Campfire Audio Andromeda Review: Holy Cow, This is a Dream, Awesomesauce!

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by purr1n, May 13, 2016.

  1. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    Best value right there. Really great value if you intended to use LDAC streaming from your phone to the ZX300a (Android devices only sadly). Put a 512 GB SD Card and use your phone for streaming and you are set.

    Edit: Oh shit it's the CH version. I wonder if they lock down the OS for the CH market.
     
  2. Panohm

    Panohm Friend

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    They didn't lock down the OS on the 300A, so i'd imagine the 505 will be okay as well. I'm majorly tempted but already have a DAP.......
     
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  3. YMO

    YMO Friend

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    But you can have more than one DAP.....come on....Buy It Now.....tell us the news.
     
  4. limesoft

    limesoft Acquaintance

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    I tried to buy it but they don't ship to my country :(
     
  5. Dhruvmeena96

    Dhruvmeena96 Rando

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    Can I say something really honest about Campfire Andromeda and my ears.
    Please guys and Andromeda lovers, please dont take it as offense

    I didn't like it. The soundstage felt hollow and from tin can. There was a certain clink noise on cymbal. The vocal felt uncanny and hazy.

    And mid bass felt complete weird with zero subbass extension.

    In comparison, Shure SE846 and Moondrop S8 sounds way better..

    No offence

    But this is my honest review. I didn't enjoy it.

    I think.... Solaris is what I loved in campfire. Solaris just nails the naturalness and realism with bigger and fuller stage not coming from a tin can feeling
     
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  6. Ox Cart

    Ox Cart Acquaintance

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    I don't love the Andromeda either, but just to be sure ... What source are you using and what's the output impedance? I like it best with about 2.2 ohm.
     
  7. roscoeiii

    roscoeiii Facebook Friend

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    I'm curious what your source is?

    As you should be aware from reading this thread or a thread at Head-fi, the sound of Andromeda is very dependent on the output imoedance of the source. 1 to 2 ohms source output impedance is the sweet spot. Below that tilts things to the bass, above that tilts things too much toward the treble. Which sounds similar to what you described. Maybe not but that was my first thought after reading your impressions.

    Though this may just be your preference for darker, treble light IEMs, which is how I'd describe the 846s.

    FWIW.
     
  8. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Solaris has similar behavior to Andromeda in terms of Z out, but not as reactive as Andro. So I doubt it's the source, unless its 20-ohm Z-out, which is certainly possible because some "high-recommended" by ASR garbage actually had 20-ohms Z-out.

    I don't think Andromeda and Solaris are that totally different. Timbre is similar in the highs (Solaris is more delicate) and soundstage is very similar (Solaris is more layered). I also would not describe the Andromeda subbass extension as "zero". It actually beats many other higher-end IEMs in terms of bass extension (not the same thing as bass volume - as an aside, sometimes I suspect that most people don't know what sub-bass actually sounds like - and even then, Andro from a near zero-ohm Z-out source will be pretty damn bassy, almost SE846 like in the lows).

    My conclusion is this: @Dhruvmeena96, you either have a defective unit or knockoff unit.

    This still doesn't mean that you will like a working Andromeda though. Personally, I generally prefer Solaris to Andro. Many others feel the other way around. (And I also like to run a filter on the tips for Andro to tame the mid-treble).
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  9. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

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  10. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    While there are fake Andromeda’s (read about them on discord), sounds more like poor fit. (Although I have no idea what a fake Andromeda sounds like and hope never to) When I first bought it, none of the stock tips worked for me, due to the really shallow fit. It made seal hard to maintain and it sounded too bright.

    Andromeda extends plenty deep, but if course doesn’t have the natural decay of a dynamic. Treble is going to totally depend on ear makeup and fit depth. Shallow fit is too peaky for me and double flange tips give the deeper fit necessary to flatten the peaks a bit; resulting in excellent treble IME. Greater than 1 ohm OI is going to exacerbate his issues. He should only listen to the on a 1 ohm or less source.
     
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  11. animus

    animus Acquaintance

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    At the risk of attracting the ire of some of the more seasoned members on this website, I will say this.

    Some people simply do not like the lack of pinna gain on the Andromeda, no matter the source impedance. I am one of those people, mind you. Based on what I know about Dhruv I'd be inclined to believe the same applies to him. I would tend to agree with him that it's hazy and sounds sucked out in the upper mids to me.

    Now, I'm really not putting down anyone who likes the Andromeda, it has its popularity and appeal 4 years on for a reason. But I really think it's just a matter of disagreeing with the fundamental acoustic design of the Andromeda, rather than a faulty unit or a source output impedance mismatch or tips or fit or yadda yadda.

    (I also don't think it's good practice to come onto this site and shit on Campfire, for the reason that they're a member favorite here. Some things are better off unsaid.)
     
  12. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    Count me in as 3 for disliking Andro for the lack of sufficient ear-canal gain at 3kHz. Harman or Etymotic level of bump is just too much. But Andro’s is far from adequate.
     
  13. Lyander

    Lyander Too sensitive for SBAF

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    @animus I don't think people should avoid criticising local favourites or preferred brands just for the sake of keeping the peace. Criticism is always useful IF GIVEN PROPER CONTEXT. That's how I feel at least, cuz I like some things others dislike and vise-versa, not to mention it often makes for more generative discussions than vapid mutual adoration.

    +1 this, haha. I think the lack of pinna gain on Andro (just demos, had to keep pressing them into my ears to seal) and Solaris (even more demos, excellent fit as-is) actually seemed to aid in presenting a sense of spaciousness and layering though; I've tried some higher-tier stuff from FitEar, 64 Audio etc. and even had a pair of Layla IIs on extended loan— of all these the Campfire IEMs' voicing were both more to my preference, keyword there being "preference". Heaven forbid we might like different things, no?

    And yup, @Dhruvmeena96 chiming in what source and tips were used would be great!
     
  14. animus

    animus Acquaintance

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    It's more of the fact that this site is essentially an ingroup, and one who wants in on the ingroup should try to be slightly more pragmatic about how they approach things. That's just how I see it, at least.

    To my knowledge, Campfire are using a combination of FR tricks and acoustic chambering to create the soundstage that they do. IEMs are inherently closed form factors, and a spacious soundstage on them inherently has to be manufactured. The main way of going about this does seem to be using acoustic chambers. Sony and 64 do this as well, to similar effect to the Solaris (the Andromeda honestly kind of pales in comparison in sheer stage size and openness compared to the Solaris, Z1R and Fourte).
     
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  15. shotgunshane

    shotgunshane Floridian Falcon

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    Andromeda does have a bit of haziness compared to some of the best iems out there. I certainly notice it in comparing to Solaris and PP8. I suspect the lack of pinna gain aids in its sense of large staging. But lack of pinna gain won’t impact lack of sub bass extension but fit absolutely will.

    I don’t think anyone is trying to disqualify his impressions but rather help him out should he desire to test them again. At the end of the day you like what you like and that’s all that really matters.
     
  16. Rockwell

    Rockwell Almost "Made"

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    I've never been a huge fan of Andro either, but I respect its longevity.

    Off topic but I see you have the Fibae 7...how do you like it? Have you ever heard the VE8?
     
  17. EagleWings

    EagleWings Friend

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    Without a doubt. I actually haven’t tried the Solaris and I think I might actually like it. It’s only the Andro that I don’t like for the reasons stated above. Yea, toning down the center and upper midrange is a cheap trick to create a large soundstage. In my experience, very very few IEMs strike the right balance between the upper-mids and the soundstage.

    F7 is decent. But I don’t like it a lot as it has the Etymotic/Harman like bump at 3kHz and the upper treble extension is not great. If only it had slightly less upper-mids and better treble extension and a less forward presentation, I might like it even more than the U12t.

    I haven’t heard the VE8. I recall seeing on HeadFi that you picked up the universal unit. Do you still own it?
     
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  18. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    Except pinna (or concha) gain has absolutely noting to do with sub bass extension or "hollow" (not sure meaning) soundstage, which was the poster's criticism of the Andromeda.

    I don’t think anyone is trying to disqualify his impressions but rather help him out should he desire to test them again. We try to get the bottom of things, explore all avenues. This method of discovery, finding out the why and what of the inconsistencies, results in much learning. At the end of the day you like what you like and that’s all that really matters. It's my long forum experience when impressions are that far off, then something is amiss. Getting to the root of the matter should not be mistaken for hating on people.

    1. Shitting on SBAF "favorites" <> explaining why one does not personally like stuff. Either way, get ready to get called out or questioned on it (clarifying usage conditions, associated components, recordings, etc.) It goes both ways. Agreeing to disagree is lame - not at least before exhausting all avenues.
    2. Objectively, we already know how the Andromeda measures, good and bad. No one will get called out for saying they dislike Andromeda for lacking pinna gain because it's true and confirmed objectively. It's already well known that IEM bypass pinna, and therefore the pinna gain that is dialed in by the vendor may not necessarily be according to personal inverse HRTF done by the brain.
    3. LOLZ on Campfire brand being a member favorite. 70% of their IEM line are much hated by 70% of the long time members. I think maybe 2.5 Campfire IEMs are liked here: Andromeda, Orion, and Solaris, which counts as 0.5 because it wasn't nearly as well received as Andro. Heck, I'm not sure people here even agree on the Solaris actually being a good IEM.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  19. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

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    It's how we see it too. From newsflash at the top of the site: https://www.superbestaudiofriends.org/index.php?threads/what-is-sbaf-10-articles-for-behavior.5555/

    [7] Think of SBAF as your local neighbor dive bar where conversations are between people who know each other. If you have a strong opinion, don't immediately barge in without expecting a regular patron to swing a barstool over your head. Get a lay of the land. Understand local customs. Get to know the people. You don't want to be the guy walking into a Barca pub arguing Ronaldo is way better than Messi. Sometimes it's just not a good fit. It's nothing personal.​
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
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  20. Ox Cart

    Ox Cart Acquaintance

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    Different strokes for different folks, I think. With Final E tips, at 1 Ohm O.I. there is plenty of sub-bass, but also plenty of bass to the point where it muddies up the midrange to my ear. I prefer running at 2 Ohm O.I., at which point the bass seems more balanced with the mids. Unfortunately at that point I find myself wanting more energy below 100 Hz, which is probably because I prefer sub-bass to be shelved up above the mid-bass. To get the amount of rumble and punch that I like from timpani, contrabass, kick drums and the like, I end up turning up the volume to about 80-85 dB SPL(A), which is more than I typically listen at. On the plus side, because of the recessed upper mids, this doesn't end up sounding loud the way it would on some of my other gear.

    So with the Andromeda, much like with my old LCD2C, I find that to get the best out of it I have to turn up the volume.
     

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