How to connect my cd player to dragonfly cobalt


Well-known member
Nov 18, 2022
Visit site
First off what sort of CD player do you have? There are very few CD players that have the capability to have a USB audio output, there are two that I'm aware of, the schiit audio urd And another from shanling. I'm not going to claim there aren't others because I'm not sure but these are the only two I'm aware of.

That said though these two transports have the necessary output to be able to simply plug something like the Cobalt into them and then get audio out. A normal CD player or CD transport does not have this type of port and you will not be able to get sound out of it.

Most CD players or transports will have at the minimum RCA outputs for standard left and right analog audio And or digital outputs consisting of either coaxial digital audio output or a toslink digital audio output, sometimes both.

Now of course if you have either of the two players that I mentioned then it will be quite easy to stick your Cobalt into their USB audio Output and be able to listen to your favorite music.

Also unfortunately there is no sort of adapter or junction box that I'm aware of that would enable you to convert either analog audio or digital audio to usb audio. Truthfully there are analog to digital converters where you could in theory convert the analog output of a CD player to a USB format, however there's no guarantee that The format the converter would output would be supported by the Cobalt. There are also digital to digital converters where you can convert one type of digital to another type, including USB.

Usb audio typically consists of a type of bitstream data whereas the type of data coming out of a analog to digital converter or Digital to digital converter, typically would be A different type of data that is not normally supported by a standard audio DAC.

Sorry to burst your bubble buddy but in my experience if you've got a standard CD player of a good quality like a Marantz or an NAD or similar, I found personally over the years that their built-in dac often sound just as good as any sort of budget dac that you could get.

That's of course not to say that getting an external one wouldn't improve the sound, because it can and will, but at a more budget level with something like the Cobalt for example you probably wouldn't improve the sound quality that dramatically or noticeably.
  • Like
Reactions: Al ears and Symples


Well-known member
I dont think you can use a dragon fly In this situation. regardless of weather it will technically even make a difference or not.

Pretty sure the dragon fly is a USB only output device and not input device, for example, out of a computer or out of a smart device and then into an amp.

If you need/want a DAC you need one of similar topology, like that of my chord qutest where it has inputs and outputs

So my NAD c540 (a model up from your 521) uses the coax into my chord qutest then from there RCA's out as normal to your amp.

By the way im not saying you need to spend that on a dac Im just using it as an example.

Edit: you can connect the CD player to your NR1200 as experiment and see if it makes difference for you. in theory it should be better newer more modern dac chips. Bu thats not do the do all and end all for DAC's output stages are probably more important.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: jonboywalton75
It's a bit like saying you want to connect your turntable to a lightbulb! If you want an external DAC for a CD player, then a Cobalt isn't the right device - it's for headphones from a laptop, or something similar along those lines.
  • Like
Reactions: DougK1


Latest posts