AudioQuest Dragonfly Cobalt USB DAC/AMP - Official Thread

Early signs are promising for ADC.

I far prefer the portability of it and the lack of different settings to be drawn towards fiddling with.

Am a touch confused by the one setting that does interest me, which is allowing for 24bit audio on Android through Amazon Music.

In the end I gave up for today as it seemed unnecessarily complicated.

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I just bought the Cobalt. Very satisfied.
My first DAC was the DFR with the Jitterbug. Then I was tempted by a great offer on the Chord Mojo in a local shop but returned it today as it was causing me too many problems with emi and noise when attached to my iPhone. It was also more bulky than expected and having to recharge it won’t work for me, to be honest. Instead I now bought the DFC. Great compromise between the DFR and the Mojo. I find it to be an altogether great listening experience… Portable, plug’n’play, just easy.


I had the Black and Jitterbug. Still do, and still use it for low power applications. If I had the Red, I don’t know that I would have sprung for the Cobalt. @Torq convinced me that the Red and Cobalt have sort of the minimal power needed for some of my headphones. I’m happy with the DFC, it’s even smaller than the others and has jitterbug built in. But the real reason for it is simply the form factor.

All of the Dragonfly products seem bulletproof with TIDAL, making MQA very easy. If that is what you are after.


Hi, I have a Dragonfly Cobalt and Fiio FH7 IEM’s. My issue is that the output from the Dragonfly is so high, that I have to set the volume to the lowest possible and this is even to high. Any ideas on what to do?


Those must be some mighty efficient IEMs. I’ve not had the DFC be that loud with any IEM, although some I can’t turn up very much. The standard advice would be to add an inline attenuator. This would add resistance or impedance, and could possibly change the sound.

If you want to make it yourself, here’s a DIY guide. You also might find that iFi’s connector products like IEM Match or Ear Buddy will work as attenuators. I don’t have one, and it’s not clear from their write up on iFi.

I would suggest that @Torq, @generic, or @antdroid would have relevant thoughts.


I went to the AudioQuest website after @pennstac’s reference. I found the FAQ file, and guess that you either have them set in line-out mode or have your system volume at 100% (AQ recommends 25%).

How do I set volume level when using DragonFly?

When using DragonFly with headphones, powered speakers, or a power amplifier, start at a low (or zero) volume level, then slowly raise the volume until the desired level is achieved.

When using DragonFly with headphones, powered speakers, or a power amplifier, it functions in variable output mode, and we recommend the following steps:

  • Set the volume control of the associated music player application to maximum.*
  • Set the computer’s main (operating system) volume control to 25% of maximum.*
  • Using the computer’s main (operating system) volume control, adjust the volume to the desired level.*

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.


If you’re using a phone as a source, its not a super uncommon issue (you typically don’t get the full 100-setps of control, sometimes only 10). You can try an inline attenuator, like this, an IEM Ear Buddy or the IEMatch.

But since the FH7 yields 80 dB/SPL for just 0.004V, and I don’t know what the lowest output level on a the DFR is, it might still be too much.


The product from iFi IEMatch greatly reduces volume. I have one but I don’t use it much as it does too much to the sound for me.

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On Android you are able to change the setting for number of volume steps in order to get fine tuned control. I don’t know if this option is available on iOS or not.

Found a way around this on my laptop, in TIDAL do not select “Exclusive use” Problem with this is that you will not get MQA :frowning:

Sorry, it did not work. I tried using my laptop. My primary source is however iPhone og Tidal so there is not much to change here.

Sorry this doesn’t work. Have tested on my laptop, but my main source for listening is the phone and TIDAL.

Thanks @generic - was just using my Dragonfly for the first time in a while, and was wondering if sound quality was best with the qobuz player at full volume and mac turned down or vice versa - searching here found the answer in your post.


Hi everyone, I have the cobalt and use it with my 64audio U12t and Nio. Every time I raise the volume past 75% on my iPhone, the Cobalt crashes. Any ideas? I read that it could be an impedance issue with these IEMs, but I have seen many people use the 64audio line with Cobalt online.

Appreciate any advice. Thank you!

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Btw, tried different phones, adapters, and cobalts. Same behavior…thank you!

Just did this as (temporary) desktop system.
Raspberry Pi 4B with Moode, Dragonfly Cobalt used as DAC/preamp and Lehmann Audio Linear Op head amp.
Not too bad as working station.
Customer assistance from Audioquest sounds always as if they’re actually doing another job as living and randomly reply you about their equipment (at least in my personal experience)

I’ve updated the Raspberry Player to moOde 7.0.1.
It still need some improvements but now includes a multi band parametric equaliser that works very well and has (in comparison to moOde 6.7.1) a lot more of inputs.
Changed the power supply for the Raspberry to a 30000mha power bank and sound quality improvement is huge.


I currently use the cobalt via my phone as line level out to my amps. Using with qobuz and via usb audio player pro app which is a must. The apps sonics via bit perfect make it the best 8 bucks that i ever spent.
Cobalt will not work properly without the app on my samsung galaxy note 8 because it is not true usb.
Anyone else use the cobalt line out to an amp? What is your experience via other standard dacs.

Gave up doing that. Audioquest verified that it is not really a line out but their little opamp running to the rails.

There’s a full discussion of this on the forum somewhere. @Torq and I were part of it, maybe @antdroid or @generic too.


Ok thanks for that info. I know i can run a gashelli jnog via amanero usb to my phone according to them. Are there any other dacs that i can use? I dont have a computer so need usb.
I have to admitt im getting very good sound using the cobalt through an amp. Definitely superior to using just the dongle.
So am i just running the dongle amplfied sound to another amp?