AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt (Cobalt) is rated 4.9 out of 5 by 39.
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AudioQuest DragonFly Cobalt (Cobalt)

USB DAC/Headphone Amp
£269
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For purchases over £500, you can settle the balance in 6 months, and in 10 months on purchases over £1000 and pay no interest whatsoever. If you settle part of your loan in the deferral period you won’t pay interest on that part. You can still pay off the loan sooner if you make additional payments. If you’d rather spread the cost over 36 months, you can set up a loan repayment plan when the payment-free period comes to an end at 19.9% APR representative. 19.9% interest. A one-off settlement fee of £29 will be applied. Subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. Ts&Cs apply. Richer Sounds Limited acts as a credit broker and not the lender. Barclays Partner Finance acts as the lender. Click for eligibility criteria or to Find out more.

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”This tiny USB DAC justifies its price tag”. ’What Hi-Fi?’ 2021 award-winner.

USB DAC for the best sound on the move

With HiRes music files and streaming services sounding better than ever, it pays to get a DAC and headphone amp that does justice to them. Rather than using your smartphone or laptop’s headphone output, the DragonFly Cobalt plugs into the USB output, bypassing the built-in (and usually average quality) sound processing and headphone amp. Specifically designed for the purpose, a quality USB DAC gives a stunning upgrade in sound and makes the most of your music files and headphones.

An award-winner made better
The AudioQuest DragonFlies have been winning awards and leading the field for many years now. With a list of technical improvements, the DragonFly Cobalt is now better than ever. Thanks to the included DragonTail USB adaptor, it’s also more versatile – straight out of the box.

Advanced new DAC
Key to the Cobalt’s stunning sound is an advanced ESS ES9038Q2M DAC (Digital to Analogue Convertor). Highly regarded within the hi-fi world, this DAC uses precise filtering to deliver a smooth and natural sound. Simply put, you’ll hear subtle details in the music that your regular headphone output misses out on or glosses over.

Enhanced processor
At the heart of this tiny DAC is a powerful processor that’s 33% faster than before. Faster processing means more accuracy and less distortion. It also draws less current, helping to preserve your smartphone or laptop’s battery life.

Resists noise for reduced distortion
Revisions to the power-supply filter help the Cobalt resist interference from wi-fi, Bluetooth and mobile phone signal noise. Improved filtering reduces background noise, meaning you hear every tiny detail in the music.

Powers a wider range of headphones
Just like the award-winning DragonFly Red, the Cobalt benefits from a powerful 2.1 volt output. If you use larger headphones, with more powerful magnets, such as the Grado range or larger Beyers/Sennheisers/AKGs, then this USB DAC model is ideal. The higher output gives effortless dynamics, a powerful bass and ability to make the music 'come to life'.

Upgrade the sound from your Android smartphone
With a DragonTail (USB A – C adaptor) supplied, you can now take advantage of using the DragonFly with your Android smartphone. Simply plug the DragonTail between the phone's USB and the DragonFly DAC and you're good to go - audiophile quality sound from your smartphone!

If you want the best from your music on the move, you’ll love the AudioQuest DragonTail Cobalt.
Connectivity
Headphone Output
Yes - 3.5mm
USB Input
1 x Type A for PC/MAC
Features
DAC
ESS ES9038Q2M
Dimensions
Dimensions WxHxD
58 x 19 x 12
Accessories
Included Cables
DragonTail USB C - USB A Convertor
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing details, high quality sound! I bough it to pair with my phone for hi fi headphones and it sounds amazing! It's very easy to use with PC and laptop too!
Date published: 2021-03-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from My world has just changed - again It's been a big lockdown for in this household. This summer, we stopped buying milk from the supermarket and started taking home deliveries of creamy "gold top" from a local dairy. Goodness me. Then last month, we stopped buying eggs from the supermarket, and started getting them from a farm that's a few minutes from home. Wow - they're amazing. In Autumn, I had an eye test, and was told that I literally needed to stop driving immediately, until my prescription was ready a week or so later. I'd never worn glasses before, so it was a first and a bit of a shock to learn just what I'd been living with. What's the point I'm making? Well, it's this. Sometimes, you just don't know what you've been missing. Just because you don't know any better. You muddle through. You get your milk, and yes - it's milk. You get your eggs, and yes - there's a shell, and a white, and a yolk. And you walk through life, and yes - there are shapes and there a colours and there is a depth perception. But it's not until there's excellence to benchmark your existing choices against, that you realise what you've been missing out on for so many years. Am I sorry that I didn't do this earlier? Well I'm a "glass half full" type of chap. I take the view that I now get o revel and gasp at the wonder of this new-found audio clarity with all the benefit of a life's experience of making do. I'm old enough to appreciate my good fortune. And to rediscover much of my favourite music all over again, in a way that it transpires I never had before. A couple of weeks ago I bought a new Cambridge Audio AXR-100D receiver to use predominantly as a stereo amp, connected to a PC. Lat weekend, I plugged the Dragonfly Cobalt into one of the PC's rear USB port, and connected it to the AXR-100D via a https://www.richersounds.com/hi-fi/hi-fi-accessories/hi-fi-interconnects/cambridge-aud500-2ph-3-5-2m.html 3.5mm->RCA cable. Mind. Blown.
Date published: 2021-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sounds great, is it worth it though? Bought this as it was on a ridiculously good deal with grado headphones. It's better than the hi-def DAC in my Xiaomi phone, it's probably better than my trainer l raspberry pi with IQaudio pi DAC pro, certainly the internet data it's better, but can I hear the difference of is it placebo? Tidal MQA files used to compare and they don't play at full Res on my pi.... Not sure, it's great but whether it's £260 great depends on your ears and pockets.
Date published: 2021-01-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nifty piece of kit Superb product drives my Athmsr7b and Grado sr80e with ease,improves the sound quality through iPod touch immensely.Dfficult to describe digs out the finest details in the music not heard before,everything is so clear,I listen to mainly Rock,Metal,prog and symphonic metal,perfect match.love it.
Date published: 2021-01-26
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Improved detail There is a sharpness and clarity to the music that makes the earlier experience almost muffled
Date published: 2021-01-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Can't be beat for the size There are definitely cheaper DACs that deliver 80% of the performance at 60% of the price. But none in that category can also fit in your pocket.
Date published: 2021-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great sound Fantastic buy made my I phone came alive didn’t think it would be that good
Date published: 2021-01-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Music from my phone transformed My Dragonfly Cobalt was part of a wider upgrade to my music system, including a Denon Ceol N10 and Sennheiser Momentum Wireless (3.0) headphones. In normal times I travel a lot and knew that the wider upgrade might leave me disappointed with output from my phone, especially as I will probably take less good headphones when our motorhome is on the road again. How right I was. Even with my Sennheiser HD206 'phones sound is now very good. They do eat power from the phone though, so you need one with a good battery! You also need separate dragontail connections for different phone and pad connectors, so I can currently only use this with my most recent device. A good telephone conversation with Richer Sounds staff while I was shielding helped me make a choice between the Red and the Cobalt - and I'm happy to say I'm sure I got it right. Recommended.
Date published: 2020-12-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful to behold This is a beautiful thing. Small and neat, so perfect for mobile use. Simple plug and play, so need to fiddle around with settings (although you can if you need to customize for different file types and resolutions). And it sounds fantastic, assuming your phones are beautiful too.
Date published: 2020-12-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great improvement to my relatively basic audio I have had it about a month (birthday present to myself) and been using it with an android phone through paid for USB Audio Player Pro App (£6) to play MP3 and the like. It connects through the Cobalt 'Dragontail' USB-A to USB-C connector (supplied with Cobalt) and produces a really noticeable improvement in the audio clarity/timing to my headphones; despite the not high data rate source. Have also been using it attached to my windows laptop and ipad (via iPad USB adapter) to listen to streamed music services. At present this has been at standard quality (spotify free app), but even at these data rates the improvement of audio sound into wired Sony XM3 headphones has been significant. Can't wait to upgrade to higher data rates on subscription services like Tidal. Appreciate to get the Cobalt and use it at these levels is overkill; however intent was to note the change in audio and then self justify the man-maths of upping to higher audio quality streaming subscriptions (or not)? Also a degree of future proofing, hoping streaming may move to higher data rates at some point more standardly and/or Cobalt will be better set for any technology improvements? Of note, I/you cannot stream from free Spotify through a USB DAC on an android phone at present. There is a v. small petition pressing Spotify for this online, but may be worth knowing if that is your intent in purchasing this or another of Audioquests offerings (Black or Red Dragonfly)
Date published: 2020-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best piece of tech I've bought this year Had my Dragonfly Cobalt for a few weeks now and I absolutely love it. The difference in quality of the sound using the Dragonfly isn't subtle, it's like night and day (to steal a quote from John Darko). I stream high res music from Tidal and the quality is good but the Dragonfly just puts it on another level. Plugged and played with my Android phone straight out of the box too. Really really great bit of tech. ❤️
Date published: 2020-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Do believe the hype I was sceptical about what such a small device could do. I knew the iPhone DAC was rubbish and I wanted to lister to Tidal MQA around the house without a massive spend on MQA enabled kit. Great compromise and the difference with it even on 320k files is pretty astonishing. On MQA tracks it really is a revelation even to non audiophile ears. Plug into my Sony WH 1000MX4 and I’m off in my own world.
Date published: 2020-09-23
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great sound paired with decent headphones. I bought this two weeks ago (and already being prompted for a review) to replace a Dragonfly red which had a faulty jack plug causing it to cut out (just out of its 2-year warranty, so trust me RS warranty is worth it) The Cobalt has had further fine tuning and works much better than the red at filtering out extraneous noise from my MacBook Pro). It does seem to expose lesser quality audio (try to avoid anything ripped below 256 Kbps) more than the red but Tidal masters are clear with very accurate timing as are my direct CD rips. Some mp3s sound almost a little muffled (used in conjunction with my Sony WH-1000Xm3) but when vocals kick in they’re clear and precise. It’s a very different sound signature to the Dragonfly red and I’m still undecided as to whether it’s a big enough difference to warrant the extra money.
Date published: 2020-09-04
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful sound - great advice from Richer Sounds I brought the DF Cobalt yesterday after a very helpful telesales advisor at Richer Sounds recommended it. (Sorry I cannot remember your name but you answered my questions and were full of enthusiasm for for both the DF Red and Cobalt). I was after something to make my One Plus smartphone, with scavenged DAC from my previous Razer phone, sound better with my both my Sony in-ear headphones and my Philips Fidelio X2HR over-ears. I stream Amazon HD music from desktop and smartphone. Whilst the X2HRs sounded wonderful connected to my desktop computer and the Fiio DAC/amp, when attached to my phone...well they were still lovely but there was a definite difference. Then I plugged in the DF Cobalt. Fantastic, clearer, delicate sound. Volume was much boosted for the Phillips and my IEMS had to be turned down (alot). So, plenty of power from the DF. The sound, itself, was clear and not at all harsh and I listened for a couple of hours without ever getting tired. The smartphone now sounds as good as my desktop. I then put my old DAC back into my One Plus and it sounded muffled and quiet in comparison. I am not an audiophile at all but I do know that this little gadget makes me not regret the price-tag. Well not too much...it's a guilty pleasure.
Date published: 2020-07-30
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth the upgrade Bought as an upgrade from the Red model after reading reviews and I'm not disappointed. The highs are slightly more relaxed and the bass is more bouncy than the Red. It's also a smaller and sleeker little model too.
Date published: 2020-07-21
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A step up from Dragonfly Red Bought as part of a substantially discounted bundle with a pair of Meze 99 Classics. Together, they are a formidable combination. A more open and detailed presentation than the Red. Only downside is that it runs rather warm - but so does my Chord Mojo bought from Richers last year, and that’s also very impressive.
Date published: 2020-07-10
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Really portable - good sound Overall improvement to sound and highly portable. Slightly smoother, warmer sound than I was expecting but works well with both an iPad and a laptop.
Date published: 2020-06-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Upgraded from the Red DragonFly I have had the red DragonFly for many years and purchased the Blue thinking it would be better. Truth is, I can hardly tell the difference. Nonetheless, if you don’t have a portable DAC then this small device will truly change your musical listening for the better. The only negative is the clumsy Apple iPhone connector which needs to be purchased separately (only use the Apple version to maintain good connectivity). The device itself is brilliant and Richer Sounds goes without saying!
Date published: 2020-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from THANK YOU!!!!! Used Cobolt dac with tidal masters and recent iOS 11 plus iPad ,finally streaming that sounds at least cd quality,sometimes mqa better. Thanks to your sales,Darko ,steve , and zero reviews thanks.
Date published: 2020-05-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A fantastic tiny device I bought this to get a portable dac/amp to use with my iPhone and laptop and wow... its amazing! I’m using it with my Sennheiser HD 599 and it really makes them come alive! I mostly listen to rock and metal which is hard to sound good, but this small Dragonfly unit does the trick a million times over! I can’t recommend this product enough! Best portable DAC/amp on the market. I would also like to say a special thank you to Phil who was tremendous in giving me advice with this device. I am fairly new to the audio world and answered all my questions with kindness and a real sense of knowledge. Thank you, Phil!
Date published: 2020-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great product and excellent replacement service. My Dragonfly Red unfortunately malfunctioned - loose socket. Apart from the malfunction, I was more than happy with the product and only regreted that I had not gone for the Cobalt. The good folks at Richer Sounds not only replaced it in the Spitalfields store, but offered an upgrade to Cobalt, which is exactly what I was hoping for. The DAC itself is fantastic, it's hard to believe that you can now get sound like that in such a small form factor. Dynamic, detailed, wide and just overall pleasant and balanced.
Date published: 2020-03-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from small piece huge sound I bought audio quest dragonfly cobolt from Richer sound London bridge on 04/03/2020 I can't belive this small piece object will make sound from my mobile phone especially my laptop much bigger and more powerful bass is more deep and tight mid and high is clearer and more resolution and I got a best deal from Phil (the manager) for the very best price with friendly service .
Date published: 2020-03-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Proper portable and more I bought this after weeks of dithering and re watching John Darko YouTube videos (these are great entertainment). He seeded the desire for something to improve the sound of my phone and to be truly portable. Well the Cobalt is certainly that. When you get home unplug the headphones and connect to your main gear and as John (Darko) points out you get a touch screen streamer. Neat, simple and small footprint. Love it.
Date published: 2020-03-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceptional sound I bought this for headphone listening from an iPhone and a MacBook, and also as a line level source for a vintage Quad system. I already have a Dragonfly Red, which is clearly superior to Apple's built-in outputs, but the Cobalt is on another level altogether, giving an exceptional smoothness and air to recordings of CD-quality and above.
Date published: 2020-02-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic bit of kit Upgraded from the red really enjoying it. Perfect for your pocket when using your phone. Couldn't be without a dragonfly now. Five stars.
Date published: 2020-01-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Dragonfly Cobalt DAC Spoke to the nice chaps in the Glasgow store after reading 100's of reviews online. They were very helpful and recommended the Dragonfly Cobalt DAC. The DAC is so easy to set up both with mobile phone and desktop Mac. The audio is sensational when connected to my Sony WH-1000xm3 headphones. Listening to UHD/HD on Amazon Music, the Dragonfly encompasses audio on tracks which I have listened to for over 30 years with sounds and ambiances which are new to my ears. Thank you to the guys at Richer Sounds always a pleasure to shop there.
Date published: 2020-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Worth the money You might think that £270 is a lot for something that looks like a USB stick. And it is. But there is some serious tech in this thing and if you have top quality headphones (mine are B&W P9's) then you won't hear what they can do unless you use the Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt, simple as that.
Date published: 2019-11-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great portable dac fantastic sound reproduction at a very small size.
Date published: 2019-10-24
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great DAC, excellent connectivity I always wondered if someone was going to invent a DAC which could be attached to a mobile phone and here it is. I used to have a Cambridge Audio XS and this is way better, great that you can use it with laptops and mobiles too. I've noticed a real improvement in listening to audio from both types of devices. I would highly recommend.
Date published: 2019-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fantastic sound, simple action After recently re-ripping CDs to Apple lossless, and doing a bit of research online this seemed like a good choice to get the most out of my digital music collection played from a Macmini. So easy to use, just plug into a USB port, and use the 3.5 mm jack to connect to amp&speakers / portable speaker / headphones / whatever for improved audio. Everything sounds pleasingly clear, rich and precise plus on quite a few favourite tracks I'm sure I'm hearing subtle parts I haven't noticed before. (Chuck a SubPac in the mix and it's even better!) It does also come with a USB C adapter for newer Macs / iPads etc. but another adapter is required for iPhone's lightning port. Small form factor is a bonus, it's stylish enough and includes a handy travel pouch too. Highly recommended - sounds great across all devices, whatever the source!
Date published: 2019-09-04
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6 Year Guarantee

£26.85 - Fully refundable if unused.

Add our 6 Year Guarantee to your basket when you check out. We'll cover your items for 6 years
and give you your money back if unused.

Fully refundable if unused

6 Year Guarantee costs just £9.99 on all items under £100, or 10% of purchase
price on anything over £100.

We think you'll agree our 6 Year Guarantee offers fantastic value. What's more, if you don't use it
in the 6-year period, we'll refund the cost of it. You really can't say fairer than that!

Plus, if we can't fix a fault, we will give you a replacement.

Find out full details here.

Buy now, pay later available in-store or by phone, on items over £500

We offer 6 and 10-month options.

Call your local store or our telesales team for details

For purchases over £500, you can settle the balance in 6 months, and in 10 months on purchases over £1000 and pay no interest whatsoever. If you settle part of your loan in the deferral period you won’t pay interest on that part. You can still pay off the loan sooner if you make additional payments. If you’d rather spread the cost over 36 months, you can set up a loan repayment plan when the payment-free period comes to an end at 19.9% APR representative. 19.9% interest. A one-off settlement fee of £29 will be applied. Subject to application, financial circumstances and borrowing history. Ts&Cs apply. Richer Sounds Limited acts as a credit broker and not the lender. Barclays Partner Finance acts as the lender. Click for eligibility criteria or to Find out more.