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

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

  1. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Afraid someone will shit on his opinions

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    Balanced on zx300 will be better, but unfortunately the highs will be a bit harsher.
     
  2. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    I bought a decent 8 core copper cable. Hoping that there will be no harshness as you say It can always go back to Amazon.
     
  3. Warrior

    Warrior Friend

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    I know I hear an improvement with the 4.4 balanced cables, vs 3.5mm. It's not a huge improvement, but I do hear it. Volume matched by ear, so maybe the increase in volume is tricking me. But, I've never noticed an improvement going balanced prior to the 4.4mm balanced on my Sony dap. Glad you are happy with them, 4th ey are amazing iems.
     
  4. Cellist88

    Cellist88 Afraid someone will shit on his opinions

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    Its not necessarily the cable, but the sound signature of the player. the SE on the zx300 isn't very good as the player was optimized for 4.4 balanced. Definitely will get more sharpness, better air, detailing, albeit a bit leaner. I found the sound out of the zx300 SE nicely balanced, but still foggy/hazy compared to the balanced. While the sound out of the balanced output was very detailed and airy, I couldn't help but to find the sound a bit sterile and boring. You also get a slight amount of hiss. Also because of the sharpness it was a bit fatiguing. I feel the weakness of the zx300 compared to its bigger siblings is the Blackground which makes it sound flatter and greyer. but as always YMMV. looking forward to your impressions.
     
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  5. gepardcv

    gepardcv Wow, I made it this far without being a friend?

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    @Ice-man: I have been experimenting with using the iFi iEMatch with an Andromeda, and think it works very well with outputs which otherwise would tend to cause some hiss or limit the usefulness of the volume knob. The impedance switch works exactly as advertised. I haven’t been a fan of iFi products in the past, but this one does exactly what it’s supposed to. Can’t comment on the Gilmore Lite, as I don’t have one.

    PS: I have had a JH13 for years, liked it a lot, and have only used it once since buying the Andromeda. It didn’t sound right anymore somehow... A shame, the custom fit is a treat otherwise.
     
  6. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    When I tried ZX300 in the Sony store it was too noisy to hear any differences. But if you're finding Andro a bit too hot, @Bill-P's "foam in port" mod tones the treble down just a bit without affecting clarity and other performance factors (YVMV). I use them that that way with a Han Sound Zen 4* OCC litz copper cable, and with PWaudio No. 5 before that. Treble is smooth as silk.

    *edited from "8"
     
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
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  7. Garry

    Garry Friend

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    My experience with the Andromeda and ZX300 in balanced mode compared to SE mode is that the balanced is fuller bodied and more organic sounding. This is using a Fiio balanced cable into a Penon Audio adapter compared to the standard Andromeda SE cable.
     
  8. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    Thanks guys. I'll know soon enough as my cable comes in tomorrow.
     
  9. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    Any chance my lyr3 or Gilmore lite mkii would play nice with the Andromeda using IE Match device?
     
  10. eastboundofnowhere

    eastboundofnowhere Almost "Made"

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    If it can wait until the weekend I’ve got the andros, Gilmore and iem match. I never tried it because my stationary setup, under the record player, is not physically conducive to anything with a short cable run
     
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  11. eastboundofnowhere

    eastboundofnowhere Almost "Made"

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    Fuck it. I got curious, dug through a box and found the Iem Match. No hiss. Rega RP3 table, RSA Shadow, Dynavector 10x5 too Gilmore. Obvious hiss without the iFi, kills it with it in place. My biggest issue with the iFi is it narrows the stage with most of what I have used it with(all portable as far as I can remember). It might narrow it here too, but my ears are too untrained to detect it. Maybe the output of the Gilmore overcomes this, I don’t know.

    Sounds great. I will never use it this way until we move again or I find a spot for a second, more accessible listening area. Yeah “sounds great” is a horrible description but it is a work week, I know I love the Andros and the amp and have commented on them here at some point. They really are two of the better components I own. Both are very, very good and seem to have good synergy, but there is too much hiss without the iFi in place.
     
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  12. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    My love affair continues strong with the Andos. There are aspects of the Andro that my feeble brain is having trouble processing.

    Staging. Good grief the sound stage is good on these! Subtle decay and reverb from room acoustics is better than most full sized headphones that I own/owned. ALL iem that I've owned, both custom and universal, have been very much "in your head" when it comes to sound staging. Not so with the Andros. I have full appreciation of an open (well off the shoulder) stage with the Andro.

    Now that I've been listening to the Andro exclusively for the past three days, I've almost lost my headphone hair! My flowing locks have almost turned completely back to normal without the headphone dent in the middle of my head. LMAO

    Genre Agnostic. How can an earphone with a bent towards clarity, treble, resolution be so good with almost any genre? I spent the first day or so listening to well recorded jazz, folk, classical...because that's what I like. Now I'm rocking the Andro with the new Sting/Shaggy album and it sounds tremendously good. Just crazy.

    Tone. The tone with these delicate, layered and true. Tone is so very important to me. Certainly a make or break aspect to any headphone that I buy. I think the way the Andro convincingly renders voices and instruments is what gives me the emotional connection when I use them. Toe tapping...head bobbing...often mouthing the word "wow" when I'm using these.

    I know that many of you guys have jumped on the Andro train a while ago and that I'm not really sharing something that most of you don't already know, but damn....these are special.
     
  13. KenBall

    KenBall Owner - Campfire Audio

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    'eZone' magazine

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    Ken
     
  14. Kattefjaes

    Kattefjaes Mostly Harmless

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    The improvement is real on my WM1A, at least. It's not "night and day" as the stupid cliche goes, but it's real and satisfyingly nice. With decent IEMs, it pushes the combo past quite a few midrange desktop setups for subtle technicalities, which is impressive.
     
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  15. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    Given my recent swooning over the Andro, I thought it would only be fair to have a list of areas for improvement as well. So here goes...

    1. Depending on your ear shape, you could get hot spots around the first interior cavity of the ear where the housing of iem rest. I get the hot spots after an hour or more. It's nothing bad. @shotgunshane states that rotating the iem toward your eyes will alleviate the hot spot, but sadly that doesn't work for me. Still, these remain the most comfortable headphone/earphone that I've ever owned.

    2. The body seems to be prone to scratching if your don't handle them with care. I tend to handle my gear like it was the last one on earth. So hopefully this won't be much an issue for me.

    3. VERY source dependent. This chameleon of iem's will sound remarkably different depending on what you plug it into. Fortunately for me, the zx300 is a match made in heaven.

    4. They aren't cheap. But given the level of performance and subsequent enjoyment I get from these, I'm okay with it/the price. I hate the trend of adding zeros to good products and seeing if the market will support it. Give me a great product at a fair price and I'll buy it right out of the gate and also tell everyone who'll listen about how good it is. Given the Andromeda's ability to offer a signature that draws comparisons to the hd800 and Utopia, I'll call it fairly priced.

    5. AFAIK, you can't order with a balanced cable option. At this price point that should at least be an option. Going to a balanced 4.4 mm cable made a modest but very appreciable difference with my Sony DAP/Andro combo.

    6. These won't isolate as much as other iem's. At least with the stock silicone. The foamies would likely improve the isolation quite a bit but I haven't tried them yet. The stock silicone is just too good for me to change.

    7. The addictive quality of the Andromeda can make it difficult to get things done. Every time I put them on, I listen for at least an hour. After that I get stuck in the "just one more song" mode. An hour of listening turns into two. You've been warned!
     
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  16. gixxerwimp

    gixxerwimp Professional tricycle rider

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    One more thing to be aware of is condensation on the face of the nozzle, and possibly inside the bores. This may only be an issue for those of us living in humid climes (or those with particularly wet ears), but have a look after your next session.

    This has been discussed earlier in the thread. In East Asian winter when the ambient temp is low but humidity still high, the trick is to pre-warm the Andros in your hands for 15-20 seconds. This reduces the temperature difference between the air in your ear canal and the nozzle. It also eliminates that cold-metal-on-skin feeling.

    I only do this in winter when the indoor temperatures can go down to the mid-teens, as homes here don't have central heating (we do have central cooling). But even in summer when AC tends to be cranked in the office, @deafdoorknob recently tried @Bill-P's foam mod and found the foam seemed to absorb/wick the moisture from his earholz. Guess it's his moist lifestyle.
     
  17. Ice-man

    Ice-man Friend

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    I called in to Campfire and spoke with Kahlib about the Equinox and Andro S. Very cool guy who was eager to share info and just talk shop about his own pair of Andromeda. I really like how this company does business and conducts itself.

    I've logged LOTS of hours on the Andro this week and honestly, it's really difficult to find faults with it. Occasionally with long listening session (well over an hour) I'll get some discomfort from the angular outer shape of the body. This could easily be milled to be smooth and alleviate this problem. And yes, I understand that it would change the look of the product. This is the classic form over function conundrum. I'll side with function on this particular issue.

    Anyone wanting to experiment with balanced with the Andro, that $20 cable that I recommended from Amazon is really quite good. That said, I ordered the pure silver ALO cable for shits and giggles. While not quite the bargain of the Amazon cable, the right angle jack would be a plus for me. And also, I wanted to see how far the silver cable could take the resolution and transparency. Could be a bad thing, but if done right...
     
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  18. eastboundofnowhere

    eastboundofnowhere Almost "Made"

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    Sprung for the big sxc 8 cable for the andromeda/zx300 pairing. Knew going into it that it would probably be a bit unwieldy and microphonic while moving around a lot but I don’t really want to do anything strenuous enough to break a sweat with $1,000 earphones anyway. Figured that since I finally found a portable pairing I can live with long term might as well splurge a bit and finish it off.

    After some use, I am happy with it but knew what I was getting. I would not recommend this cable if you are moving around a lot while listening. However, if you are going to a certain spot, sitting down and then pulling it out of your pocket for a listen it’s great.

    Not a lot of listening impressions because I am not sure if it is now better because of the cable composition, going from se to balanced or simply now having four times the power on tap. Strangely bass texture is the first thing I’ve noticed so far as a marked improvement. Was not expecting that. Don’t know what I was expecting, but certainly never found anything lacking before, just got curious and bought the cable.

    On another note, picked up a pack of the red/blue marshmallow tips from campfire audio as well and finally found a set of tips that seal for me and don’t hurt after 15 minutes.
     
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  19. rawrster

    rawrster Rando

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    If ease of use is something that is required, ALO Audio also has the pure silver litz. It's flexible with minimal to no microphonics and no memory wire. I have it balanced for my ZX300A and have enjoyed it so far I'm not sure why it's not in the Campfire audio website as I believe it's the stock cable for the atlas.
     
  20. HeartOfSky

    HeartOfSky Acquaintance

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    I think you need to visit ALOAudio.com to see the cables. I see std, copper, and silver Litzes listed.
     

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