Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt

Hi. I’m a vinyl man and pretty new to streaming.
I have a Node (N130) connected to my 252 via the Naim 2 x phono to 5 pin DIN I/C. Streaming is done over WiFi, which is very stable.
I’m pleased with the sound quality.l even though it obviously doesn’t compare to my Xerxes 20+ or my CDS3. However, it is adequate for what I use it for -
which is background listening when reading or auditioning things I might want to purchase using Amazon Music. I’ll also listen to Radio Paradise when I can’t decide what to play.
My question is, does anyone use a Dragonfly Cobalt as a DAC and if so how big is the uplift in sound? I know they’re usually used on computers or phones but the spec sheet says they can be used via the fixed output to a pre amp or AV receiver.
I don’t have the room for another box but a Dragonfly could sit at the rear of the Node and not need extra space.
Thanks in advance.

[The node doesn’t have usb output so that rules out the audioquest dragonflies as dacs.]
Apparently usb does work as output….

You could look at the mf mx dac or maybe the Audiolab, but these cost more than the node.
An alternative might be one of the topping models at a similar £ to the audioquest.

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I used a Cobalt from my MacMini up until last week. Replaced it with a preloved DAC V1.
Cobalt was considered excellent until I plugged in the V1😊


I’m sure I read about Node users connecting a DAC via USB on the Node Facebook page. I must have got the wrong end of the stick.

Edit: googled connecting Node to DAC via USB and this came up.

Hmm, they should label usb as output then!
I guess you could get one from richer sounds and return it if it doesn’t improve on the built in one.

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The Dragonfly Cobalt is excellent with my MacBook Pro. However, it’s not up to the level of my Hugo or Naim DAC. It is appreciably better than the MBPs own HP output. Main advantage is performance for size and convenience. Note I use it almost entirely for HP listening rather than as a line out source.

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Another small-size option. :blush:

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I use a Cobalt on my phone and for computer into 5si amp. I there is a big improvement at that level.

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Was just wondering if the Dragonfly DAC beats the Nodes own.
The Cobalt being so small and unobtrusive (and cheap @ £199) would be a great upgrade (if indeed it is). Plus, Mrs SteveO might not even notice it …

You might want to consider the Chord Mojo. I use it from Mac to my headphones (Sennheiser 660s) but I believe you can connect the Mojo to an amplifier. I tried out the Naim V1 but preferred the Mojo. Good luck with your quest.

Cheers, Ian

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I use the Dragonfly cobalt for streaming from an iPad 4 mini in my office. The difference between connecting the iPad to the amplifier via the headphone output and using the Dragonfly is striking. From my point of view, this is a clear buy recommendation, the sound improvement is great.

I first used the Dragonfly red, the sound improvement through the cobalt is clearly audible.

Have fun!

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The Hugo is enormous compared to the Dragonfly. The latter easily slips into a pocket and can be attached to a laptop without any inconvenience or impairment of portability, whereas the Hugo, while relatively small is a sizeable brick by comparison. I also find the Hugo infuriatingly fiddly to use, which is possibly why I tend not to use it.

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Re. your 1st picture. I am confused… :confused:

What is the black rectangular item, between the Dragonfly and the Apple A1619 adaptor…?

Think I’ll take a punt on the Cobalt. If I don’t like it on the Node I’ll use it for listening on the go.
I bought an iFi Zen DC Blocker that I put on my extension block in an attempt to reduce the hum on the power supplies and also a Furutech Mains Conditioner. I wasn’t happy with either so they’re no longer in use. I’ll stick them up for sale and get a chunk of money back for the Cobalt.
Thanks for the input gents.

It looks like an Audioquest Jitterbug. AFAIK the Cobalt comes with an inbuilt Jitterbug making the standalone item unnecessary, although I believe that some reckon two Jitterbugs work better than one?


Hi Richard, the cobalt doesn’t have a built-in Jitterbug.

Correction: It has a built-in jitter bug. If you can read, you have a clear advantage :wink:

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It’s the audiquest jitterbug. Some call it voodoo, but it can’t hurt …


Or… another £40, £50 or £60… :thinking:

The Cobalt “does” have built-in Jitterbug. Read the Cobalt description on the AQ website.