Cobalt Rangefinder Review – Q6 & Q6 Slope

In recent years we’ve seen a few new brands pop up in the golf rangefinder market, but many golfers will not have come across Cobalt yet. Cobalt have a wealth of experience in other industries but the Cobalt Q6 and Q6 slope rangefinders are their first golf products.

Here we review the Cobalt Q6 rangefinder and share how it performs against other premium and budget rangefinders on the market.

Functional accuracy

Most rangefinders claim to be accurate within 1-yard in factory testing. The Cobalt Q6 pushes this further and claims to be accurate to within half a yard. However, lab-based testing with a fixed rangefinder and fixed target doesn’t always translate to high levels of functional accuracy out on the golf course with flags, background trees and gusts of wind.

To help address this we run functional accuracy testing with each rangefinder against the best performing premium and budget rangefinders in the market.

Cobalt Q6
(Avg)
Premium Rangefinder
(Avg)
Budget rangefinder
(Avg)
Cobalt Q6 (Abs)Premium Rangefinder (Abs)Budget rangefinder (Abs)
Avg. 50-yards50.250.050.30.30.70.3
Avg. 100-yards100.3100.799.30.30.70.7
Avg. 150-yards150.1150.3151.30.10.31.3
Summary data from functional testing. Rangefinders were tested in a pseudo randomised order across. Non-slope distances were taken from all rangefinders. All distances in yards. The absolute error (Abs) was calculated as the sum of squares.

You can jump to our full testing data here, but in short, the Cobalt Q6 is the most functionally accurate rangefinder we have tested. From distances of 50 to 150-yards, with a backdrop of trees, just 6 yards behind (see below) the Cobalt Q6 was always within 0.6 of the true yardage, marginally outperforming similar premium rangefinders and far ahead of more budget models.

A close up of our testing target. Replicating a highly challenging real-life scenario for a rangefinder.

Speed

We’d usually cover the speed of rangefinders under general usability. However, this is becoming a gripe with many modern rangefinders – they are accurate, but having to steadily hover over your target for an age isn’t fun, and golfers will happily pay for speed and accuracy.

The Cobalt Q6 claims to have a target acquisition time of 0.25 sec, up to 300-yards for a 2×2-foot target. Although we can’t precisely verify this time, we can share that the Q6 is super quick! And far quicker than most other models we’ve tested in the past 2 years.

The initial yardage is super speedy, however in challenging situations, like the testing above, the pin lock mode will take a few tenths of a second to kick in. This being said, the initial speedy yardage was always correct, even before we have the vibrate to confirm the Cobalt Q6 was locked in.

Modes

There are two models of the Q6 you can purchase – with and without slope. We’ve been testing the Q6 Slope model that has a side switch allowing you to toggle between slope and non-slope modes, making this tournament legal.

Unlike most rangefinders there are no separate pin seeker and scan mode, you just aim and zap. Yardages appear, and if there is a flag in the crosshairs, the Cobalt Q6 will pick it up. I quite like this approach as it removes an extra layer of inconvenience on the golf course.

Visuals & optics

The Q6 has punchy, red visuals that overlay the display. These visuals come with 9 brightness settings that can be controlled with a cog mounted on the side of the rangefinder. It might be the English weather, but after testing this on a bright day and at night on the range I still feel 9 brightness settings is a bit excessive.

Nevertheless, I wouldn’t mark Cobalt down for this approach. I picked my favourite setting and stayed on it without a second thought. The display is super clean and the 7x magnification allows you to see any target clearly.

The only progression I would like to see with the visual is how the slope data are presented. Currently, the adjusted number is presented with the degree of slope ↑ / . However, this data isn’t as intuitive as the real and adjusted yardage, which can be very handy when prepping before a big event and making notes in yardage books.

Usability

Many of the newer rangefinders that appear on the market feel like a copycat of a Bushnell or Nikon, but the Cobalt feels and works differently, this certainly isn’t a bad thing. You get the sense the designers sat down and really thought through how to build the best rangefinder from first principles.

The day to day functionality of the Q6 is excellent. The speed and accuracy are top-draw with no fuss.

Cobalt Q6 Rangefinder carry case

The carry case has a premium feel and again works differently from most products on the market. The case opens along the length of the rangefinder, rather than at the end – making this super easy for golfers to store and grab from a golf cart/buggy. The case still works well when attached to a carry bag, via a sturdy metal clip, but the landscape opening mechanism takes a little getting used to.

Finally, the Cobalt Q6 offers great personalisation of settings. Taking 5 minutes before your first game to tweak the brightness, zoom and eyepiece settings will make this device feel like it was built for you.

Build quality

The Cobalt Q6 is built with a very cool blend of aluminium, magnesium and rubber that gives it a weighty premium feel. After reviewing many rangefinders in the past few months, of varying price points, it is always nice to come across a well-built, sturdy rangefinder.

On top of the great feel, the Q6 is 100% waterproof – great news if you’re an all-weather golfer.

Value

This rangefinder comes in at the top end of the market, priced at $400 for the standard Q6 and $450 Q6 slope model. With no extra fancy features, the question will be for many – why spend $200-250 moreover a mid-range laser rangefinder?

Well, the Q6 just works and it works really well. If you don’t want erroneous yardages and you’re fed up with the sluggish performance of recent Bushnell models then the Cobalt Q6 is a great pick.

The Cobalt rangefinders all come with a lifetime warranty, meaning any problems after multiple years of use will result in a free fix, or replacement product.

Golf Insider verdict

If you are after speed and accuracy in a well-built rangefinder, look no further than the Cobalt Q6 range. The display and UX are a little different, but this isn’t a bad thing. This is the joint-most accurate rangefinder we’ve tested on the market in real-life conditions, the Q6 has clean visuals and is super simple to use.

I’d recommend spending a little extra and get the slope mode Q6, as I’m sure this rangefinder will last you for many years to come. I personally have enjoyed using this and it will be staying on my golf bag for the foreseeable future.

Frequently asked questions

Below are a few questions you may have before buying.

What else comes with the Cobalt Q6?

The rangefinder comes with a high-spec carry case, cleaning cloth, battery and manual.

What battery does the Cobalt Q6 take?

The Cobalt Q6 takes a CR2 battery. One is included with the rangefinder.

Cobalt rangefinder review – Full accuracy testing data

Below is a full table of the functional accuracy testing carried out for this review.

Cobalt Q6 (Raw)Premium
(Raw)
Budget
(Raw)
Cobalt Q6 (Abs error)Premium (Abs error)Budget (Abs error)
Pitch (50 yds)49.949510.111
Pitch (50 yds)50.351500.310
Pitch (50 yds)50.450500.400
Avg.50.250.050.30.30.70.3
S.D.0.31.00.60.20.60.6
Wedge (100 yds)100.1101990.111
Wedge (100 yds)100.11001000.100
Wedge (100 yds)100.6101990.611
Avg.100.3100.799.30.30.70.7
S.D.0.30.60.60.30.60.6
Mid-iron (150 yds)150.11501540.104
Mid-iron (150 yds)150.21511500.210
Mid-iron (150 yds)150.11501500.100
Avg.150.1150.3151.30.10.31.3
S.D.0.10.62.30.10.62.3
Rangefinders were tested in a pseudo randomised order across. Non-slope distances were taken from all rangefinders. All distances in yards. The absolute error was calculated as the sum of squares.

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A PGA golf professional, with a PhD in Biomedical Science and MSc in Sports Biomechanics & Psychology. I currently spend my time lecturing part-time at Leeds Beckett University and working with elite athletes. In my spare time I build Golf Insider UK.

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