Campfire Audio Andromeda

Rating:
4.86364/5,
  1. homzik
    Campfire Audio Andromeda - complete and universal
    Written by homzik
    Published Aug 9, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - great storing case, cable, foams and SpinFit eartips
    perfect workmanship, unique looks
    good isolation
    universal sound signature that don’t demands particular synergy, but is sensitive to audio-source’s quality
    natural, vivid, hi-res and balanced sound with great bass and midrange plus extended highs
    Cons - no 2.5mm cable included
    average single-flange eartips
    demand a clean signal sound source
    angular shells can cause some ergonomy-related problems
    Below is the English version of Maciej Sas's review that is available at http://zakupek.pl/test/sluchawki/recenzja-campfire-audio-andromeda/

    Campfire Audio Andromeda is an IEM equipped with 5 Balanced Armature driver. Does it really offer great soundstage, deep and even bass, extended highs? Is it worth its 1100 USD price tag?

    We’ve already tested some Campfire Audio’s IEMs, which is a sister company of ALO Audio. Andromeda is one step up from Jupiter and it’s the highest model among IEMs using a Balanced Armature driver. Andromeda looks very similar to Jupiter – their housing is also made using machining technique with 3D-printed chambers, which are supposed to haul trebles and expand the soundstage.

    Gallery

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    Accessories

    Accessory set is similar to those added to older version of Campfire Audio’s Jupiter, but in case of Andromeda, the tips variety is a bit different. The packaging is as always impressive with unusual graphics, yet a simple design.

    Case is typical for the American company. It is hard and made of leather. Its interior is lined with a imitation of... sheepskin coat. Andromeda’s case is darker than the one added to Jupiter.

    There are no Comply foams in the included set, but their substitutes also do the job. SpinFit tips are very intriguing as their tangs are partially movable. Typical single-flange tips are very ordinary, just like tips that can be found in many cheap IEMs. It’s also a pity that the balanced cable is lacking.

    Construction

    Campfire Audio boasts about their production methods. The earphones are hand-made in the US and the whole procedure is complicated and long-lasting. Andromeda uses the same shell shape as lower models – it is CNCed aluminum covered with zirconium and anodised. Housing color is green, which significantly differs Andromedas from its younger brothers. Inside, there are 3D-printed chambers called TAEC, which stands for Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber.

    The form of the IEMs is special. The shells are highly angular, V-shaped, several times cut at the edges, with grooves in the upper part, screwed with clearly visible Tri-Point screws. The inner part shows additional bulges where large channel indicators are embossed. Anromedas use MMCX sockets and are worn Over the Ear.

    Cables are ALO Audio’s speciality. Andromedas use Litz Cable, which is braided (Litz geometry) and silver-plated. Splitter is made of metal and with the additional slider added. The 3.5mm jack plug’s housing is quite bulky. MMCX sockets are made of copper and beryllium, which shall expand their life-span.

    Build quality is awesome and color scheme unique. Andromeda is without doubt an unordinary product and the Portland-based company cares about details and uses high-quality materials.

    Ergonomics

    Angular shells might cause some ergonomic issues. Earphones in focus might require some adaptation, certain method of inserting and shuffling the ear tips. For me, tear-shaped IEMs produced by Noble or Shure are more comfortable, but Campfire Audio is not bad either.

    At first, shells pressed and irritated my ears during prolonged listening sessions. It turned out that I need to change their angle, move them a bit more clockwise. Owners of bigger ears, however, should not experience any problems.

    Cable arranges perfectly and the ear hooks are flexible and one can easily give them a desired shape. Microphonics is not a big issue. The 3.5 mm plug is rather big, but it should work fine with all the additional cases for DAPs or smartphones.

    In my opinion, the included foams are better than Comply. They are made of more durable, thicker and less porous material. The foams don’t expand too quick, so one can insert earphones without rush. Isolation is good and the sound doesn’t change as much as with Complies.

    SpinFit tips are also interesting. Their movable flange easily fills the ear canal, so inserting the IEMs goes quickly. In case of SpinFit, isolation is, however worse than in case of either single-flange or foam tips.

    Specs

    • 5 Balanced Armature drivers
    • Frequency range: 10Hz – 28 kHz
    • Sensitivity: 115 dB SPL/mW
    • Impedance: 12.8 Ohms @ 1kHz
    Sound

    Gear used:

    IEMs
    : Campfire Audio Jupiter, Noble Audio Savant i Noble 4, Etymotic ER-4PT, RHA CL750, Brainwavz B200, FiiO F5

    AMPs and DAC+AMPs: Burson Conductor Virtuoso (Sabre), RHA DACAMP L1, AIM SC808, ODAC i O2, Leckerton UHA-760, Zorloo ZuperDAC

    DAPs: iBasso DX200, FiiO X5 III, iBasso DX90, Cayin N3

    Interconnects: Forza AudioWorks Copper Series, Klotz

    Music: many genres, various realisations including 24-bit and binaural tracks

    In the past, I didn’t like Jupiter much, while I enjoyed Andromedas instantly – they got all that the lower model lacks. The overall characteristics of Andromeda is balanced, but not very analytical. They should be placed somewhere between being musical and analytical as they provide plenty of details, don’t reduce the midrange, but remain mild and easy to listen. The sound signature is quite flat and hi-res, without lab harshness and cold. In addition to that, there’s quite big and three-dimensional soundstage.

    Lows are great! Bass is full and deep, can be precise or hard or massive and soft. It’s dense and plastic, has thick character, but it also doesn’t lack speed or dynamics. Mid-bass is a bit accented, which adds a bit of warmth and makes the sound neutral. Sub-bass rumble is also sensational and, what’s important, there are no gaps in the upper bass. Low quantity is optimal – the music is well-ballasted. Bass passes lots of details in a non-blatant way. Instrument’s texture is highly diversified, which highlights different bass-guitar playing techniques. Andromedas work well with different genres, including some really heavy music.

    Midrange is realised via just one BA driver, yet this range is on par with the rest. Mid tones are natural, near and clear. It’s not cold, sharp or analytically raw. One can hear some hardness, but without roughness or hiss. Midrange presentation is not as close and intimate as in Etymotics or Shures, but it’s neither as distant as in Westone’s or Earsonics’ IEMs. The same applies to details – guitar, brass or keyboard instruments are very natural and detailed, but at the same time they sound musical and engaging. Andromedas shine in jazz, but also perform well in electronic music. They can sound either digital or ‘dirty’, archaic.

    I was expecting high tones to be much more exaggerated, while trebles are served in a well-controlled way and their quantity is proportional to the bass. Andromedas are not bright or cold and high tones are not prioritised. Their quantity is optimal and people enjoying strong trebles might take Andromeda’s sound as softened. At first, I also lacked a bit stronger highs, but I quickly appreciated the non-harsh, universal and hi-res tuning.

    Soundstage is of high-standard. The space-size is OK for in-ears, but not exceptional. What is unparalleled is holographics – instruments are big and plastic, positioned in a three-dimensional environment. Depth and width are also great and the perpendicular is also above average. Andromedas seem to sound from outside one’s head, surrounding the user with all the tones. Separation is perfect, but sound is not very airy, the distance between the instruments aren’t very vast.

    Andromedas vs audio-sources

    The IEMs are not very sensitive regarding source’s signature, but it’s better to avoid dark-sounding gear. Andromedas do respond to source’s quality, especially to the clearness of the signal. The earphones in focus are low-impedance and high-sensitivity, so the hissing is highly audible (which, however, disqualified just a few pairings).

    Highest hiss-levels could be observed in case of Cayin N3 or FiiO X5 III. DX200 hissed a bit less, but still at noticeable levels. DX90 sounds clearer than the current iBasso’s flagship device.

    In terms of sound quality, DX200 worked best, with great soundstage and dynamics and loaded down bass. FiiO X5 III also performed well. It sounded balanced and soft, pretty detailed, yet DX90 offered even better sound.

    Leckerton UHA760 served the clearest signal (especially with the minus gain), either as a mobile amp or DAC+AMP. It reduced the hiss and alone paired well with the Andromedas. UHA760 also cooperated well with DX200 and X5 III. UHA760+X5 combo worked better than the UHA760+DX90 duo.

    Andromeda vs Jupiter vs other IEMs

    Andromedas further develop the sound of Jupiter, especially at the edges. They offer more direct and brighter signature, which results in improved soundstage, separation and resolution. Andromedas are one level up than Jupiter and a logical step forward. Both IEMs share the same core: natural sounding with great midrange and holographics. Andromedas tuning is even more balanced, more universal and more complete, while Jupiters don’t demand as pure signal Andromedas and the hissing is not as strong too.

    Noble Audio Savant use ‘just’ 2 drivers, but it performs quite well in comparison with Andromedas. Savants are a bit brighter, with flatter bass. Midrange is a bit reduced and trebles are of lower resolution and not as well-controlled. Noble Audio’s IEMs, on the other hand, offer wider and more airy sound due to lack of bass. Another Noble’s product called ‘4’ show similar near midrange, but resolution, soundstage and treble control are all not on par. Highs can be harsh at time and the bass is much flatter.

    Etymotic ER-4S, when compared to Andromedas, are just a pair of flat studio monitors. They are brighter, with worse holographics and imaging. Etymotics, on the other hand, sound more direct and unforgiving. Tuning of Andromeda is more musical and more universal with richer midrange and fuller bass.

    RHA CL750 are brighter and thinner in bass and mids. RHA’s are colder, sharper and sound artificially. Andromedas offer more lush mids, deep bass and soft, non-fatiguing highs. Those two pairs are like night and day.

    Summary

    Campfire Audio Andromeda is a marvellous pair of IEMs! I felt anxious for them as in the past Jupiters disappointed me a bit. On the contrary, Andromedas engrossed me with their gorgeous bass, unique midrange, hi-res trebles and great holographics. Their sound is complete and universal, with plenty of details which don’t limit the musicality.

    There are some flaws, though. Angular shape can irritate some users and the sound can at times be too hard and too thick in bass or midrange. Andromedas should be rated somewhere between being technical and musical. It’s not the best choice for those seeking for very analytical and bright tuning. It’s also a pity that the 2.5mm balanced cable is not included.

    Pros:
    + great storing case, cable, foams and SpinFit eartips
    + perfect workmanship, unique looks
    + good isolation
    + universal sound signature that don’t demands particular synergy, but is sensitive to audio-source’s quality
    + natural, vivid, hi-res and balanced sound with great bass and midrange plus extended highs


    Cons:
    - no 2.5mm cable included
    - average single-flange eartips
    - demand a clean signal sound source
    - angular shells can cause some ergonomy-related problems
  2. twice tzuyu
    Perfect
    Written by twice tzuyu
    Published Apr 11, 2017
    5.0/5,
    ............................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................
    1. EZE99
      At CanJam SoCal, I had 0 fit problems with the Andromeda.  In fact, they were some of the most comfortable headphones I have ever tried on.  Lightweight and fits in the ear perfectly creating a pretty good seal.  Maybe you have smaller ears than I do...  
      EZE99, Apr 12, 2017
  3. daduy
    The perfect IEM
    Written by daduy
    Published Dec 19, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Build quality, cable quality, fits nicely, good isolation, perfect sound balance and quality
    Cons - I can't afford it
    Disclaimer
     
    I got this unit as part of Australia/New Zealand tour arranged by @d marc0, thank you very much for including me in this tour :)
     
    Introduction
     
    I am just another music fans in this world, I love listening to music, and that made me stumble into head-fi around 9 years ago when looking for the best way to listen to my music. I am not in anyway an audiophile, heck not even close, so please forgive any lack of details in my review. Most importantly this is my personal impression on the unit, most likely i heard things differently than you, my ears, my preferences, my brain :)
     
    I've listened to CA Andromeda for about 2 weeks. I use them exclusively from LG V10 amped by Fiio E18. The source will be either the built-in LG music player or Google play music.
     
    Sound Quality
     
    Ok I am not going to muck around with this one, CA Andromeda is perfect. I can fault them in any way, they simply sounds right to me, in every aspect. There is enough bass, perfect midbass/warmth, forward enough mid, and excellent treble response.
     
    Is this the best IEM in the world? probably not, but it's the best I have heard so far. Does it beat my full size cans? hmm.....yes and no.
     
    Comparison
     
    I can only compare them to my ZMF Blackwood, so yeah (as usual) it's not a fair comparison but it's all I got.
     
    All right, let's start with the obvious, for soundstage, ZMF Blackwood clearly beat CA Andromeda, that's the very first obvious thing I notice when comparing them. I don't have
    any problem with Andromeda soundstage, but ZMF sounds more spacious compare to Andromeda.
     
    Now let's talk resolution and details, again CA Andromeda is awesome, they are really really good, but when you compare them side by side with Blackwood, I will have to pick up
    the Blackwood as the winner, however the difference is not that big here, I really have to focus on listening to notice the difference.
     
    However there is one thing that I prefer Andromeda over the Blackwood, the balance. As I mentioned before, they are just perfect. Blackwood is awesome headphones, but I found Andromeda
    to provide better bass compare to the Blackwood, and probably slightly better treble sparkle. Please bear in mind I compare both of them from the same source/amp, so it's very likely
    Fiio E18 is not adequate to drive ZMF Blackwood.
     
    Conclusion
     
    No argument, the best IEM ever for me, I am in love. The only downside is I can't afford them....yet, but I will own them one day
     
    Thanks for reading :)
  4. PeterPangea
    Fantastic IEMs with a full blend of clarity, comfort, and usability
    Written by PeterPangea
    Published Nov 14, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Smooth sound signature, extremely detailed & resolving, great cable, good comfort
    Cons - Shells get scratched fairly easily, hissing across sources
    Holy hell, these are great. 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. Comfort is actually extremely good, despite the abundance of hard edges. With the right tips, these just disappear in the ear. I’m using JVC Spiral Dots/Ortofon L tips which have been working great.

    These can be summed up by having a very slight U-shaped sound signature, with very good coherence. Coming from FitEar ToGO 334!, these have much more treble presence, which helps to add that “sparkle” to music. 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. Bit of hissing with both of my sources, but apparently an impedance adapter helps to clear that up. Sounds great out of S7 Edge and iPad, so DAC/Amp definitely not necessary.

    Summary: Very great pair of IEMs. Slightly better than the TG334 I had, while being cheaper, which makes them my best yet. Definitely worth looking at.

  5. emptymt
    Green For The Win : The Space of Andromeda
    Written by emptymt
    Published Sep 10, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Superior Soundstage and Layering, deep fast tight punchy bass, lush detailed mids, smooth clear non-fatigueing treble, exceptional clarity, looks nice
    Cons - no custom options available, edge on the shell could be smoother
    Hi everyone, Before I start the review, I would like to thank Campfire Audio for making this awesome IEM, and also to d marc0 for inviting me in the tour.
     
    NOTES
     
    The aesthetic and design is almost the same as the Orion apart from the color on the housing and the cable, since that is the case, the "Fit, Comfort and ease of use" & "BUILD QUALITY" is almost the same as in my Orion, Jupiter review but not entirely. If you have read that one, you can skip through to the "Sound Analysis" section.
     
    INTRODUCTION
    I'm an Indonesian working as a Web Developer in Melbourne, Australia.
    Other than programming/coding, listening to music is another one of my hobby.
    When I start my headphone hobby, music listening has been a very rewarding experience for me and has helped me in many aspects of life other than music enjoyment of course, although with the booming price of high end headphones/IEM, it has become a bit of a heavy hit on my wallet >_<.
     
    Starting from almost 2 years ago I've been really hooked by metal music, and nowadays my everyday music listening always incorporate metal tracks, I guess you can call me a Metal-head, although I also listen to other genres occasionally.
     
    I don't actually listen to all kinds of music, lets say for example Classical, therefore it is important to understand that this review is based on my observation on the kinds of musics I like, and those are mainly:
    - Metal (many kinds)
    - Pop
    - EDM
    - Jazz
    - Indonesian Song (it's basically the Indonesian version of pop, guitar used is mostly acoustic guitar, sounds natural and relaxing however, mastering of the song is usually poor, this is good to test how good a headphone/Iem handle poorly recorded material)
    - KPOP

     
    I used the Andromeda for all my music listening everyday for 2 weeks using the AK Jr mainly for maximum portability on the go and Chord Mojo at work.
     
    Packaging
     
    IMG_0696.jpg
    The box is made from some kind of carton with an out of space theme, it goes very well with the IEM name, there is also a paper sticker printed with the logo, name of the IEM and a very brief description of what the IEM is.
     
    Accessories
    IMG_0699.jpg IMG_0695.jpg
     
     
     
     
    Inside the paper box we have:
    - A hard Sided carrying case with a brown leather with a soft fluffy kinda material on the inside to protect the iem.
    - The IEM itself, with the cable attached on it (most likely 1.2m in length, silvery color).
    - cable management strap (2 of them in whitecolor).
    - multiple types of tips with size option (small, medium, large)
    - documentations
    - cleaning tool

     
    The Andromeda
    IMG_0686.jpg
     
    It has five balanced armature drivers(2 lows, 1 mids, 2 highs) and tubeless resonator in a machined aluminum enclosure with 3 bore design(1 for each frequencies I presume) and removeable cable.​

     
    The Cable​

    IMG_0687.jpg
     
    The cable on the Andromeda is different from the one included in the Jupiter and Orion when I review them.
    They are all silver, but the one for Andromeda is thicker and less prone to tangling.
    After  a little bit of research, I found out that the cable in question is called Litz cable.
    https://www.campfireaudio.com/shop/litz-cable/
     
    I'm no cable expert, but looks like the quality cable has some impact to the sound as the IEM sosunds excellent!
     
    Fit, Comfort and ease of use
     
    I've always have issues with fits as my ear canal has a significant differences in size. This makes it hard to find a good tips that will sound nice, consistent and comfortable on my ears however, with the inclusion of the comply foam tips in the box, the fit is becoming less of a problem as the foam tips helps a lot with the fit(a very thoughtful inclusion).
     
    The iem itself has and edgy design however this does not bother me much, when positioned carefully, my ear feel perfectly find after hours of use.
    Do take in mid that in order to ensure the comfort, you need to position the shell carefully, if you feel that the edge is touching you ears in anyway, just carefully reposition it so that it sits nicely on your ear.
    Do not push the shell inside to much that it touches the inside of your ear, this will cause discomfort later on.
     
    The Isolation is good, I used it a couple of times in the train and at work, it blocks most of the noise just fine.
     
    BUILD QUALITY
    The build Quality on The Andromeda is excellent, it has a more classier looks then some of the 1000 dollar IEM out there.
    The housing looks nice with the metallic green finish and I feel comfortable with the protection it provides.
     
    The unit itself has some weight to it, I can actually feel the weight on my hand when I hold onto it although once you put in the iem and play some music I doubt you will be bothered by the weight, considering the weight most likely comes from the iem housing made using a CNC aluminum housing. 
    I feel perfectly happy with the weight, considering that aluminum just looks so much better than plastic in terms of look, it doesn't feel cheap, like many other more expensive IEM that use plastic, I think the use of aluminum is a step in the right direction providing more protection and classier looks.
     
    The cable has an angled ends which adds to the longevity of the cable, I also like the fact that it has a detachable cable, I didn't try to detach it, but this will be a very good safety insurance for some people, as it can be replaced easily if something happens to it, and it will detach when a lot of pressure is applied to the cable.
     
    The positioning of the Y split is perfect for me, not too high not too low. Other than that for people who likes to invest on some high quality cables and wants to change the microphonic cables this will be a very welcoming addition.
    This is an over ear type IEM, therefore, it provides better ergonomics than cable down style.
     
    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    My first impressions with the IEMs are very positives. At first I feel that this IEM has a forward presentation in the mids and upper mids/lower treble.
    I am used to a more laidback presentation of my Mr Speakers Ether which is still a bit intimate but nowhere as intimate as the Andromeda, and becuase of that I felt that the Andromeda is a little on the bright side, but with more listening times, my ear adapts to the sound a bit and my opinion change quite a bit.
     
    SOUND ANALYSIS
     
    The Signature
    In my opinion the sound signature of The Andromeda is quite neutral with forward little emphasized mids, more than the bass and treble, it is by no means a mid focused, the bass is very present in the mix followed by the treble.
     
    If I have to compare the quantity of the signature, it will be like this: mids > bass > treble
    Although the difference is not big and can still be said neutral in a lot of ways.
     
    the signature itself works very well with all genres of music, including metal, my favourite genre.
    If you listen to modern musics though, this will be perfect in my opinion as long as you are not a big basshead. 
     
    I give the tonality of this IEM a perfect 10/10 since it just works and sounds good on everything I throw at it.
     
    The Bass
    The bass sound's tight and deep with good quantity and it is very fast, when I listen to "Forget Not" by Ne Obliviscaris, there is this part where the drum hits gets super fast, it will usually sound less distinct with other headphones and IEM, but The Andromeda handle this with ease, every hit can be heard and distinguished easily and on top of that it is punchy.
    It has a fast decay and very good dynamics, the drum works in the track mentioned above was transcended to another level when I hear it with the andromeda.
    despite the fast decay and tight bass, the bass doesn't feel thin or anemic at all, in fact it sounds very natural and satisfying. 
     
    When listening to EDMs or raps, the beat sounds super deep and punch with the excellent dynamic adding to the enjoyment, the switch between the silent phase to the bass shows a significant jumps of volume in a very short time, giving you the surprise factor and attack that you crave for from the tracks.
     
    The Mids
    The mids is lush, a little forward, very natural and detailed.
    You can listen to many variety of vocal with this and it can only be great.
    As a metal-head, I often listen to song where the singer use scream and growl for their vocals, it sounds really good with Andromeda and never harsh.
    If you listen to Rap, the clarity will make it easier for you to listen to the lyrics.
    If you listen to ballad or Jazz, the lushness will melt your mind away as it the sound has this emotional feel to it. (Norah Jones sounds so good on this)
    If you listen to Justin Bieber, ummm, I don't know, I don't really listen to that kind of music, but other modern music like Ariana Grande sounds excellent.
     
    I found both male and female vocals is being represented very well by The Andromeda and there is no distinction where male vocals will sound better or vice versa.
     
    Guitars sounds simply superb on this, the bite is present but never harsh
    You can listen to many old metal recordings where the guitar can sound sharp and harsh, but it will come out fine with this, I'm not saying it will sound excellent or anything since the recording itself is bad, but it will not sound harsh at all.
    On a good recording though, the guitar has a very natural tone to it but still has the bite that we all like.
    Overall Guitars both electric or acoustic, sounds excellent on this.
     
     
    The Treble
    Treble is very clean, smooth and present in the music with good air, it is very easy to notice the cymbal hits in metal or rock recordings, It is smooth and sparkly but not to a fault and has an excellent extension.
    It sounds lively and energising, providing the engagement factor on each track that I played. 
    Violin and guitar solos sounds awesome on this and it never gets sharp and harsh or fatiguing, the sound is really smooth and it really catch your attention to it.
     
    The Soundstage, Imaging and separations
    The soundstage on this is insane, In my opinion this is the best part of the Andromeda, I can confidently say that the soundstage is the widest of all IEMs I've heard to date Including many TOTL that I demoed sometime in the past(including K10U, Jh, etc). I can feel it right away the first time I put it on, It is that good!
     
    As a metal-head, most often IEM will not work nicely for me, this is because, metal music is dense and require good soundstage to avoid congestions where every sound seems super close to each other, good imaging to pinpoint the instrument and good separation so that 1 instrument will not cover the other instruments, this IEM definitely has it. and because of this it works very well for metal. 
     
    Everything just sounds distinct and I can pinpoint the instrument location very easily, the soundstage combined with the exceptional clarity makes this IEM sounds very clean and articulate without being thin.
    This IEM is so good at this that if you are looking for an excellent soundstage in an IEM, this is the best that I can recommend.
     
    Pairing
    AK Jr
    IMG_0691.jpg
    Naked Ak jr
     
    The pairing is excellent, the emphasized bass in the AK Jr added more bottom end meat to the Andromeda, giving you a bassier presentation but not overly so, mids is still lush and detailed, with good treble presentation.
    The AK Jr also has a very good soundstage further complimenting the strength of the andromeda.
    Power consumption of the Andromeda is quite low on the AK Jr, it last almost 2 days at work without charging.
    Very good sound, with ok battery and super slim and portable set up.
    Easily pocketable, unlike other DAP where I found that it is just too thick and expensive.
    easy and quick to use on many situation (on the bed, etc)
    If you can put up with the slow UI, I highly recommend this paring if you want more bass on your Andromeda.
     
    IMG_0694.jpg
     
    With green uniform on, because green is good!!
     
    Chord Mojo
    IMG_0690.jpg
     
     
    Again, the pairing is excellent, the mojo is also a warm source, although the bass boost is not as much as the AK, adding some bass to the Andromeda.
    the bass is a little less in quantity than the AK but is more extended (this is a trade off, I take the AK pairing for bass though, draw for me)
    the mids is still lush and full with slightly more detail and clarity than the AK but still noticeable improvements. (Mojo wins)
    the treble is smoother and more articulate than the AK Jr, this is the biggest improvement over the AK (Mojo wins)
    soundstage is about the same maybe a bit less than the ak, but better imaging and separation (Mojo wins Again)
    Less portable and harder to use than the Ak Jr (AK Wins)
    takes longer to set up, needs a computer or phone (AK Wins)
    more cable management, not good if you have to move around (AK Wins)
     
    The difference in quality of AK Jr combo and Mojo combo is noticebale but does not really gravitate me to use one more than the others, I'll just whatever the situation calls, this tells me that Andromeda is quite flexible with source pairing and will sound good on many sources as long as the source does not stray away too much from neutrality.
     
    Comparisons with Jupiter
    It has been a while since I heard the Jupiter so my audio memory of its sonic capabilities is not dependable, I think the main deciding factor is the signature, where jupiter is a slight U-shaped.
    but speaking of performance, technicalities and my own personal taste, I will always pick the Andromeda, the price difference is not huge and it is definitely worth the extra cost.
    In my opinion the performance jump is big considering the small price difference, I certainly didn't get wowed this much when I review the Jupiter, The Andromeda is just better right from the get-go and will always be my first choice IMO
     
    SUMMARY
    This is a great IEM with a great tonality and insane soundstage that will suit many genres, sound quality is excellent with excellent detail retrieval without sounding analytical.
    the only cons for this IEM is the edge design that can be a pain sometimes, thus requiring carefull positioning of the shell when wearing it.
     
    Providing a custom options will solve this problem perfectly and will increase the comfort and sound isolation. In my opinion this is a must do as this IEM definitely punch above its price range and can compete with other TOTL IEM with ease.
     
    I want to give a thumbs up to Campfire Audio for putting up this awesome IEM in such an affordable price that punch above its weight.
  6. cleg
    Limited version of unlimited sound
    Written by cleg
    Published Feb 12, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - sound, design, price, stock cable, accessories set
    Cons - some rare fit issues
    1-Main.jpg
    I always was a great fan of any "limited editions" and other "exclusive" stuff. So, when my friends from Portativ.ua (Ukrainian distributor of Campfire Audio) told me that they got in stock Pacific Blue version of Andromedas I've decided to sold mine regular ones and upgrade. I'm not sure, are they yet available anywhere (besides actually Portativ.ua), but I'll share my impressions anyway. As I didn't write my feelings on regular Andromedas too, I'll try to make this review two-in-one, because the difference is tiny (but anyway noticeable).

    First of all, I'd like to thank Campfire Audio for providing me with the regular version of Andromeda for exchange to my honest and unbiased review. I've used them for almost a year but then traded for this limited edition.
    2-Box.jpg
    Box and accessories set are the same as for regular version. The only difference is the color of the box and its sticker. Inside you'll have a brown raw leather case from CA, three pairs of single flange silicone tips, three pairs of foam tips, regular set of SpinFit (how I can type TM symbol?), cleaning tool and signature pin with company's logo. Also, you'll have cable for the IEMs, I'm mentioning it separately, as the cord is indeed excellent. Of course, I'd like to see a balanced wire in this box too, as it was with the first version of Jupiter. But new Campfire (or should I call them Alo) Audio cables are more expensive, and only one is in the box. Anyway, accessories set is excellent even for this price range.
    3-Accessories.jpg
    As for design, probably everyone, who is interested in personal audio gear have already seen Andromedas. Their green color became the signature feature of this model. Anyway, Campfire released few limited editions of a different color. I've tried to gather as much information as possible, but I could miss something or make a mistake.
    - "Polar white" Andromedas for Japan
    - Polished copper and silver versions of Andromedas for Chinese market
    - Polished chrome version for close friends and company's co-workers
    - "Pacific blue" version for other markets
    4-Overview.jpg
    Anyway, limited version uses the same design as regular ones, but with different color and a bit different hand-polished CNC steel sprouts. I didn't make precise measures, but I've seen mentions that this sprouts version are 1-2 mm longer. Indeed, with limited Andromedas, I've got a bit better fit, compared with my original Andromeda of the first version. Probably, this change isn't sprout-related at all or was introduced in recent revisions of "regular" Andromeda too, here I can't tell for sure, but the fact is new version is a little bit easier for me to fit.
    5-Close.jpg
    So, with all above being said, now I can call Andromeda definitely comfortable IEMs without fit issues (but YMMV anyway). They provide convenient fit and average sound isolation that is enough for noisy street or public transport, but subway or in the plane you'll need to increase a volume.

    Some warm words deserve the cable. Campfire uses probably the best MMCX connectors in the portable world (at least of those I've tried), they have a perfect gripping force and serves long, despite the hard usage. Cable itself is also lovely; it's soft, it's easy to untangle, it looks nice and has zero microphonic effect. It's made of high-quality silver plated copper. Anyway, if you're a fan of cable rolling, Alo Audio offers tons of different options, including gold ones.
    6-Bore.jpg
    Probably everyone here knows the representation of Andromeda (more then 20 reviews, is it a Head-Fi record?): neutral, resolving and super-natural sound with a perfect balance of audiophiliac detalisation with a pinch of musicality.

    Bass is fast, with perfect attacks and a bit shortened decays, typical for well implemented balanced armature designs. It's adequately balanced concerning quantity, but it leans a little bit to the faster side, so in rare cases, I'd like to see a bit more weight (not more bass itself), but that tracks are limited. Andromeda's lows have great texturing and offer clean instruments separation. The depth and overall control are also excellent.
    7-Sides.jpg
    Mids are neutral, they don't have any coloration, but on the other side, they don't have that hollow, sharp and bodyless representation, typical for inexpensive armatures. Mid frequencies in this IEMs correctly reproduce any single tiny nuance of the track, but Andromedas are critical to the quality of a recording. They don't try to mask mastering flaws or add any missing emotions, so they require that from the so records should be indeed excellent. The imaginary stage is close to maximum in width and a bit smaller than that in depth, anyway, it's one of the biggest in IEMs world. Earphones do a great job in layers separation and instruments positioning.

    Trebles are also "typical" for well-done balanced armatures, they have the superb attack and a bit shortened decays, but most important is that they have the right layering. For me, that layering is #1 criteria of TOTL models. Of course, we can even not mention treble resolution and sense of realism. So, if you're not too treble sensitive, high frequencies here will impress you.
    8-Faceplate.jpg
    As for a limited version of Andromeda, there is just one minor difference: they have a bit more body on the lower half of spectrum (starting from lows and up to the middle of mid frequencies). I can't tell for sure, is it right for all limited edition Andromedas, maybe it's just a difference in two particular exemplars, but I've done some blind A/B testing and the difference was audible. Anyway, this difference was pretty subtle, so I don't think that you'll need to exchange basic version if you already own one.
    9-Style.jpg
    Andromeda is a sensitive IEM, and you should consider this during source selection. You'll need not only perfect control all over the whole frequency range but also a low level of background noise. Subjectively, I prefer A&K models and Cayin N5-2 with this earphones.

    So, from one hand, I can't tell $1000+ IEMs "affordable," but from the other hand, Andromeda is at the early beginning of "TOTL" IEMs range, so let's say so: Andromeda is the most affordable way of achieving of the hi-end sound in the IEMs world.

      PlantsmanTX likes this.
  7. Wyd4
    Amazing IEM - Apparently it IS easy being Green
    Written by Wyd4
    Published Jan 31, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Sound, Build, Accessories, Fit, Colour, Attraction of the opposite sex
    Cons - Not the most stealthy IEMs
    I was recently given the opportunity to review the Campfire Audio Andromeda thanks to the kindness of Ken/ALO/Campfire and D_Marco
    It is great to be part of a community that allows such experiences, putting such trust in those also interested in this fine, rewarding but infinitely more and more expensive hobby.
     
    Prior to getting my ears around the Andromeda I was also lucky enough to hear the Lyra, Orion and Jupiter from the Campfire line, so I will try to draw some comparisons, however bearing in mind these are from memory.
     
    This review will be fairly brief as I do not have a lot to say about the Andromeda.
    This is in no way a negative, in fact far from.  I absolutely love the Andromeda in all of its green glory.
     
    I will start with the one and only negative I feel is of significance and we will go from there.  But be told, its all UPHILL from there.
    If I could pick a negative from my listening with the Andromeda it would be that it lacks a little soul.  Now this is quite subjective I know, however I like my music with feeling.  My favourite IEM of all time is the Tralucent Ref1too.  Yes at times it had far too much bass and was at times too Dark, but with the right source and the right music it just connected with me.  It took me back, it made me feel as though I was living the music.
    Now I find the Andromeda (and all of the Campfire line except the Lyra) to technically exceed the Ref1too in most regards.  However if I were given the choice I would take the Transducers with soul every time, even if I do cringe at some genre’s/tracks.
     
    NOW.  That seems like a pretty big deal breaker, except, I would buy these in a heart beat.  On-wards and upwards I say!!!
     
    Firstly, they are accessorised beautifully.  They come in a far more subtle cardboard box than its lesser siblings.
     It comes with a fantastic leather portable carry pouch that is lined with lambs wool.
    It comes with an array of Comply and Silicone Tips that are bound to fit most ears out there and it comes with a fantastic cable.  Not only does this cable look quality, I had zero issues with microphonics when walking to and from work.
     
    The build quality is also superb!  The very solid feeling aluminium units are anodized in a perfect shade of green.  Rarely did I wear them in public without getting attention.  Either that or I had something in my teeth.  Probably also green.  It’s always something green.
     
    The sound, well in a nutshell is very very very good and well within what I expect from an IEM of this price range. The beauty of the Andromeda is that is sounded fantastic with everything I played through it.  From Progressive Rock, Death Metal, Folk, Jazz, Jazz Fusion, Pop, Acoustic Rock it all sounded perfect.
    The highlight for me was the bass.  But at heart, no matter how much I try to lie to myself while listening to my Ether C headphones, I am a bass head.
    Are the Andromeda a bass head IEM.  No…. No they are not.  However if you are a bass head with taste, then perhaps these are worth a look as while their bass is excellent and for me the highlight, the rest of the signature exceeds any basshead iem/headphone I have heard.
    The Bass:
    It punches.  It punches hard.  I was surprised that I was listening to a full BA iem.  The only time I had experienced bass like it from a BA is the TG334 and the 1964 v8/u8.
    It has a great thump to it, however it maintains texture and control.  It has a slow decay for a BA driver, however it is more controlled than many dynamic drivers I have heard that manage similar impact and volume.  I thoroughly enjoyed the bass on the Andromeda for its ability to hit hard but sound great with all music.  I have found many headphones that manage to impress me with bass impact and volume, trip up on tracks that simply do not call for so much bass, or are more technical and require a more nimble approach.  No such problem with the Andromeda.
    The Mids:
    The mids are smooth, in line with the upper registers and present vocals beautifully.  I am not a fan of overly forward mids, particularly upper mids and I found no such traces of either in an offensive way with the Andromeda.  Often I find the mids (and more so the highs) with BA driver iems sound artificial to me.  I play guitar and I like guitars to sound like guitars.  Same for any instrument.  While the Andromeda does lack that euphoric quality I was referring to at the beginning of this review, it does sound very natural and realistic.  I was very pleased with the mid range presentation.
    The Highs:
    The highs are smooth, extended, detailed and realistic.  What more could you want. I never found them sibilant, even with some punk recordings that are just terrible.  But by the same token, I was never left wanting for more detail.  These are Highs done right!.
     
    Comparison:
    First lets rank these suckers:
    Andromeda>Orion>Jupiter>Lyra.
    This is a COMPLETELY SUBJECTIVE RANKING.
    Andromeda vs Orion:
    The Orion to me was a case of fantastic tuning, limited range.  I personally felt that the tuning of the Orion was bang on with the drivers they implemented.  It sounded natural, cohesive and pleasant.  It did sound a little thin, it did lack extension at both ends and it did lack bass impact.
    To me, the Andromeda has everything I wanted added to the Orion.  It has the bass.  It has more body to the sound, giving it more realism and feeling, it has fantastic extension at both ends and just sounds more refined.
    While you would expect all of this given the price difference, this is how they compare to me with the Andromeda wiping the floor with my previous favourite Campfire iem.
    Andromeda vs Jupiter:
    The Jupiter I found technically brilliant.  As I stated in my Jupiter review, it had nice bass, smooth mids and highs, good sound stage and amazing separation.  However it sounded off to me.  Instruments seemed to pop out individually so well, that it didn’t sound like music, it sounded like many instruments individually playing a tune.  Technically I cannot fault that, its amazing really, however from an enjoyment stand point it didn’t invite me into the music, it didn’t make me want to listen.
    The Andromeda to me is like the Jupiter with improved and increased bass, a richer mid-range with more body and a very similar top end.  However the big difference being that the music sounds whole again.  Sure if I listen for a guitar I can isolate it and tell you where it is in the array of instruments, but I am being presented with music.
     
    I will work on getting some images up and the formatting fixed in coming days.
      twice tzuyu likes this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. cpzzy
      Wonderful review! Thanks
      cpzzy, Feb 4, 2017
    3. Onny Izwan
      Please someone, compare it to Sony's fabulous XBA-Z5
      Onny Izwan, Feb 7, 2017
    4. gprs007
      Nice review bud. Tried these in CanJam NYC and smitten by it
      gprs007, Feb 7, 2017
  8. thatonenoob
    PMR Reviews - Campfire Audio Andromeda And Vega
    Written by thatonenoob
    Published Jun 19, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent Sound, Comprehensive Package, Great Build
    Cons - Large Housing, Bass Response Too Polite For Some, Vega's Timbre

    Campfire Audio Andromeda And Vega
    An Impressive Binary Sunset
    | PREVIOUS REVIEW | REVIEW INDEX | NEXT REVIEW |
    A LONG ABSENCE
    Apart from getting 20 yards away from a bear, accidentally descending down a snow-packed couloir (via a controlled* 50-foot slide) at Denali NP, and driving on a seriously questionable road somewhere above the Arctic Circle, I’ve been fine. Mostly. Yes, I’ve been in Alaska for a month, putting myself in precarious situations and generally relying on "hold my beer" logic to survive; I almost qualified for several Darwin Awards as a result. Naturally, I was absent, for the most part, from the audio world. But I've returned, and in fairly good time. The number of reviews I’ve built up is certainly not insignificant, and it seems that a lot has happened since I was last in the Lower 48. Those who have been keeping up with the Sony MDR-Z1R thread will know. But that’s old news, and this certainly isn’t the Donna Reed show – so let’s get going.

    *To the extent that sliding through waist-deep snow is "controllable".

    INTRODUCTION, PROPER
    My interest in Campfire Audio actually began a while ago at the first Canjam Singapore after a fellow audio enthusiast insisted that I audition his Jupiter. It sounded good, but lacked that je ne sais quoi that would have otherwise made me leap. Needless to say, I was interested in Campfire Audio’s various developments, and I wrote to them regarding covering their lineup. Well, a year later, I’m privileged to have finally gotten the chance to cover Campfire Audio’s flagship models. The good folks at CA are busy, and rightfully so, because they are certainly producing excellent earphones. But wait! One of the flagships is a dynamic too. EX1000 fans may now take a moment to briefly reminisce about the days of old.

    For those of who are still (somehow) in the dark about Campfire Audio, here’s a quick primer. Based out of Oregon, Campfire Audio was actually a project conceived by the good folks at ALO Audio. Ken Ball and team have clearly set their goal on producing high quality UIEMs capable of competing with the best, all while introducing new driver materials and featuring a rather unique design philosophy. It’s an approach that stands in stark contrast with the increasingly astounding (and pricey) contenders of the ongoing driver count race. Nicely done, I must say. Interestingly, Campfire Audio’s product offerings are split into two lineups. One is comprised primarily of BA driver earphones, while the other features more varied dynamic/ hybrid offerings. I think it is fairly safe to conclude that the latter mixes sound signatures up a bit, but I’ll discuss that more when I compare the Vega and Andromeda.

    A little while back, I mentioned the importance of flow in my reviews. This long trip certainly has given me more than a couple of ideas for future pieces and the fresh makeover of Head-Fi is good reason to do some spring cleaning. Prepare yourself as I attempt to break up an otherwise rigid review format and go on hopefully entertaining tangents. And watch as none of this comes to fruition (50% chance, give or take, especially if it’s a Monday). I’ll also be introducing my measurement rig in this review. I’ve been working on it for a while and I do have decent confidence in its capabilities as of now. It’s a rather big section, and for those who are not interested please do feel free to skip it. It is an interesting recap of the process and hopefully articulate enough to be helpful.


    DISCLAIMER
    The Campfire Audio Andromeda and Vega were provided directly by the CA team for the purposes of this review. I am neither a paid affiliate nor an employee of Campfire Audio. As always, I do reserve the rights to the media in this review, so if you would like to use the photography/ videos please do drop me a line (at the very least please provide an appropriate attribution). I dislike watermarks on photos and would rather not use them. It’s been a blast putting these two earphones through their paces. It’s also been a great time for me to push forth on my measurements of IEMs (my expedition in headphones having temporarily reached a “satisfactory” point, as I await further findings). Once again, a big thanks to Campfire Audio for this opportunity and I hope you enjoy reading this review as much as I did writing it.

    Editorial Note 1: Have posted a thread as well as a "review"- still don't fully understand the new showcase system yet and text formatting system, so I'm sticking to the tried and true thread post.
    Editorial Note 2: Some of these photos had to be posted lower-res than I had initially wanted due to the fact that I can't seem to locate the "resize" function in the new editor. Thus, manually resized in Photoshop. If there's a workaround, please let me know immediately.


    Packaging And Accessories

    Quality! These are excellent products to unbox. The packaging is both functional and sensible, leaving little in terms of material waste. Arriving in a star-studded (literally) cardboard box and sealed in with plastic wrap, the Campfire Audio IEMs are nestled inside a leather carrying case. The interior lining is definitely a nice thought, and the case shuts compactly enough to the point where the earpieces will not be sliding and scratching each other. As added protection, the Vega features two earpiece pouches. Strangely, this is not present on the Andromeda (and it should be). Apart from that, the general package is fairly comprehensive and complete. A full list of items is provided in the description below the photo.


    Package is fairly complete, featuring 1) Carrying Case 2) 2 x Earpiece Pouches (Vega Only) 3) IEM Cleaning Tool 4) Campfire Audio Logo Pin 5) 3 Pairs Comply 6) 3 Pairs Spinfit 7) 3 Pairs Silicone Stock 8) Earphones 9) Literature 10) Warranty Card


    Build Quality And Design
    The build quality on the Campfire products is quite commendable. It is certainly a highlight that must be mentioned. The Andromeda is made in the USA, and features a machined aluminum body with an anodized finish (Zirconium blast treatment). Some have asked if the earphone is really as green as it looks in the photos - the answer is yes. However, the carefully milled facets of the housing lend a very nice colored gradient to the earphone that changes with various lighting conditions. I suppose I know this because I spent too much time on the photography in this review. Other key design features include the 5-balanced armature drivers (2 low, 1 mid, 2 high) and a proprietary "tuned acoustic expansion chamber".

    The Vega is comprised of parts from Taiwan and made in China. That said, the earphone's build is still high quality. It features a liquid alloy metal housing with a PVD (physical vapor deposition) finish. It's a type of finish achieved by evaporating a solid/liquid into gaseous form and depositing it back onto the target surface as a thinly applied coating. The nozzle is plastic, and there is indeed a faint injection mold line on it (more sanding?). A tuning port can be found at the top of the housing. Throughout my time with the Vega, I did notice driver flex manifesting itself as a crinkling sound depending on how I inserted the earphones. It has been mentioned on the forums that there is no danger of damage from this flex though. The Vega's driver is an 8.5 mm dynamic driver made from ADLC (amorphous diamond-like carbon).

    [​IMG]
    Stock cable is very nice and is a silver plated copper litz wire in medical grade PVC jacket. There's a sturdy 3.5 mm plug with good strain relief, and the y-split is also quality, if not prone to scratching. Cinch is made from clear transparent plastic. The real star of the show is the ear guide, which blends heat shrink with a guide wire - it's simply the best of both worlds. MMCX connector is made from beryllium copper.

    Measurements
    Those who have read /been following my reviews will remember that we discussed, at some length, my personal headphone measurement rig/ process in the Sony Z1R review. It is fairly obvious that the results of non-standard measurement rigs are far from absolute, and should generally be applied in relative comparisons for best effect. Given these various limitations, one may ask why we, as enthusiasts, should even be bothered to develop measurement systems at all, considering that we are generally unable to match industry-standard equipment, and can in fact potentially mislead ourselves with erroneous results. The answer is two-fold and quite practical in my mind. First, it is an undoubtedly enjoyable process. The ability to quantify the qualitative (i.e. subjective) is gratifying (and equal parts, frustrating). But in general, it provides us with a better understanding of the devices we are measuring, and this comprehension can make the pursuit of audio far more enjoyable. Second, when applied effectively, decent measurements can provide objective insight – and allow for many meaningful, tangential explorations. Did you ever wonder just how “distorted” distortion is? If yes, a rig can help in the understanding of that area of sound. The list continues. Furthermore, it allows us to avoid the serious issues that can arise from purely subjective descriptions and misunderstandings. In my mind, certain descriptors can be directly correlated with measurements, giving us very substantive evidence to assist in descriptions. This isn’t to say that numbers are everything, but when applied appropriately, they can account for much indeed. Henceforth, I leave this open to interpretation, and for use as the reader sees fit.

    Editorial Note 3: I wrote the above section of the review a little while back as I was reflecting on the process. That is to say, over a month ago. Given the recent discussion about measurements, I've decided not to edit this section at all - this is, and has been, my perspective on measurements for a long time.

    I use the UMIK-1 from MiniDSP, a measurement microphone with an onboard soundcard. It is quite convenient and comes with its own calibration file. There is, to my knowledge, a 3rd-party company called Cross-Spectrum offering further, more extensive calibration services, albeit at an increased cost. It’s certainly worth a look for those investing in a measurement microphone. Microphone aside, the coupler is probably the next most important aspect of a working system. As I describe my own system, do note that this isn’t meant to outline the construction of the definitive measurement system. Instead, it is an objective look at the capabilities of my system, its shortcomings, and what I feel confident in assuming/ sharing.

    [​IMG]
    Meant for illustrative purposes only, this photo shows my rig with the guide on. Obviously missing is the foam surrounding, and clearly wrong is the fact that the rig is lying directly on the table.
    There are three factors that I ran into quite frequently in assembling the rig – coupling distance, seal, and resonance. In describing the modifications/ build of my own measurement system, I will go over the issues I encountered with each of these elements and how they can be resolved. Let’s start with the microphone. It is very much possible to detach the head of the microphone from the body. Clasp it with a vice and give the body a hard tug. Have your soldering kit ready, because from personal experience, it is easy to snap the wire off the solder point. In fact, I had to re-solder two points on the microphone (one broke and needed repair, the second broke in the process of the repair). To detach the microphone from the head, push gently using a soft object (pencil eraser, etc.). The microphone capsule should come off easily. As per recommendation, I’ve applied a ring of glue around the microphone capsule. Do note that depending on the glue used, you could potentially make it impossible to remove the capsule from the head, so do take caution with those soldering joints. I’ve thought about it, and in fact it may not be a bad idea to put some hot glue down, sealing the microphone permanently to the microphone headphone compartment and more or less securing the solder joints. There were pieces of white foam that came out the head compartment as well, and looked rather skimpy. To replace that, I cut a foam tip and pushed it directly behind the microphone. It seems to be a needed upgrade. You’ll also notice a large tangle of wires that came out from the body as well. When putting everything back together, use a pencil to push the tangle back in, as opposed to pushing on the microphone head. You will break the wire (especially at the solder point) doing this.

    The next step in the process is to build a coupler. I’ve got close to 10 iterations of “coupling” devices lying around. The one I’ve more or less settled on is shown in the pictures. I’ve used electrical tape to create a ring (just thick enough) such that the slightly larger ½ inch PVC tube can be sealed very completely with a bit of a push. The end of the chamber features a plastic flange that forms the PVC tube and enables better fits with certain types of IEM tips. This is where coupling distance really comes into play. As I will demonstrate in a graph below, it is very important that the coupling distance is correct, otherwise you’ll notice key FR landmarks (peaks, dips, etc.) in wrong places. I’d take a generally accepted uncompensated FR, and adjust your coupling distance such that the peaks align where they should. I’ve found that this will float in the ballpark of 1-1.5 cm depending on how you couple the IEM to the microphone. The further you couple your earphone away from the microphone, the more you see artifacts in the higher frequencies (repetitive peaks, and such). Resonance from the coupler discounted most forms of thin metal coupling for me. I’d stick with PVC and plastics for enthusiast measurement systems. Now, the Andromeda/ Vega present a very unique opportunity to adjust one’s rig. This is because Ken @Campfire Audio has provided uncompensated measurements that we can do comparisons against. Considering that his is a well calibrated, industry standard rig, I find this to be an interesting proposition. I do not believe my measurements to be better, so feel free to take note of the differences. And it is always fruitful to discuss your measurement techniques with other individuals - it provides insight/ means of improvement. One last mistake I made – don’t rush to take a bunch of measurements of tons of earphones, find one IEM to work with and go from there. Otherwise, you’ve but just a pile of fairly unhelpful numbers. IEM measurement is unforgiving, and can be more difficult than headphones in fact, so do take your time.

    [​IMG]
    Coupling distance matters a lot! See how it has affected the FR, especially in the upper range.

    Some things I noticed for the Andromeda – subbass attenuation feels like it should be 1-2 dB less. The region past from 1K-4K as measured is not perfectly flat, but has some dips and artifacts. I should note that higher frequencies, when measured on this rig, aren’t particularly accurate – best that the reader look and evaluate him/ herself. Third harmonic distortion exists on the Andromeda, but this is may be an attributable characteristic to the BA driver itself. Other measurements seem to support my measurements, at their current distortion levels. Overall, most things seem to check out fairly nicely. Vega came through generally unscathed and the difference between these two should be obvious.No smoothing has been applied in any of these measurements.

    [​IMG]
    Green are the various trials performed, Purple is the average.

    [​IMG]
    Ken Ball's measurements for the Andromeda. My rig has artifacts in the higher frequencies.

    [​IMG]
    My distortion measurements for the Andromeda.

    [​IMG]
    Green are the various trials performed, Purple is the average.

    [​IMG]
    Ken Ball's measurements for the Vega. Differences in higher frequencies.
    It seems that mine correlates to measurements from another site.


    [​IMG]
    My distortion measurements for the Vega.

    Sound

    The Andromeda is a superbly balanced earphone, made even better by choice ear-tips. Bass performance is responsive and tight, but not lacking. Sub-bass is rendered as needed with detail cues demonstrating the reproduction capabilities of the earphone. Mid-bass is expectedly inoffensive. The midrange is linear and connects to the higher frequencies without a hitch. Upper frequencies are naturally well-extended and liquid without ever coming off as tiresome. Detail retrieval is excellent and soundstage and imaging are spot on. A touch of coolness tints the Andromeda’s tonality, and it’s certainly something that resonates with me. As a long time ER4 user, I’m truly impressed (I’ll explain a little later). This isn’t an earphone for specific genres or songs or setups. It’s a transducer that reveals and navigates almost all source material.

    [​IMG]
    Like a Klingon ship racing through the galaxy. Federation be damned.
    The Vega is certainly the Danny Zuko of the Campfire Audio line up. Featuring a prominent bass response that makes full use of the earphone’s dynamic driver, the Vega digs deep and hits hard. It’s a heck of a lot of fun to listen to. In certain ways, the Vega reminds me of the Sony Z1R in earphone form, the comparison being rather crude, of course. Given this, it is surprising that the Vega doesn’t suffer much bass spill, and midrange generally comes through intact. Higher frequencies are well-extended, but do fall behind the Andromeda. Overall technicalities of the Vega are slightly behind the Andromeda. Instrumental timbre was one of the Vega’s weaker points. That said, the Vega moves in ways the Andromeda doesn’t. I can’t emphasize it enough, but the Vega is simply tons of fun.

    Together, these two headphones could complete a collection, providing a versatile toolkit that will satisfy even the most dedicated of enthusiasts. It is a rather refreshing look at IEMs, considering that recent developments have been marked by increasingly pricey offerings prompted by the informal driver count war. I’m not thrilled by all of these offerings – and some of my experiences with large multi-BA drivers have been quite negative. I’m not convinced that more is better, and I’ve tried some extremely expensive earphones where crossover points were audible and general coherency was atrocious. I’ve never quite given up on the merits of a properly executed single dynamic driver earphone, and the Vega has satisfied in this regard. In the course of this review, I’ve utilized the Onkyo DP-CMX1, theBit Opus#1, Teac HA-P90SD, and borrowed the Chord Mojo and Questyle QP1R from a fellow newly-converted audiophile. Sounded pretty good out of all of these sources. The earphones do have very low impedance though (Andro 12.8 ohms @ 1K, Vega 17.6 ohms @ 1K) so damping factor can be an issue. The sensitivity of the Andromeda means that noisy sources will be punished!

    SELECTED LISTENING IMPRESSIONS
    I’ve often been asked to be more narrative in my approach to reviews, and I do think that providing comparisons and walking through specific pieces of music will allow readers to get a better sense of what I’m addressing. I’ve picked moderately complex compositions that provide opportunity to showcase interesting aspects of each earphone, and will conclude on some general observations.

    [​IMG]
    A typical mess as everything gets sprawled out during the listening/ auditioning/ testing process.

    The Planets, op.32, Venus
    Gustav Holst, conducted by Karajan and performed by BPO


    The opening (00:00) features a horn call comprised of four ascending notes. It’s a smooth, haunting motive that is also texturally detailed. The timbre of the horn is appropriately rendered on both the Andromeda and ER-4S. However, the Vega portrays a mellower, smoother sound that reminds me less of a horn and more of a euphonium. Not exactly accurate. At 00:10, the second horn call is answered by a combination of oboe and flute chords. There’s a certain clarity conveyed by the Andromeda/ ER-4S – the reedy sound of the woodwinds being clearer and more incisive than on the Vega. At 00:37, the gentle rumble of the bass hints at a larger orchestration. The Vega and EX-800ST both deliver satisfying performances, while the Andromeda tends toward a more balanced portrayal. The ER-4S falls on its face. The violin solo at 02:05 is poignant and chilling. There’s a lack of bite from the Vega that reduces the realism of sound. The theme that begins at 03:15 is fantastically grand on the Vega though. Spot the celeste at the 07:36 mark. You'll notice that the Andromeda has more sparkle. I imagine that Karajan may have preferred the Vega. The smoother, more rounded sound, exemplifies the musical vision of the “emperor of Legato”. However, from a technical standpoint, I find the Andromeda to be better for classical music in general – it simply presents instrumental timbres better.

    Time Out, Take Five
    The Dave Brubeck Quartet


    A jazz classic, Take Five features an instantly recognizable tune in the uncommon 5/4 time. The start of the piece (00:00) provides easily accessible comparison material. With Joe Morello on the drums alone, it’s clear that reproduction on the Vega and Andromeda differ greatly. The bass drum kick is emphasized, while the cymbal ride is smoother and less brassy compared to the Andromeda. Snare drums seem about the same. Beginning at 00:20, Paul Desmond enters with the alto saxophone, and here we have yet another point of analysis. The left/center/right recording method with single mic means that each of the instruments is panned hard to a side spatially. While modern methods may dictate this as being less than ideal, it does provide an opportunity to test the soundstage/ imaging of our transducers. Perceived width and depth on the Vega is still smaller (but not small) than on the Andromeda. At 02:30 where the drum solo begins in full, the Vega proves once again that while it may not be as technically proficient as its sibling, it can be great fun to listen to.

    [​IMG]
    The Vega sports a sleek profile, one that seems to hide the fact that it can easily produce a massive sound.

    Others
    It should be no surprise that the tonal balance of the Andromeda favors midrange performance over that of the Vega. Listening to Diana Krall’s East Of The Sun (West Of The Moon), there’s a certain spaciousness that pervades Krall’s voice. Appropriate rendering of vocal texture and linearity aid in the easiness of sound. It’s a fuller (and slightly wetter) sound than the ER-4S, which is a good thing. The Vega’s mids are smoother, and are slightly less defined and present. It’s well-executed considering the earphone’s impressive bass, but for those who listen exclusively to vocals the Andromeda is the go-to.

    CHOICE OF EARTIPS

    I've begun work on eartip measurements, though I do not yet feel confident in utilizing them yet. Here's a quick look at my general measurements (but should not be relied upon!). I urge readers to use the subjective impressions below.

    [​IMG]
    This is simply meant as preliminary look into how eartips affect sound.
    However, measurements not entirely reliable at this point in time.
    • Spinfit (Baseline) – I’ve chosen this as the baseline for observations as they seem to be one of the most popular, and I do find myself returning to them a fair bit. Tends to yield a brighter character to the earphone with a nice zing. Extension is excellent. Spinfit can be unpredictable between user-to-user, if not by its whole premise alone.
    • Spiral Dot – Another excellent choice. Doesn’t have the same sonic edge as the Spinfit, but doesn’t lack in extension and certainly adds extra weight to sound. Many will find this to be a nice and pleasant ear tip, provided it fits. I recommend buying ½ a size smaller than your usual as the diameter on these eartips is fairly large due to its wide bore design.
    • Sony Stock Silicones – Not bad, but between the Spinfits and Spiral Dots, I really don’t see what these do better. Higher frequency extension is weaker than the Spinfits, and lower frequencies are less clear. Vocals are less immediate too. Deeper fit brought housing into contact with the ear, which was uncomfortable.
    • Sony Isolation Hybrid – Clear improvement over Sony Stock Silicones. Brings extra isolation, slightly improved bass response, all while maintaining comparable extension and clarity. It’s a nice flavor. Fairly comfortable to wear, if not a little difficult to fit onto the nozzle.
    • Sony Foams – Available in Japan only (I think). If you need foam tips and have access to Japanese products (import/export, etc.) I’d use these. Featuring a foam eartip with a silicone backing, these eartips tend to last longer than Comply tips, are far less prone to ripping, and generally less icky. Complies do seem to isolate and seal better though. Similar to the hybrid tips, but adds slightly more warmth and bass. Highs less extended?
    • Stock Silicones – Somewhat similar to the Spiral Dot in terms of bore and insertion depth. Sound isn’t remarkably different, but I find the fit to be slightly less agreeable. Those who prefer a softer ear tip will probably enjoy the stock silicones better. They do tend to bring the housing closer (and into contact with the ear) too.
    • Comply – I don’t really like the way Comply eartips fit and feel. They wear out fast, have a tendency to rip, and just annoy me. That said, Comply eartips do offer a decent amount of isolation, and for me increase the bass. It should be noted that Comply eartips affect sound based on the amount that they are compressed. More compression leads to better seal, which in turn can increase bass and treble. Less compression can result in the foam attenuating the highs, etc. I’d suggest going with the former in most cases.
    Final Thoughts
    To me, the Andromeda and Vega are excellent earphones. The Andromeda's balance is very pleasant to me, and the Vega offers a similarly well executed signature that features a tonal balance that is indeed rather hard to pull off. Couple that with the excellent build quality of these IEMs, and it's just hard to argue with these earphones. If you're in the market for a new pair of high-performance IEMs, you definitely need to do yourself a favor and at least give the Vega and the Andromeda a try.

    [​IMG]

    images

    1. asdfadsfadsf.jpg
      Ungaro and ustinj like this.
  9. ExpatinJapan
    Campfire Audio Andromeda - The in ear perfected
    Written by ExpatinJapan
    Published Sep 15, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent sound, gorgeous design
    Cons - Fit might not be comfortable for some ( a small percentage).
    My full review of text and photos at 
    http://headpie.blogspot.jp/2016/05/campfire-audio-andromeda-review.html
    Also reviews for the NOVA and JUPITER can be found.
     
    here are the highlights.....
     
    Campfire Audio Andromeda Review - Expatinjapan (originally published May 2016)
     

     
     
    https://campfireaudio.com/andromeda/
    Campfire Audio is the IEM sibling of ALO Audio.
     

     

    Build
    The build of the Campfire Audio Andromeda is exquisite. Seemingly a classic in the making in its overall look and design. The quality of the machining is beautiful to look at, each unit is piece of art in itself.
    It casts an illusion of hardness and weight, yet the converse is true. The Andromeda is lightweight and solid, yet fits within the ears with a softness If you will.
    Five balanced armature drivers with a tubeless resonator box into a machined aluminum enclosure.
     
    Each part is precision machined out of aluminum with one large bore hole and two smaller bore holes. The two halves of the housing being connected by bolts. Seamless.
     

     
    Using MMCX connectors with reinforcement makes for a safe and sturdy cable where it counts the most. The ability to swap out the 3.5mm cable for a 2.5mm balanced cable (not included) is also a plus.
     

     
     
    The new Litz wire cable makes its entrance into the Campfire audio range and will eventually be the standard cable for all the CA range. No need for any cable upgrades with this beauty.
     
    Packaging
    The Campfire audio Andromeda comes in a simple box like its predecessors, yet with one important difference in detail. Now one can easily open the box once the plastic shrink wrap is removed without having to cut into it. It was a painful procedure to go through when I received The Jupiter. Now as you can see in the photos it opens easily like a flower in bloom.
     

     
    The Andromeda comes with a beautiful case like its other IEM siblings in the Campfire Audio range. This time the color is a rich chocolate brown leather case with a wool lining. Well made and strong. Attractive and stylish to look upon.
     

     
     
     
     
    The Andromeda, like the other IEMs in the Campfire Audio range comes with the same accessories to get you started on your way to aural bliss. Three packs of tips, a cleaning brush and a delicate CA pin for those special occasions. The tips are Comply, stock foam and silicone and come in three sizes of S, M and L.
     

     
     
    Fit
    Coming from the Jupiter all my past concerns about fit have passed, perhaps the Campfire range is not for all ears, but for me the look is false and the fit is true.
    They are comfortable for lengthy periods of time, the nozzles is angled just so, perfect to slip easily into the ear canal. The memory wire that graces the upper ear locks everything in place.
    As usual one has to do some tip rolling to find which tip achieves the best fit, isolation and comfort.
    If the supplied tips don`t fit your fancy there are many quality aftermarket tips out there to buy and try. I would hazard a guess that most people purchasing a TOTL IEM like the Andromeda would already have a healthy collection of various tips to choose from.
     
    The Campfire Audio IEMs do look like sharp edged heavy beasts, but really they anything but that.
    Light, well designed to fit within the inner ear and with a delicately angled nozzle assist to achieve a decent seal to aid one along the path to musical happiness.
     

     

    Chin slider to assist in maintaining a secure fit.
     

     

    Sound
    The Campfire Audio Andromeda IEM is a wonder of design, vision and engineering.
    It ticks all the right boxes for me and what I have read so far from others early impressions it also rings their bells.
    The Andromeda for now sits at the top of the Campfire Audio range of IEMs, will there be a further development in the future? I hope so, even though with the advent of the Andromeda I am curious If it can be done better.
     

    My first impressions of the Andromeda were positive.
    *My impressions are short and possibly not wholly accurate due to my short time listening to the Andromeda at the Fujiya Avic Headphone Show in Tokyo, Japan. April 2016.
    The sound was fuller than the Jupiter, or it could be the lush and sweet mid range now coming through.
    My Jupiter is smooth, articulate and airy. A nice low end and highs. A soft small u shape.
    The Andromeda seems to pack more power, it seems flatter in a reference sense, same low and high ends but it has more in the middle. Not warm either. Musical yet tending towards reference.
    Clear, clarity, detailed, also articulate.
    Excellent instrument separation, width, height, speed, layering etc are wonderful. The main word that springs to mind is soundstage. It has a great extension from the low to the high end. 
    It has a very balanced sound across the board, yet also musical.
     
    I did most of my listening to the Andromeda with the Centrance Hifi-Skyn, ipod 6G 128GB using Flacplayer app by Dan Leehr. I started the review after a burn time of 100 hours.
    The Campfire Audio Andromeda IEM is a work of wonder. It is without a doubt one of the best IEMs I have had the good fortune to listen to. Whereas many earphones and headphones are built for a particular type of music or a persons sonic preferences the Andromeda seems to pull a magical trick where it is all things for all people.
    One might say it goes against the saying `a jack of all trades` by changing the final conclusion to `a master of them all`.
    I try to avoid new toy joy and hype city by placing my new items into a merry go round of burn in for a good number of days which allows for my initial excitement to die down somewhat, so I might approach the review with a sense of objectiveness. 
    I have tried to plumb the depths of the Andromeda for its many weaknesses and can uncover no glaring faults.
    It truly is a work of wonder in this saturated market of multi driver IEMs and TOTL Daps.
     
    The Andromedas soundstage is the main thing most first time listeners will notice, it extends beautifully and fully to both ends of the spectrum. One head-fier even described it as `holographic`, one could even add 3D-ish but that sounds cheaper so lets run with holographic.
    It is controlled well at the high and low ends, the bass being powerful, fast and clear and not shy to pack a punch. The treble is clear and sparkly and extends well into the distance without any hint of sibilance or harshness. It has a mid range that is lush, open and even one could say sweet.
    The sub bass stays in its place well enough as does the bass, mid range and treble, there does not appear to be any bleed through inappropriately through the layers.
    The Andromeda walks a tightrope being both well balanced and even reference sounding to a degree, yet also musical but without the usual accompanying coloring that other IEMs offer.
    It has great resolution, layering and has fantastic micro detailing with the right Dap.
    They are smooth, even organic to a degree, detailed and have a fast response overall. I find I am able to listen to the Andromeda for lengthy periods of time without fatigue.
     
     

     
    Campfire Audio Andromeda frequency chart, courtesy of CA.
     

    Value
    The Andromeda ranges from US$999 to US$1,099 depending on whether you jumped quickly onto the pre-order bandwagon. Whether that is still live at the time of this article being published is worth a quick look.
    https://campfireaudio.com/andromeda/
    Value is a fickle thing. It varies in life from experience, to objects, people and so on.
    In the audio world it is often harder to gauge.
    Does the Andromeda tick all the right boxes, I would have to say yes.
    Build, yes. Packaging, small and simple. Yes. Fit, well for me thats a yes.
    Sound, definitely a yes.
    It a TOTL IEM at a TOTL price point, and justifiably so as it delivers on the promise of high end audio.
     

     
     
    Overall
    The Campfire Andromeda is one of the best IEMs ever to grace my ears. It shines in all areas of performance, admittedly I fear I may have missed its faults but I did my darned best to uncover them.
     
    One might call the Andromeda `Jupiter perfected`, the missing mids in the Jupiters soft lower case u sound shape were gorgeously present with the arrival of the Andromeda.
    One Head-fier (Hisoundfi) described the sound of the Andromeda as `holographic` and thats a term that I keep returning to as it echoes in my memory.
    I have tried it with various sources: ipod touch 6G, Centrance Hifi-Skyn, Centrance Mini-M8, Shozy Alien Gold, Fiio M3, Seiun player.... and to my ears it seems to be constant in its performance.
     
    The build of the three Campfire Audio IEMs I have is impeccable. They are solid and robust.
    Made from one block of precision machined aluminum and held together by bolts. They certainly are sturdy. They appear heavy to the eye but in fact are quite lightweight.
    Whilst they may look sharp at first glance, they are well designed and fit into my ears without any uncomfortable rubbing, the cable has a memory wire which also helps to lock them in place although they seem to sit there quite well by themselves.

     They have a lot of straight lines and not so many curves as most IEMs have, but rest assured it is comfortable fit.
    The nozzles are angled in such a way as to enter the ear canal easily, and are long enough to get a good seal and isolation.
     
    The cable is strong and well made. The braided cable gives a sense of strength and beauty and it is reinforced at the MMCX connector.`
     
    In summary the Campfire Audio Andromeda takes a seat at the table of the TOTL IEMs and rightfully so, no doubt as more of the Andromeda units find their way into other reviewers hands many will echo my findings, not through any malicious plagiarism but simply the Andromeda is coherent and consistent in its performance.
    Perhaps some other reviewer can find a glaring fault, I could not.
     
    The Andromeda...smooth, resolving, huge soundstage, detailed, beautifully designed and made.....
     

     
     
     
     
    Thank you to Campfire Audio for sending Head pie the Andromeda
    -expatinjapan
     
     
     
      KEV G and DosPesos like this.
  10. Loquah
    Campfire Audio Andromeda
    Written by Loquah
    Published Aug 14, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Brilliant sound across the board, beautiful design, high quality construction
    Cons - Large nozzles won't fit all ears comfortably/securely, treble is a little too prominent for my preferences towards warmth
    Campfire Audio have been churning out some beautifully designed and crafted IEMs lately - machined aluminium in gorgeous industrial, but somehow ergonomic shapes, unique resonators in place of the more common sound tubes, beautiful and high quality cables with MMCX connectors and sound tuning that is equal parts varied and consistently enjoyable. Admittedly, their dynamic driver-based Lyra model didn't wow me, but the balanced armature-based Jupiter and Orion models were both great.
     
    I was excited to see what magic Campfire Audio wove into the Andromedas to build on their already excellent range and, on first listen, the Andromeda showed all the signs of being the perfect amalgamation of the outstanding performance and tuning demonstrated in the earlier models.
     
    CAAndromeda-2072.jpg
     

    Design & Accessories

    Like all of the Campfire Audio range of IEMs, the Andromedas are a combination of impeccable design and luxurious appointment. The Andromedas come with a beautiful, dark leather carry case lined with wool (or synthetic wool - I'm not sure), a high-quality braided cable, a broad selection of silicone and foam ear tips, and a cleaning tool. All-in-all it's an outstanding range of accessories that makes the Andromedas feel every bit as high-end as their price tag suggests.
     

    Aesthetics & Ergonomics

     
    Beyond the accessories, the design of the Andromedas is equally high-end. The housings are machined from aluminium and finished in a rich, anodised green that's reminiscent of British Racing Green as used on some classic, vintage sports cars. It's not a colour you normally see in the audio world, but it's a great looking colour and grants the Andromedas a truly unique aesthetic. As well as the aesthetics, the choice of aluminium housings means you know that they are rigid and not creating mechanical distortion in the sound reaching your ears.
     
    Ergonomically, the Andromedas are more comfortable than they look. At first glance the Campfire IEMs look to be all angles, but the Orion and Jupiter models proved to me convincingly that the angles and curves are in all the right places to produce a comfortable wearing experience. The silver-coloured nozzle is quite chunky, but it's still small enough in diameter to fit into my slightly troublesome ears although I wouldn't want to wear these while exercising because the nozzle prevents a truly secure fit in my ears. That said, they fit well enough to seal the ear canal and reproduce their optimal sound without any hint of discomfort.
     
    CAAndromeda-8120009.jpg
     

    Driver Configuration

     
    CAAndromeda-8120003.jpg The Andromedas are a 5-driver design which means that each earpiece contains 5 balanced-armature drivers. That's not particularly unique in the earphone world, but the Andromedas share the unique technology pioneered by their older siblings - a tubeless resonator design. I can't say exactly what that means (because I don't know, not because I'm sworn to secrecy), but the essence of it is that the traditional tube system to carry sounds from the drivers to tip of the nozzle in most IEMs is replaced by this unique approach in the new Campfire Audio IEMs. Looking closely at the nozzles on the Andromedas, it appears as though each driver or set of drivers (e.g. bass, mid and/or treble groupings) deliver sounds into chambers which are controlled for resonance with damping or similar techniques. The sounds then exit the chambers via the openings in the nozzle without the potential turbulence or resonance that plastic tubes could make.
     
    There are many amazing IEMs on the market that manage to sound exquisite while using the traditional nozzle approach (and may actually benefit from them by extending the lengths of the nozzles to adjust for timing variations between frequencies) so it's not fair to say that this technology instantly raises the Campfire Audio products above their competition, but the tubeless resonator technology certainly doesn't seem to harm the sound and therefore may conceivably be improving it.
     

    Sound

     
    The sound from the Andromedas is effortless in that annoying way that some people can be athletic. What I mean is that there's no sense of strain or effort, but equally there is no sense of flaw or laziness.
     

    Treble

     
    Campfire Audio market the Andromedas with the claim that "this system's high frequency extension is unattainable using conventional techniques", referring to the tubeless resonator system discussed above and I can definitely confirm that there is no lack of extension to the treble from the Andromedas and the treble they deliver is super smooth with no hint of sibilance and no sense of any "peakiness" despite a slight emphasis in the treble.
     
    Compared to the Jupiters, the Andromedas have a better overall treble balance, but don't lose any overall sense of treble energy or detail - they just balance all the treble frequencies out more evenly without any spikes. The Jupiters had good treble, but the Andromedas have great treble. That said, the amount of treble may not be perfect for listeners with tastes similar to me. Very importantly here I want to clarify that the following remarks are about the amount of treble, not the quality of the treble - the quality of the treble is marvellous. Where the problem lies for me is that I find the treble to be slightly too prominent in the overall sound signature. As good as the treble is, I don't want it to be the star of the show at the expense of sonic balance and the Andromedas definitely have a slight tilt towards a V-shaped signature. My listening tastes align neatly with the Noble Kaiser 10 and AudioQuest NightHawk - two products that are supremely organic and musical. To my ears, the Andromedas are leaning a bit more towards Hi-Fi rather than organic musicality. That's not a criticism because they sound spectacular at what they do with treble, but the signature is just not my preference. However, for those that like the increase in perceived resolution, increased sense of space and the sparkle of great treble, the Andromedas are absolutely worth an audition.
     

    Mids

     
    As I already alluded to above, the mids on the Andromedas are slightly less prominent than the treble and that's a shame because the mids are glorious. They are full, well-weighted and immensely enjoyable. If Campfire Audio were to pull back the treble emphasis these might have been my favourite ever IEMs, but as it is they are sitting pretty in second place I think. Whether reproducing female vocals, male vocals or instrumentals there is a wonderfully engaging presence and focus to the mid-range from the Andromedas. Everything is crystal clear and sharply focussed, but rendered with a warmth that keeps everything completely realistic and natural - I just wish the treble didn't occasionally demand attention away from the mids.
     
    When compared to my favourite IEMs, the Noble Kaiser 10s, the Andromedas not only hold their own, but are actually even more engaging in many ways. I still prefer the slightly tamed treble from the K10s, but the laser-sharp focus and natural rendering of the vocals and instrumentals from the Andromedas might be impossible to beat. In fact, the Andromedas' mids remind me of the insane mid-range quality from the FitEar ToGo! 334.
     

    Bass

     
    The bass quality and quantity from the Andromedas is really impressive! The other IEMs I've reviewed in the Campfire Audio range (Jupiter, Orion and Lyra) all had nice bass presentations in their own ways, but the Andromedas stepped it up. The Andromedas have impressive punch and weight in their bass presentation. In fact, I wonder if Campfire Audio have employed one of those huge, bass-specific BA drivers like those used by Noble Audio in the K10 and Noble 5 (now the Dulce Bass I believe). There is also very good extension to the bass - something that BA IEMs have gotten better and better at over recent years and the Andromedas are definitely keeping pace with excellent weight and presence right down to the lowest audible bass registers.
     
    There's a nice lift to the bass from the Andromedas, but it's been executed in a very considered and balanced way. The result is wonderful punch, weight and depth while never straying from a neutral and accurate overall sound signature. The bass is quick and controlled, but never seems to lack body and presence - a masterful piece of tuning indeed! The Andromedas are equally as adept with acoustic, classical, electronic or rock (or anything else I threw at them) because the bass is so accurate and never over steps the mark.
     
    I decided to put the Andromedas up against the Kaiser 10s again and used the thumping kick bass of Everlasting Light [Live] by The Black Keys to see how well they both performed. The Andromedas delivered visceral thump and rapid decay so everything sounded solid and full, but agile and clean. Moving to the K10s brought some extra weight to the bass without losing the speed. On bass presentation alone (discounting the Andromedas' exceptional mid-range), the Nobles had a slight edge so I tried Elijah Rock from Harry Connick Jr.'s Oh, My Nola album. This is a much cleaner recording of a really thumpy kick drum and bass. Once again the competition was super close and once again I'd give the bass edge to the Nobles. Interestingly, on this recording (which is excellent) I would also give an overall edge to the Nobles because the treble energy from the Andromedas creates a very slightly unnatural presentation of the overall performance.
     
    CAAndromeda-8120012.jpg
     

    Staging & Imaging

     
    One of the benefits of treble emphasis (even only slight emphasis) is the potential to massively increase the perceived soundstage size and also the accuracy of the image. When done right, as it is with the Andromedas, the resulting presentation is nothing short of astounding and that is completely true here. The Andromedas produce the best soundstage I have ever experienced in a headphone or an earphone. Being a sealed in-ear design, the Andromedas can't compete with a fully open headphone for sheer soundstage size, but they are far more accurate with imaging and sound placement. The resulting balance of size and imaging accuracy is beguiling and has me seriously considering a purchase even though I already own one of the best IEMs on the market.
     

    Conclusion

     
    The Andromedas are easily one of the best earphone or headphone products I have ever had the pleasure to audition or own. They easily hold their own against the very best flagship IEMs on the market and are a spectacular blend of technical expertise and masterful tuning. Although they pack a little more treble energy than I personally like, most people will absolutely love the presentation as it's right in line with the preferred signatures around the Head-Fi world. What sets the Andromedas apart though is the perfection with which they execute this common sound-signature. The tubeless resonators must be doing something good because the Andromedas offer the best quality treble and mids I have ever heard and they are no slouch in the bass - being bested (barely) by the Noble K10s holds no shame!
     
    If I were in the market for a pair of universal IEMs, the Andromedas would be top of the list right next to the Noble K10s and I would probably choose the Andromedas based on the difference in price. In my experience there is really no universal worth looking at beyond the Andromedas. If they were made as a custom I would be in very big trouble!
      d marc0 and hqssui like this.
    1. nehcrow
      First off great review mate!
      Have you tried the Andromeda out of an iPhone? Output impedance significantly affects the tonal balance of these in-ears. With DAPs closer to zero output impedance, this IEM sounds darker/rolled off whilst DAPs with 2-3 ohms OI (iPhone) will even out the Andromeda with some stridency/emphasis in the treble. I guess it's personal preference but just saying it is a wildly differing sounding IEM depending on your source :)
      nehcrow, Aug 15, 2016
    2. NightFlight
      I literally listened to a pair at a meet for 30 seconds. Switched back to my customs. Then back to the Andromeda's. Perhaps a total of 90 seconds of listening and my money was firmly separated from me next day.  I can't wait until they show up. Pressing the button on the tracker app every few minutes it seems. :wink:
      NightFlight, Jan 26, 2017