Campfire Andromeda – sound as expansive as its namesake

Tl;dr: Extremely clear and detailed, great neutral sound signature with an added touch of bass.

Pros: Smooth sound signature, extremely detailed & resolving, great cable, good comfort

Cons: Shells get scratched fairly easily, hissing across sources

Got the Campfire Andromedas after auditioning a friend’s unit and deciding they were worth looking at further. He later offered them to me as he was downsizing, so I jumped on the opportunity. Have to say holy hell, these things are great. The Andromeda is a 5-driver balanced armature in-ear-monitor by Campfire Audio, retailing for $1,099 USD. Campfire is a company started by Ken Ball of ALO Audio fame, and they have been receiving very positive feedback on their lineup. The Andromeda stands as the balanced armature flagship in the lineup, with its position of overall Campfire flagship being recently usurped by the dynamic-driver Vega. Read on further for comments on build quality and sound.

Build and comfort:

Nicest stock cable I’ve used, very flexible and the silver looks fantastic. Build quality for the IEMs are very good, but the aluminum has a bit of nicks from use, no big deal. These come with an abundance of accessories including a nice leather case, a wide selection of foam and silicone tips, along with a cleaner tool and a special Campfire pin for your backpack. Comfort is actually extremely good despite the abundance of hard edges on the housing. With the right tips, these just disappear in the ear. I’m using JVC Spiral Dots/Ortofon L tips (bought separately) which have been working great.

Sound:

These can be summed up by having a very slight U-shaped sound signature, with very good coherence and detail. Absolutely top-tier sound quality. Coming from FitEar ToGO 334!, these have much more treble presence, which helps to add that “sparkle” to music of all genres. Mids are similar in quality but less emphasized so it doesn’t have as much richness. Bass quantity is a bit less, but the quality can be considered better, as the Andromedas are a bit faster than the TG334s which makes the low end sound more defined. I’d say imaging and soundstage are at the same level between the two, but the Andromedas are more “out of head”. The increased treble is the biggest differentiator I find in favour of the Andromedas. They have a very “hi-fi” sound, even straight from my Samsung S7 Edge.

In terms of source requirements, these are very sensitive so they are quite easy to drive. There’s a bit of hissing with my Geek Out V2+, I’ve picked up an iFi iEMatch to help sort that out. However, it already sounds great straight out of the S7 Edge and iPad Air 2, so DAC/Amp definitely not necessary. This means Andromeda is a great tool for use on the go to get top-notch sound quality without the hassle of additional DAC/Amp stacks.

Summary:

The Campfire Andromeda have proven to be my top audio purchase made yet. Great sound and great build highlight an impressively well-rounded package. The best endorsements I can give these is that they kicked off a purge of much of my other headphone gear, and that driven straight from an iPad, they reached about 80% of the performance level of the Orpheus 2 for me, possessing a fairly similar tonal quality to that heaphone. To do so at much less of the cost and hassle makes them a winner in my book.

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