
Read more about AudioQuest's warranty in India.
PRODUCT DESIGN WINNER
PRODUCT DESIGN WINNER
EDITOR'S CHOICE AWARD
“If you loved the DragonFly Red as much as we did, and are looking to make the next step up without compromising on size or form, the Cobalt is a no-brainer.”Read More
"The AudioQuest - DragonFly Cobalt for sure is the best DragonFly AudioQuest has released up to now. It’s small, pretty, sounds great, is affordable and does full MQA."Read More
"If you've already invested in decent wired headphones or IEMs and don't want to go wireless, the AudioQuest - DragonFly Cobalt is well worth considering!"Read More
“Overall, the differences between the two AudioQuest DACs were relatively small, but I preferred the Cobalt for long-term listening.”Read More
"Also new to the Cobalt table is “improved power supply filtering” that specifically targets WiFi, Bluetooth and cellular noise. That’s electrical noise (not acoustic)."Read More
" Its sound was obviously more open, quiet, devoid of any slightly grainy or "fizzy" tinge, and effortlessly dynamic. And the bass was just all-around better: deeper, tighter, more everything."Read More
In the world of DACs there are so many hundreds of products aiming to please and become famous... How is it that audioquest does it so effortlessly!!! All their three DACs Black, red, Cobalt are terrific hits....
I dont spend my life in a studio...Mixing etc...I am just a music aficionado.... and I don't like bulky equipment requiring power to limit my movement...
So I always preferred Portable yet powerful DACs....
And Audio quest has always delivered at different price points.... If you have the red, then you are covered....You don't need to buy cobalt....Except if you have unforgiving IEMs like CF Andromeda etc... The noise floor on Cobalt is almost zero....
Cobalt comes with a form-fitting OTG Cable for android USB C devices.... For iphone you need to have Apple's CCK cable...
Here's my quick summary:
+ Brilliant sound quality
+ Almost zero noise level....Built in Jitter bug
+ Can drive almost all headphones...
+ Except for Windows use, doesn't require Drivers
+ Very Compact yet powerful
+ Doesn't need to be charged.... So Convenient
+ Colour indication of sound quality
+ Upto 96KHz / 24 bit sound
+ Very capable and fast MQA unfolder
+ Comes in the box with OTG Dragon Tail cable....
- Be careful with the Cap...Easily lost
- Look elsewhere for beyond 96 KHz
- Sometimes I get the feeling that RED was built better....Looks fragile
Thanks a ton for sharing your review with us.
I don't have a second opinion about its performance. But unfortunately i received a slightly defective piece which connects and performs well but the USB male connector is loose and is shaking and i afraid that after a particular number of time of usage , it may be worn out and go useless as the connector is shaking like a dry coconut in its shell. I made a retun and replacement request for which i have not received any response and i am worrying as i have invested a high amount of ₹ 30000/-. I hope that i will get a replacement.
Your unit was in fact defective, the brand is sending you a new replacement. We hope it reaches you soon:)
Would love to hear back from you once you receive it.
Hi this is Karan
Thanks to headphone zone to reach me earlier
1. compact in size which accomdates a small pouch it very big plus for today's life style
2. Connectivity supports almost all devices
"Superb" Hassel free connection with my android, iOS, lap
3. Sound quality always 3things required to fulfill listeners attraction
(i.details of each and every instruments)
(Ii.sound stage is vry much important to realise the details it creates)
(Iii.sweet musical combination which created by the artist)
First point is + for cobalt
Second point is some what ok stage is not that much spacier
Third is not good for who loves to listen music only for musical combination
My conclusion is to go for chord mojo who loves to listen music only for musical combination
Thier in chord mojo I missed some details but my listening experience another level on mojo becoz to of big stage and combination
Thanks a ton for sharing your review with us.
Bought on 15 Nov 2020
want to sell whats up on 810100550 .
I bought this somewhere in 2021 and now one of the earphone is not working just after a year. The Headphone Zone also not getting me the timely services. I bought Campfire Audio IO also and got defected and it took all most 3 months to get it replaced. Such a premium product needs premium and priority service too. I am not recommending Headphone Zone. I am sorry to promote them when I purchased it.
So this for me, is the best DAC when portability is of paramount importance. It is the cleanest & most revealing of the AQ line up and as far as small form factor DACs are concerned this for me is the best out there. Feels better made than the other 2 AQs (red & black). Has enough juice for fairly demanding IEMs & HPs. I 'believe' this is the least battery sucking out of the 3 - haven't measured it really, but devices last longer - (maybe cause higher volume is achieved at lesser output level - regardless kinder on the battery).
NOTE - Everywhere this being better than the other 2 AQs - except bass, I feel and enjoy the bass on AQ Red a lot more. AQ Red bass is kind of unreal for portable devices (provided your HP/IEMs can do great bass).
Hey there, nothing makes us happier than knowing you loved your purchase, hope you had a comfortable shopping experience & thank you for the great review & ratings!
AudioQuest - DragonFly Cobalt is excellent device for mobile users. The sound quality and sound stage it creates for live concerts is amazing. You would get live music feeling. I'm using this device for my desktop speakers Altec Lansing but still sound stage is so wide and clear. I'm surprise with my small speakers. When i use the same with my iPhone with MEZE's Rai Solo it enhances the Music at different level. You would need buy it to feel/experience the difference.
Delighted that you are happy with your purchase & thanks for the review. Cheers & Keep the music playing
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