Campfire Audio Andromeda

Rating:
4.86364/5,
  1. PeterPangea
    Fantastic IEMs with a full blend of clarity, comfort, and usability
    Written by PeterPangea
    Published Nov 14, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Smooth sound signature, extremely detailed & resolving, great cable, good comfort
    Cons - Shells get scratched fairly easily, hissing across sources
    Holy hell, these are great. Nicest stock cable I’ve used, very flexible and the silver looks fantastic. Build quality for the IEMs are very good, but the aluminum has a bit of nicks from use, no big deal. Comfort is actually extremely good, despite the abundance of hard edges. With the right tips, these just disappear in the ear. I’m using JVC Spiral Dots/Ortofon L tips which have been working great.

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

    In terms of source requirements, these are very sensitive so they are quite easy to drive. Bit of hissing with both of my sources, but apparently an impedance adapter helps to clear that up. Sounds great out of S7 Edge and iPad, so DAC/Amp definitely not necessary.

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

  2. Brooko
    Campfire Audio Andromeda - Tonality, Balance and Clarity
    Written by Brooko
    Published Oct 18, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Build quality, cable quality, sound quality (superb), balance, clarity, imaging ability, fit, accessories, and KB/Campfire service.
    Cons - Edges on the internal facing (comfort) – can be mitigated by tip choice
    andromeda29.jpg
    For larger views of any of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images

    INTRODUCTION

    Firstly I'd like to acknowledge Head-fier d marc0 (Mark) and also Ken Ball from ALO/Campfire for making this review possible. The opportunity to hear and review an IEM which may not have been available otherwise to me is very much appreciated.

    So far I've heard Campfire's Lyra, Orion, Jupiter (I chose not to review the Jupiter as I had issues with it's sonic signature and my own particular physiology / bias / sensitivity – which would have made any review overly skewed), and Nova. The one which intrigued me the most in the Campfire line-up thought was the Andromeda (their flagship). I'd heard prototypes of the Andromeda, and hoped to hear and review a final version at some stage. That time has now come, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity.

    Unfortunately for this review – I've only been able to use these for a little over a week – so please take this into account. These are shorter term impressions.

    ABOUT CAMPFIRE AUDIO
    Campfire Audio is a partner company or off-shoot to ALO Audio, and is run by ALO's CEO and founder Ken Ball, and a small team of like-minded enthusiasts and engineers. Ken of course is the CEO and founder of ALO Audio (2006) and ALO is very well known for creating high quality audio components – including cables, amplifiers and all manner of other audio equipment. Ken founded Campfire Audio in 2015 – with a vision of creating extremely high quality earphones with excellence in design, materials and of course sound quality.

    DISCLAIMER
    The Campfire Audio Andromeda was provided to me for review as part of a tour. I get to use it for about 7-10 days then it goes to the next tour recipient. I am not affiliated to Campfire or ALO Audio in any way, and this is my subjective opinion of the Andromeda.

    The Campfire Audio Andromeda can be sourced directly from Campfire Audio for USD 1099

    PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'.
    I'm a 49 year old music lover. I don't say audiophile – I just love my music. Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up. I vary my listening from portables (including the FiiO X5ii, X3ii, X7, LP5, L3, and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > USB > iFi iDSD). I also use a portable set-up at work – usually either X3ii/X7/L3 > HP, or PC > E17K > HP. My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Sennheiser HD800S, Beyerdynamic T1, Sennheiser HD600 & HD630VB, and AKG K553. Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs, and lately it has mainly been with the Jays q-Jays, Alclair Curve2 and Adel U6. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).

    I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock. I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock. I am particularly fond of female vocals. I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences. I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880. I have a specific sensitivity to the 2-3 kHz frequency area (most humans do) but my sensitivity is particularly strong, and I tend to like a relatively flat mid-range with slight elevation in the upper-mids around this area.

    I have extensively tested myself (ABX) and I find aac256 or higher to be completely transparent. I do use exclusively red-book 16/44.1 if space is not an issue. All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line). I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences. I am not a ‘golden eared listener’. I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 49, my hearing is less than perfect (it only extends to around 14 kHz nowadays). My usual listening level is around 65-75 dB.
    Over the last week I’ve used the Andromeda paired with most of the sources I have at my disposal – from my iPhone to the L3 and X7. But for the review I’ve used mainly my X3ii + E17K, and also the X7 and L3. In the time I’ve been using the Andromeda, I haven’t noticed any sonic change. And although I used the Andromeda coupled with several different amplifiers, they are easily driven, and will pair nicely with most sources straight from the headphone out (some may want to use an amp though for sensitivity/impedance corrections).

    This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.

    THE REVIEW

    PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
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    Distinctive Andromeda outer box

    Inside the flap - the CA Andromeda leather case

    Hidden lower compartment


    The Andromeda's arrived to me in their distinctive 122 x 83 x55 mm hinged lid retail printed cardboard box. The background is a silver on dark blue “night sky” illustration, with a distinctive green sticker on the top and front face. The sticker has the characteristic CA swirl, the model (Andromeda), picture of the monitors and some information on Campfire Audio,a nd the primary features of the Andromeda (“high fidelity in ear monitors / five drivers + machined alumnium housing).

    Opening the lid reveals the Campfire Audio carry case – which this time is real leather, is very sturdy, but more “jacket or bag pocketable” than trousers. It measures approx. 75 x 115 x 45 mm. The case is zipped on 3 sides, and when opened reveals a soft wool interior which will definitely protect and preserve your IEMs. With the outside being genuine leather, it is quite strong, and also pretty rigid.

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    Lower compartment opened

    All accessories

    The manual


    Under the case will be a hidden compartment which reveals the accessories. These include:

    1. S/M/L silicone tips
    2. S/M/L generic foam tips (Crystal foam type)
    3. S/M/L genuine Comply T400 tips
    4. A cleaning brush / wax remover
    5. A Campfire Audio logo clothing button / pin
    6. Campfire’s foldout user manual (incl care instructions and warranty info)

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    Tips, cleaning tool and pin/badge

    3 sided zipped leather case

    Protective wool inner environment


    You really won’t need any more than what is included, as the cinch on the cable negates the need for a shirt clip. And while I note the omission of an airline adapter or 3.5-6.3 mm adapter, really speaking – how many of us actually use these (plus they are easy to pick up for a very small outlay).

    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
    I’ve listed below the main specifications for the Campfire Andromeda.

    Current Retail
    $1099 (Campfire Website)
    Type
    Five Balanced Armature drivers
    Driver Configuration
    Dual low, single mid, dual high frequency
    Other Acoustic Feature
    Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber
    Freq Range
    10 Hz – 28 kHz
    Impedance
    12.8 ohm (@ 1kHz)
    Sensitivity
    115 dB SPL /mW @ 1 kHz
    Jack
    3.5mm gold plated, 90 deg
    Cable
    1.2m, removable (MMCX) – silver plated copper (ALO Litz Cable)
    Weight
    26g including cable and tips
    IEM Shell
    CNC aluminium, then zirconium blasted and anodised
    Body shape / fit
    Ergonomic, cable over ear



    FREQUENCY GRAPH
    The graphs below are generated using the Vibro Veritas coupler and ARTA software. Ken had graciously provided me with measurement data for the same set of CA Novas in a previous review, and I used this to recalibrate my Veritas so that it mimics an IEC 711 measurement standard (Ken uses two separate BK ear simulators in a configuration I can only dream about and envy him for). I do not claim that this data is 100% accurate, but it is very consistent, and is as close as I can get to the 711 standard on my budget. Ken's own reference measurements on far better equipment will be a lot more accurate than mine – but because I use my own kit in later comparisons, I will use my own.

    freqresp.png
    MY GRAPH

    KBAndomedaGraph.jpg
    KENS GRAPH

    What I’m hearing (subjective).

    1. Linear bass response with a very natural sounding slight rise, excellent bass extension, and more importantly no bleed into mid-range
    2. Very clean and coherent mid-range with a relatively small dip in the fundamental range (around the 1 kHz), and then subsequent rise in the presence area (from 1-2 kHz with a very small peak in the 2 kHz range) – which gives female vocals a lift in the presence or overtone area, yet sounds very natural.
    3. Well extended and detailed lower treble which does not exhibit excessive sibilance (for me) and remains extremely detailed with great extension and more than sufficient air for clarity.
    4. Overall I’d say that the Andromeda is one of the most well well balanced monitors I've tried. Vocals are in perfect harmony with bass and treble, and Campfire have achieved an exceptional mix of natural tonality and clarity.

    The channel matching on this pair of Andromedas is exceptional (and some of the differences shown in my measurements are likely to be minor differences in seating each ear piece). They are practically identical. When Ken says his team hand-pick and match the drivers, it isn’t just “marketing speak”.

    BUILD & DESIGN
    External

    andromeda11.jpg andromeda12.jpg andromeda13.jpg

    External face - beautifully machined

    Rear side view - perfect upward angle on the nozzles

    Front face and nozzle bores


    I really enjoy a simple, clean design. The Andromedas share a very similar design to similar earphones in the Campfire range – especially the likes of the Orion and Nova. Campfire uses a fully machined aluminium enclosure. Each shell is taken from a solid block of aircraft grade aluminium and then each small batch is CNC machined and finished – with the process talking around 9 hours. After that they are zirconium blasted to achieve a very smooth finish, which also helps to more effectively hold the colour during anodisation.

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    From the top and looking at the sockets

    Internal face - edges have been rounded slightly

    Beryllium MMCX connectors


    Physically each shell measures approximately 21mm in length, 16 mm in height and has a depth of approx. 19mm (including the nozzle). The nozzle itself is angled slightly forward and slightly up, extends approx. 6-7mm from the main body, and has an external diameter of 6mm. The nozzle has three distinctive bores. The main body shape is very ergonomic, and the Andromeda is designed to be used with the cable over ear. The IEM shell is 3 pieces in total – nozzle, shell and back plate – with the plate secured by 3 small torx screws. There are L/R marking on the inside of both ear pieces and the Campfire logo is also discretely engraved on the outer face. The finish is what I would call a forest or emerald green, the entire shell is precision cut – and these look quite simply very beautiful and very fresh (they appeal to my subjective tastes anyway).

    andromeda10.jpg andromeda19.jpg andromeda17.jpg

    The gorgeous and very flexible litz cable

    Formable cable ear loops

    Very supply and largely noise free litz cable


    At the top of the shell is a beryllium coated MMCX connector, and when used with the supplied silver plated copper ALO Litz cable, the connection is made with a reassuring click. The cables do rotate in their sockets, but the connection itself seems to be very robust. Unfortunately this is one of those things that only time can be the judge of – but the craftsmanship and material used seem to indicate longevity (to me anyway).

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    3.5mm gold plated right angled jack

    Y split and cinch

    Formable loops are very good


    As I mentioned, the cable is ALO’s new “Litz”. It utilises individually enameled strands of high purity sliver-plated copper wire, which are then combined into 4 separate conductors, which are in turn encased in a durable medical grade PVC outer jacket. The cable is extremely flexible and light-weight, has stunningly low microphonics (practically non-existent), and virtually no annoying memory issues. The male MMCX connector is again beryllium coated, fits very snugly, and has either a blue or red dot on the connector to indicate L/R. There is a 80mm length of memory wire for over-ear wear, and I’ve found this very malleable, but also holds its shape very well. The cable is approximately 1.2m long, and consists of two twisted pairs above the Y split which continue as a twisted quad right through to the jack. The Y split is small and light and houses an in-built cinch which works really well (easy to move yet holds its position well when cinched). The jack is 3.5mm, right angled, and has clear rubber housing. Strain relief is excellent. The jack will also fit my iPhone 5S with case in place, although YMMV as the diameter of the rubber base is around 6mm. I like this cable so much, I am genuinely tempted to purchase it separately for some of my other MMCX based IEMs.

    Internal
    Internally the Andromeda uses a new and unique approach to its tuning, and which Ken regards as being the secret behind the lower and upper treble extension. For a starter the Andromeda uses a combination of 5 BAs to achieve its overall signature, and these are arranged with a dual BA for the lows, single BA for the mids and dual BA for the highs. Rather than using a traditional acoustic tube and damper solution for the high frequency drives, Campfire have implemented a Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber (or TAEC system). The 3-D printed chamber allows internal acoustic tuning without the compression associated with dampers – which Ken says results in high frequencies which are very open sounding and extended. My own hearing tops out at around 14 kHz nowadays so I'm probably a poor judge of the upper frequencies, but I can confirm that the Andromedas do sound quite open open and have great upper end clarity.

    FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION
    Fit
    Fit for me is fantastic – the shells are very ergonomic in shape, and this includes the angle of the nozzles and also the placement of the cable exits. The shells (when fitted) do not extend outside my outer ear (they are more flat or in-line with it), and I have no issues lying down with the Andromeda. The memory wire is also really well implemented here so that snugging the wires properly is easy. The fit is relatively shallow, so for me I need to resort to my larger tips. If it was possible to extend the nozzle length by a couple of mm, it would really help the overall fit I think.

    Comfort
    andromeda35.jpg
    This leads me to comfort and just as with the Nova I'm in two minds about this. I was mildly critical of the internally angled design utilised in Campfire's Orion, Jupiter, and Nova. My ears are soft, smooth, and have a lot of curved surfaces. I’d bet yours do to. The interior of the Andromeda shell has a series of angular edges. I first noted this with the Jupiter, and it continued with the Orion and now the Nova. The Lyra lacked these edges and was extremely comfortable for me. I'm not sure with the Andromeda whether it's me getting used to the fit, or maybe its the Zirconium blasting procedure, but the Andromeda is definitely more comfortable for me this time, and although it doesn't quite “disappear" during wearing like some of my other monitors – it seems to be an improvement over earlier models to the point it has become more of a non-issue.

    Isolation
    andromeda27.jpg
    As far as isolation goes, it will be tip dependent. For me, using large Shure Olives tips, the isolation is excellent – at least as good as using my q-Jays (deep insertion and wonderful isolaters), and I would use the Andromeda without question on long haul air travel.

    Tip Choices
    Those who’ve read my reviews will know that I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well. This is often even more of an issue with shallow fitting IEMs. I tried my usual selection of silicones and found varying degrees of success. Tip matching will always be personal preference – but here are some of the tips which fit pretty well.
    andromeda24.jpg andromeda25.jpg andromeda26.jpg

    Included Comply Tx400 and Crystal foam

    SpinFits and Ostry tuning tips

    Spiral Dots and Trinity Kombi tips



    1. Sony Isolation / Trinity Kombi tips – great isolation and seal and probably my second choice behind the Shures
    2. Crystal foams / Comply foams – great isolation and seal.
    3. Spin-fits – extra length allowed me to use a looser fit while maintaining seal, but isolation was not as good as other options.
    4. Ostry tuning tips – good seal and isolation.
    5. Spiral Dots -very good seal, and did help to provide a little more upper end emphasis.
    6. Large Shure Olives. You need to stretch the core to get them on, but they are perfect for me for shallow fitting IEMs. Perfect isolation, longevity with continual use, comfort and allowance of a looser fit in ear all adds up to a perfect tip choice. YMMV.

    SOUND QUALITY
    The following is what I hear from the Campfire Audio Andromeda. YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline). Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my FiiO X3ii and E17K and large Shure Olive tips. For the record – on most tracks, the volume level on the E17K was around 11-13/60 on low gain which was giving me an average SPL of around 70 dB (mostly 65-75 dB) and peaks at around 75-80dB (A weighted measurements from my SPL meter).
    andromeda28.jpg
    Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.

    First Impressions
    Unlike many of my reviews (where I try to avoid preconceptions by not reading anyone else's work), I'd already seen many other opinions on the Andromeda before I tried them, and I have to admit I was reasonably sceptical with some of the superlatives being written about them. I know how products tend to be hyped beyond reality, and to be honest, I was expecting a slightly different signature to what I first heard. For me, from the very first listen it wasn't a wow!, but rather an appreciation of how well tuned they were. The balance is really good. That appreciation has slowly grown over the last week and for me personally, that usually signifies that long-term (for my tastes) these would become exceptional monitors. Usually if I get a wow from the start, this fades eventually and I am left with a sound sig which I quickly tire of. The Andromeda is one of those IEMs which (for me anyway) I could happily ditch most of the other IEMs I have, and become more of an audio monogamist. It just does practically everything right. The more I listen, the more my appreciation grows.

    Relativities

    1. Sub-bass – very well extended and there is a decent amount of rumble there (which shows the impressive extension), but bass is not the overall star of the show. Bass is beautifully balanced with the mid-range (bass might be slightly elevated in comparison), and sub-bass is essentially flat compared to mid-bass
    2. Mid-bass – very slightly elevated compared to mid-range, but generally reasonably flat (frequency wise). No noticeable bleed into the mid-range, and definitely enough impact to sound natural. A beautifully balanced mix of warmth and speed which is rare in a BA set-up. Very good sense of texture too.
    3. Lower mid-range – very slightly recessed compared to mid-bass, but sounds completely natural with this tuning. The last thing you would call the Andromeda is U or V shaped. There is wonderful texture with deeper male vocals (Pearl Jam is wonderful – Eddie's vocals stunning), and the clarity on the mid-range overall is exceptional.
    4. Upper mid-range – elevated compared to lower mid-range, but it is a slow rise from lower mid-range to the first small peak at about 2 kHz. The result is an incredibly clean and clear vocal range, with enough presence to lend a sense of euphony to female vocals – but without over-doing it and making the entire signature too lean or dry. The upper mid-range on the Andromeda is (for me) one of the best qualities of this IEM and strikes a wonderful balance between sweetness and air and remaining natural (uncoloured).
    5. Lower treble – there is a definite peak at around 7 kHz, so if you're sensitive to this area, it might pay to be cautious with the Andromeda. I'm not – so this tuning is very good for me. Ken's more accurate graphs show a similar peak at 9 kHz. There is some roll-off immediately after this peak, so you have a lot of clarity and definition without any real harshness or brittleness. One of my tests for lower treble is to listen to the natural decay of cymbal hits and see if it is overly truncated. highlighted or sounds natural. For me the treble decay with the Andromeda just sounds unbelievably natural – it extends and tapers off exactly the way a cymbal does in real life. Magical! There is some sibilance in tracks like “Let It Rain” (Amanda Marshall), but the sibilance is in the recording and the Andromeda is merely revealing what is in the recording, neither enhancing or masking it. The treble tuning for me is one of the best parts of the Andromeda – and especially when you combine it with the mid-range

    Resolution / Detail / Clarity

    1. Excellent with micro detail, and able to resolve finer details well without spotlighting or over-emphasising.
    2. Cymbal hits and decay on cymbals have excellent presence, and decay is very naturally portrayed
    3. An extremely clean and clear monitor with good resolution portrayed very naturally.

    Sound-stage, Imaging

    1. Extremely good directional queues, and just outside the periphery of my head space with binaural tracks – so above average width and depth
    2. Spherically presented stage – without uneven emphasis on width or depth. One of the better portrayals of sound-stage I've heard with an IEM
    3. Compelling sense of immersion both with applause section of “Dante's Prayer”, and also “Let it Rain”. A genuine sense of space was apparent with both.
    4. I had read about the Andromeda's stage being “massive”, and “cavernous”. I want to make it clear that in my testing neither statement is true. The Andromeda portrays a stage to me that is better than most IEM's I've heard (64Audio's Adel series is an obvious exception). The sense of space is impressive in that it is expansive for an IEM, but I would suggest any claims of rivalling full sized headphones in this regards may be a little overstated (at least for the open headphones I have).

    Strengths

    1. Balance, balance, balance – this is how a reference monitor should sound. KB nailed it.
    2. Clarity without being overly bright
    3. Excellent with both male and female vocals
    4. Fantastic with dynamic music – and able to show very good contrast between bass and upper mid-range (eg Cello and Violin)
    5. Fantastic with acoustic music and gives strings good sense of realism and tone when plucked, and nice edge to electric guitar when strummed.
    6. Very good with female vocals, lending enough euphony and sweetness to be a real joy to listen to – but without over doing it. Sarah Jarosz (my latest “obsession”) sounded incredible. A sonic signature I could listen to for hours.
    7. Genre master for lovers of a balanced signature – I enjoyed it with all genres tested – from classical, jazz and blues to electronic, grunge and pop.

    Weaknesses

    1. I have to confess that sonically I can't find a weakness so far. The Andromeda is one of the best tuned monitors I've ever heard

    Summary
    It was while I was listening to the Andromeda this afternoon and putting the finishing touches to the review that I twigged what it reminded me of sonically. It has the same type of balance as the HD800S – just without the very expansive sound stage, and without the extreme clarity the HD800S somehow provides. But the sense of overall balance and tonality is very similar. And that small statement there should be an indicator of how I feel about the signature of the Andromeda.

    AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
    As I alluded to earlier, the Andromeda is easily driven out of a smartphone or DAP, and on my iPhone 5S I’m sitting around 20% for my normal listening level (65-75 dB).

    I also volume matched and compared X3ii vs X3ii + E17K, and there was no discernible audible difference in dynamic presentation – so I think it is pretty safe to say that extra amping won’t be necessary. Based on the specs alone (12.8 ohm and 115dB SPL), straight out of the headphone-out of most sources should be more than enough. My favourite source was probably L&P's L3 – there is a somehow effortless presentation with it which I find absolutely captivating. And this may have something to do with overall sensitivity and hiss.

    Because of the high sensitivity of the Andromeda I thought it best to also test for hiss or noise. With my tinnitus, I can't hear any hiss (it is essentially masked by my tinnitus) so I employed the super sensitive hearing of my 13 year old daughter. Emma was able to hear hiss on practically every device I tested – depending on volume. It was louder on the X3ii and even on the E17K (which surprised me), but much quieter (still present) on the X5ii, X7 (AM3) and L3. On all of these DAPs when music was playing (at Emma's normal very quiet listening level – which is about 55-60 dB), the hissing disappeared (masked by the music). She agreed with me that she thought the L3 (and for her also the X7) was her pick for pairings.

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    X3ii + E17K, X5ii, X7 and L3

    Balanced tests with L3 and HFM SuperMini (ALO Tinsel cable)

    Trinity's Bluetooth adaptor and an iPhone 5S


    And one thing while we're talking about pairings - I very much enjoyed the Andromedas paired wire-lessly with my iPhone 5S using Trinity's new Bluetooth adaptor. Simple to use, sounded fantastic, very portable. It really was a breath of fresh air.

    RESPONSE TO EQ?
    Sorry – I didn't go there. There is simply no need. The Andromeda does not need tinkering with, and anything I did with EQ would be spoiling the default signature.

    COMPARISONS
    Andromeda is a top tier monitor, and fortunately for this exercise I had what I consider to be other top tier BA based (or hybrid) monitors available which are in similar price range. So for this exercise I chose to compare the 5 driver Campfire Andromeda ($1099) with the Fidue Sirius 5 driver hybrid ($899), 64Audio U6 6 driver BA ($899), and the 64Audio U10 10 driver BA ($1399).

    As always, the IEMs were compared after volume matching (SPL meter and test tones), but the comparisons are completely subjective. For these tests I again used the X3ii and E17K – simply because it is easier to volume match with this combo (and because for me, any possible hiss issue inaudible/inconsequential anyway).

    For anyone who may look at past reviews of the IEMs I'm comparing here, and notice the graphs are different – this is simply because of the use of the new IEC 711 compensation.

    Andromeda $1099 vs Fidue Sirius $899
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    Andromeda and Sirius

    Frequency comparison


    Both IEMs are 5 driver – with the Andromeda being all BA and the Sirius a 5 driver hybrid. Both have extremely good build quality – metal parts, quality cables, and good accessories. For me personally, the Andromeda wins slightly on fit and comfort. The Sirius has sharp edges on top, and I have big ears so the shells sit inside my outer airs. I can get both Andromeda and Sirius fitting with reasonable comfort, but both require adjustment to get right

    Sonically they are very different with the Andromeda being very balanced across the frequency spectrum, and the Sirius having more of a V shape. You'll note on the graph that Sirius has two lines, but I think the truth lies somewhere in between – this is because the Sirius has an internal bass port, so bass response could differ depending one ear anatomy and fit. The Sirius is also very upper mid-centric, and has quite recessed lower mid-range, so whilst female vocals in particular sound quite ethereal, male vocals can tend to be a little unnaturally thin and distant. Andromeda has better lower treble extension and this hows particularly in cymbal decay. My preference would be Andromeda for the more natural sonic signature and better overall tonality – but both are very good earphones.

    Andromeda $1099 vs 64Audio U6 $899
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    Andromeda and 64Audio Adel U6

    Frequency comparison


    This time it is an all BA match-up. The 5 driver Andromeda vs the 6 driver U6 with Adel modules. For this comparison I've used the U6 with the B1 Adel module, and shown graphs with and without an impedance adaptor. You will note the overall similarity of the graphs. But lets start first with build etc. The Andromeda slips ahead with build and also quality of the cable. Both are similar on the accessory front – the U6's custom case is brilliant, especially for protection and storage of accessories (including modules). With the U6 you also get the Adel system (read my review) which has had a profoundly positive effect on my listening experience + it is also tunable. Comfort goes to the U6 – with its rounded internal edges.

    Sonically the two are extremely similar. Both have brilliant balance throughout the spectrum, both have very similar overall bass response and the biggest difference isn't actually in the frequency response or tonality – but in the sound stage. With the Adel modules, the projection of space is simply larger (at the cost of some isolation). I'm afraid this is one where (for me) the U6 pulls ahead. And it is simply the Adel modules vs the TAEC system. If I didn't already have the U6, and someone offered me the Andromeda instead (as my only IEM) I certainly wouldn't be disappointed. Both are simply exceptional IEMs.

    Andromeda $1099 vs 64Audio U10.
    andromeda34.jpg andromedavsU10.png andromedavsU10m20.png

    Andromeda and 64Audio U10

    Frequency comparison (U10 with Adel modules)

    Frequency comparison (U10 with Apex M20 module)


    Finally the Andromeda is up against the much more expensive U10 (10 driver BA), and as with the U6, the Andromeda wins on overall build quality, whilst the U10 nudges ahead on fit and comfort.

    Again the U10 has the Adel modules, and again it has advantage in staging and tuning options – but the one thing the U10 can't quite get with the Adel modules (although it is closer with the M20 and the inclusion of an impedance adaptor), is the overall balance that the Andromeda has. And it's the cohesion in the mid-range coupled with the extension and tonality in the treble. The Andromeda is just better tuned to my ears – and I know this is personal preference – but it simply sounds better. The U10 might win with slightly better instrument separation – but overall I'd take the the Andromeda and spend the difference on music :)

    CAMPFIRE AUDIO ANDROMEDA – SUMMARY

    I went into this review somewhat sceptical about the high praises – perhaps knowing it was a well tuned IEM, but expecting that there may have been some hype as well. I leave a week later, grateful for the experience with the Andromeda, and now fully appreciating what a wonderful IEM this is.

    The Andromeda is an incredibly well built 5 x BA IEM, with a very good ergonomic fit, and also one of the best quality cables I've come across. The cable retails on ALO’s site for $149 if sold separately – so you're getting some very good value there too.

    The comfort with the Andromeda is better than with previous Campfire IEMs – perhaps due to the zirconium blasting/smoothing process, and maybe because I now use tips which also help my own anatomy better. Anyway – the comfort isn't perfect (nnd I know you can improve this further Ken), but it is much better for me now, and I thank you for the changes made.

    Sonically the Andromeda is simply incredibly balanced and strikes a wonderful mix of naturalness and linearity, clarity and smoothness, detail and musicality. The bass is nicely extended, and beautifully balanced with the mid-range. The mid-range has enough lower-mid recession to maintain distance and sense of space but without losing the richness and fullness of vocal fundamentals, and the upper mid-range is brilliantly cohesive without being over done. The extension on the treble is the crowning jewel of the Andromeda though. And how Ken has managed to deliver the detail while maintaining realism is simply an example of masterful tuning.

    At a current RRP of USD 1099, the Andromeda is not cheap, but the overall package is worth it simply because it is true flagship quality.

    Again I should make mention of the dedication and service of the Campfire Audio team. In my dealing to date, I have been very impressed by their willingness to take critique on board, and above all to constructively engage with their market audience, and ultimately improve the final product.

    So would I buy these, and would I recommend them to others? I absolutely recommend them – but I ultimately won't be getting a pair. I already have most of what the Andromeda delivers in my U6, and the one thing it has made me appreciate more is the sonic ability of both IEMs. The Andromeda (for my tastes) is almost perfect.

    Once again I’d like to thank Ken and Mark for making this opportunity available. I owe you gentlemen a debt of gratitude – and especially Ken for his generous help with my measurement set-up.


    andromeda36.jpg
      faithguy19, KEV G, JaeYoon and 15 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. canali
      brooko...kudos on another good review...have you ever compared it to the UERR?
      and are the details etc much more present than the 'great bang for buck' FLC 8S
      canali, Oct 25, 2016
    3. Brooko
      @Jalo - I appreciate the feedback. If Ken has the Vega touring and I get the chance I'll probably review it.  Haven't heard the U12 - but sounds like you'd appreciate the U6 more. When I was first "honing my skills" with reviewing - I used this a lot : http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm
      For me : Sub bass = 0-60 Hz, mid-bass  = 60-250 Hz, lower mids = 250 Hz - 1kHz, upper mids = 1 kHz to ~5 kHz, lower treble = 5kHz to 10 kHz, upper treble = 10 kHz +
      Brooko, Oct 26, 2016
    4. Brooko
      @canali - sorry, haven't heard the UERR.  Maybe ask Alex (Twister6)?  The extension on Androeda, and overall balance and presentation of detail is (to me) much better on the Andromeda.
      Brooko, Oct 26, 2016
  3. Currawong
    The Campfire Audio Andromedas are spacious and detailed-sounding IEMs.
    Written by Currawong
    Published Sep 20, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Detailed, cohesive and spacious sound. High-quality litz cable included. Well made. Nice case included.
    Cons - Some people may not like the memory wire and Shure-style connector. The unusual shape may not be comfortable for everyone.
    Ken Ball from ALO Audio is a big fan of the outdoors. If you see an image of nature on the ALO Audio, and now Campfire Audio web site, it will have been one he took himself. So for his new venture into in-ear monitors it was only appropriate that they be named after features of the night sky. 
     
    While I did have a listen to his first three models of IEM at a previous Tokyo headphone festival, I wasn't so enamoured by the brightness of the Jupiters, which seemed too strong for my tastes. It wasn't until this year, when I heard the Andromedas for the first time, that I was really moved by the sound. I was moved not so much because of any particular feature of the sound, but because their seeming lack of anything in the sound that reminded me I was listening with IEMs. The cohesion of the overall presentation had the IEMs immediately disappearing, leaving just the music. 
     
    Ken didn't hold back on the design in any way, shape or form with the Andromedas, exemplified by the fact that the pair I have for review are actually factory rejects. It would take a careful eye to see why, but he doesn't deny his intent to be perfectionist and send customers only a perfect product. As well, since I receive my pair, the design has been changed ever so slightly to add a couple of facets to area opposite the nozzle facing your ear, which may be better for people for whom the design is a bit of a tighter fit.  I didn't have any discomfort from the metal, but I have very average ears.
     
    Unusually, for a manufacturer, he started off building cables by hand, then working with others to make amps and DACs, and now headphones, rather in reverse of many other companies that started with headphones first. That has, however, given him an advantage with his range of IEMs, as he has the experience to design a good cable. As much as one may dislike the idea of the importance of a good cable, I can attest to the difference they can make. On my pair of JH13s, if I use the stock cable, the sound is harsh and unlistenable. A change to a well-made Litz-wire cable from a third party transforms the sound. Time and time again I've had good headphones that I felt were simply held back by the stock cable. Where the manufacturer has included a good cable, this hasn't been an issue. 
     
    ALO_Audio_Andromeda-D75_5094.jpg
     
    Irrespective of opinion on the matter, the cable itself is the same thickness and flexibility of a regular IEM cable, excepting the metal splitter and neatly-fitting transparent plastic choker. The MMCX plugs are a custom beryllium copper plug that has a tighter grip than a stock MMCX connector, the ring having a larger bend. Removal requires quite a firm pull, which the instruction manual advises be done straight and not at an angle. The downside is that this type of connector turns endlessly, which can be annoying if you're like me and line up your IEMs for insertion by the direction of the cable. I'm also sure some people will prefer a non-memory-wire version of the cable. 
     

    Accessories

     
    The Andromedas come with a good selection of ear tips: Silicon, foam and Comply TX-400; and a cleaning tool. The Complys are difficult to install, having a narrowish tube, the good side of that being that they stay on very tightly. With a bit of foam in the tube, they are good for keeping earwax out of the canals.
     
    The included leather clamshell zip case has faux sheepskin lining, giving it a classy, old-school appearance suggesting a product intended to be used for a long time. 
     
    ALO_Campfire_Audio_Andromeda_case-5474.jpg   ALO_Campfire_Audio_Andromeda_case-5473.jpg
     
     
    To the IEMs themselves, they consist of 5 balanced armature drivers -- 2 for the bass, 1 for the mids, and 2 for the highs. These are housed in a CNC aluminium enclosure with a uniquely shaped design. For my ears, that edgy shape could be felt a bit on insertion, but it didn't end up bothering me at all. I'm more sensitive to the discomfort of having anything in my ear canals to really notice. However Ken has acknowledged concerns and will be smoothing the design slightly in future production runs.
     
    Ear canal discomfort may be an issue for some, as the three-port aluminium nozzle is big, and requires similar tips that DITA Audio's The Answer, RHA, and FitEar's universal series do. Since that permits tips with a variety of sizes, some tuning is readily possible as it is with the DITAs. Select tips with a narrower nozzle and the highs are tamed a bit, the bass being brought out more. If I select Spinfits for comfort then this is exactly what happens, making the Andromedas warmer with stronger bass, but not as pleasant overall as with the stock tips.
     
    After an initial listen, I ran the Andromedas in for a couple of days using pink noise, with periods of listening in between. Most of the time I ran them out of an ALO Audio Rx or Pico Power connected to my Schiit Yggdrasil. Sometimes I used a Chord Mojo. DAP pairings I shall address separately. For most of the comparison I used the stock silicon tips. 
     
    ALO_Audio_Andromeda-D75_5084.jpg
     
    If you have experience with many full-sized headphones, I can simplify things and say that the Andromedas are much like a pair of MrSpeakers Ethers in overall tone when used out of a good DAP or amp. From the very present, but sweet highs down to the moderately strong mid-bass, with a few exceptions both have a similar character. This made acoustic recordings a joy, enough to make one forget that you are listening with IEMs. Using my iPhone or Soundaware's M1, both of which have a <0 Ohm output impedance, the bass drops back a bit, which I find pleasant when the music is already very bass-strong.  While mostly mid-bass prominent, it does extend well down to the deep bass if you have a good seal. 
     
    Generally speaking, foam tips will reduce the treble and narrower-bore tips will increase the bass. At one extreme, if I used the Andromedas out of the Mojo or similar, which brought out the most bass, and had the included Comply foam tips on, they sounded at their darkest, similar to what I had experienced often with the Laylas. This was sometimes too dark for me. Spinfits and DITA medium-bore tips seemed to cause the mid-range to take a back seat to a degree, so at the recommendation of other members I tried JVC's Sprital Dot tips.
     
    Spiral Dot tips use a spiral of indents in the bore to reduce turbulence. Since some JVC IEMs have a similar bore shape as the Andromedas, they fitted perfectly. Also, given the wide bore of the tips, the treble could come out well. This increased the overall coherency of the sound, leaving me to balance up the amount of bass via the choice of amp or DAP.  The only downside is that the very wide bore can make the highest treble a bit bright, which was fine with most acoustic music, but other music, if treble-strong, can be a bit unpleasant.
     
    ALO_Audio_Andromeda-D75_5080.jpg
     
    Random tracks from putting my three-stars and better playlist on random. It should be noted that I listen at a moderate volume level.
     
    Let the Sunshine In sung by Julie Driscoll, being an old pop number with less than perfect recording quality and lacking in bass was rather thin-sounding as a consequence. I wish someone would re-master this.
     
    Let there be Light - Justice. This band plays best with headphones and IEMs that really give a good bass kick. The Andromedas are possibly a touch too light-sounding, but when I switched over to the DITAs to compare how a dynamic sounded with bass, with the "reference" tips they had even less bass. That leaves me feeling the Andromedas will be good for someone who likes their bass kick, but without there being too much, even with this kind of music.
     
    Englishman in New York - Sting. One of the best features of the Andromedas is their ability to render a sense of space in the recording, despite being IEMs and this recording was a good example of that. The level of detail, down to the decay of notes echoing across the recording space emphasised this.
     
    Dazzling Blue (Album) - Alexis Cole. This Chesky binaural album has become my reference for headphone listening. If anything the bass lines can be a bit strong. It's here that I feel more like I'm listening with IEMs, as the bass crowds a bit into the rest of the sound space, if it is rendered very well. 
     
    Spanish Grease (Dorfmeister Con Madrid De Los Austrias Muga Reserva Mix) - Willie Bobo - Verve Remixed.
    This is music that, along with the other tracks and similar albums I lump into the category of “club music” which is brighter with a stronger beat. Due to the mastering being somewhat bass-light, with these tracks I preferred more bass-strong/treble-light IEMs for preference, even when I rotated tips on that moved the sound signature of the Andromedas in this direction. 
     
    What was apparent throughout listening was the sense of space that live recordings are presented with.  What is more, the clean-sounding treble wasn't bothersome, even when modern, brightly-recorded (but not compressed) recordings were being listened to. The presentation is very much a "This is how the recording is, for better or for worse" one. 
     
    That presentation works fantastically with acoustic recordings, from vocals through to jazz and classical, but are also capable all-rounders, quite able to deliver music with strong bass.
     

    Devices

     
    My usual portable go-to is the Chord Mojo. The Andromedas have a tiny amount of hiss audible when plugged in without music playing. Being a close to 0 Ohm output device, the bass is quite prominent, yet quite clean-sounding, the sense of spaciousness still very pleasant. 
     
    ALO Rx (2015 version) -- Even less hiss than the Mojo. Brings out the treble and spaciousness a tiny bit more.
     
    Headamp Pico Power -- low gain setting. No hiss at all and a minute amount on medium gain. Plenty on high gain, but no worse than the Mojo. Very smooth and neutral "nothing but the facts" but less spacious-sounding than the Rx or Mojo direct. 
     
    Sound Potion Monolith -- My favourite pick, combining the smoothness of the Pico Power with the spaciousness of the Rx and only has a tiny bit of hiss on low gain.
     
    ALO_Audio_Andromeda-D75_5095.jpg
     

    Comparisons

     
    Shozy Zero 
     
    While it may seem an odd comparison, these considerably more bass-strong IEMs were useful for providing a contrast to the presentation of the Andromedas. Where bass thump and a well-smoothed treble was more important than ultimate detail, such as with “club” music, the Shozys were strongest, whereas the Andromedas win with acoustic music where space, soundstage and separation are most important. 
     
    Ultimate Ears Reference Monitors
     
    Compared to the Andromedas, they are tuned to a more neutral frequency response and are less sensitive. The Andromedas picked up hiss from ALO Audio's new Continental V5 (CV5) whereas the UERMs didn't. The Andromedas also have more mid-bass emphasis, the treble varying depending on the tips used. 
     
    JH Audio Layla Universals (original version)
     
    I was expecting the Andromedas to sound brighter, as I've always found the Laylas to be a bit dull-sounding, but surprisingly, with the bass turned down, they are more similar than not. The Laylas have the advantage that they can be CIEMs, and the multiple drivers give them more headroom for louder listening, something not so important to me. The main issue for me with the universal Laylas was getting a good fit and adjusting them to sound the best, something I didn't have as many issues with when using the Andromedas. I reckon the Laylas would work best as a CIEM.
     
    DITA Audio The Answer (Truth Edition)
     
    (Going to add this shortly.)
     

    Conclusion

     
    Very often discussion of new, high-end products centres around how they can be improved. The Andromedas are one of those products that is great right out of the box sonically, especially if you your tastes are more towards well-mastered acoustic music, with a spacious and detailed sound. With more modern, brighter-mastered music they are a not quite so suited, at least without some tip rolling. Most pleasing is how much care Ken has put into designing and making them.  The only cautions are that the design and cable ergonomics wont be suitable for everyone.
     
    Thanks to Ken Ball for proving the Andromedas for review.
     

    Unboxing and Video Review

     
    [​IMG] [​IMG]
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Decommo
      This Andromeda might be my end game IEM. I just got Nova and it is very comfortable. I did not feel any discomfort from the shape of shell that other people reported. 
      Decommo, Sep 21, 2016
    3. LunaC
      "If you have experience with many full-sized headphones, I can simplify things and say that the Andromedas are much like a pair of MrSpeakers Ethers in overall tone when used out of a good DAP or amp"

      My EtherC haven't had much ear time since I got the andromeda. 
      LunaC, Sep 21, 2016
    4. fiascogarcia
      Are these more comfortable with larger or smaller conchas?
      fiascogarcia, Sep 24, 2016
  4. 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.
  5. emptymt
    Green For The Win : The Space of Andromeda
    Written by emptymt
    Published Sep 10, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Superior Soundstage and Layering, deep fast tight punchy bass, lush detailed mids, smooth clear non-fatigueing treble, exceptional clarity, looks nice
    Cons - no custom options available, edge on the shell could be smoother
    Hi everyone, Before I start the review, I would like to thank Campfire Audio for making this awesome IEM, and also to d marc0 for inviting me in the tour.
     
    NOTES
     
    The aesthetic and design is almost the same as the Orion apart from the color on the housing and the cable, since that is the case, the "Fit, Comfort and ease of use" & "BUILD QUALITY" is almost the same as in my Orion, Jupiter review but not entirely. If you have read that one, you can skip through to the "Sound Analysis" section.
     
    INTRODUCTION
    I'm an Indonesian working as a Web Developer in Melbourne, Australia.
    Other than programming/coding, listening to music is another one of my hobby.
    When I start my headphone hobby, music listening has been a very rewarding experience for me and has helped me in many aspects of life other than music enjoyment of course, although with the booming price of high end headphones/IEM, it has become a bit of a heavy hit on my wallet >_<.
     
    Starting from almost 2 years ago I've been really hooked by metal music, and nowadays my everyday music listening always incorporate metal tracks, I guess you can call me a Metal-head, although I also listen to other genres occasionally.
     
    I don't actually listen to all kinds of music, lets say for example Classical, therefore it is important to understand that this review is based on my observation on the kinds of musics I like, and those are mainly:
    - Metal (many kinds)
    - Pop
    - EDM
    - Jazz
    - Indonesian Song (it's basically the Indonesian version of pop, guitar used is mostly acoustic guitar, sounds natural and relaxing however, mastering of the song is usually poor, this is good to test how good a headphone/Iem handle poorly recorded material)
    - KPOP

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

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

     
    The Cable​

    IMG_0687.jpg
     
    The cable on the Andromeda is different from the one included in the Jupiter and Orion when I review them.
    They are all silver, but the one for Andromeda is thicker and less prone to tangling.
    After  a little bit of research, I found out that the cable in question is called Litz cable.
    https://www.campfireaudio.com/shop/litz-cable/
     
    I'm no cable expert, but looks like the quality cable has some impact to the sound as the IEM sosunds excellent!
     
    Fit, Comfort and ease of use
     
    I've always have issues with fits as my ear canal has a significant differences in size. This makes it hard to find a good tips that will sound nice, consistent and comfortable on my ears however, with the inclusion of the comply foam tips in the box, the fit is becoming less of a problem as the foam tips helps a lot with the fit(a very thoughtful inclusion).
     
    The iem itself has and edgy design however this does not bother me much, when positioned carefully, my ear feel perfectly find after hours of use.
    Do take in mid that in order to ensure the comfort, you need to position the shell carefully, if you feel that the edge is touching you ears in anyway, just carefully reposition it so that it sits nicely on your ear.
    Do not push the shell inside to much that it touches the inside of your ear, this will cause discomfort later on.
     
    The Isolation is good, I used it a couple of times in the train and at work, it blocks most of the noise just fine.
     
    BUILD QUALITY
    The build Quality on The Andromeda is excellent, it has a more classier looks then some of the 1000 dollar IEM out there.
    The housing looks nice with the metallic green finish and I feel comfortable with the protection it provides.
     
    The unit itself has some weight to it, I can actually feel the weight on my hand when I hold onto it although once you put in the iem and play some music I doubt you will be bothered by the weight, considering the weight most likely comes from the iem housing made using a CNC aluminum housing. 
    I feel perfectly happy with the weight, considering that aluminum just looks so much better than plastic in terms of look, it doesn't feel cheap, like many other more expensive IEM that use plastic, I think the use of aluminum is a step in the right direction providing more protection and classier looks.
     
    The cable has an angled ends which adds to the longevity of the cable, I also like the fact that it has a detachable cable, I didn't try to detach it, but this will be a very good safety insurance for some people, as it can be replaced easily if something happens to it, and it will detach when a lot of pressure is applied to the cable.
     
    The positioning of the Y split is perfect for me, not too high not too low. Other than that for people who likes to invest on some high quality cables and wants to change the microphonic cables this will be a very welcoming addition.
    This is an over ear type IEM, therefore, it provides better ergonomics than cable down style.
     
    FIRST IMPRESSIONS
    My first impressions with the IEMs are very positives. At first I feel that this IEM has a forward presentation in the mids and upper mids/lower treble.
    I am used to a more laidback presentation of my Mr Speakers Ether which is still a bit intimate but nowhere as intimate as the Andromeda, and becuase of that I felt that the Andromeda is a little on the bright side, but with more listening times, my ear adapts to the sound a bit and my opinion change quite a bit.
     
    SOUND ANALYSIS
     
    The Signature
    In my opinion the sound signature of The Andromeda is quite neutral with forward little emphasized mids, more than the bass and treble, it is by no means a mid focused, the bass is very present in the mix followed by the treble.
     
    If I have to compare the quantity of the signature, it will be like this: mids > bass > treble
    Although the difference is not big and can still be said neutral in a lot of ways.
     
    the signature itself works very well with all genres of music, including metal, my favourite genre.
    If you listen to modern musics though, this will be perfect in my opinion as long as you are not a big basshead. 
     
    I give the tonality of this IEM a perfect 10/10 since it just works and sounds good on everything I throw at it.
     
    The Bass
    The bass sound's tight and deep with good quantity and it is very fast, when I listen to "Forget Not" by Ne Obliviscaris, there is this part where the drum hits gets super fast, it will usually sound less distinct with other headphones and IEM, but The Andromeda handle this with ease, every hit can be heard and distinguished easily and on top of that it is punchy.
    It has a fast decay and very good dynamics, the drum works in the track mentioned above was transcended to another level when I hear it with the andromeda.
    despite the fast decay and tight bass, the bass doesn't feel thin or anemic at all, in fact it sounds very natural and satisfying. 
     
    When listening to EDMs or raps, the beat sounds super deep and punch with the excellent dynamic adding to the enjoyment, the switch between the silent phase to the bass shows a significant jumps of volume in a very short time, giving you the surprise factor and attack that you crave for from the tracks.
     
    The Mids
    The mids is lush, a little forward, very natural and detailed.
    You can listen to many variety of vocal with this and it can only be great.
    As a metal-head, I often listen to song where the singer use scream and growl for their vocals, it sounds really good with Andromeda and never harsh.
    If you listen to Rap, the clarity will make it easier for you to listen to the lyrics.
    If you listen to ballad or Jazz, the lushness will melt your mind away as it the sound has this emotional feel to it. (Norah Jones sounds so good on this)
    If you listen to Justin Bieber, ummm, I don't know, I don't really listen to that kind of music, but other modern music like Ariana Grande sounds excellent.
     
    I found both male and female vocals is being represented very well by The Andromeda and there is no distinction where male vocals will sound better or vice versa.
     
    Guitars sounds simply superb on this, the bite is present but never harsh
    You can listen to many old metal recordings where the guitar can sound sharp and harsh, but it will come out fine with this, I'm not saying it will sound excellent or anything since the recording itself is bad, but it will not sound harsh at all.
    On a good recording though, the guitar has a very natural tone to it but still has the bite that we all like.
    Overall Guitars both electric or acoustic, sounds excellent on this.
     
     
    The Treble
    Treble is very clean, smooth and present in the music with good air, it is very easy to notice the cymbal hits in metal or rock recordings, It is smooth and sparkly but not to a fault and has an excellent extension.
    It sounds lively and energising, providing the engagement factor on each track that I played. 
    Violin and guitar solos sounds awesome on this and it never gets sharp and harsh or fatiguing, the sound is really smooth and it really catch your attention to it.
     
    The Soundstage, Imaging and separations
    The soundstage on this is insane, In my opinion this is the best part of the Andromeda, I can confidently say that the soundstage is the widest of all IEMs I've heard to date Including many TOTL that I demoed sometime in the past(including K10U, Jh, etc). I can feel it right away the first time I put it on, It is that good!
     
    As a metal-head, most often IEM will not work nicely for me, this is because, metal music is dense and require good soundstage to avoid congestions where every sound seems super close to each other, good imaging to pinpoint the instrument and good separation so that 1 instrument will not cover the other instruments, this IEM definitely has it. and because of this it works very well for metal. 
     
    Everything just sounds distinct and I can pinpoint the instrument location very easily, the soundstage combined with the exceptional clarity makes this IEM sounds very clean and articulate without being thin.
    This IEM is so good at this that if you are looking for an excellent soundstage in an IEM, this is the best that I can recommend.
     
    Pairing
    AK Jr
    IMG_0691.jpg
    Naked Ak jr
     
    The pairing is excellent, the emphasized bass in the AK Jr added more bottom end meat to the Andromeda, giving you a bassier presentation but not overly so, mids is still lush and detailed, with good treble presentation.
    The AK Jr also has a very good soundstage further complimenting the strength of the andromeda.
    Power consumption of the Andromeda is quite low on the AK Jr, it last almost 2 days at work without charging.
    Very good sound, with ok battery and super slim and portable set up.
    Easily pocketable, unlike other DAP where I found that it is just too thick and expensive.
    easy and quick to use on many situation (on the bed, etc)
    If you can put up with the slow UI, I highly recommend this paring if you want more bass on your Andromeda.
     
    IMG_0694.jpg
     
    With green uniform on, because green is good!!
     
    Chord Mojo
    IMG_0690.jpg
     
     
    Again, the pairing is excellent, the mojo is also a warm source, although the bass boost is not as much as the AK, adding some bass to the Andromeda.
    the bass is a little less in quantity than the AK but is more extended (this is a trade off, I take the AK pairing for bass though, draw for me)
    the mids is still lush and full with slightly more detail and clarity than the AK but still noticeable improvements. (Mojo wins)
    the treble is smoother and more articulate than the AK Jr, this is the biggest improvement over the AK (Mojo wins)
    soundstage is about the same maybe a bit less than the ak, but better imaging and separation (Mojo wins Again)
    Less portable and harder to use than the Ak Jr (AK Wins)
    takes longer to set up, needs a computer or phone (AK Wins)
    more cable management, not good if you have to move around (AK Wins)
     
    The difference in quality of AK Jr combo and Mojo combo is noticebale but does not really gravitate me to use one more than the others, I'll just whatever the situation calls, this tells me that Andromeda is quite flexible with source pairing and will sound good on many sources as long as the source does not stray away too much from neutrality.
     
    Comparisons with Jupiter
    It has been a while since I heard the Jupiter so my audio memory of its sonic capabilities is not dependable, I think the main deciding factor is the signature, where jupiter is a slight U-shaped.
    but speaking of performance, technicalities and my own personal taste, I will always pick the Andromeda, the price difference is not huge and it is definitely worth the extra cost.
    In my opinion the performance jump is big considering the small price difference, I certainly didn't get wowed this much when I review the Jupiter, The Andromeda is just better right from the get-go and will always be my first choice IMO
     
    SUMMARY
    This is a great IEM with a great tonality and insane soundstage that will suit many genres, sound quality is excellent with excellent detail retrieval without sounding analytical.
    the only cons for this IEM is the edge design that can be a pain sometimes, thus requiring carefull positioning of the shell when wearing it.
     
    Providing a custom options will solve this problem perfectly and will increase the comfort and sound isolation. In my opinion this is a must do as this IEM definitely punch above its price range and can compete with other TOTL IEM with ease.
     
    I want to give a thumbs up to Campfire Audio for putting up this awesome IEM in such an affordable price that punch above its weight.
  6. k4rstar
    CA Andromeda: Crown jewel of the Campfire fleet
    Written by k4rstar
    Published Aug 24, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Engaging and addictive sound; sonic resolution; excellent build; included accessories
    Cons - High sensitivity requires careful volume control; highly reactive impedance curve

    Campfire Audio Andromeda:​

    Crown jewel of the Campfire fleet​

     

    Introduction

     
    First, a disclaimer: I purchased the Andromeda ($1099USD) with my own money after doing my own research and thus this is my independent (and highly subjective) opinion. A special thank you to @HiFlight, @Loquah & @shotgunshane for sharing their experiences with me and answering my questions, as well as to ALO Audio for excellent customer service.
     
    This is my second review of a Campfire product, and as such I went into this entire experience biased and with a pre-conceived notion of quality from the Campfire brand. Despite this obvious favoritism I'll try to keep things simple, practical, and relate what I'm hearing to music I hope others can recognize to put my impressions in context. My goal is to give you an idea of what you can expect from the Andromeda and whether or not is appropriate for your tastes.
     
    A little bit about me and my music tastes: I purchased the Campfire Audio Orion ($349USD) only a few short months ago after much deliberation (there wasn't much information available on them at the time). They quickly became my favorite earphones and it wouldn't be too long before I started searching for a worthy upgrade. Needless to say, I eventually came to realize only another offering from Campfire would be worthwhile to me. Throughout this review I plan on drawing many comparisons back to the Orion, as that is the type of review I would have liked to have read before taking the Andromeda plunge myself.
     
    While I'm going to spoil the remainder of the review now by saying I think my search for an upgrade to the Orion is over, I believe the Orion is still an excellent value proposition and I will reiterate on why later in the review. My music tastes vary widely, but I would describe myself first and foremost as a mid-head and female vocal lover. Thus any headphones that are known to showcase the mid-range in music and offer it up front and center pique my interest. Without further ado, on to the review!
     
     

    Accessories 

     
    I'm not going to spend too much time commenting on the accessories package since there are already so many other great reviews that go over it, but I think it's worthwhile to note the impressive accessory selection included with the Andromeda's, as there is certainly something here for everyone and it gives you the feeling of owning a product you will want to last forever. A plethora of tips including three sets of silicone, Comply foam and Campfires own generic foam tips. You also get a stylish pin sporting the sleek Campfire Audio logo and a cleaning tool. These accessories are not unique to the Andromeda and are all included with the lower end models in the Campfire line-up as well, which I appreciate.
     
    You also get a dark leather zippered carrying case which I really like, it sets itself aside from the canvas one included with the Orion and Nova models. While it isn't exactly pocket friendly nor does it open all the way around like most clam shell cases, its soft wool interior will certainly keep your earphones safe during transportation.
     
    The included cable is actually sold separately by ALO Audio for $149USD, so it certainly isn't included as an afterthought and is an excellent pairing for such a premium product. The cable is supple, uses MMCX connections and the ear guides are easily malleable which I'm sure a lot of people will appreciate. One concern of note are that the MMCX connections rotate in the socket, which can make getting a fit cumbersome at first. The right angle termination could also be slimmer and may not work with every smartphone case on the market. All-in-all, the litz cable is a much appreciated accessory and a large improvement from the tinsel ones originally shipping with the Orion and Jupiter, so it's clear that Campfire took customer feedback there.
     
     

    Build / Comfort / Isolation

     
    The build on the Andromeda is something to marvel at the first time you remove them from their case, and every time after that too. Others have said that photographs do not do the emerald green shells justice, and it wasn't until receiving my pair did I understand what they meant. The color is a lot more subdued in real life but still subtly beautiful. While the bore is a little wider than what most will be used to, I find this actually makes it much easier to fit different tips on, and the angle of the bore is pretty much perfect for my ears to get a solid seal.
     
    Speaking of seal, I have absolutely no issues with comfort or ergonomics regarding the aluminum shells of the Andromeda. Despite housing four more drivers than the Orion, the weight of the earpieces are still negligible, and I had no discomfort for listening for up to three or even four hours straight. I find that as with the Orion the fit is largely ear tip dependent, as with foam tips the shells have a habit of hanging out of your ears, which may work for some but irritate others (such as myself). However with silicone tips the shells nestle comfortably in the ear for me, but I could easily see this as an issue for those with smaller concha. It seems that Campfire has taken feedback throughout the lifespan of the Andromeda by producing new batches of the monitor with slightly trimmed outer edges, however I have not personally noticed a difference between them and the fit of the Orion which did not have these adjustments. 
     
    Isolation is definitely above average with the included Comply foam tips, and does not suffer as much as one would think with silicone tips either. Given my extensive experience using the identical fitting Orion in many noisy environments as well as public transportation, I would rate the isolation of the Andromeda satisfactory for usage just about anywhere.
     
     

    Sonic Impressions

    Please note that evidence shows the Andromeda is highly reactive to the output impedance of various sources and may not match the descriptions given below to a tee depending on what you run it out of. For reference, all sonic impressions were given in pairing with a HTC10 smartphone. (Yes, it drives them quite well.)​

     
    Coming from the entry level Orion, I had a plethora of doubts about pursuing a monitor over three times the cost. Since I was already so happy with the performance of the Orion, did I really need to upgrade? Would the mid range I loved so much on the Orion be compromised in favor of additional bass quantity or a brighter overall signature? All of my fears were quashed the second I hit play on the Andromeda's for the first time and a big stupid grin took over my face. Ken Ball and his team have proven with the Andromeda that five seems to be the magic number, as this combination and crossover of drivers produces an effortlessly musical and sweet take on a reference tuning; one that I could only dream of experiencing when starting out in this hobby a handful of years ago. 
     
    It is no secret that the mid range is the strong suite of the Orion, and once again it proves to be Campfires ace in the hole. The mids on the Andromeda are exceptionally clear and in focus, almost revealing to a degree. Female vocals soar and swoon, with no added difficulty as multiple voices join the chorus. Resolution from the Orion is carried over intact and joined together with a beautifully rendered treble allowing a greater sense of air and three dimensional space for even the most powerful and moving vocal performances. Acoustic guitars and other stringed instruments come alive on the stage and yet in signature Campfire fashion don't take the focus off the vocal presentation, just the way this reviewer likes it.
     
     
    folder.jpg
     
    "​
    So I listen to the radio...​
    "​
     
    The MTV Unplugged (1999) recording featuring The Corrs is my favorite Unplugged set of all time and contains many of the bands' favorites. While already an absolute joy on the Orion the set comes alive on the Andromeda, showcasing all of its ability to reproduce a sense of space in a recording. While the stage doesn't unrealistically (for an IEM) expand out of the head, it does seem to fill every single nook and cranny of it with the groups signature flute, drum and violin arrangements. On hits such as Radio and Forgiven Not Forgotten the Andromeda shows it's prowess at rendering Andrea and Sharons' lead and backup vocals with a certain addictive sweetness, without warming them over to the point of unrealistic coloration. A big win in my book.
     
    Moving on to the low end response, I was taken aback when first experiencing the Andromeda, as reviews and other subjective impressions as well as objective measurements had led me to expect a much warmer tuning. While I can't exactly confirm or deny this as of now, the consensus is that due to impedance swing the quantity of bass may vary greatly from one source to another, attributing to the all of the different perceptions of just how much bass quantity is present in this monitor. Out of my source, both the bass quantity and quality are perfect for my subjective tastes. The bass is elevated a hair above neutral and rises the deeper into bass levels you go. The upper bass has a tight snap, mid bass a fat punch and sub bass a deep resounding thump. Another factor possibly making it difficult to pinpoint bass quantity is the chameleon character the low end response of the Andromeda has that allows it to adapt to any track as required. Just when I think one track was (appropriately) bass light the next rattles me with an intense drum line. Bass notes are slightly thick but never muddy or slow in even the most fast paced double drum abusing rock and punk of my library, giving it a very realistic feeling especially in well recorded live sets.
     
     
    22c0b0cbd3e5f83e31352f79b6f7c18241f9fdb8.jpg
     ​
    "I think she's a genius..."
     
    The Murmurs were a alt pop duo project between Leisha Hailey (of Uh Huh Her fame) and Heather Grody. Although their 1998 LP Blender never quite caught critical reception in the US it remains one of my absolute favorite pop rock albums for the pairings creative use of silly, twee vocals and melodic catchy offerings such as La Di Da and Sucker Upper. Once upon a time one of my favorite albums to play through the Orion, the Andromeda turns up the engagement and punch to 11 with it's added bass extension and treble excitement. Bass lines are extremely satisfying but still take a relative backseat to Leisha & Heathers carefree power-pop melodies. Don't listen to this album if you hate having songs stuck in your head.
     
    While I still believe the mid range is the star of the show on the Andromeda the true accomplishment here is a delicious, ever-present treble which adds the last octave of excitement and air to many recordings that were missing on the Orion. The kicker is that it manages to do all this with absolutely no harshness or sibilance, so I can still turn up my favorite substandard punk and girlcore recordings without fear of splashy treble or shouty vocals. This complete lack of listening fatigue coupled with an addictive sound is a recipe for disaster when it comes to any sort of productivity, as I've already found myself self-bargaining to listen to "just one more track". One nitpick with the treble presentation is a matter of speed, cymbal crashes just don't have the full sense of decay they should. It is not quite as short as say the Sennheiser HD650, but a relatively small price to pay for the other benefits associated with this part of the response.
     
     
     ​
    "This one's called Annie..."
     ​
    I'm a massive Elastica fan, and I can tell you straight away they had a lot of difficulty when it came to finalizing mixes for their records. In the hunt for a perfect takes on their debut self-titled they would deliver different mixes or recordings of a single track up to eight times, before sometimes giving up and just returning to the original demo. So when given a day to record and mix Radio One Sessions (2001) it quickly became apparent that some of their best work shone through on raw, adrenaline-fueled first-takes and out-takes. The tracks and B-sides on Radio One Sessions are not free from their share of recording artifacts or overzealous guitar work, but that is exactly the type of energy that makes the LP and why throughout all my demoing it has been my favorite listen on the Andromeda so far. Whereas most equipment labeled as forgiving usually involves some sort of treble attenuation or roll-off to protect the listeners virgin ears from the horrors of modern studio work the Andromedas management of the high frequencies swallow up every track and spit it back out at the listener in a way that lets you have your cake and eat it too. Lead guitars in opening track Annie are kept on a short leash but still allowed to bite, bass guitar work in hit single Waking Up is perfectly placed on the stage and front woman Justine's effortlessly sexy vocals in Vaseline are always in crystal clear focus. I could probably talk about how the Andromeda doesn't break a sweat with this record all day but it would quickly devolve into gloating and rabid fanboyism, so I'll put a plug in it for now.
     
     

    Summary

    While I concluded early on that the Orion was close to perfection for my personal tastes, I think I can safely say now that the Andromeda is perfection for my tastes and a definite keeper. I recall jokingly telling others that an Orion with a bit more excitement and weight on both ends of the spectrum would be mint, never expecting to find such a tuning. Little did I know I'd have to pay three times as much to experience it. With limited experience, it is difficult for me to assign a value proposition to the Andromeda within it's price bracket, what I can say is that it's a tuning I think a lot of people will enjoy given that they are careful and perhaps even patient with source matching.
     
    And finally, a positive note for those of you who were intrigued by this review or others but can't quite afford the hefty price tag of the Andromeda yet, I still believe the Orion is an excellent choice for it's relatively entry-level asking price and isn't as far off in performance as one would expect (full review of the Orion here). If the Orion is an ambitious skipper, the Andromeda is the crown jewel of the Campfire Audio fleet.
      Passenger11, ustinj, pr0b3r and 10 others like this.
  7. 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
  8. alffla
    Campfire Audio Andromeda - Soaring into Space
    Written by alffla
    Published Aug 9, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - 1.Extreme clarity in the mid and high end. 2.Wide soundstage and clear separation 3.High sensitivity 4.Excellent build quality.
    Cons - 1.Bass may be too clean and lean for some 2. Sharp corners may not fit everyone comfortably.
    1-AndromedawithPlug.jpg

     
    Established in 2006, Audio Line Out (“ALO”) made its name by building high end audio cables for audio equipment. In 2015, ALO announced the creation of another branch that would be responsible for making IEMs called Campfire Audio (“CA”). Since then, CA has launched an impressive lineup of IEMs: the single BA Orion, the dual BA Nova, the single DD Beryllium driver Lyra and the four BA Jupiter.  Their latest 5 driver flagship offering, the Andromeda caught my eye and I decided to take a leap and purchased it.

    In my earlier days of this hobby, I found more enjoyment in the lower frequencies. The hard, the thumping, the wobble and ooze were all that I had sought after. The Prodigy, Crystal Method and Fatboy Slim were at the forefront of bands that fueled my adolescent angst. Finesse and grace was not on the priority list. With the passing of time, my taste has changed. It was my birthday in May, and having taken an extensive demo tour in Hong Kong with my partners in crime, I was finally ready to take the plunge into the deep end of the pool. I knew right away that my crown jewel would not be a bass heavy IEM. I wanted a piece with a great sound signature that would stand the test of time, something that hopefully as a person I would have to grow into.

    I already enjoyed the Jupiter: great soundstage with immense clarity and smooth bass texture. It was certainly one of the most unique sound signatures I had ever heard, but despite its soaring highs and tremendous soundstage, I personally felt that the Jupiter’s mids were lacking a bit of sweetness. So when I heard from Oliver that there was an early bird rate from CA for their new flagship that had added a mid driver – the Andromeda, I took a rather haphazard chance and dropped my $999 USD.

    Specs 

    Frequency Range – 10HZ–28 KHZ
    Sensitivity – 115 DB SPL/MW
    Impedance – 12.8 OHMS @ 1KHZ
    Detachable Cable with MMCX Connection Type

    I don’t have anything especially important to say about the specs apart from that the Andromeda is a highly sensitive IEM. Please turn down your volume when listening to the Andromeda or you will suffer from hearing loss.

    5-CampfireAudioAndromedaBox.jpg

    9-AndromedaBoxandLeatherCase.jpg
     
    6-AndromedaandLeatherCase.jpg
     
     
    Unboxing and Accessories

    Like the rest of the CA lineup, the Andromeda comes in a neat little textured cardboard box with colourful printed graphics of galactic entities. When you first open it up, you are greeted only by a rich dark brown coloured hard leather case which has a very premium feel and also appeals to the handmade, artisanal, yet grounded feel of all of Campfire Audio’s products. Unzipping this case reveals the strikingly green Andromeda coiled up neatly inside a soft, off-white wool lining.

    Underneath the case is another piece of card separating the main compartment and the accessories compartment, where you will find 3 sets of different tip choices, as well as an earhphone cleaning tool. The generous tip selection consists of S, M, and L sizes of Comply TX400 tips, normal foam tips, and silicon tips. There’s also a little Campfire Audio pin included so you can show off to the world what they’re missing out on.

    2-AndromedaandAccessories.jpg

     
    4-CampfireAudioPin.jpg
     
    7-Andromeda35mmLPlug.jpg
     
    Comfort and Build

    I was very worried that I had just blindly bought an IEM I had never tried on and that the fit would be unsatisfactory. However, I was quickly reassured when I remembered that the Jupiter fit me very well. I would like to point out that even though I was part of the early bird batch that confirmed my payment May 10th, I had to wait for a family friend to bring it to Shanghai earliest July 12th as I could not find a better and safer way to transport my highly valuable item across the Pacific Ocean. During my wait I tried my best to not read the immense amount of Andromeda reviews pouring out from the community, firstly to try to keep myself as unbiased as possible but secondly also to keep me from going insane during my long wait time. 

    And finally, they have arrived. Oh how beautiful they are. The lush green color stands out from the crowd as a strong, forward statement. Black, blue and red are too last decade, and do not communicate the true intent and spirit of the designer. Green evokes a more exotic flavor. It conjures imagery of emerald, jade and malachite. The almost iridescent surface reflects light gorgeously, forcing me to tinker with it more than I imagined before even beginning to tip roll. The CNC milled anodized aluminium housing showcases the bold attitude of CA through its brave cuts and angles of the shell. Industrial, sturdy and modern are words that spring to mind when looking at the impressive metal housings held together by precision cut screws.

    8-Andromedadetachedfromcable.jpg

     
    In terms of comfort – there have been some reviews from the community that have mentioned that the angular form of the Andromeda were slightly uncomfortable, with the corners slightly jabbing into the antihelix area of the ear. Personally, it fits me snugly and comfortably, but Campfire Audio has decided to release a new version with two chamfered off corners to provide a more comfortable fit. Since my unit was a pre-order, it does not have the new chamfered corners design.

    The metallic canals of the Andromeda, which ends in 3 precisely milled out bores, leans towards shallow in terms of insertion – but your mileage may vary. Foam tips are slightly longer and grip the ear slightly better, while silicon tips provide a shallower insertion. The tips that I settled with are the M sized silicon tips which were the best for me in terms of comfort and sound. I tried the Complys and although there is a small boost in bass volume, the Comply M size was too big and the S too small for me. This review was done based on my experience with the M silicon tips.

    The Andromeda now comes with the new ALO Litz cable, a stunning silver plated copper cable with a four core braid and transparent MMCX connectors. The right and left connectors are easily distinguishable through a small blue and red dot on the left and right sides. Compared to the older ALO Tinsel Wire cable which was extremely prone to tangling up , the new Litz cable is much more ergonomic as it is slightly more robust, and the braiding helps to keep it tangle free. I’m usually not a big fan of memory wire, but the Litz cable memory wire has the perfect balance between stiffness and softness. The sturdy MMCX connectors are easily snapped on and off, allowing for easy cable switching. 

    All in all, the Andromeda looks as good as it feels secure. There is no doubt that this is a piece of incredible craftsmanship. Seamlessly melding together striking aesthetics with a unique and musical sound.

    Sound and Separation

    And finally, what you’ve all been waiting for – the sound. No doubt all of you want to know:What’s the bass like? The mids? How about the highs? But one of the first things one notices when listening to the Andromeda is its expansive soundstage.

    The Andromeda has an incredibly impressive soundstage, rivalling the absolute top of the industry. Width extends to just beyond my shoulders, height goes up to just beyond the tips of my hair and depth reaches down to just below the back of my jaw. This makes for a highly immersive listening experience, throwing the user into a world of three dimensional sound and music. 

    3-Andromedasoundbores.jpg

     
    Bass

    The bass of the Andromeda extends deep, with a bass presence just a touch above neutral, making it a conservatively warm IEM. The bass is unobtrusive, only finding its way into the music when called upon, and shying away when told to step back. Bass impact is very sharp, with an incredibly fast attack, making songs with a hard edged beat almost unbearable to listen to at moderate to high volumes. Bass texture is smooth, rich and thick with great control, almost too lean for my current taste, but nothing that cannot be adjusted with a few tweaks of the equalizer. The Andromeda responds very well to tweaking in the 60 hz and 170 hz range, easily adding warmth and bass volume for people who feel that the low end lacks oomph. Please note, adding more bass response will undoubtedly skew the entire sound signature and affect the sweetness of the mids. 

    Mids

    The Andromeda has exceptionally lush mids. Sweet, full and enveloping, female vocals sound natural and realistic. You are able to clearly make out the shape of the singers’ lips, as well as picking up all their intimate breaths and whisps. Trumpets, pianos and guitars sound great with just the right amount of timbre, echoing in your head and lingering with a beautiful resonance. Instrument separation and imaging is very well defined with astounding clarity. When listening to live orchestra, each instrument and sound source has lots of air and space between them, offering a very comfortable and grand listening experience. 

    The upper mids are really where the Andromeda begins to shine. Where many other IEMs may begin to sound screechy and chalky, the Andromeda has just begun getting into its stride. The Andromeda “sings” effortlessly when reproducing high female vocals, violins and other higher frequency instruments. The upper mids of the Andromeda “rings” and “sings” its way into a deliciously airy and sparkly high end, with no bumps or drops in between. 

    Highs

    The Andromeda’s highs are where these IEMs really shine and standout from the crowd, with exceptional clarity and extension. Campfire Audio has used a “tubeless resonator box” design where the two balanced armature drivers in charge of the high frequencies are contained and instead of having the traditional design with tubes and dampers, the resonator box allows the highs to resonate straight out of the bore without compromising even the slightest bit on clarity. Where other IEMs may sound narrow in their pursuit for the high frequencies, the Andromeda goes on up and up seemingly without end, with great texture and impact. It shows immense clarity and has a brightness which is not dry at all. Liquid and cohesive, sibilance is controlled to an absolute minimum, only showing a shadow at the most intense of moments. The Andromeda performs very well with female opera vocals, violin solo performances and other musical recordings focusing on the upper mid to high frequencies. There is no breaking, no sharpness. Just a smooth, constant flow of bright notes. 

    Concluding remarks

    Undoubtedly a bright IEM with a focus on the mids and highs, the Andromeda exercises control and restraint in its presentation of bass. I wouldn’t call this sound signature reference nor neutral. It is just a touch warmer than flat in the bass department and a few percentage points even further in its rich mids to highs. The sound is engaging, revealing and clear. 

    The standout feature of the Andromeda is its soundstage and imaging in the upper frequencies. Clear and concise with such an agreeable texture, the highs of the Andromeda can clearly place whatever sound source thrown at it to surgical precision. It is also this which makes the highs so easy to listen to, making you easily overlook any little shrieks and hisses that meander through the Andromeda soundscape.

    If you are looking for an earphone with unparalleled clarity in the highs with a gentle focus on the bass and mids, while also boasting cutting edge production technique, then look no further. I am sure that the Andromeda will bring your listening experience to new heights and perhaps beyond what was previously perceived as the limits of the sky. 

     

    This review was originally written for Accessible Audio 
    All photos taken by @alffla


      knopi, Audiowood, money4me247 and 2 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. chicken beer
      Great informative review! One comment though: if they fit comfortable to yourself then it's OK to not list it as a CON in the review IMO~
      chicken beer, Aug 14, 2016
    3. earfonia
      Concise review with great pictures! Thanks!
      earfonia, Aug 14, 2016
    4. alffla
      Cheers guys. Glad you enjoyed the review.
      alffla, Aug 15, 2016
  9. 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
     
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    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
     
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    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.
     
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    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
  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