Dekoni x Hifiman Cobalt Review



If Google is showing you this page directly, click here to go to the start of the article.

Everyday use

Daily use

To be honest, given how massive the Cobalt’s ear pads were, my expectations in terms of comfort were pretty high. Good news, Dekoni doesn’t disappoint here!

Helped by its lightweight frame, exceptionally wide and thick pads and evenly applied pressure, the Cobalt appears to be one of the most comfortable closed-back headphones I tried this year. In fact, even after a few hours of listening, this is one of the few headphones I own – with leather pads – that I was able to wear for hours, without any discomfort whatsoever.

The same goes for the cable. Simple and not braided, it comes with a super smooth tangle-free sheath that really enhances the headphone portability on the go, or even at home. A complete win for me in this regard.



Sadly, even with Dekoni’s pads, the Cobalt remains a true Hifiman at core: isolation is modest, at best. With no music playing, wearing it on or off won’t make a real difference on a daily basis, and almost all of the outside world will remain clearly audible. With some music playing at medium/high sound level, things are much better, but don’t expect this headphone to compete with the like or Beyer or Sennheiser – it’s closed-back by name, but definitely not impervious.


With low impedance and high sensitivity, the Dekoni X Hifiman Cobalt aren’t hard to drive. Even my iPhone was able to drive it, so you should have no issue whatever the source, but as usual, the better the source, the better the render so be sure to check our buying list.

Hiss-wise, the Cobalt didn’t appear to be prone to that, even with badly grounded source. A very good surprise!



Hifiman Carbon coated Dynamic Driver

When you think Hifiman, what’s the word that comes out first in your head? If it’s not « planar driver » you either don’t know the brand, or only got accustomed to the R2R DAP and DAC/Amp. Needless to say that I was particularly surprised not to find an orthodynamic driver at the heart of the Cobalt, but a more orthodox dynamic one instead.

45mm wide, this new driver gets all of Hifiman’s expertise nonetheless, and even enjoy carbon coating for the diaphragm, improving the stiffness and durability, in addition to the typical sound improvements usually found with this technology – faster transients, better treble, quicker decay, etc…

At some point, I even expected a topology driver like the one found on the Svanar or the higher end HE-R10, but it doesn’t seem like it. Still, I wouldn’t be surprised to find some traits of that last model, embedded in the Dekoni x Hifiman Cobalt, at least in terms of sound signature.

Hifiman Audivina

Lambskin Leather Pads + Velour pads

But, the real bravura piece here, remains the Dekoni pads. As a vegan myself, I’m not really fond of “real” leather earpads, especially now that we have excellent vegan alternative – think Audeze for example – but truth be told, the one coming with the Cobalt are one of the finest pair I’ve had the chance to hold.

Filled with heat-sensitive, high-density, memory-foam, they also come with thousands of holes – that’s the fenestrated title – making them breathable and impressively comfy. On paper, those should offer a little more bass and mids, for those who like their sound with girth.

On the other the Dekoni Cobalt also comes with Elite velour pads, much more in-line with Hifiman’s lineage, offering a different sound combination: lesser lows, lesser mids, higher highs, for those who like their sound… sparkling.

We’ll have to see if that truly works though, so time to plug it to a real source!


Full specs

  • Type: Closed-back headphone
  • Style: Dynamic Driver
  • Drivers: 45mm
  • Socket: dual 3.5mm jack input
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 16 ohms
  • Sensitivity: 101 dB
  • Price: $399

Let’s test them for real now! Click here to read the rest of the article on the next page.

Page 1: Dekoni overview, Design & Build Quality
Page 2: Everyday Use and specifications
Page 3: Sound performances, Conclusion

5/5 - (3 votes)

A nerdy guy with a passion for audio and gadgets, he likes to combine his DAC and his swiss knife. Even after more than 10 years of experience, Nanotechnos still collects all gear he gets, even his first MPMAN MP3 player. He likes spreadsheets, technical specs and all this amazing(ly boring) numbers. But most of all, he loves music: electro, classical, dubstep, Debussy : the daily playlist.

Be first to comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.