Cobra Darkspeed X vs TaylorMade Qi10 Driver: Read Our Head-To-Head Verdict

How do two of the best drivers of 2024 compare? Here, we put the Cobra Darkspeed X and TaylorMade Qi10 through their paces

Cobra Darkspeed X vs TaylorMade Qi10 Driver
(Image credit: Future)

Cobra Darkspeed X vs TaylorMade Qi10 Driver: Read Our Head-To-Head Verdict

When it comes to new driver releases, none cause as much excitement as TaylorMade and Cobra, with the brands regularly producing some of the best golf drivers year-on-year.

For 2024, both have introduced new models to the market, with TaylorMade providing golfers with the Qi10 in multiple different head types, whilst Cobra have produced the Darkspeed which, again, is available in different types of driver heads.

In this piece, we are focusing on the standard Qi10 and the Darkspeed X, models that will appeal to the widest range of golfers and ones that Golf Monthly has rigorously tested. Like any driver, both have their positives and negatives and, below, we have compared both models to pinpoint their strengths and weaknesses.


We begin with the TaylorMade Qi10 and, although the the Qi10 Max is the headline product of the family, the standard driver still performs admirably and is crammed full of technology.

For 2024, TaylorMade has aimed to maximize the MOI without compromising ball speed. This has been achieved with a re-engineered third generation 60X Carbon Twist Face, something which was originally introduced to us in 2022 with the original Stealth.

Along with the Carbon Twist Face, there is also a new supporting structure to promote faster ball speeds and improve the durability of the face so, overall then, the technology has been modified and improved on the Qi10.

Moving to the Cobra and, straight off the bat, it would be a lie to say that the Darkspeed X is a significant leap forward from its predecessor, the Aerojet driver. Although the performance is excellent, more on that later, there haven't been any significant changes in regards to technology.

In the Darkspeed X, we still see the back weight and a second front weight position allowing players to optimize ball flight, as well as the PWR-Bridge Weighting that featured in the Aerojet. This time around though, the PWRShell face is 13% larger, thus helping produce consistent speeds at impact.

One slight difference is the fact that the Cobra features moveable weights and an adjustable hosel, whereas the TaylorMade only has an adjustable hosel and no moveable weights. Arguably, this means that the Darkspeed will suit a wider range of players, given there's more adjustability.

Overall, you could say the technology implements are more evolution than revolution in the Darkspeed X and Qi10 but, as is generally the case with Cobra and TaylorMade, they are still full of technology. On that basis, there's not much to split the two drivers.


The best Cobra drivers are known for their good looks and the Darkspeed X is no exception. Out of the box, our first impressions were excellent, with the all matte black profile giving a seriously sophisticated appearance. It's not just the actual driver that screams premium, but the headcover is a thing of beauty too. It continues the all black visual and really adds a touch of class with some high quality embossed logos.

What's more, behind the ball, the Darkspeed X looks very neat and tidy. The head is exceptionally clean with only a subtle Cobra logo and carbon highlights to compliment the pure simplicity and minimalism of the crown. In terms of the visual Cobra has created here, less is very much more and we are fully on board. 

A golfer swings the TaylorMade Qi10 Driver

The TaylorMade Qi10

(Image credit: Future)

When it comes to the Qi10, there's a significant difference from its predecessor, the Stealth 2. The brand has moved away from the matte black crown and dark red face, with the Qi10 featuring a more subtle and less garish navy which we couldn’t be happier about.

Along with the color change, it now has a more rounded profile, which is a real delight at address, with TaylorMade introducing a really handy and unobtrusive white accent line along the top edge that significantly helps the alignment process. TaylorMade has also removed the multi-material banner strip that we see in previous models, and replaced it with a new gloss black infinity crown that covers the entirety of the top of the driver.

Overall then, the aesthetics will be personal preference. The subtle and clean looks of the Cobra are exceptional, but the carbon blue looks of the Qi10 really pop and stand-out. Both are very different and, on that basis, we think Cobra slightly edges it, but not by much.

Photo of the Cobra darkspeed x driver

The Darkspeed X

(Image credit: Future)


So, there's not much to split the two models and, when it comes to feel, the Darkspeed maintains a very similar sound and feel to that of the Aerojet. This isn't a bad thing at all though, given the popularity and success of that particular range.

On impact, the sound is not too loud, with enough feedback and decibels to let you know you’ve given something a good whack! This powerful feel is a big positive, especially as it gives you the feel to swing hard at it.

All things positive in the Cobra camp and, when it comes to the Qi10, the driver has some subtle differences over its predecessor, the Stealth 2. The most obvious is that the feel is a touch more lively in the new Qi10 and we found the dispersion patterns to be notably consistent, giving a real sense of security on tighter tee shots.

The only slight negative of the Qi10 is that mis-hits were apparent from a feel point of view, but any ball speed drops were easily gobbled up by the high MOI of the Qi10. Again, it comes down to personal preference, but both produce a powerful impact that will give a huge boost of confidence when striking it off the tee, especially as they are amongst the most forgiving drivers that money can buy.


The final aspect we now come to is performance and, given how similar these drivers have compared so far, might it prove the biggest difference? Well, straight off the bat, the Qi10 hits the mark again. Whilst the raw numbers don’t show any clear improvements from the Stealth 2 in most categories, the stability is very evident. Dispersion numbers were tight and we felt that this would only become more apparent over a longer time period, making this one of the best TaylorMade drivers.

In testing, when struck correctly, the Qi10 produced a lovely mid-height, penetrating ball flight that would be playable in any conditions. TaylorMade has definitely moved things forward, for us, with the Qi10. Not only have there been significant cosmetic improvements, there is undoubtedly a jump forward in the overall performance and user-friendliness here.

Darkspeed-wise, the launch and spin sat perfectly in terms of numbers and the results were a really neutral ball flight with no noticeable curvature bias and the perfect blend of enough spin to make it feel safe, but not too much to negate the impressive ball speed.

If you are looking for a really low spinner, then you might want to check out the Darkspeed LS driver from the same family but, for us, the X hit the perfect notes of power with playability. 

For piece of mind, the Darkspeed's spin sat around the 2300rpm mark whilst the Qi10 had a relatively low spin rate of 2100rpm. Depending on whether you are looking to increase or decrease your spin, the yardages will vary, but Darkspeed had a carry distance of 289.4 yards, with the Qi10 providing 294.6 yards, which does put them close to the best golf drivers for distance category.

Personally, we believe the Cobra will be playable to a wider range of players, given the fact it also has moveable weights. Overall though, the Qi10 is the model that provides slightly more distance, albeit, with slightly less spin.

Which one should you choose?

Choose the Qi10 if...
- You prefer a glossier crown at address
- You are wanting to lower your spin off the tee
- You are a more competent ball striker

Choose the Darkspeed X if...
- You want a more simple look at address
- You are wanting more adjustability and accuracy
- You want to increase your spin off the tee

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.

Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.

Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x