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

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

  1. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    54,230
    Dislikes Received:
    92
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    Probably just as good. I don't get any less seal than with my UERM. Probably better than UERM with the Comply tips that I am currently using. As for comfort and long term use, they don't fit as snug; so short term comfort not as good. Long term comfort is better than UERM though. I can't wear the UERM for more than two hours. Form fitting customs do have their downside.
     
  2. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    412
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I brought my JH13FP to work today to give a fresh listen after the Andromeda. My notes follow Marvey's for the most part. The JH13FP does have a boost at 50hz that gives the whole signature a more "U" shape feeling, but the Andromeda has better extended highs that gives them a better sense of air. I'd call the JH13fp a more "club" sound signature. JH Calls his JH13 tuning a Genelec Monitor type sound. I've never heard Genelecs, so I have no clue on that note.
     
    FlySweep and shotgunshane like this.
  3. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    54,230
    Dislikes Received:
    92
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    LOL, did you just go out and buy the Andromeda!
     
  4. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    412
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I received the Andromeda a couple weeks ago. Haven't touched anything else since. Saw the JH13 mentioned a couple times in this thread, so I thought I'd give them a listen again and try to get some fresh impressions.
     
    Artasia and Smitty like this.
  5. OJneg

    OJneg The Most Insufferable

    Friend BWC Executed
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    3,749
    Dislikes Received:
    36
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Grand Rapids
    Genelecs tend to be a bit mid-scooped but the JH stuff is orders of magnitude of coloration beyond that.
     
  6. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,108
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Meow Parlour
    I enjoy my ie800, although, to be fair, if I heard them the way other people report, then I wouldn't!

    I get a coherent sound without sibilance from my set (I did have a set that didn't sound as good, which I returned).

    I like the Jupiter, but was glad to get back to the ie800 at the end. The ie800 does have its issues, so I'm interested in a new iem. Perhaps the andromeda or t8ie will fit the bill. I'd like to hear the lyra as well to figure out why it has such mixed reviews.
     
    drgumbybrain likes this.
  7. Lightbulb Sun

    Lightbulb Sun Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2015
    Likes Received:
    43
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    United States of 'murica. F*ck yeah!
    I'm using the ALO Tinsel balanced with a DHC TRRS adapter.
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  8. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    412
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Cool - thank you! I'll probably be looking for something similar to try out of the Vi DAC.
     
  9. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,345
    Dislikes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Hipster capital of Canada
    Nah... the thing is just that there isn't a favourable consent even among a minority of members here that IE800 is good. Let's say there's not the sibilant problem and no disconnection between highs and mids, then here are my IE800 vs Jupiter:

    - Very different bass presentation. IE800 has the DD timbre which BA can only dream for. Better impact when fed with good recording, but can be bloated from bassy recording. OTOH, Jupiter's bass is extremely tight and fast, and has a consistent performance across a wide range of genres and recordings.
    - IE800 has relatively prominent, up-front midrange. Jupiter's midrange is more or less laid-back, but with a touch of euphonic. Some may find Jupiter's midrange "dry" or "scooped".
    - I felt IE800 has more spiky treble response. The two are both bright here, but IE800 managed to be more piercing to my ears. Jupiter though bright and from time to time sibilant, it's not to the degree that may annoy me.

    Hope this helps
     
    econaut, PoochZag and OJneg like this.
  10. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    54,230
    Dislikes Received:
    92
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    That would be limp and boring: Chord Hugo
    The nasty stuff Penthouse during the urination era: iBasso DX100
     
  11. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    412
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    LOL - so confused right now.
     
  12. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    54,230
    Dislikes Received:
    92
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    Hahahaha, remember that borked iBasso DX100 POS from years back which got so much hype on HF? Hahahahahahaha. Suckers.
     
  13. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    412
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Luckily - I've missed out on all but one portable player. I had a Cowon D2 for a short time and gave up with how clumsy it felt in the grand scheme. The "i" devices have just worked... (cliche')
     
    Smitty and SoupRKnowva like this.
  14. Pyotr

    Pyotr Acquaintance

    Joined:
    May 17, 2016
    Likes Received:
    33
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Michigan
    So are there any faults with the Andromeda's sound? Maybe I skimmed over the few negatives, but I'm almost enjoying my anger and frustration reading through all of the impressions and not getting a single reasonable complaint or critique with the sound. They seemed over hyped on HF with all the "you just HAVE to listen to them to understand" posts, but then I came here and the hype continued. I'm shopping around for an end-game uni IEM, and these seem like the real deal, but I'm trying my hardest to resist the initial hype and consider my options.
     
  15. Griffon

    Griffon 2nd biggest asshole on SBAF

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,345
    Dislikes Received:
    7
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Hipster capital of Canada
    The Andromeda seems to be on back order and once more core members start to get a hold onto it, I'm pretty positive more critical opinions will surface. The majority of core members here are notorious to be pleased in the IEM department.
     
  16. M3NTAL

    M3NTAL Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Likes Received:
    412
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Off the top of my head - If you don't like the balanced armature sound / presentation, these wont change your mind. If you listen at higher volumes, the little drivers suffer compression. That is a trait with all micro drivers though in my experience - luckily I listen at relatively low volumes. Specific to the Andromeda - they were a little more forward than I was expecting. There is just so much of everything that it can be a little intense.
     
    Serious likes this.
  17. purr1n

    purr1n Finding his inner redneck

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2015
    Likes Received:
    54,230
    Dislikes Received:
    92
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Antarctica
    You've skimmed over the few negatives:
    1. Balanced armature sound. Many people prefer dynamic drivers. It's about tradeoffs. The dynamic drivers don't sound as fast and as precise as the BA drivers. BA drivers don't quite nail down the timbre and have a prickly kind of treble presentation which bothers members like @Hands.
    2. Slightly forward mids. Personally, I think it's accurate for an IEM. Nowhere as much as the Etys, but along the lines of UERM mids. Others will prefer a more laid-back presentation like Jupiter, HD650, Audeze LCD, etc.
    3. Slight heft only on the very bottom end. Personally, I love this. I tend to tune my subs for a bit higher output below 50Hz. Many IEM folks I've noticed may prefer a much more all-around bassier sound from 20Hz to 200Hz, e.g., K10, UE13, JH, etc.
    4. Lacks last octave air. Nothing new with IEMs.
    5. Extremely wild impedance curve being as low as 4 ohms. Will react very differently to source impedance. Likely will be bass rolloff with output cap coupled amps.
    6. Extremely efficient leading to possible noise issues and difficulty adjusting volume. Pot channel mismatches tend to happen when the wipers are near the most counterclockwise position.
    7. Impedance and sensitivity may result in noise or a slight hiss from some amplifiers or portable players. No issue with iPhone 5 and 6.
    As far as more significant faults, they will appear once someone makes a better IEM along similar lines. Also, people have different preferences. The Andromeda just happens to tick all the boxes for me. Other people may not like the same kind of sound that I like. Finally, I realized that I never fully completed my thoughts. Now after a few days, I will do so in a bullet point style:
    1. Andromeda's frequency response is nailed down. Very chameleon like and demonstrates recordings' tonal balance for better or worse. When I think one recording sounds too shrill / bassy / bright another recording will make me think it sounds too laid-back / lean / dark. I have applied EQ to every IEM I have used in the past (including Jupiter to bump up 2.5kHz). I feel absolutely no need to apply EQ to Andromeda.
    2. Strong emotional connection, PRAT, involvement, etc. I've limited my vinyl listening the past few days just to listen to the Andromeda. I've brought it to work and got distracted for one entire day being mostly unproductive. I get other IEMs every now and them, and none of them have done this.
    3. Fast precise controlled bass with solid "fatness" without bloat. It was a treat listening to Eva Cassidy's Live At Blues Alley, the bass lines were fantastic. Nicely controlled, subdued, and fat, having this sense of solidity and foundation, despite not necessarily being a bassy recording.
    4. For a BA, surprising macrodynamics (from the efficiency) and also microdynamics, having this ability to instantaneously swing small changes and gradations in volume. It just "digs" into the music. This aspect is connected to #2 and one of the things that I value the most (and is the primary characteristic of why good tube amps are better than solid state and vinyl is better than digital).
    5. Super easy to drive and no need for an amp. iPhone, AK Jr., etc. output is ideal. In fact, you might get worse sound from an amp - definitely less resolving - unless you want to color the sound.
    6. Excellent clarity despite not having a lean tonal signature. A few people asked me about UERM vs Andromeda (and also Jupiter). They thought the UERM might have had equal or more clarity. I actually disagree and felt that the clarity from the UERM resulted from the leaner tonal balance. Upon careful listening to various recordings, I still felt the UERM had a slight bit of haze that transcended the effects its frequency response.
    7. Extremely resolving. As @M3NTAL mentioned, "There is just so much of everything that it can be a little intense." But I love this. I actually don't find this distracting at all because the Andromeda has such as sense of musicality. Lots of microdetail, tail-end of decays, ambient cues are picked up. The most resolving IEM I have heard yet. YMMV depending on your source.
    8. Complete tonal cohesiveness throughout the entire audio band. No disjointed stuff. I usually forget to mention this (good integration is easy to not notice), but few multi-driver IEMs with crossovers achieve this well. The hybrids tend to be the worst offenders (I haven't heard a hybrid that I liked to this day.) But still, even a lot of multi BA driver IEMs don't get this aspect totally right.
     
    Last edited: May 22, 2016
    slankoe, imackler, eddypoon and 15 others like this.
  18. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex Grumpiest admin

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    10,562
    Dislikes Received:
    47
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I think I'm screwed. You know I lean toward a mid forward sound and I like my sub bass. I'll be posting up a FS listing soon with a bunch of extra gear.

    I'll have to get my hands on a Jupiter again to compare to UERM. I am wondering if it was a seal or tip issue for me. I really wasn't that enthused about the Jupiter but I'll take another listen.
     
    imackler likes this.
  19. Koth Ganesh

    Koth Ganesh Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,846
    Dislikes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Chennai, India
    Sigh, I am screwed. Excuse me while I get on backorder.

    Add: @velvetx, please put me on your list if not too late. Thanks.
     
  20. hifi01170

    hifi01170 Facebook Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2015
    Likes Received:
    54
    Dislikes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    28
    Thanks @Griffon for the comparison of the ie800 with the Jupiter.

    @Marvey can you please provide some test track that allows you to assess the following :
    1. For a BA, surprising macrodynamics (from the efficiency) and also microdynamics, having this ability to instantaneously swing small changes and gradations in volume. It just "digs" into the music. This aspect is connected to #2 and one of the things that I value the most (and is the primary characteristic of why good tube amps are better than solid state and vinyl is better than digital).
    Cheers guys!
     

Share This Page