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Campfire Audio Andromeda

Rating:
4.88889/5,
  1. MrOTL
    The Green Opal.
    Written by MrOTL
    Published Dec 31, 2017
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Fabulously awesome design,
    Enjoyable listening to music,
    Staged for an audience of one,
    Cheerful and airy treble,
    Finely detailed bass
    Cons - Cumbersome fitting,
    Too sensitive to sound source environment,
    Deficiency of bass depth
    [​IMG]

    Speakers is a medium to convert the electrical signal into the physical waveform that people can hear. The way speakers are designed and made have a big effect on their sound-signature. Earphones also has almost same design-concept with speakers and can be thought of as the microcosm of technological integration in acoustic field. To be productive, they must be sturdy, easy to handle, and have good appearance. Especially, it is not easy to raise the perfection of the product which satisfies both sound and design at the same time. 'CampfireAudio Andromeda' in-ear headphone can be one of the best solutions in the current Head-fi market.



    [​IMG]

    Accessories
    1x Pair Andromeda earphones
    1x Silver Litz cable with exclusive MMCX connectors and memory wire
    1x Leather carrying case
    3x Pair Comply Foam tips (S, M, L)
    3x Pair memory foam tips (S, M, L)
    3x Pair silicone wide bore tips (S, M, L)
    1x Owner’s manual


    When you first get the "Andromeda", you will be surprised at the extremely small size of the package box and its overly rich composition. The container case inside of the package is made of thick dark brown leather, so that it does not get crushed even by the external impact. Its copper-colored zipper and lambs-wool lining looks classy and gorgeous. There are label pins, cleaning tools, 3 kinds ear-tip sets in the package. Also, a warranty and product manual with unique art design.


    [​IMG]


    The emerald-colored Zirconium blasted aluminum shells and the silver bolts fixing it emit the beauty of gem stone, while simultaneously feeling the cold mechanical atmosphere. Overall, the shell's color is delicately anodized and the detail of the nozzle or connector is made to a high standard. However, it is expected that there can be a cumbersome fit due to the short nozzle compared to the size of the units. I recommend using a Spin-fit ear-tips contained in the package, or one-step larger ear-tips than usual.


    [​IMG]

    The bundle cable is made of silver-plated copper Litz wires and a polished aluminum Y-splitter. Using flexible sheathing and twisting the wires tightly, there is no worries about microphonic. The MMCX connectors are made of beryllium plated, so that durable enough to be firmly fixed and welly compatible with even other brand products. It is really good to see, but due to the polished material on the Y-splitter, there is a matter that it is easily scratchy. The ends of ear-guides are not warped well, which made uncomfortable to wear.







    [​IMG]

    Specifications
    Frequency Range: 10Hz-28kHz
    Sensitivity: 115 DB SPL/MW
    Impedance: 12.8 Ohm @1kHz
    Cable: Silver Litz cable, MMCX connection


    'Andromeda' knows how to make people enjoy music. The most notable advantage shows in the expression of the sound-stage. The stage is drawn in a wide circle around the listener, and the reverberations of each session spread out towards the audience. Of those, the mainly mastered session sounds a slightly little bit ahead. As if, 'Andromeda' gives the impression that it is playing music only for one person. Thanks to this, even if the harmonics of the certain range are recorded too much, the details of each session are not easily burred, which helps to enjoy more diverse genres of music. However, it may give difficulties if need to professionally monitor the location of sound-stage.


    The harmonies of mid-range and treble are dry, densely reverberant and have a bright tone. The sibilance is exposed to some extent, but it rolls off quickly before reaches the level of fatigue, so the harmonies of cymbals, string instruments, and female vocals are heard airy and comfortably. This sibilance may be emphasized strongly on the sound source which its high dynamic range is recorded unstably. Among the ear-tips in the package, Spin-fit ear-tips welly keep the tone and detail of the sound-signature stably.


    [​IMG]

    If the sibilance is still annoying, using the marshmallow memory-form ear-tips enclosed. With this memory-foam ear-tips, can reduce the irritating part of the treble. But because they tend to blur the details of the bass by boosting at mid-low bass, you should make decision on choosing the ear-tips depending on the sound-source environment.


    The amount and reverberation of bass is richer than mid and high range. There is an emphasis on 100Hz, and the roll-off attenuation of the deep bass is strong, so can feel the drums and the bass strings’ texture well. However, with the fast response feature, the weight of bass seems to present deficiency of bass depth.


    Due to ‘Andromeda’s low impedance and high sensitivity, very sensitive to output noise. It is better to match the low output devices such as portable music players than the stationary systems. I’d like to recommend that you listen with a well recorded sound-source because it catches the noise flow of the sound-source easily. And because the response characteristics of the mid-range are largely changed according to the cable matching, it is better to use it with cable products with neutral sound-signature.






    Claimer

    Hello, I am a South-Korean reviewer named 'Bigheadfiler'. My first language is Korean and I am still learning how to write in English. Please understand if see any missing sentences or words. All of the contents are written and taken by me. Thank you.

    The CampfireAudio Andromeda was offered by ‘Campfire Audio’. The content of the review has been written without any restriction because the authors' freedom is respected.
    1. knopi
      Beauty photos
      knopi, Jan 7, 2018
      MrOTL likes this.
    2. MrOTL
      Thank you :)
      MrOTL, Jan 8, 2018
  2. 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
  3. BananaOoyoo
    Red, White, and Blue (A Quick Andromeda Review)
    Written by BananaOoyoo
    Published Jul 4, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Outstanding clarity and detail, natural sounding, and with an excellent soundstage. No obvious weaknesses in the lows, mids, or highs.
    Cons - Source sensitive, and the fit might not be ideal for all users.
    IMG_4183.JPG

    Introduction


    Last June, I was looking for my first proper IEM and started asking around for a ~$400 IEM recommendation. At that time, the recommendation was to look at the Campfire Audio lineup, specifically the Orion, which was just under my budget, or a used Nova/Jupiter. Up until that point, I had very little experience with IEMs, as I had always had difficulty with getting a proper fit in my left ear. Fortunately, living in Seoul, with its abundance of headphone stores, I was able to find a local dealer that carried the Campfire Audio lineup, and to my surprise, I was able to get a good fit with their oddly-shaped products.

    But wait, these are a picture of Andromedas? Well, I did try the Orions, and while they were nice, they didn’t come across as exceptional. The Nova’s treble left a lot to be desired, and coincidentally, the display Jupiter wasn’t available for listening at the time. That left the Andromedas, with an outrageous 1,690,000KRW (~$1500) price tag. I never expected that I’d purchase a TOTL IEM, but one listen to the Andromeda convinced me otherwise. When they went on sale for $799 on Black Friday, I was pretty quick to jump on the deal – after all, at that price, they were cheaper than getting even a Lyra II locally.

    Build

    Up until the newly released Comet IEM, all Campfire Audio IEMs shared the same angular shell. While in my opinion aesthetically pleasing, they do pose potential fit issues depending on the wearer’s ear shape and size. Personally, I found the Andromedas to be fairly tip-dependent for a good fit, but once secure, they are comfortable through extended listening sessions. The Litz cable is my first experience with a “custom” IEM cable, and I will simply say that it is light, feels sturdy, and is resistant to tangling. The leather case is compact and perfect for the IEMs, and the included Campfire Audio silicone/foam tips and Spinfit tips provides a good variety to try.

    While these were purchased as B-stock, the only flaw I was actually able to find was a scratch on the leather case. No complaints there.

    Sound

    Put simply, I would describe the sound as clear, and natural with an impressive soundstage.

    The bass extends well with good impact, but is not does not overpower the other frequencies in the slightest. (I originally thought that these were a bit bass heavy, having come from the HD595, but have since recalibrated a bit!) It doesn’t have the slam of the Vegas or other bass boosted IEMs, but I rarely find myself looking for a low end boost. The mids are detailed and feel realistic, with excellent positioning of instruments and vocal performance. Personally, I found the highs of the Andromeda particularly intriguing. Continuing with my initial bass-heavy perception of the Andromeda, I thought that these were a fairly warm headphone. I never felt that the treble was emphasized or recessed, providing outstanding clarity without being sibilant or painful to listen to. However, some I have spoken to have suggested that the Andromeda is a highs-centric IEM, so opinions may vary. Overall, I find the Andromeda to be an IEM without any glaring flaws, though individuals’ sonic preferences may lead them to favor different products.

    On the topic of sound, there are a couple quick comments I would like to make about the Andromeda.
    • First, as has been often discussed, its low output impedance means that the Andromeda is quite picky about the source. When connected to my iPhone 6s Plus, there is a very audible and distracting hissing in the background, though it largely fades when listening to music. This hasn’t been an issue when connected to an external source, such as the iFi Nano iDSD Black Label pictured, though it is important to note that the Andromeda gets loud **quickly**, with the volume being sufficiently loud even with the knob at 8 o’clock.
    • A second is that tip rolling has personally been hugely influential on both the sound and comfort. I found the Campfire Audio marshmallow tips fairly good in terms of foam tips, and I love the red/blue eartips with the white shell, but personally, hybrid or silicone tip have generally been preferable. My current go-to eartip for the Andromeda is the MandarinEs SymbioW tip, though I also like the recently released Azla Sedna eartips as well as the provided Spinfits.
    • Finally, I have to say that I’m impressed by how good the IEMs sound without any crossovers or tools used in other well-regarded products. I believe there was an outcry in Korea and Japan because of how simple the interior of the Orion was, and as recently discovered by a member in a Naver café who wanted to fix his MMCX connector, the Andromeda interior is similarly minimalistic. Fairly off-topic, but something I found interesting.

    Final Thoughts

    While I was enamored with the Andromeda from the first time I tried them in store, I have since had the opportunity to try a wide range of IEMs at all price points. While I have been impressed by other models from various manufacturers, one fact that sticks out is the (high, but) comparatively low price of the Andromeda. And thus, for me, the Andromeda sets the bar for what a true TOTL IEM should accomplish.

    IMG_3240.JPG
  4. NeObliviscaris
    The Andromeda - Lightyears ahead of the competition
    Written by NeObliviscaris
    Published Jul 10, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - warm sound signature, comfortable (with right fit), great soundstage/instrument separation
    Cons - very expensive, microphonic cable, fit dependant on tips
    Disclaimer:
    I received this Campfire Jupiter as part of the Australian/New Zealand tour that ALO Audio/Ken Bell arranged. This is my honest opinion of the Campfire Andromeda, and I am in no way affiliated with or work for ALO Audio. Thanks to @d marc0 for organising this and letting me join in a little late.
     
    In addition, this review will not focus on technical aspects of the equipment. Rather I will focus on their representation of music to me. My enjoyment or boredom, bliss or disappointment with the equipment. Think of it as an emotional review.
     
    Introduction:
     
    OK, so I told myself last year – “just get back to Head-Fi, find a suitable setup, and leave…” I’m still here, after realising that the community had matured so much since last decade, yep 2009! The ability to now take part in tours and auditions opened up a whole new world of experiences. Now I was able to test out some great equipment, without the commitment, it’s like Friends with Benefits.
     
    Thus far I have been given the opportunity to review the Aune X1S, Jays q-Jays, the Campfire Orions and Campfire Jupiters. This time round, I was given the opportunity to take some more IEMs for a spin – introducing Campfire Audio’s Top-of-the-Line IEMs, the Andromeda in-earphones
     
    Official product page: https://www.campfireaudio.com/andromeda/
     
    Photo1of7.jpg
     
    Hardware:
     
    WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
    Like the Orions & Jupiters, the Campfire box carries its signature “lost in space” box, and the Jupiter’s sitting cosy in the fur-lined carry case.
     
    Photo2of7.jpg
     
    Photo3of7.jpg
     
     
    The contents of the box included:
    1. Campfire Andromeda IEM ear pieces
    2. MMCX terminated, silver-plated IEM Cable (1.35m) with gold-plated 3.5mm L-plug (2x)
    3. Tips:
      1. 3 pairs of Comply TX 400 tips (S, M, L)
      2. 3 pairs of foam tips (S, M, L)
      3. 3 pairs of silicon tips (S, M, L)
    4. Cleaning tool
    5. Carry case
    6. Campfire Audio logo pin
    7. User guide
     
    RRP: $1099  USD (~$1,475 AUD)
     
     
    BUILD & DESIGN
    There’s not much more I can add from my write-up of the Jupiter’s & Orion’s build and design. There is a distinct craftsman ship that Campfire Audio have now defined. Again, in their words “FIVE balanced armature drivers and tubeless resonator in a machined aluminium enclosure”. These things are solid, I am pretty sure you could easily drive over them (not that I did…!)
     
    Photo4of7.jpg
     
    Photo5of7.jpg
     
     
    TECH SPECS
    Driver: Four Balanced Armature Drivers
    Impedance: 12.8 OHM @ 1 KHZ
    Sensitivity:  115 DB SPL/MW
    Frequency Response: 10 HZ – 28K HZ
      
    About Me:
     
    As with any tour or review, these are my opinions and observations with the Campfire Orion and my hardware. For the purpose of this audition, I used the following equipment –
    Source: iPod Classic/iPhone 6S using a mixture of Apple Lossless and MP3 files
    Amplifier/DAC: HeadAmp Pico Portable Amp/DAC
    Headphones: 1964Ears V3
     
    My taste in music is quite peculiar and focuses heavily on heavy metal – in all forms (from death to Viking, from prog to heavy, from Pagan to Mongolian!). A majority of my listening was with bands such as Iron Maiden, Fallujah, and Caligula’s Horse & Ne Obliviscaris. However, I still enjoy a variety of genres, so also included Jazz, Blues, Rock, and Classical.
     
     
    The Listening Experience:
     
    Music listened to for this review:
    Idina Menzel (female vocal)
    Delta Goodrem (female vocal)
    Opeth (progressive metal)
    Fallujah (atmospheric technical death metal)
    Ne Obliviscaris (progressive black metal)
    Gojira (technical death metal)
    Caligula’s Horse (progressive rock)
    Hans Zimmer (soundtrack)
     
    My initial impressions were:
    Bass: tight, deep, controlled
    Highs: beautiful and lush
    Comments: I thought the Jupiter’s were the best IEMs I had ever heard, and I was pretty sure nothing could top them, I was (kind of) wrong.
     
    I really wish I could test the Andromeda’s and Jupiter’s side-by-side, as I found that based on my memory both seemed to sound very similar.
     
    The Andromeda’s pack a punch, fantastic full-bodied sound that was quite difficult to fault.
     
    They improve upon the Jupiter’s when it came to female vocals, especially the issue with sibilance. The Andromeda’s present female vocals in a smooth lush manner, that’s not harsh or overly high. Listening to Delta and Idina was an absolute treat with the Andromeda’s, being able to really hear the subtleties in their voices, and being able to truly appreciate their vocal ranges.
     
    As for Metal and the various metal genres, the Andromeda’s are fantastic. Although lack the attack with the quicker songs. Listening to music such as Fallujah (Atmospheric Death Metal) was fantastic as usually most earphones tend to turn the technical drumming/riffs into mud. That is to say, most of the time it’s muddy. The Andromeda’s strengths with soundstage and instrument separation meant the music was not out of balance. It was synergetic!
     
    The soundstage/instrument separation however far surpasses the Jupiter’s. The Andromeda feel like everything is nicely balanced, separated and placed out to give you a sense of being in the music.
     
    As stated with the Jupiters:
    In terms of the IEMs themselves – fit/isolation was fantastic, although they are dependent on the tips. I had a couple of issues with fit at the start, but after trying a few variations I managed to settle on the large foam. The cables were also quite microphonic, every time I moved around or adjusted my glasses I could hear noise. However, none of these totally hampered my listening experience.
     
    This was a difficult review to write as in my opinion the Jupiters and Andromedas are very close in sound-quality. Both, compared to my V3s, are phenomenal. Trying to compare Jupiter/Andromeda with my other IEMs was not a task I attempted as they are different beasts, and considering the Jupiters/Andromedas are TOTL IEMs.
     
    Photo6of7.jpg
     
    Photo7of7.jpg
     
     
    Value & Conclusion:
    Look, when it comes to the Jupiters and Andromedas, the differences are subtle, and basically for me it came down to price. If I could choose, I would easily pick the Jupiter’s and save myself a few hundred dollars. Both IEMs are outstanding, however I couldn’t really find any astronomical reasons to pick the Andromedas over the Jupiters. That being said, with more time, and the ability to put these side-by-side might yield a better outcome.
     
    Thanks again to ALO, Ken and Mark for the opportunity to take these for a spin!
      d marc0, jmills8 and Canyon Runner like this.
    1. Canyon Runner
      Great review.

      Hi5 for being one of the few metal fans on head-fi.
      Canyon Runner, Jul 11, 2016
    2. Djinnenjous
      I enjoyed the review, particularly because I am first and foremost a metal head who has several of your listed bands in my collection. These are, bar none, the sexiest IEMs I've ever seen in my life and I would absolutely LOVE to test drive the Andromedas. Unfortunately, I will never be able to afford $1k IEMs, so it sucks to be me.
       
      Also, kudos for your user name. While I found Citadel to be a massive disappointment, Portal of I and Hiraeth are staggering works of progressive death metal. Ne Obliviscaris is god-tier.
      Djinnenjous, Jul 11, 2016
    3. NeObliviscaris
      NeObliviscaris, Jul 11, 2016
  5. Kervsky
    Campfire Audio Andromeda - The Winner
    Written by Kervsky
    Published May 17, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Warmth that doesnt overwhelm, great overall clarity and detail, sparkly and airy highs, great soundstage and layer separation. Great build quality, fit is comfortable (though some may disagree, experiment with tips), accessory package and cable is good. It's Green.
    Cons - Maybe a bit more bass kick wouldn't hurt, no option to choose what termination (2.5mm, 3.5mm, 4.4mm) comes with it, at flagship levels, I believe that it should be a valid option.
    [​IMG]

    Introduction: Campfire Audio is a well known audio company that produces great IEMs (and now a headphone too) and has gained even more fame with their recent 3 big ear turners, the Cascade, Comet and Atlas. Of course we're not talking about those now (I could probably review the Comet at least at a later time, if my budget allows it) as you can see with the first picture and the obvious title, we're talking about the mean green machine known as the Andromeda.

    I've had the Andromeda for a long time but have skipped reviewing them because a lot of people have done so before. And yet as each new Campfire Audio product comes to light, I feel the urge to tell the world that the Andromeda is still here, it's still relevant and still pretty in green. Please note that I won't be as exhaustive as I normally am since a lot of the nitty gritty details have been tackled awhile back.

    Specifications:
    10Hz–28 kHz Frequency Response
    115 dB SPL/mW Sensitivity
    12.8 Ohms @ 1kHz Impedance
    Dual High Frequency Balanced Armature Drivers + T.A.E.C.
    Single Mid Frequency Balanced Armature Driver
    Dual Low Frequency Balanced Armature Drivers
    Beryllium / Copper MMCX Connections
    Machined Aluminum Shell
    Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber™ (T.A.E.C.)

    [​IMG]

    Unboxing: One of the things I love with Campfire Audio is their minimalist boxes, everything fits in a compact space that's pretty and functional (and recyclable) though the material isn't the sturdiest, the cardboard holds up well through handling and age.

    [​IMG]

    Package Details:
    Andromeda In-Ear Monitor
    CA SPC Litz cable
    Genuine Leather case
    3 Pairs of Comply foam earphone tips
    3 Pairs of silicone earphone tips
    3 Pairs of Spinfit earphone tips
    Earphone clearing tool
    Small CA branded pin
    Owners Manual

    [​IMG]

    Build/Fit/Design: The Andromeda follows the shell design of the Orion, Polaris and Jupiter where the shell is CNC'd into the sturdy industrial/angular shape you see in the picture. The thing with the shell, some people cannot fit it comfortably due to differences in ear shape and size though it fits me like a glove and for that it gets my thumbs up on fit and comfort, with the right tip, the Andromeda can sit in my ears for hours on end. On a parallel note, it annoys me to a certain degree that the look and color was copied by a certain IEM company and is nearly constantly mistaken for the K.O. even if the Andromeda uses a Beryllium MMCX connector and the other one is a 0.75mm 2 pin connector. Still, for me, it's a good and memorable design and yeah, the color is just perfect (Yes, I love green) as it both looks and feels good in hand and in my ear.

    [​IMG]

    Cable: The included cable is the much lauded Campfire Audio clear SPC Litz cable, with a 3.5mm L-plug with the Campfire Audio logo on the top, a metallic Y-splitter with a plastic chin adjuster and terminating in a Beryllium MMCX jack. The cable itself is thin, light and very flexible, this was the first time I've ever experienced such flexibility and simple beauty in a cable.

    [​IMG]

    Sound Stuff: When my wallet was ready for a good IEM, I sampled a lot with varying prices, brands and designs and in the end my ears decided on the Andromeda. Out of the box it was exactly what I wanted paired with my WM1a, easy to drive, a bit of warmth, nice bass, good mids and pretty highs! After a long, long time of listening to these babies, the following is what I've been hearing using the stock cable and the WM1a on v2.0 firmware. Note that due to the low sensitivity, the Andromeda can demonstrate a low hiss, though this has not been the case for me with my DAPs or phones.

    Lows: The Andromeda presents a good amount of sub-bass, extension and great bass separation. Low rumbles sound natural and smooth with moderate impact and fast decay, this leads to an overall clear bass resolution. Mid Bass has a good amount of body and delivers a balanced slam that's neither aggressive or weak, coupled with a warmth that makes for a great musical experience.

    Mids: The mids on the Andromeda is one of it's strengths as vocals and instruments are neutrally placed and presented in a very clear and detailed manner where layering of instruments and vocals are easily identified in a wide open space. Even with all that clarity, there is a lot of body and smoothness in it's rendition giving sweet life to both male and female vocals in whatever genre you play.

    Highs: are one of the other strengths that the Andromeda packs, there is a great amount of extension and airiness that doesn't lead into harshness or sibilance as there is great control in this area. The body of the treble is full on with each note being crisp, detailed, smooth and well separated. The highs effectively convey the emotional energy needed for each track without being fatiguing.

    Soundstage: is probably the best known feature (here) of the Andromeda with a generously wide soundstage that gives you a realistic and natural feeling of width and depth on each track that is both spatially accurate and positionally correct.

    [​IMG]

    Conclusion: So easy to love, the Andromeda captured my ears and heart then and it still does today. It is in my book, a compelling choice for audiophiles that want a piece of the high end without gutting your wallet (too badly) bonded with a sound signature that will please nearly anyone that doesn't require enormous amounts of bass in every song with its warmth, detail, clarity, technical proficiency and large soundstage. The Andromeda is my winner.

    Pros: Warmth that doesnt overwhelm, great overall clarity and detail, sparkly and airy highs, great soundstage and layer separation. Great build quality, fit is comfortable (though some may disagree, experiment with tips), accessory package and cable is good. It's Green.

    Cons: Maybe a bit more bass kick wouldn't hurt, no option to choose what termination (2.5mm, 3.5mm, 4.4mm) comes with it, at flagship levels, I believe that it should be a valid option.

    Nitpicks: None comes to mind.

    [​IMG]

    Sound testing was done using a Sony WM1a (Primarily), a Hiby R6 (for comparison) and a phone (for checking driveability) volume matched to 90.X db of safe hearing and calibrated using a 1kh tone on a dedicated DB Meter, all sources patched through a switcher. Original post is found on my blog, audiobuko @ blogspot.
      Aslshark and Qrays34 like this.
    1. Qrays34
      I see you’re using it with a WM1A, have you tried the 4.4 Pentacon Balanced out in the 1A with the Andromeda?
      There’s a noticable change in sound quality through the Balanced out in Sony new DAPs, so I’m really curious if the Andromeda performs better with Balanced.
      Qrays34, Jun 28, 2018
      Kervsky likes this.
    2. damart81
      Great Review!
      damart81, Sep 5, 2018
      Kervsky likes this.
    3. Kervsky
      @Qrays34 I'm sorry for not answering sooner (I didnt notice the question till now) but on balanced and on the WM1a, yes, there is a big improvement with the Andromeda. The way things are, Sony made it so the balanced output on the WM1a lot better sonically than single, and the Andromeda takes that improvement and makes it sound better.

      @damart81 Thank you kind sir :)
      Kervsky, Sep 8, 2018
      Qrays34 likes this.
  6. prismstorm
    Campfire Audio Andromeda - Impeccably Done
    Written by prismstorm
    Published Mar 18, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Extremely high fidelity, balanced tuning, agile and nimble bass, expansive soundstage
    Cons - may be light on bass for some people, highly source dependent, can be too bright for some.
    [​IMG]

    Ever since I got the Campfire Audio (CA) Vega in late 2016, I really didn’t use anything else. It ticked so many of my boxes, that I was reluctant to return to other earphones. That was until the acquisition of the exciting new Cerakote (CK) Pacific Blue edition of the renowned CA 5BA flagship – the Andromeda. We have reviewed the regular Andromeda previously, so this time around we will change things up and talk about this special iteration with new setups, pairings, and against the context of the current market dynamics.

    Disclaimer: The Andromeda CK Pacific Blue and ALO Gold 16 Cable were sent to us courtesy of Campfire Audio. Click here for the product page from the official site.

    [​IMG]

    Opening up the compact and funky blue packaging, we find the usual accessories, comprising of a very stylish tan-colored hard leather case lined with soft wool inside for maximum protection, along with an assortment of Comply, foam and silicon tips, an instruction card, cleaning tool and CA-branded pin. Although we at Accessible Audio have unboxed a great many CA IEMs now, unraveling the Andromeda CK still brings a smile to my face, as everything has the mark of a great deal of thought having gone into it. The box itself looks so discreet and low-profile, just enough to pack all the goodies you need, and has no bloat or wasted space. Everything feels humble, unpretentious, yet very boutique-like.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    CA’s trademark attention to detail comes to full glory when the industrially designed, impeccably machined Andromeda CK Pacific Blue got pulled out, its perfectly chamfered edges melding harmoniously with the previously unseen Pacific Blue coating. The ergonomics have been tweaked after early feedback on the debut version, and this latest one fits snugly with no discomfort. This ocean blue finish has a matte texture that feels lovely to touch and is much more robust than the default green anodizing. This dual-low / single-mid / dual-high balanced armature setup is armed with the high quality silver-plated-copper Litz cable that now comes standard with all CA IEMs.

    [​IMG]

    Since we last reviewed the Andromeda with the stock cable, this time around we spice things up by mating it with CA’s mother company ALO (Audio Line Out)’s finest IEM cable – the Gold 16. The cable is itself an art piece and is painstakingly crafted to perfection. The cable resists oil and moisture with an FEP (Teflon) jacket and is low in microphonics. It is incredible how compact the cable is given its high number of conductors. Each conductor is composed of 24 strands of individually pure gold plated OFC copper woven very finely and retains both suppleness and articulation for maximum handability in the field. If you ever feel cheeky, applying counter-pressure at any two points of the cable shows its meticulous and dense weave in a magnificent spread. It gets uncomfortably addictive and is sure to melt many audio nerd’s hearts. Gold 16 also retains a relatively tangle-free profile and this further contributes to its immense usability. Sound-wise, CA states that the combination of gold and copper emphasizes mids and lows, enhances the overall depth and soundstage, and pairs well with balanced armature based IEMs.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    And what an accurate description that is. While the standard Litz cable is no slouch, the Gold 16 is a substantial upgrade, both in terms of mechanical construction and the boost it grants the Andromeda in the low end, the richness of the mids, and the staggeringly wide soundstage that stretches expansively across the x-axis. Imaging and positioning of sound elements are scarily accurate, vivid and multi-layered. Running out of the Astell & Kern SP1000 Copper, the Andromeda with Gold 16 oozes details and is exceedingly transparent at all times. The expertly separated tiers of sounds makes the music really pop out, as is evident from Bonobo’s Jets and Towers (feat. Szjerdene).

    [​IMG]

    Migrating from the incredibly bassy Vega, how did I find the bass performance? The short version is that it is an apparently brighter and leaner offering. Coming from more than a year of Vega listening, the Andromeda is a breath of fresh air. What was immediately clear is that the bass no longer rattles your brain, but feels clean, highly textured, and takes on a bouncy and agile character due to the short decay. It no longer lingers and spreads permeating warmth, but each drum hit is still succinctly heard on Sithu Aye’s The Andromedan Pt II: Mystic Village, and have a real sense of articulation, solid impact, and dimensionality to them. Overtime, I have come to appreciate this crisp, linear low-end that unearths tremendous amounts of intricacies. Sure, double bass beginnings of jazz tracks are less atmospheric and realistic than that of Vega’s rendering because the bass is much more neutral and uncolored, but in return it means the Andromeda is much less overwhelming and fatiguing in prolonged listening than its flagship sibling. Make no mistakes about it, on Sasha’s Smile (The Youngsters) the sub-bass is still very deep and sonorous, with a clarity you won’t ever hear in clubs, enough to send your toes tapping to the rhythmic, steady rumble.

    [​IMG]

    Years after its debut, the star of the show for the Andromeda is undoubtedly still the buttery smooth, rich mids and truly soaring highs. CA’s acoustic resonator chamber technology results in refined midrange and an extremely open, airy high-end that infinitely extends and still appears to have more to give. The resultant sound signature is very high resolution, high-fidelity and musical, as heard on WoongSan’s Savannah Woman, Andrea Bocelli’s Champagne and Sissel Kyrkjebo’s If. Vocals are powerful with majestic extension, piercingly transparent, and at times incredibly moving. Timbre of the entire ensemble could be easily made out in Sylvain Gagnon’s Gracias a la Vida, from cello plucks to the cruising smoothness of saxophones. The most complex passages are handled with frightening responsiveness in Kyle Landry’s Fantasy Etude, with melodic piano notes flying off nimbly and accompaniments having just the perfect amount of staying length.

    [​IMG]

    From our experience, the Andromeda is quite source-dependent and plays much better with dedicated players with higher end DACs and amps than running straight from your typical smartphone. Given its less colored signature and all-BA composition, it has a tendency to get a bit harsh, peaky, and distorted when paired with perfunctory sources that have less than ideal impedance values. Its enhanced highlight on upper mids and treble can be brutally revealing if not neutralized with a healthy dosage of warmth either from the cable or the source. Fix up your audio chain and it quickly takes on a very smooth, detailed and high-fidelity reference sound with little to no sibilance and a naturally wide soundstage.

    [​IMG]

    Comparing it with its brothers and sisters in the CA stable, I would say it lacks the affectionate and intimate warmth and meaty embrace of Vega, or the raw viscerality of Lyra II and Dorado, but is more high-fidelity as it has a less full bodied coloration yet still possesses rich tonality and uncompromising clarity. The Andromeda is surprisingly smooth, lacking all the metallic and machinated coldness that is so prevalent in pure BA IEMs, giving a whole meaning of how bass music can sound like.

    [​IMG]

    Bearing a personal propensity to prefer bass-heavy monitors, I never expected to like the Andromeda as much as I do. Nevertheless, I persisted and was rewarded with a taste of how life could be when a completely different tuning approach is imparted into the songs I am very familiar with. In fact, the Andromeda turned out to be the perfect IEM to round out my existing lineup – the special something that completes a truly versatile portfolio of amazing monitors. With textured and articulate bass, superb soundstage, world-class vocals and a treble extension that knows no bounds, the Andromeda occupies a unique throne in the CA lineup. Alongside the thick, aggressive and muscular Vega, the smooth and linear Andromeda forms an unbeatable one-two punch with its flagship partner and spearheads a full-fledged empire of IEMs, perfectly complementary to each other and both essential to own in my opinion. Nicely done indeed, Campfire Audio; or dare I say, impeccably done.

    [​IMG]
      Aink and Deftone like this.
  7. justrest
    Campfire Andromeda
    Written by justrest
    Published Mar 16, 2018
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Amazing sound quality, built like a tank, great package, crystal clear trebles, airy sound, design,
    Cons - Sensitive, easy to scratch, sharp edges may not fit for everyone,
    Before starting this review, I would like to share technical aspects and package details.

    [​IMG]

    Specifications:

    10Hz–28 kHz Frequency Response

    115 dB SPL/mW Sensitivity

    12.8 Ohms @ 1kHz Impedance

    Dual High Frequency Balanced Armature Drivers + T.A.E.C.

    Single Mid Frequency Balanced Armature Driver

    Dual Low Frequency Balanced Armature Drivers

    Beryllium / Copper MMCX Connections

    Machined Aluminum Shell

    Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber™ (T.A.E.C.)



    Package Details:

    Andromeda Earphone

    CA SPC Litz cable

    Leather case

    Comply TX-400 Tips

    Foam earphone Tips

    Silicone Earphone Tips

    Earphone clearing tool (with magnetic holder)

    Small CA branded broach

    [​IMG]

    Test Equipment:

    Lotoo Paw Gold Titanium

    Opus #1

    Astell Kern AK120

    Astell Kern AK70

    [​IMG]

    Design & Isolation;

    Campfire Andromeda has a box that I can define as ‘small’ but it includes enough accessories and tips. The carrying bag is made of genuine leather and quite high quality. Inner surface of the bag is covered with soft cotton material that ignores unwanted scratches. Andromeda’s body is one if its kind and made of zirconium blasted aluminum. I have heard that the first version of Andromeda faced some complaints so sharp edges did not disturbed me while using this revised second version. The body is not big and not too small but smaller than I expected. Its size is similar with S-EM9 and a bit smaller than CE-05. Its original green body color is much more better than the photos and the changing color tones up to light seems really nice. The stock spc cable which included in the box is very ergonomic and high quality. I can easily say that I really like the body ergonomics unlike some listeners.

    Andromeda’s isolation is precisely successful and it provides enough isolation by the silicone tips. I prefer using Spinfit tips instead of stock tips. The isolation is better with Comply foam tips but I actually do not like Comply foam tips, so I prefer silicon ones.

    [​IMG]

    Sensitivity:

    Andromeda has really low impedance level, so it is possible to hear hiss with some of DAPs. I have heard hiss with almost all of the DAPs I have used. I heard too low hiss with AK70 and AK120 but actually high with LPG, still it is an acceptable hiss level. SE846 and Zeus-R both I used to have before, have the same sensitivity level as Andromeda.

    [​IMG]

    Sound Type:

    Andromeda is one of the best IEM that I had ever have, in terms of upper frequencies. Trebles are extremely detailed and bright, mids are relatively back and bass are strong enough. The trebles performance is impressed me a lot. CE-05 has also a similar performance but I can say that Andromeda is one up on. Overall sound detail is incredibly high and it does not have a boring reference sound character despite this sound detail. Mids are bit back but vocals are not that back in the overall sound character. Bass is not that dominant but it is able go deeper and has enough quantity. Bass depth and volume may change upon the used tips. Andromeda’s holographical 3D presentation could be one the best ones I have ever heard. Soundstage is wide and deep enough.

    [​IMG]



    I really like Andromeda and I understand why no one wants to sell it and everyone wants to go on using. Andromeda is on the same level with some high-priced IEMs and I really appreciate its performance.

    [​IMG]

    Trebles:

    Trebles, trebles, trebles… Really fascinating. Upper frequencies are significant and spreading over a large area. Upper frequencies’ significance relaxes the ears and also increases the detail level. It is really easy to make the distinction of the smallest tints, movements and every instrument even if it is in the back. Treble extension and overall stage resolution are very impressive. Some listeners can find the trebles bright, however they are not uncontrolled and there is no sibilance definitely. Actually, it is pretty surprising while trebles are that bright and front but still there is no sibilance and harshness. I also appreciate that trebles are that bright but there is not any metallization, Ken Ball has created a really successful tuning. It did not lose control in any high rhythmic tracks. I tested rhythmical metal tracks and I again impressed by its performance, trebles are really controlled and detailed. The presentation of high frequency strings like violin, oud and acoustic guitar are also extremely natural and detailed. Clear and spacious presentation of upper frequencies provides a crystal clarity audition, details and tints are distinctive and explicit. However, this kind of presentation has an advantage that it exposes the minor faults in the records.

    Actually, until last year, the trebles weren’t more important than bass and mids but in recent period trebles significance is increasing for me. Treble performance of earphones affects overall presentation, so I exactly prefer dominant and distinct treble IEMs and in this sense. Andromeda is a really great choice for me. I do not have MMCX cable so I could not find the chance to test it with other cables but I heard that it fits good with Alo Ref 8 cable. Copper cable could be a better choice for listeners who find the trebles too bright. I think that Andromeda’s best harmony is with AK120 and LPG. Actually, LPG has very rigid and aggressive upper frequency presentation so I think the harmony could be not so good, however the LPG that I use in PMEQ setting caught a good harmony. This helps Andromeda to reveal the all potential and trebles do not have an aggressive and rigid presentation.

    [​IMG]

    Mids:

    Andromeda’s enchanted presentation is still same for mids as well. Mids are located a bit back in the overall presentation and actually it provides a better stage width. It creates good space between instruments and stage is spacious. Mids’ level of detail is pretty above average as trebles, it is really enjoyable to listen to stringed instruments and possible to hear the smallest detail of strings with the trebles. Instruments are bit bright and thin notes in terms of overall presentation effect. For instance, while I was listening to Jazz, double bass was playing a bit thinner note but I still feel amazed.

    Andromeda makes you crave to listen to the instrumental tracks due its organic and clear presentation. None of the frequencies shade or extinguish each other. Instruments are not closely located even can be counted as away in the overall but it still has a successful unveiled presentation. Vocal performance is really clean and fluent instead of dark tones due to vocals’ one move ahead position in the overall soundstage. You may hear the slightest tongue movement of the singer even. There is no mid hump an sound is not so warm, it is more sharp and neat. There is no down slope however trebles’ front location causes little bit weaker upper mids. That does not point out to a there is no body in overall presentation but we cannot say that it has an bold mid presentation too.

    [​IMG]

    Bass:

    Low-frequencies are not that much as quantity. If you prefer strong, deep and full bass, I think Andromeda might not be the best choice. Bass is clean and spacious. Nevertheless, the quantity and the strength are satisfying. If the track that you are listening to includes no bass, you do not hear it, however if it includes bass, you hear it sufficiently in terms of quantity and depth. If there is light bass in the track, you really hear weak bass, there is no exaggeration. In this sense, it does not present enhanced bass, you get exactly what it is. Andromeda has a high quality natural resolution and detailed bass presentation instead of bloated bass.

    There is no initial spread or uncontrolled presentation. The recover time is quite fast and short and here is the advantage of armature driver. It feels like the bass in the tracks arise from different places and it does not dominate to other frequencies, almost even it is like separate than mids and trebles. It is possible to make the distinction of layers and it hits deep. The bass presentation is firm, not spreading and not in the upfront.

    Andromeda offers an enjoyable audition with its satisfying depth and strike power while listening to many genres like EDM.

    [​IMG]

    Soundstage:

    Andromeda has amazing holographical 3D presentation and quite width soundstage. Overall presentation is spacious and stress-free. Imaging of instruments are really successful. The space between the instruments and the positioning in the stage are quite good. The lack of mid-hump plays the biggest role in this success. Background is quite clean and there is no any mixing, however I think that there can be a bit darker background. Soundstage is really successful in terms of depth but it is not that successful on width Andormeda’s.

    Verdict:

    Briefly, Andromeda is a magnificent earphone. Its performance is almost same and sometimes even better than the double priced earphones. I did not like that much any of the earphones that I have ever listened, actually it took much time for me to meet Andromeda while it has released a long time ago. It is my mistake to delay it somehow.

    Andromeda is an end game earphone with its hyper detailed treble performance, enchanted mids and 3d holographic stage presentation, for many users. It is possible to upgrade the existing performance with some cable types. It deserves a good point with quality of material and workmanship. Andromeda is an absolutely killer earphone in this price range.
      Aslshark and natemact like this.
  8. 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.
  9. 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
  10. WCDchee
    Truly, Andromeda
    Written by WCDchee
    Published Jul 6, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Incredible soundstage, control, and tonality
    Cons - could do with a little more kick in the bass
    Disclaimer: The Campfire Audio Andromeda was provided to me by Ken as a review sample in exchange for my honest thoughts. This should have been up a long time ago, but life doesn’t always go your way so my apologies for the delay. I hope this review can be of use to anyone still considering the Andromeda as a next purchase.
     
    To start off, I would just like to say that I probably wouldn’t be posting any pictures, I might add them on in future, but as of now, there just isn’t much point; there are tonnes of beautiful pictures that other reviewers have put up and my photography skills just aren’t that great, so my apologies to anyone hoping for some amazing photoshoots.
     
    My first experience with Campfire Audio was with the Lyra. I was extremely impressed with the Lyra, not just sonically but as a product on the whole. The Lyra ticked so many boxes for me, awesme sound, with a signature right up my alley, premium and beautiful construction (how can anyone fault that ceramic?),  and great ergonomics to top it off. Short afterwards, I got in touch with Ken regarding the Jupiter, and as some of you might remember, I’ve had a previous review of the Jupiter up on here as well so do feel free to check it out.
     
    I then had the chance to meet Ken at Canjam Singapore this year, and I must say, it is one of the main highlights of my time a Canjam. We spent quite a while chatting (it must have had been 2 hours at least), and I got to know one of the nicest guys I’ve met. Ken was extremely humble, down to earth, and just so excited about the things he was working on. It would have been difficult not to have been infected by his enthusiasm for the hobby. It was then that I got the chance to give the prototype Andromeda a quick listen, and boy was I in for a surprise. It was simply amazing. It reminded me of the Jupiter in some ways, but it kind of fixed what the Jupiter didn’t quite do for me. During the time that I had talking to Ken, I also got to hear some of his other tech. I wouldn’t spill much on it, it’s not my place too, and don’t worry, Ken isn’t going to be popping out new flagships every other month, but that was real hard evidence of the hardware, dedication, and most importantly progress that Ken was making in the IEM design field. Treat them more as proof of concepts, prototype designs to be refined and improved until Ken deems them good enough for his loyal customers. It was truly an eye opening experience.
     
    One thing that really got me onto the Campfire Audio train was the way they designed their products. There are a tiny handful of companies that I truly respect for not taking things the easy way, and for taking every single aspect of the design into consideration. Housing material, internal damping, the use of dampeners (or rather the lack thereof), the choice not to use sound degrading curvy plastic tubes, I find that all too often, these are compromises that manufacturers take to make their life easier. Think about how much harder it would be to do the tuning almost completely from the crossover, instead of just slapping a dampener here and there to cut off the peaks, or how much harder it would be to play with things like bore diameter to play around with the resonance for tuning. That’s what Campfire does, and boy have they done a good job.
     
    Well now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s get down to the earphones themselves.
     
     
    PACKING, DESIGN, BUILD QUALITY, ERGONOMICS
    The Andromedas are, like all other Campfire products, packaged in a simple, minimalistic box. They’re not elaborate and ultra classy like my Dita earphones, but they definitely are well designed, and very well thought out. This is something I really appreciate with them. A lot of the competition, even some really expensive IEMs, have such a minimal and lacklustre packaging, that really makes me question the value of the item.
     
    Like all Campfire and ALO products the Andromeda is extremely well build. The shell is CNC’ed out of a solid block of aluminium and this really makes for an incredibly premium feeling product. They are very comfortable for me as well, they have an angled, short, wide bored nozzle. This fits me very well and I can wear it for hours on end without the slightest discomfort. Bear in mind that some people have complained about the fit due to the short nozzles, so this is really subjective.
     
     
    SOUND
    Let’s cut the chase. The Andromedas are some of the best IEMs I have heard at any price point. Sure they’re not perfect, but what IEM ever is? That said, they sound very very good, and over the past months they have been my daily driver.
     
    The Andromedas are quite the unique earphone. They sound very different depending on the source, more specifically, the output impedance of the source. I have tested It with some sources with an output impedance of less than 1, such as the Chord Hugo, Mojo, and the Fiio X5. I have also tried them with a high impedance (10 ohm) source, the Soundaware Esther, and the results are remarkable. With the low impedance sources, the Andromeda has a slightly thick sound in the lower mids, with a pretty weighty and thick bass, it’s almost more emotive, warmer, and richer sounding. With the high impedance source, the Andromeda takes on a very different sound, it is altogether much more neutral, much less thick, airier and more open sounding, almost monitor like. The Andromeda is also very sensitive to tip rolling, and I have found it to perform best with slightly smaller bored silicone tips.
     
    The Andromedas have some of the best highs I have heard in an IEM. They are very well extended, very sparkly, yet smooth. People who know me well would know that I generally prefer a signature with a bit more bite and edge to it, resulting in the Ditas being among my favourite earphones. It’s not so much that I don’t hear the bite and the sibilance, I’m just slightly more tolerant towards it than most people are. With the andromedas, I have almost never heard it being sibilant. It remains extremely clean and crisp sounding with adequate bite, but almost never sibilant. Almost. Different songs are mastered and mixed differently, and as such, it is impossibly to have a tuning that is clean edged and sparkly enough for all songs, yet not sibilant at all. The highs are not necessarily dead accurate, but they are very very enjoyable. They have a very slightly emphasized sense of sparkliness which brings so much life and air to the top end, something I really enjoy.
     
    The midrange of the Andromeda is sweet, with a slight emphasis on the upper midrange, resulting in a certain sweetness to the sound. It is however, dependant on the output impedance of the source. As mentioned above, with a high impedance source, the midrange would sound leaner, more neutral. With a low impedance source, the midrange of the Andromeda would be noticeably thicker, richer, and somewhat lush sounding. The midrange is slightly more forward sounding in the general spectrum of things, and taking into account the vastness of the stage (which I will get into in a while), it really creates for a well layered, contrasted, and engaging sound. One issue I have with the midrange of the Andromeda, though, is that slight upper midrange emphasis that I mentioned. Now, it’s not a bad thing per se, and with certain recordings, it colours the midrange in a very pleasant way, but personally, I would prefer it a tad more linear in this region. Now remember what I mentioned about tip rolling? Well, this is where it comes into play. I find that with slightly smaller bored tips, that slight upper midrange colouration is reduced, and the result is something I thoroughly enjoy, something I have grown to love. Again, I’m not saying that the Andromeda is bad in this regard, you just have to put in a little effort to fine tune it to your liking.
     
    The Andromeda’s bass is another area that can be slightly controversial. Again, with high impedance sources, it is very linear, very neutral, albeit a tad light at times. With low impedance sources, it is much more full bodied, much more present. The good? Regardless of source, it extends very deep, and when the song calls for it, the deepest of the sub bass is always there. It is also very textured, very controlled, and resolving, never once getting muddied up. What I sometimes hope for though, would be a little more slam and dynamics in the bass, a little more life if I might put it that way. Then again, I generally (with extremely few exceptions), don’t expect BA earphones to have the same sort of kick that I find with the best dynamic earphones, so that’s something that I can let slide.
    My favourite part of the Andromeda would, without a doubt, be its soundstaging and imaging properties. It is one of, if not the most spacious, most well layered, open, and pinpoint sounding IEMs that I have ever heard. If I had to pick a word to describe it, it would be “reference” sounding, not so much in the sound signature (which actually is kind of a reference sig if you run it off a high impedance source), but in terms of the way it stages and images, so wide, so deep and tall, so well layered ad pinpoint, and most importantly, it is ever so controlled. Not once does it lose composure, it always keeps its cool, always in control, always separating and placing images nimbly. The sense of control and grip is just immaculate.
     
    Which brings me to my next point. Up till now, I have said many things about the Andromeda, some of which might not seem so good. I assure you, however, that this is not the case. Contrary to that, I am trying very hard to find things that I do not like about the Andromeda. Those guys who know me well, know that I only really like a small handful (probably single digit) of IEMs out there, and the Andromeda is right up there with the best in my books. What I have pointed out, are not so much flaws as they are pointers to those hoping to gain a better insight to the sound of the Andromeda, hopefully, I have managed to describe it well enough.
     
    There is one last characteristic which I must bring out. The immaculate sense of control of the Andromeda can, at times, make the music a little too reined in for my tastes. In its attempt to control everything so well, it sometimes loses a bit of the bloom that I like with dynamic drivers. It doesn’t sound so “live”, if I might put it that way. What the Andromeda really reminds me of, however, are an excellent pair of studio monitors, extremely well controlled, extremely pinpoint imaging, and incredible separation. It might not be the most lively sounding at times, but for what it does, it does amazingly well.
     
    The Andromeda is, in my opinion, the studio sound done right, immaculately controlled, but with a slight sweetness that prevents it from becoming overly dead. If that’s what you’re looking for, then look no further, the Andromeda is exactly what you want.
      money4me247 and flinkenick like this.
    1. goldendarko
      Awesome review, probably the best description of their sound I've read yet.
      goldendarko, Jul 6, 2016
    2. che15
      Have u listened to the 64 audio U12, if so how do they compare?
      Thanks
      che15, Jul 8, 2016
    3. bvng3540
      how does it compare with Layla?
      bvng3540, Jul 9, 2016