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Campfire Audio Orion

Rating:
4.32143/5,
  1. BananaOoyoo
    Sunset (A Quick Orion Review)
    Written by BananaOoyoo
    Published Oct 8, 2018
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Great neutral-to-mid-forward sound, excellent build quality. Shows what can be accomplished with a single BA driver.
    Cons - Bass and treble could both be better, and the IEM may be uncomfortable for those with smaller ears. With newer offerings from both Campfire Audio and other companies, the price/performance is not as great in 2018 as it was when first released.
    IMG_4317.jpg

    Introduction

    As a IEM manufacturer, I don't think Campfire Audio needs any introduction. From relatively affordable offerings in the Comet to flagship IEMs in the Andromeda, Vega, and now the Atlas/Equinox, Campfire Audio has fantastic products at all different price points. This particular Orion is a limited edition model released exclusively in Korea back in 2016. When I was looking for my first nice IEM last year, it was recommended as an excellent option within my budget, and while I ended up throwing away any notion of a budget as I went for the Andromeda instead... I recently found these used locally for much cheaper than the 499,000KRW (~$450) price tag and decided to give them a chance.

    Build

    The Orion shares the same angular shell as the other non-Comet Campfire Audio BA IEMs, which I am personally a fan of aesthetically. Fit can be a bit hit-or-miss, as the sharp edges can be uncomfortable for those with smaller ears. As this limited edition version was produced before the Orion CK, it is more prone to paint chipping around the edges. (The previous owner had carefully taped over the edges to protect the shells, and because of this, these are in better condition than most others I've seen.) This Orion also came with the older Tinsel cable, as well as assorted silicone/Comply tips. In my opinion, the Litz cable is better built than the Tinsel, with a sleeker profile around the 3.5mm plug. Overall, however, I don't have any complaints with the build, and the included canvas case is excellent. (I may even prefer it over the leather one for everyday use, as it seems less prone to scratching.)

    IMG_4316.jpg
    Sound

    In my earlier Andromeda review, I described the Orion as nice, but not exceptional. For the most part, I stand by my earlier impressions.

    Bass extension is okay, but for the most part, I felt that it was just... there. It's clean and fast, but somewhat anemic. While all unfair comparisons, compared to the other IEMs I was listening to and auditioning in stores at the time (e.g. CA Andromeda/Polaris, Hyla CE-5, Empire Ears Bravado), the Orion simply lacks impact on the lower end.

    The mids are where the Orion shines most. Vocals, both male and female, are excellent and sound natural, and instruments are detailed as well. The soundstage was noticeably smaller than the Andromeda's, but it did not feel particular small or large - pretty average for an IEM.

    The Orion came across as slightly bright, but more due to an upper midrange emphasis than excessive highs. Treble extension is not particularly great, and overall, it is pretty polite and never sibilant.

    As an aside, the Orion is both source and tip-dependent. When connected to my iPhone 6s Plus, there is a slight hissing in the background, which is usually unnoticeable when listening to music but can occasionally be distracting. There are no such issues when connected to the iFi Nano iDSD Black Label, though I believe a simpler solution like the iEMatch would suffice as well. With regards to tip rolling, after trying some CA silicone tips and some others (Final E-type, SymbioW), I felt that the wide-bore Azla Sedna tips were best, as they provided the best overall fit without negatively affecting the sound.

    IMG_4282.jpg
    Final Thoughts

    With the release of the <$200 Comet, enthusiasm for the more expensive, yet also single-BA, Orion seems to have cooled significantly. Indeed, I think the Orion's long time in the spotlight is coming to an end, and at the full $350 retail price (or the $450 in Korea!), it faces stiff competition from other IEMs, including Campfire Audio's own Polaris or Jupiter when found as B-stock or on Massdrop. However, at the current used prices ranging from ~$175-225, the Orion is a compelling IEM, especially for buyers looking for brilliantly executed vocals. It does not achieve the same resolution of the Andromeda or the excitement of the Vega, and bassheads in particular need not apply, but the Orion shows that quantity is not everything by performing admirably for a single balanced armature IEM.

    IMG_4283.jpg
      B9Scrambler likes this.
  2. thelittleaudiophile
    Campfire Audio Orion
    Written by thelittleaudiophile
    Published Aug 5, 2018
    4.0/5,
    [​IMG]

    Specifications:


    Driver: 1x Balanced Armature Driver

    Impedance: 13.9 ohms

    Frequency response: 10 - 19,000 Hz

    Sensitivity: 114 dB

    Connector: MMCX

    Disclaimer: I am not affiliated to Campfire Audio in any way and do not benefit monetarily or in any other form for writing this review. The Campfire Audio Orion was lent to me by reviewer "Gloryrain" for the sole purpose of reviewing it. I will keep my review of the product as honest and as impartial as possible.

    Review by: "Charlie" and from The Little Audiophile

    Campfire Audio Orion Retail Price (at time of writing): US$349 (S$478) on their website

    TLA Score
    Physical Attributes
    Comfort: 5/10
    Durability: 10/10
    Ease of Wearing: 8/10
    Noise Isolation: 7/10
    Microphonics: 9/10
    Value for Money: 5/10

    Sonic Attributes
    Bass: 8/10
    Mids: 7/10
    Trebles: 7/10
    Sound Stage: 6/10
    Separation & Imaging: 6/10
    Source Matchability: 8/10

    Campfire Audio, a subsidiary of ALO, is a company based in Oregon, USA. They specialise in making high-end audio equipment, with the Andromeda being arguably the most well-known model in the line-up. Today, we'll look at Andromeda's little brother, the Orion and see how it performs.

    THE BOX
    The Orion comes in a pudgy blue-coloured laminated paper box with twinkly little stars dotting the box, along with what reminds me of Vincent van Gogh's painting of "The Starry Night". On the top, you'll see a big "ORION CK" with some other wording and on the front, you'll see a picture of the Orion with other wording.

    [​IMG]

    Inside, you will find a plethora of ear tips, a cleaning tool, a semi-hard carrying case and lastly the Orion itself. For the price, I am happy with what is included in the box.

    [​IMG]
    Note: I am missing the semi-hard case and one pair of medium Spinfits.

    BUILD AND DESIGN
    Housing
    Campfire is renowned for it's exceptional attention to details and overall build quality. They do not cheap out on materials and build quality and the Orion here is no exception. The housing is an all aluminium shell with a Cerakote finishing to give it a greater resistance to impact, corrosion and things of such. In other words, it improves the durability of the product.

    [​IMG]

    The nozzle on the Orion is also made of metal, which retains that "design fluidity" with the rest of the housing. It is extremely thick and well-built that I just cannot think of what could possibly break them in your day to day use unless you are deliberately trying to.

    [​IMG]

    The connector system employed is the MMCX type which is not recessed into the housing and should be able to host most 3rd party cables.

    [​IMG]

    I have no complaints about the build quality really. The choice of materials is good and the MMCX This IEM would last you years if you take care of them. I only wished that the Orion came in a few other colours. But that's just nit-picking.

    Cable
    The cable that comes with the Orion is an ALO SPC Litz cable which terminates in a 3.5 mm audio jack. I will be very honest, at first, it looks like those cheap cables you can find online, with its generic transparent MMCX and 3.5 mm plugs. But it really isn't.

    [​IMG]

    Campfire claims that their MMCX pins and are made of the Beryllium Copper. Now, I am no expert in this field, but Campfire states that it is supposed to extend and improve the lifespan of their MMCX connector system. I personally cannot confirm how true this it, but what is true is that the MMCX's locking mechanism is relatively tight and the cable does not freely spin in the female connector at all.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    COMFORT
    Comfort. I understand that this is a very subjective topic and in the case of the Campfire's line-up of IEMs which uses this polygonal housing design, the question of comfort is a hit or miss really.

    Unfortunately, it is a miss for me. Here's why.

    To start, I get a good seal and fit with the Orion. The fit is airy and is quite shallow and everything seems fine at first. 30 mins into wearing these, I felt some discomfort, pain even, at 2 points of my ear. Namely, the Tragus and the Concha.

    Looking at the Orion, I have determined the two points to be:

    [​IMG]
    this significant angle here that rubs against the Concha, and

    [​IMG]
    this nut that rubs against the Tragus of the ear.

    Apart from these two pressure points, the rest of the housing fits me well.

    Despite its metal housing and the tropical weather here in sunny Singapore, there was no significant heat buildup in my hours of testing. The same thing can be said about the nozzle area where the ear tips contact the skin.

    [​IMG]

    As the fit is relatively shallow, noise attenuation is just average. It does not come close to something like the NuForce HEM1, but is very slightly better than that of the Audio Technica LS50iS, albeit less airy.

    I have average-sized ears and comfort is an issue for me. I would highly suggest spending a minimum of 30 mins with this IEM to determine if the fit would work for you.

    SOUND QUALITY
    Note: Sound Quality was tested on my AK Jr

    With only a single doing the lifting, it is far behind the Andromeda in terms of driver count. But Campfire knows better - driver count isn't the final word in sound quality. It's how you implement that one driver. Coming in at US$349 on the Campfire Audio website, this IEM is by no means cheap if you compare it against most single BA driver IEMs.

    So, are these worth your money? Long story short, for the solid build quality, it might be worth the money if you are rough on your IEMs. Sound-wise, they aren't bad. It's just that you can get an equally competent IEM for less. Read on to find out why I think so!

    Soundstage, Separation and Imaging
    As the seal is on the Orion is quite airy, I do find the soundstage to be wide as it is deep. On the track "Keep Coming Back" by Richard Marx, the soundstage starts very near and extends out sufficiently far. Soundstage isn't the widest I've heard in the price range, but it is above average. The same can be said for many other tracks I've tested. Kudos to Campfire!

    Instrumental and vocal separation is impressive. Instruments and vocals in no way feel compressed or "mushed" together. John Mayer's "Clarity" (how coincidental indeed) from the album Heavier Things is able to show the Orion's ability to separate the drums from the vocals from the acoustic guitars from the trumpets and so on. In short, I'm pleased! The presentation is like this:

    Sound Signature
    Campfire Audio claims that the Orion has a (and I quote): "Reference sound signature and flat sonic delivery; Orion delivers your favourite tracks as they were recorded."

    Do I agree? Not exactly. I felt that the Orion has a slight U-shaped sound signature with more bass emphasis as compared to treble emphasis. Treble rolls-off a little early and doesn't extend very far. As such, the Orion does not deliver enough treble details and isn't the most resolving IEM, especially in its price range. Just my opinion.

    The Orion is, however, not fatiguing to listen to, with it's rolled off treble. I can listen to this IEM for hours on end as sibilance is not a problem with the Orion and there are no unnatural peaks in any of the frequencies. Decay and speed are quick in the mids and bass regions, which makes this IEM relatively agile, even in fast-paced, high-tempo tracks.

    The Orion is one of those IEMs which is able to balance technicality and musicality beautifully. There is a little bit of colouration in the vocals, which does spice up the music a bit. Just a little bit.

    Through my time with this IEM, I found that this thing shines in rock genres.

    [​IMG]

    Bass
    The bass on the Orion is slightly accentuated and has a good sub-bass extension, which in turn adds some weight and fullness to the overall sound signature. However, the sub-bass does lack some rumble and impact, which some listeners would interpret as fun or musical. Depending on your taste, you might or might not like it.

    Mids
    The mids are, what I feel, the best part of the Orion. Vocals take a frontal presentation which manages to be intimate, yes, but unintrusive. There is weight to both male and female vocals and it sounds oddly natural and there is no graininess in the vocal texture. I put on my sibilance test track "New Face" by Psy. Nope. Error 404, no sibilance found. Sibilance is a stranger to this IEM.

    Guitars... this is getting me excited. Acoustic guitars are crunchy and very well textured. Bass guitars as in the song "Clarity" have a good weight and resonance to them.

    Trebles
    The treble region is relatively smooth with no significant peaks or dips and even on tracks with a high treble presence, no sibilance is exhibited by the Orion. Treble extension on the Orion isn't exactly impressive. However, it does deliver a notable amount of clarity with whatever treble that is present and sounds quite natural to my ears. All these add up to a rather forgiving treble signature which should not highlight poor quality recordings.

    PAIRING
    Alternative Ear tips
    Acoustune AET07
    [​IMG]

    With the AET07 tips, there is a slight improvement in the treble region and recovers a bit of treble detail. Vocals sound a little unnatural with this tips. Bass is relatively untouched.

    Final Audio Type E
    [​IMG]

    I like to call the Final Audio Type E the "magic tips" as they are able to synergise with most IEMs. Not this one though. There is an improvement in the bass impact, but everything else goes to s***. Vocals sound muted and veiled. Slight sibilance is also introduced into the treble. In short, the tonal balance of the Orion is thrown off with these tips.

    At the end of the day, I would still recommend using the stock tips or wide bore tips

    SELECT COMPARISON
    Note: All prices stated were at the time of writing.

    Campfire Audio Orion Vs Shure SE535 LTD [S$729]
    I think this is a good comparison as both the Orion and the SE535 LTD are the individual company's attempt to manufacture a neutral sounding IEM.

    Compared to the Orion, the Shure SE535 is flatter sounding with slightly less bass quantity and more veiled vocals. The way I described how the SE535 LTD sounded was that it was like "(The vocalist is) singing behind a piece of cloth". The treble extension on the SE535 LTD seemed to extend out further but is a smoother and less detailed treble overall. Nonetheless, this is the more neutral of the two and would be, arguably, a better stage monitor if that is what you are looking for.

    I did find that the Orion has a wider soundstage and a much better instrumental separation. In fact, the difference was so noticeable that the Orion made the SE535 LTD sound congested or compressed in a way.

    CONCLUSION
    Overall, the Campfire Audio Orion is a good sounding IEM. It has a pleasant, forgiving sound signature which retains treble clarity. The intimate vocals and a polite yet unrecessed bass add volume to the music. The good balance of technicality against musicality makes for a very pleasant listen. The build quality is also phenomenal and would survive the daily rigours of life.

    However, I felt that comfort wise, this IEM is just not up to par, depending on who you are asking. The sharp angles do contact certain pressure points in the outer ear and honestly, just causes pain. The forgiving sound signature enables the listener to listen for hours on end, but the comfort issue for me just didn't allow this.

    Another thing is the price. US$349, for a single BA IEM is not a small sum of money. Though Campfire Audio has implemented this Single BA driver very well, I feel that you would be able to get multi-driver IEMs, which performs similarly (in terms of performance and not sound signature) for a lower price.

    I should end off by saying that, yes, the Orion does sound pretty good, but it isn't the cheapest nor is it the most value for money IEM out there. Well, that's just my humble opinions of the Campfire Audio Orion and I hope you've enjoyed the read. Stay safe and happy listening! Charlie, out.

    Do check out our WordPress site at https://thelittleaudiophile.wordpress.com/ for more reviews!
      bb rodriquez and voxie like this.
    1. voxie
      Thanks for a very good and honest review. Enjoyed the read.
      voxie, Aug 6, 2018
    2. thelittleaudiophile
      You're so very welcome! Thanks for the kind words :)
      thelittleaudiophile, Aug 17, 2018
  3. NeObliviscaris
    Sittin' around the Campfire, staring at the stars!
    Written by NeObliviscaris
    Published Jun 8, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - well built, solid neutral sound signature, comfortable
    Cons - cable microphonic, lacking in bass, underwhelming for metal
    Disclaimer:
    I received this Campfire Orion as part of the Australian/New Zealand tour that ALO Audio/Ken Bell arranged. This is my honest opinion of the Campfire Orion, 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 and Jays q-Jays. This time round, I was given the opportunity to take some more IEMs for a spin – introducing the Campfire Orion in-earphones
     
    Official product page: http://www.aloaudio.com/campfire-audio-orion
     
     
    Hardware:
     
    WHAT’S IN THE BOX?
    The Orion are delivered in a sweet and simple cardboard box, with the goodies inside. The earphones were nestled away in a beautiful fur(?) coated carry case, with the tips and other accessories hidden under a neat little false bottom.
     
    ORION1.jpg   ORION2.jpg
     
     
     
    The contents of the box included:
    1. Campfire Orion IEM ear pieces
    2. MMCX terminated, silver-plated IEM Cable (1.35m) with gold-plated 3.5mm L-plug
    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: $349 USD (~$500 AUD)
     
    ORION3.jpg
     
     
     
    BUILD & DESIGN
    When I first saw the ALO Announcement I had flashbacks of Jony Ive (from Apple) talking about chamfered edges and build quality of the iPhone 5. In ALO’s words, “Orion’s design integrates single balanced armature drivers into a machined aluminium enclosure”. These are solid IEMs. You can feel the weight, I personally love seeing the screws and the rugged edges of the earpieces. The nozzles as well are solidly built, I always used to worry about my old Westone’s and Shure’s with thin nozzles, in fear I’d break them.
     
    ORION4.jpg   ORION5.jpg
     
     
     
    TECH SPECS
    Driver: Single Balanced Armature Driver
    Impedance: 14 Ohm
    Sensitivity:  113 dB SPL/mW
    Frequency Response: 10Hz - 16KHz
     
    For a better read on the technical details, checkout Brooko’s review: http://www.head-fi.org/products/campfire-audio-orion/reviews/15678
     
    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 (for comparison)
     
    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.
     
    ORION6.jpg   ORION7.jpg
     
     
     
     
    The Listening Experience:
     
    So my first listen was with the Comply Tips, the comfort and fit are as perfect as custom in-ears. Despite the machined edges, I worried they would either feel heavy, or the earpieces would be uncomfortable, but I was taken by surprise. The nozzle was larger than I was used to, so took me a couple of tries to get the tips on, but once they were on, I was listening to my music in no time.
     
    Music listened to for this review:
    Florence and the Machine [acoustic/MTV unplugged] (female vocal)
    Diana Krall (female vocal – jazz)
    Lorde (female vocals – alternative)
    Steely Dan (jazz/rock)
    Anathema (female vocals – alternative, post-rock, progressive)
    Fallujah (atmospheric technical death metal)
    Ne Obliviscaris (progressive black metal)
    Gojira (technical death metal)
    Caligula’s Horse (progressive)
     
    My initial impressions were:
    Bass: tight and controlled, lacking impact
    Highs: slightly untamed – female vocals were slightly piercing/painful at times
    Comments: felt slightly uncontrolled on some quicker/complex metal songs, really great with female vox
     
    As I continued my time with the Orion’s, I decided that I’d mark these as being flat/neutral in terms of sound signature. The IEMs do not overly favour any aspect of sound, they were overly bassy nor were they unyielding in the highs.
     
    I started off in a different direction this time, instead of heading straight to all my niche metal genres, I decided to play some Florence & The Machine (acoustic set) and Diana Krall. The Orion’s shined with the female vocals. They were luscious to say the least, and both vocalists demonstrate different vocal ranges, which sounded beautiful on the Orion’s. I thought I’d give Lorde a go, merely just to chill and take advantage of the Orion’s strengths with female vocals. Again, I was impressed, even though I’ve listed bass-impact as a con for these IEMs, this worked well for Lorde’s Royals, as some of my other experiences have left me with the bass overpowering the vocals.
     
    I moved toward some Steely Dan to get a better feel for the soundstage and instrument separation, and again the Orion’s came through. The flat/neutral signature favoured the female vocalists, and also the jazz/rock combination. So far so good, I spent more time listening to my more subtle genres, and only experienced a minor issue with some female vocals feeling a bit too harsh/piercing (listening to Anathema).
     
    So far they were pleasant. Until I got to my more complex music…..
     
    Unfortunately this is where I struggled with the Orion’s. I couldn’t spend a lot of time listening to Fallujah or Ne Obliviscaris as the Orion’s struggled with the speed/attack/complexity of the music. There were times in the slower sections of the music I could appreciate the instrument separation and soundstage, but the moment the tracks got to their heavier/complex sections, the Orion’s just struggled. Things just felt congested when I know they shouldn’t be. Aside from that, the lack of bass emphasis left powerful songs such as And Plague Flowers the Kaleidoscope leaving me underwhelmed (keep in mind this song has double bass kicks that hit 240bpm).
     
    ORION9.jpg
     
     
    Value & Conclusion:
     
    Overall, the only fault I found was the underwhelming experience with my favourite music and genres. That’s not to say the IEMs are bad – this is where the personal preference aspect kicks in – they are great for what they are, and as mentioned were favourable for most of the other listening I did.
     
    These IEMs would definitely suit those out there who prefer a more neutral sound signature, controlled low-end, and who aren’t big on heavy metal!
     
    Thanks again to ALO, Ken and Mark for the opportunity to take these for a spin!
      kissell123, d marc0 and DJScope like this.
    1. Deviltooth
      Solid review.  It's good to learn how an earphone responds to the reviewer's favourite genres.
      Deviltooth, Jun 8, 2016
  4. thepiper92
    A nearly perfect set of earphones
    Written by thepiper92
    Published May 13, 2016
    5.0/5,
    Pros - Excellent and balanced sound detail, comfortable, great isolation, build quality
    Cons - A little too sensitive to music played (MP3 sound versus FLAC)
    I've been using the Harman Kardon BT's for about 3 years now, and they have, and are, a great set of headphones, with a nearly balanced signature, and only a slight emphasis on highs and bass. I wasn't planning to buy another set of headphones, and especially earphones, considering that I have found that I have drifted to over ear headphones, rather than in ears. I also had a stenosis in my right ear, which is a bone growth, that required surgery. I had if for the past 3 years or so and it was initially causing infections, however doctors did not diagnose the stenosis until about 9 months ago, the point at which infections were happening monthly, As such, I believed the infections were from in-ears, a large reason for why I went to headphones. In ears certainly worsened infections, however. My ear still does bug me with a dull ache at times, but so far the Orion earphones have not caused discomfort, so luckily I can keep using them without worry. The reason I bought the Orions was largely due to the fact that my dad has been looking at some better headphones, and an amp or DAP. I am largely against the price of Astell and Kern products, but he has had interest in the Junior. As for headphones, he so far prefers in-ears, to avoid the sweating that he has noticed with trying my Harman Kardon's. I showed him some reviews of well known in-ears, some that I have bought and returned. He is looking for balanced sound, so I told him to look at Etymotic and a few others. By chance, through a Headphone Bar email, I spotted Campfire's Orion, with $100 off or so, thus essentially offering a price that matches the Canadian and American dollar at around $350. Looking at reviews, they seemed to be what my father would enjoy. The only issue however, they loop around the ears, and for whatever reason he can't go with that. Myself, I just couldn't let it be, and I wanted to try another set of in-ears, and a balanced set as well, so I went for them. So far, I am very pleased.
     
    Packaging:
     
    Very minimalist indeed. I'm not big into the environment and global warming stuff, but I prefer what I buy to not have a box within a box, within a box, wrapped with a plastic covering, or hard plastic case. As long as every arrive intact, I'm fine with it. The Orion's come in a simple box, sealed with the label overlapping the seam. Inside you are presented with the canvas case, inside the Orion's cushioned by a wool padding of sorts. Very simple, unlike other earphones that I have bought that feature some intricate plastic tray that the earphones sit in and the wire wrapped about here and there. With the quality of the earphones and cable (a single wire strand from each phone is as thick as I have seen whole cables on other earphones, such as the Klipsch S4), I doubt just tossing them in the case will ever be an issue. Also in the package is the eartips, cleaning tool and instructions. There is no extra pointless stuff, and I can easily put the packages of tips and the tool in the case with the earphones, at least while I figure out which tip or tips I prefer.
     
    Design:
     
    Like the case, the Orion's are simplistic looking, slightly on the industrial/angular side of designs. It is very elegant though, not made to stand out, but stand out through it's utilitarian look. There is no Bozo the Clown theme here, like what is seen with the popular, consumer lines of headphones, like Monster, or Beats. Actually, I would have to say that the Orion earphones have a design like my Harman Hardon's: Squared off and angular, black, simple. The Orion's are just the smaller in-ear version. Everything on the Orion's is well designed and manufactured with high standards, and I don't expect anything to fall off or start rattling during my listening sessions.
     
    Sound:
     
    I have so far used the Orion's for about 4 hours, and about 12 hours of burn-in on top of those 4 hours. I am still unsure of the burn-in process, especially when not dealing with large drivers, but I am hoping that there is an ounce more bass to come in. I mean an ounce, as I am not one for heavy bass for the most part. Where the sound is now, I am getting a very balanced sound, accurate bass, great mids and a treble that is bright but no piercing. In some cases, I hear times when I would like a touch more highs, but it is very seldom that I don't find there to be enough sparkle. I have just started using the standard tips, rather than the foam tips (I tried both the comply and the standard foam tips), and I feel that I am enjoying the sound more. There is not a great deal of difference, but the foam does seem to have a slightly muffling of sound. The result is that the highs come of a tad more and the bass sounds the same amount, but with more punch. So far, this is the only set of earphones I have tried where I truly prefer the basic tips. Also, when dealing with loop around wires, foam tips are a bit more awkward to use. Balanced, no matter what, is how I will continue to describe the sound. Oddly, the Orion's have made me realize just how close to balanced the Harman Kardon's are, as I was initially expected a great deal of difference coming from them.
     
    Depth and sound stage is quite decent. I don't think much better can be found for in-ears, unless going much higher end, and even then I am not sure how much more could be improved. I don't think in-ears can ever match on-ear headphones, even closed back, for in-ears are...well they stuck in your ears and the sound is just pushed down the ear canal. Going for binaural music, like CC Coletti's Bring It On Home album, does clearly bring about a major improvement of sound stage, and the spacial representation of the music not being in your ears.
     
    My only gripe with the Campfire's Orion is the sensitivity. While they are easy to drive, and I have really only been using an iPod touch to play the music, the phones are rather sensitive to what you play through them. I have also tried with the iPod going through LOD with my Fiio E12, but I don't hear much difference. Either way, if you listen to MP3 below 320kbps, or something with improper ripping or remastering, you hear distortion, and, often accompanied with, unpleasant treble. I have listened to multiple types of music, FLAC and MP3, and it is sort of hit or miss whether it will sound good. For example, the first song I listened to on the earphones was Adele's Hello. The voice was rather harsh, and the bass just distorted the moment it sound. It killed the earphones for me right off the bat, but then I turned on Marvin Gaye's Let's Get It On. The bass was tight and the voice was accurate. It is even better now with some burn in, or maybe I'm just getting used to the bass. I've listend to some Stevie Nicks, and it is clear as a bell. Rock, R&B and jazz definitely seems to be where the Orion's shine so far, although they do quite well with most music, pumping the bass quite well if the song needs it. Overall, it seems the only distortion that you will find is when the files themselves have the distortion in them. All of these songs I have listened to on the Harman Hardon's and never experienced distortion, but clearly the sensitivity is the cause, as many songs will just play flawlessly, and others are nearly impossible to listen to. It looks like I will have to revamp my music collection and go for only lossless. Of course, there are those songs that have distortion on anything, like some of the music from Led Zeppelin; I have not been able to find any version of Whole Lotta Love that doesn't have a distortion sound in various section. Another song is Little Red Corvette by Prince. In the beginning of the song, there is also a second or two of distortion in Prince's voice. My consensus is that the distortion it is either it is the particular file quality, or the song itself is distorted (can't find a version of the song in lossy or lossless that sounds cleaner).
     
     
    Overall, Orion by Campfire is a great set of earphones. I don't have huge ears, but so far have not had comfort issues, besides the occasional ache in my ear due to surgery. The sound from the earphone's is very true, and natural. Bass is usually exactly what I want, although there is the odd time where I would like more. The same goes for the treble; the sparkle is often perfect, but the odd time I here a note or voice and I realize it didn't quite make my spine tingle. Then again, if more bass and treble was present, I would possibly find it too much for most of what I was listening to. Oddly, I am finding myself to be enjoying the basic eartips more, over the foam tips. The sound is ever so slightly cleaner, and it is easier to insert this style of earphones without dealing with squishing the foam tip. No earphone or headphone is perfect, at least perhaps until a zero is added to the price, but the Orion's are very close, with very little that I would like to see changed in the design and sound. I am looking forward to seeing what else Campfire comes out with, larger headphones perhaps. I will continue to play around with sources and amps as well, see if I can hear an improvement with the E12. Perhaps the E12 can deliver that extra oomph or sparkle that I would like.
      B9Scrambler and silverak like this.
    1. BartSimpson1976
      I assume the Campfire IEMs are purposely built so sensitive in order ALO can sell some more units of their Rx with them?
      BartSimpson1976, May 22, 2016
    2. thepiper92
      That is possible. I have little use for a standard amp, as I feel double amping just kills the sound. When my iPod 4 died, I went to the 5. It then required an adapter for LOD. I couldnt find one initially and used a 3.5 connection to my E12. It wasn't a great sound exactly. Im not sure now the RX would do any better, unless amping from a top tier source. Maybe I'm wrong here. Furthermore, even with the amp, you still have to be careful about the source. I was listening to Jacksoul, and it was terrible sounding. Switched to an ALAC version of the album, and it is great. Then there are some lossless albums I play that still sound terrible, for the mastering is not good.
      thepiper92, May 22, 2016
    3. BartSimpson1976
      ALO Rx wouldn't be for the power or the sound, but for delivering dead silent blackground as the main concern for me would be IEMs of such sensitivity being a real hiss magnet!
      An amp should -as the name suggests- amplify and not alter the sound.
      I also do not believe that it makes a difference whether your files are 256 MP3s or FLAC files. Probabably the Andromedas are just unforgiving on bad masterings.
      BartSimpson1976, May 23, 2016
  5. emptymt
    Balanced Presentation, not for Bassheads but perfect for Midheads
    Written by emptymt
    Published May 1, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Balance, nice design and looks pretty, build quality, beautiful mids, not fatigueing, accessories
    Cons - A little Bass light, microphonic cables, slight congestion on fast, busy tracks
    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.
     

    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, although a bit pricey on my wallet >_<. 
     
    Starting from about a year ago I've been really hooked by metal music, and nowadays my everyday music listening always incorporate metal tracks although I also listen to other genres.
    I don't actually listen to all kinds of music, lets say for example Classical, therefore it is important to understand that this review of the orion is based on my observation on the kinds of musics I like, and those are mainly:
    - Metal
    - 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)
     
    I used the Orion for all my music listening everyday for 10 days using the chord mojo in almost everything I do (I tried it out using iphone 4 too!), and for this period I feel very satisfied with it's performance especially because of the mids, the bass could be more in quantity but this IEM has a reference tuning, for Reference tuning I think it has enough bass.
     

    Packaging and Accessories

    The box is made from some kind of carton with an out of space theme kinda thing for the coloring, goes a long 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. the sticker also acts as a seal to the paper box.

    Inside the paper box we have:
    - A hard Sided carrying case with a bluish cloth material finish with a soft fulffy 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).
    - some kind of cable management strap thingy(2 of them in black color).
    - multiple types of tips with size option (small, medium, large)
    - documentations
    - cleaning tool
     

    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, My Ear feel perfectly find after hours of use.

    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, also aluminum just looks so much better than plastic in terms of look, I had a few of my friends say that the IEM looks nice on the ears and doesn't feel cheap, many other more expensive IEM use plastic, I think the use of aluminum is a step in the right direction providing more protection and classier looks.
     
    The cable though is not very satisfactory for me, it has a nice looks on it and not bulky, but it is microphonic and tangled easily, Imagine the hassle that you have to do this everytime you take it out from the case.
     
    The Isolation is superb, I used it a couple of times in the train and it blocks most of the noise just fine.
     

    BUILD QUALITY

    The build Quality on The Orion is excellent, it has a classier looks then some of the 1000 dollar IEM out there, a lot of people who is not into audio usually does not believe you when you tell them that the IEM you have is 500 bucks since most of them looks a bit cheap and does not feel the premium, with the Orion though if you tell them that this is 500 dollars Iem I think they will believe you since it looks premium.
     
    The housing looks nice with the matte black finish and I feel comfortable with the protection it provides.
    The cable has and angled ends which provides longevity to 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 provides better ergonomics than cable down style.


    SOUND QUALITY

    The Signature

    In my opinion the sound signature of The Orion is of referenced tuning, so don't expect this to be bassy with thundering bass.
     

    Other important Aspects

    for me the amount of bass is adequate (Not a basshead), the treble is kept in check and has a safe tuning to it, it still has some spark into it but I wouldn't say that this is a bright IEM.
     
    Mids is very well done, it is not overly lush nor distant, all in all I feel that the amount of bass, mids and treble is on balance with each other giving no coloration to the music and present the music as it is.
     
    Soundstage is small as expected from an IEm but it is not bad.
     
    Instrument spearation is good but, there is a slight congestion issue on very fast and busy track.
     

    The Bass

    The bass sound's tight and the quantity is enough for me for most genres, I just feel like it lacks punch sometimes, this is very important for some genre, and feel like I'm missing the punch a bit, other than that the quantity of the bass could be more for some genres such as edm, rock, Metal and rap, it makes them feel a little bit lifeless and anemic sometimes for those tracks, it certainly is enough for other genres like pop, jazz, acoustic, etc.
     
    the bass extension is good in my opinion but it is not excellent, If you are an analytical listener, you will notice staright away that some of the drum hits does not extend all the way down low, it is also a bit thin due to the quick decay rate, I'm not a very analytical listener so I'm fine but, sometimes I can't help but notice I want more bass and more punch.
     
    The bass is certainly not on the thick side, it has a fast decay rate however, the bass is very well integrated with the mids, the bass never bleeds into the mids, never sound bloomy and does not interfere with the mids at all, very well controlled but slightly anemic. 
     

    The Mids 

    The mids is a winner for this IEM, it is awesome, the vocalist just sounds so natural on this and take the spotlight for me, on every track, the first time I hear the singer start singing it grabs my attention straight away, the mids sound smooth but also still has that upper midrange bite from the guitar in it, the electric guitar sounds crisp but not fatigueing, I love how the electric guitar sounds on this it is very addicting.
     
    I prefer the sound of female vocalist on this IEM rather than the male, make no mistake both sounds graet on this, however when you listen to a vocalist like Dido, Adele, Amy Lee, etc. they just sound awesome on this, I feel that the singer's emotion is being represented very well by the mids in this iem.
     
    The male voice also sounds nice and natural but lose a little bit to that emotional female voice, the dynamic for when the singer wants to sound powerful and when they want to sound calm is very clear. It never gets shouty and I detect no sibillance even on my poor recorded indonesian tracks, instead it sounds smooth and silky.
     
    Those of you who likes forward, lush mids won't find it here but the presentation is great overall, this might change your preference when you hear the mids on this IEM, to put it simply it is just right.
     

    The Treble

    Treble is not harsh and present in the music, it is very easy to notice the cymbals hitting in metal tracks, extension is good but not the best I have heard but it is very good and provide some spark when needed.
     
    I feel no fatigue whatsoever after a long listening period(4 hours+), the treble sound smooth although it may not be sparkly enough for everyone, it is still detailed and does not feel left out by the mass and mids, it is always present.
     

    Minor Notes:

    Driven By Iphone 4:

    This is a good IEM and obviously it is not a good idea to listen to this IEM from a phone, however lets say that I'm in the train station and wants to listen to some music and then find out that I left my Mojo at home, I have no choice but use my phone am I?
     
    Good news is, this IEM still sounds OK from an Iphone4!
     
    Main sound change against the mojo:
    - bass becomes more bloomy and less controlled, lose some extention but has more in quantity, more bass quantity but lower quality, not a bad trade.
    - mids sounds more artificial especially guitar, lost of dynamic, some detail is lost
    - treble can sometimes sound a bit sharp and piercing, noticably more degradation here then the bass and mids, I don't recommend high volume from a phone
    - very slight hiss, unnoticable when music is playing
    - sounds even more congested
     

    Comparisons with Jupiter:

    I got my Jupiter a few days before I write this review, the jupiter is about 3x the price of the orion, obvously Jupiter will have better technicalities, but Orion is still good for the money.
     
    Some key differences to the Orion:
    - V shaped signature
    - more bass Quantity and quality, bass has more extension, meatier and hits harder
    - more treble Quantity but still smooth and not fatigueing, more detailed, sparkly, energetic and way more extended (this and the bass is the main upgrade IMO) 
    - mids is more recessed but still sounds good, I like the orion mids better
    - better instrument separation
    - the slight congestion issue I mentioned before is almost gone
     

    SUMMARY

    This is a great IEM, sound quality is great and very well balnce across the spectrum. at 349 USD this is a bargain, if I have to pick though the mids is the best quality of this IEM and should be your point of consideration when you're deciding whether you want to buy this or not, if you like vocals and guitars and not a basshead, this is perfect for you!! Otherwise maybe look for the jupiter for a V shaped Signature?
     
    I want to give a thumbs up to Campfire Audio for putting up this awesome IEM in such an affordable price.
     

    Closure

    Thank you for reading guys, feel free to give some inputs so that I can make a better review next time. 
    I hope you guys get some insight and information about the Orion from this review ^_^
      d marc0 likes this.
    1. seanwee
      They sure look awesome.
      seanwee, May 1, 2016
    2. d marc0
      Thanks for joining the tour mate. Glad you enjoyed them.
      d marc0, May 4, 2016
    3. emptymt
      Anytime Mate, I did Enjoy them a lot
      emptymt, May 4, 2016
  6. daduy
    Sweet sounding IEM for Vocal listener, rock solid build
    Written by daduy
    Published May 1, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build quality, cable quality, easy listening and natural sounding, fits really nice, detachable cable, good isolation.
    Cons - Need more bass and just a bit of treble sparkle
    Disclaimer
     
    I got this unit as part of Australia/New Zealand tour arranged by @d marc0, thank you very much for including me in this tour :)
     
    Introduction
     
    I am just another music fans in this world, I love listening to music, and that made me stumble into head-fi around 8 years ago when looking for the best way to listen to my music. I am not in anyway an audiophile, heck not even close, so please forgive any lack of details in my review. Most importantly this is my personal impression on the unit, most likely i heard things differently than you, my ears, my preferences, my brain :)
     
    I listened to the CA Orion daily in my commuting from home to work and in the office for about 10 days. 
     
    Build Quality and Design.
     
    Build quality of Orion is top notch, when you hold them in your hand you know that they are very sturdy and can take some beatings, they are rock solid. At first I thought they were bit big and chunky, don't think it will fit on my ears, but I am wrong, they actually fit nicely with my ears. In addition to that I personally like the design as well, less curvy and more edgy.
     
    Pair that with the silver plated copper cable (ALO call them the Tinsel cable) just complete the whole package for me.
     
    Sound Quality
     
    Ok the most important part for me, sound quality, so how do they sound? For me they sounded natural and easy to listen to, there is no enhancement in the whole spectrum of sound, nothing offensive, quite relaxing and laid back. I do find them quite a bit mid-centric, with just enough warmth to make them pleasant. Detail and instrument separation is also quite good. This is one of the earphones that don't need a lot of EQ to sound right, in fact I kind of happy listening to them as they were without any adjustment on any spectrum at all. One thing that I notice is they do really well with female vocal, listening to Ana Caram & Astrud Gilberto is just magic, very sweet sounding and mesmerizing.
     
    Having said that, since I am a guy who prefer a bright sound signature, I do wish the Orion to have a bit more sparkle to the treble segment.
     
    For me the biggest weakness of Orion is the amount of bass, don't get me wrong they got some bass, but it's light in quantity, so instead of "OOMPH" you get "oomph". I find that this take out the pleasure a bit when listening to music with some bass kick (obviously YMMV as you might prefer light bass).
     
    Comparison
     
    I think I find the perfect comparison for Orion, Phonak PFE 012. Ok maybe not perfect, but they both share a single BA design so I think it's quite fair to compare them side by side, strictly from sound quality, not including accessories, build and cable quality (in which the Orion totally destroy PFE 012).
     
    Note: I only have the green filter for PFE 012, without EQ they sounded too bassy/muddy for me, so I applied some EQ to lift the Mids and Trebles.
     
    Bass: While the Orion is light on bass, PFE is the complete opposite, with the green filter there is too much bass! With a bit of EQ they sounded really nice. So hands down to PFE for bass.
     
    Mids: Mids is still dominated by Orion, they mids on PFE is pretty good but not as full sounding and rich as the Orion. 
     
    Treble: It is bit brighter on the PFE, but this is pretty much due to EQ, without EQ they're just dull. I tried applying EQ to Orion but I find that the PFE is more respoding to EQ compare to Orion. 
     
    Noise Isolation: Due to the shape of the PFE, they didnt really cover my ears as much as Orion, so for me the Orion does better passive noise isolation compare to the PFE.
     
    Comfort: The PFE is lighter than the Orion, this is due to the build material and size, but they are equal in comfort for me.
     
    Efficiency: I can drive the Orion comfortably loud using only 50% of my phone volume, however I have to use almost 90% to reach a loud enough sound with the PFE, the Orion is the winner here.
     
    After listening and comparing them side by side, my personal conclusion is they are quite equal in sound quality, just different tuning and sound signature.
     
    Summary 
     
    If you listen to a lot of vocal music, I think you will enjoy the Orion. They deliver the complete package, high quality build, cable, accessories, natural sounding that will fit with majority of music genre. 
     
    Basshead and people who like bright sound signature? this might not be the earphone you're looking for.
      d marc0 likes this.
    1. d marc0
      Thanks for the comparison mate, very useful information.
      d marc0, May 4, 2016
    2. daduy
      My pleasure! :)
      daduy, May 4, 2016
  7. piksnz
    Excellent all rounder for an entry level IEM. Well done Campfire Audio
    Written by piksnz
    Published Apr 30, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Build Quality, SQ, Simplistic design, Superior cable, Compact and great fit
    Cons - Bass
    [​IMG]
      d marc0 likes this.
    1. d marc0
      Thank you for the comparison with the Shure!
      d marc0, May 4, 2016
  8. cleg
    Single-driver greatness
    Written by cleg
    Published Apr 27, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - resolution, clarity, emotions, details, design, build quality
    Cons - minor fit issues, reduced treble
    0Main.jpg

    In endless pursuit of more and more complex earphones schematics, we began to forget about the joy of minimalism that single-driver earphones can give. Luckily, there are nice companies that remind us about that, and Orion by Campfire Audio is one of those model.

    Campfire is a pretty new name on earphones market, but they are really experienced, so their starting lineup is very strong and competitive. Single-driver BA Orion, single-driver dynamic Lyra and 4-driver top model Jupiter. Recently they've added two new models Nova and Andromeda, but they are pretty new and just started hitting the market, so I'll start from the most affordable model, Orion.

    Campfire took a pair of nice BA drivers, put them into great aluminium housings, added cable and got a nice offer for $350.

    1Box.jpg

    I won't go deep into packaging, design and accessories, there are few really nice reviews, covering this in deep details. I can add only few my subjective notes.

    Packaging and accessories set is nice, not gorgeous, but solid and practical. Cable is especially nice, it has slight microphonics, but it's not a big issue, as Orion tends to be work over ear.

    2Accessories.jpg

    Design is undoubtedly nice. Great shape, solid aluminium case, silver screws as a nice accent. Build quality is also great and solid.

    Fit had a bit of issue for me, as inner edges touched ear and caused a bit of fatigue, but after 2 days of wearing, I've got used to it, and now I have zero issues. Orions slide into my ears perfectly, and I can wear them for a whole day. Sound isolation is about average and OK for most situations.

    3WithCable.jpg

    That's pretty all about exterior, and now I can easily continue to the sound.

    I've used following equipment for evaluation.

    - NuPrime DAC-10H and [Resonessence Labs Concero HP] as DAC and amplifier
    - Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2013 as a source
    - Fidelia as a player
    - Fiio X7 and Luxury & Precission L5Pro as portable players
    - Ambient Acoustics AM10, [Lear BD4.2], Campfire Audio Jupiter and Dunu DN-2000J as headphones for comparison

    I gave Orion about 48 hours of burn-in before auditioning. Usually, burn-in isn't necessary for BA drivers, but I've decided to comply with all the formalities.

    6WithJack.jpg

    Generally, sound representation of Orion is pretty typical for single-driver armatures, but main secret is that they are really, really good single-driver armatures. Their frequency response is pretty linear from 50 Hz to 2 kHz. Bass roll-off under 50 Hz is less then 10 dB, and highs are recessed to remove often issues of BA drivers like harshness. Usage of single-armature design allowed this IEMs to avoid problems with drivers coherence and interference, sometimes met in multi-driver designs, and this allowed Orion to give incredible speed, clarity and resolution.

    Bass of this model is very fast, it has great resolution and rendered with nice texture. It's good in quantity and able to go pretty deep. Main issue of this model's lows caused by fast decay, common for BAs, so, instead of familiar rumble, Orions gives detailed and fast bass. At first, it seemed that there is not enough bass, but after some time, I've realised that lows are here, they just have different unusual representation. When necessary, Orions can punch, but this punches will be dryer then usual. After getting used, I've started to find a pleasure in opportunity to hear minor nuances in low frequences.

    Midrange is the strongest part in sound of this model. It's jaw-dropping and you can really fell in love at first sight with them. Campfire managed to achieve the exact balance, thus incredible micro-contrast of sound doesn't cause dull and emotionless representation. If you like vocal, Orions will blow you with level of emotions, they work like emotion magnifying glass, able to pinpoint any small detail, present in recording. Also this IEMs are great in showing real instrument details, for example, in good harp recoding you can locate not only instrument, but position of separate strings. An imaginary scene more than the average width and depth. Orion falls short to a record, but shows a very, very good results.

    7OnFiioX7.jpg

    Treble is slightly recessed, personally I prefer more highs, but Campfire engineers decided to make a non-fatiguing sound and move treble a bit backward. This allowed them to avoid typical harshness of single BA models, so Orion offers non-fatiguing sound. Also, this allows listener to concentrate on spectacular midrange without any distortion. Another advantage of this solution - greater than in similar models tolerance for not very high-quality records. In terms of resolution and clarity, treble is really nice.

    10Booblik.jpg

    I've made few brief and subjective comparisons with different IEMs that I have.

    Dunu DN-2000J Dunu's hi-end hybrids shows tighter bass and brighter treble. Compared with DN-2000J, sound of Orion is more relaxed, but also it has more resolving and emotional midrange.

    MEEAudio P1 New, unusual, interesting model by MEEAudio. Orion has deeper bass and midrange resolution, but P1 leads in treble representation and scene size.

    Ortofon e-Q8 Unusual Siren Armature driver gives Japanese model tighter bass, but Orion the leads in the midrange, and their high frequencies are more tolerant to the listener.

    Campfire Audio Jupiter Former top model of the company with 4 drivers. Of course, is 2 times more expensive, but offers improvements in the field of deep bass and treble, although Orions have a bit better mids resolution.

    Etymotic ER-4S Well, how can I omit true single-driver legend? Orion is better at low frequencies, about par on mids, any Etys have longer treble extention, but can be a bit harsh sometimes.

    Of course, it's not very reasonable idea to use this IEMs with smartphones and tablets, they designed for usage with good DAPs. Among inexpensive DAPs, I preferred Cayin N5 with them, and in hi-end segment best results were shown by Fiio X7 and Questyle QP-1R. Please note, that Orion has relatively low impedance and high sensitivity, so they can highlight background noise of device.

    Style-wise, I'd call those a universal headphoens, you just need a bit of usage to their detailed and honest representation. I've enjoyed everything, from black metal to trance, but Orions are especially good with serious music: jazz, classics, blues, vocal, something that allows them to show strong side. The quality of the recordings are quite critical, I would rate them a 7 out of 10.

    So, Campfire Audio really succeed in creating nice single driver model for those, who like detailed and emotional sound.

    I want to thank to Campfire Audio for providing me a sample for review in exchange to my honest opinion.

    Here is my unboxing and impressions video.

      peter123, d marc0, twister6 and 2 others like this.
    1. Deviltooth
      I'm not completely clear, is this a single or dual driver balanced armature?  Are the housings heavy?
      Deviltooth, Apr 27, 2016
    2. Brooko
      Single BA.  Total weight is 21g including cables and tips
      Brooko, Apr 27, 2016
    3. Deviltooth
      Thanks, Brooko.  In the past I had a single BA UE600, an excellent earphone as it rendered female vocals with a touch of appealing sweetness.  I don't think I'd pay $350 for a single BA driver; unless the technology has radically (recently) changed it'd likely lack extension at one end or the other (usually the bass).
      Deviltooth, Apr 27, 2016
  9. ade_hall
    Covetable cool
    Written by ade_hall
    Published Apr 16, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build, design, nice balanced sound, imaging particularly with vocals
    Cons - Poor fit for my small ears!
    Many thanks to d marc0 and Campfire for arranging this tour unit.



    Overview

     
    Ever since I saw the gorgeous high res pics of the Orion (and Jupiter) on the Campfire website I've coveted one of these desirable beauties. In an increasingly busy market Campfire stands out from the crowd based on their design choices alone, so how does everything else (including sound) match up...?
     

    Fit

     
    I've got small ears with narrowish canals and fairly shallow concha, so I was pretty disappointed to find I could not get a decent fit with the Orion, the only tips I could really use were the small silicone, unfortunately due to the shape of the Orion I could not get them deep enough into my ears for decent sound, switching over to the foam tips and jamming them in allowed me to hear, albeit briefly (and painfully), just what the Orion are capable of. As such I could not listen for an extended period but was able to get a flavour, I think, of what these are about
     

    Sound

     
    I compared the Orion to my Etymotic ER4(S) which, to me, are neutral,
    analytical, and sometimes bright/harsh dependent on recording.
     
    The Orion is slightly warmer and smoother than the ER4 and doesn't seem as flat which I feel makes it a better all rounder. As with the ER4, there is excellent detail retrieval with great clarity, it doesn't gloss over poor recordings (like the Lyra) but the highs are not as harsh which suits the mixture of music I generally listen to.
     
    There is some midrange magic going on with the Orion, everything is nicely balanced and it has quite a lovely way with vocals particularly female, it portrays them floating out in space in front of you in a most palpable way, outstanding!
     
    I like bass but I don't like it boomy or overblown and the Orion does not have that deep sub bass rumble or heavy thud so some bassheads may find it a little lacking. The bass is light, fast and nicely integrated and doesn't overpower the rest of the spectrum, I feel it goes a little deeper than the ER4 and is surprisingly satisfying.
     
    The Orion sounded good from all the sources I tried including
     iPhone 5, various iPods, Mojo, HiFiMan HM-801 (various amps), it doesn't require much power but as it's fairly neutral I find it pairs better with smoother warmer sources.
     

    Final thoughts

     
    The Orion is beautifully designed in a modern/retro kind of way, Campfire have obviously put a lot of thought and effort in the way they are presented, and the packaging and accessories reinforce the positive presentation - it comes in a nice cardboard box with a cool carrying case and a very good expensive cable (which I believe is to be replaced with an even better one). 
     
    Overall I think I prefer these to my Etymotic ER4(S). Even though the Ety's can sometimes sound quite spectacular with the right source and track, those moments are few and far between which makes the Orion a better all rounder.
     
    I say 'think' above because due to fit I couldn't listen for extended periods, so couldn't really give a long term impression which I think is required.
     
    Despite the fit I've given these four stars as I do think they sound excellent, marry that with the bulletproof build and design and Campfire are on to a winner, now if they could only change the design to accomodate (my) small ears...!!
      daduy, Brooko and d marc0 like this.
    1. d marc0
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the Orion.
      d marc0, Apr 19, 2016
  10. k4rstar
    CA Orion: An earphone suited to a starry night
    Written by k4rstar
    Published Apr 14, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Mid-range resolution, excellent build, high quality cable, included accessories
    Cons - Bass presentation may leave some tracks feeling soulless; some shortcomings with cable

     ​

    Campfire Audio Orion:​

    An earphone suited to a starry night​

     

    Introduction

     
    First, a disclaimer: I purchased the Orion ($350USD) with my own money after doing my own research and thus this is my independent (and highly subjective) opinion. A special thank you to @d marc0 for sharing his experiences with me and answering my questions, as well as to ALO Audio for excellent customer service.
     
    This will be my first review on Head-Fi, and as such any and all advice on how to improve this review or future others will be highly appreciated. 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.
     
    A little bit about me and my music tastes: I only got into this hobby in late 2014, slowly working my way up from budget and entry-level cans in an attempt to find my "holy grail" like many aspiring victims of this rabbit hole tend to long for. I was going through a pair of full-sized cans every week or two and always finding something that I couldn't live with or found wanting after. It wasn't until January of this year I was blessed enough to stumble upon MrSpeakers and his very popular Fostex T50RP modification and pet project, the Mad Dogs ($279USD, discontinued). This headphone simultaneously addressed issues I had with comfort, build, and sound quality from the first time I listened to them until this day and hopefully for years to come. Needless to say, I dropped all interest in looking for other equipment and have been enjoying them since. 
     
    While I am still on the search for an in-ear headphone that can take what I love about the Mad Dogs into a portable solution, I believe the Orion is the most worthy contender yet. 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!
     
    dd49ba04_IMG_3731.jpg
    Image credits to @Ivabign

    Accessories 

     
    While I will save you the details of the unboxing experience as I'm sure many other reviews already cover it, I think it's worthwhile to note the impressive accessory selection included with the Orion'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 some slightly harder generic foam tips which reminded me of Shure olives are included in the package. You also get a stylish pin sporting the sleek Campfire Audio logo and a cleaning tool to keep your earphones spick and span.
     
    Thanks to advice from @d marc0, I did not play around long with the silicone or generic foam tips and jumped straight to the Comply's, and thus all the sonic impressions noted later in the review are written using these tips.
     
    UPDATE 05/13/2016 - It is now officially summer in Canada and the hot days really don't play well with the Comply tips. They get sweaty and loose in the ear which not only affects comfort but also sound. As such I have returned to using the silicone tips both at home and on the go. I have to say they are also really excellent; I certainly have a higher opinion of them now then I did when I first wrote this review. The larger bore makes for a slightly more spacious sound in general and really helps emphasize the mid-range resolution on the Orion. I also expected the isolation to suffer over the foam tips, but it really didn't. If anything the silicone tips help keep the actual unit closer to the ear drum unlike the soft foam which causes them to hang a little bit. I would recommend the silicone tips for at home listening with quieter volumes; just watch the volume level when out and about.
     
    You also get a canvas zippered carrying case which I really like, and actually prefer to the leather-clad ones included with the higher end Lyra & Jupiter 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. Despite having a great weave, Y-splitter and chin slider, I assume I appreciate this cables practicality less than most as I am not a fan of the memory wire or rather large termination that does not play well with my phone case. I suspect if you don't mind memory wire and have an average (non-recessed) 3.5mm output on your source you will appreciate this cable a lot more than I did. While shielded well against wind-noise and oxidization (according to ALO) the cable is slightly microphonic, and I have already made a habit of wearing it under clothing.
     
    UPDATE 05/30/2016 - I've gotten my hands on the new ALO litz cable that I believe all new units of the Orion will ship with. I won't comment on sonic differences but the cable is a lot less stiff and the ear guides are easily malleable now compared to the tinsel cable. The termination is sadly still a little over-sized, but I'll live with it.
     
    d4932a5f_IMG_3730.jpg
    Image credits to 
     

    Build / Comfort / Isolation

     
    While I won't attempt to embarrass myself by going in depth regarding the design of this earphone, all I will say is that the CNC'd aluminum build is the nicest I have seen on an earphone and I am reminded of just how pricey (but not fragile!) this IEM is every time I take them out of their case. The industry-standard MMCX connection feels quite solid and I quite like the aesthetic the stock tinsel cable provides against the space black of the Orion's earpieces. While the bore is a little wider than I am used to on most of my previously owned earphones, 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, while I have read some concern other users have raised regarding the sharp-angle design on the ear-facing body, I have not personally experienced any discomfort or hotspots even in multi-hour listening sessions. In fact if it wasn't for the memory wire that I can't really get over personally, I find these earphones do an excellent job of just disappearing once you get a good fit, which shouldn't be too hard considering the generous included tip selection.
     
    Isolation is definitely above average with the included Comply foam tips, wearing them on my rather long commute via bus I could barely hear other passengers or the bus itself at normal listening volumes. I was actually taken aback by how well details are still retained at lower listening volumes in what I would consider pretty noisy environments such as public transportation and restaurants. A big win in my book.
     
    900x900px-LL-e02cc18e_IMG_3728.jpg
    Image credits to 

    Sonic Impressions

     
    Coming from a pair of SoundMAGIC E80s ($55USD) as my daily driver, I was really looking for something that would retain the neutral but mid-forward signature I had become addicted to on both my E80s and Mad Dogs while offering a pretty genre neutral presentation to satisfy my diversified tastes. Still skeptical after reading a few impressions on here, mostly from loaner program participants, I found that the Orion fit this bill perfectly. The single armature setup in the Orion is rarely limited by it's own solitary nature, and instead offers a balanced and close to reference sound across the entire frequency range.
     
    The mid range is the star of the show on the Orion, and as a mid-head I couldn't be much happier. The order of the day here is resolution, and the Orion serves it up tastefully. Going through some of my favorites during my first listening session with these I was delighted at the amount of vocal emotion and weight I was experiencing, especially from singers I had heard a million times before. It's as if the vocal range in every track (especially with female vocals) was taken and blown-up 10 times, albeit only in the most tasteful way possible. Going back to my faithful E80s there was no contest, it was akin to going from any of your favorite headphones today to listening to the earphones included with your phone. (sorry SoundMAGIC!) Timbre, tonality and clarity are all spot on here, with guitars sounding especially heavenly.
     
    600x600.jpg
     ​
    "Everybody loves me, everyone but you..."
     ​
    Hey Babe (1992), the debut solo album from Blake Babies favorite Juliana Hatfield is an 11-track feature of ballads regarding love & longing. Hatfield's twee, almost-childlike vocals shine through on the Orion like I have never had the pleasure of hearing them before. The light drum presence on tracks like The Lights is the forte of the Orions low-end capabilities, carrying Hatfield's voice and guitar arrangements whilst making sure the spotlight is never taken off them. When the ante is turned up a bit in the slightly satanical Get Off Your Knees the Orion keeps up nicely, ensuring the listener is kept head-nodding and toe-tapping throughout.
     
    So what about the bass? "Bass may be light for some", "may lack bass presence", "some may find it bass light" are just a few quotes pulled from the (very short) list of negatives pertaining to the CA Orion. The truth of the matter is I really do think for the most part it depends on the listeners preference and due diligence before investing in these earphones, or any other for that matter. Short of trying them out yourself, the opinions of your peers are all you really have to go on, as well as (hopefully) a general understanding of your own taste and preferences. For me, I find the bass to be just enough to carry most tracks and genres of music. I had little difficulty adjusting to the Orion's signature coming from the other relatively neutral offerings mentioned earlier in the review. While the single armature design scores top marks for bass speed and texture, I only very rarely found it to be "not enough" to give some recordings the body or soul needed to be fully enjoyed. I particularly enjoyed the bass presentation of this earphone in most rock, pop and even trance recordings.
     
    vampireweekend_contra_custom-bcd9b77f41479d12bdb47adb980316fe596c755e.jpg
     ​
    "In December drinking horchata..."
     ​
    So as to keep this review unbiased by my personal penchant for female vocals I thought it prudent to discuss indie rock hit Vampire Weekend's sophomore offering Contra (2010). I find this recording perfectly illustrates the strengths of the Orion's low end as it's tracks feature more in the way of low-end punch and snap rather than boom and rumble. Right off the bat openers Horchata, White Sky and Holiday have lead singer Ezra Koenig's vocals displayed like that of a male angel, all the while never missing a single hit of the bands signature xylophone. The first single Cousins requires a fast-paced and deft delivery of guitar riffs and percussion alike and the Orion steps up once again without hesitation.
     
    That just leaves us with the treble. While not a treble-head per se, I do enjoy the spinal shivers that can be provided only by rendering your favorite singers high notes in all their glory. That being said, despite my best efforts the large amounts of aggressive & hardcore punk, rock and ska in my library cannot be enjoyed on overly bright or fatiguing gear. I'm happy to report the Orions polite treble, while some may find lacking in sparkle, never has me on the verge of wanting to shut off a track. This non-fatiguing character in combination with excellent comfort and isolation make the Orion easy to recommend to those looking for a chill-out pair of phones on long commutes or work periods. That isn't to say the Orion comes off as boring or playing it too safe. An accentuation in the upper mids still keeps things very interesting in the vocal ranges (though a little bit too interesting with the stock silicone tips I found) and to my own ears, slightly addicting despite being technically unnatural in its response.
     
    As far as sibilance goes, I did encounter some on certain recordings. However, due to these incidents being isolated to certain artists and vocalists in particular I'm willing to chalk it up to a poor recording. That being said, while I wouldn't classify the Orion as overly sharp or harsh, it can be revealing and audible noise floors in lower quality recordings can easily be heard. 
     
     
    41qX14VS8OL.jpg
     ​
    "Don't think twice, it's all right..."
     ​
    Joan Baez's timeless collection of Bob Dylan covers in Baez Sings Dylan is one of my favorite acoustic and folk recordings of all time. It is an album I play through almost every piece of audio equipment I can as a test and thus I have listened to a countless number of times. Nevertheless, I have never heard such a breathtaking rendition of Baez's wide vocal range until I tried it on the Orion. Resolution is the key word here, and that is offered in spades on tracks like Love Minus Zero and Tears Of Rage. Personal favorite Boots Of Spanish Leather almost made me want to reach for tissues as Baez sings as both sides of a couple distanced by the sea. Toe tapping narratives such as Drifter's Escape had me grooving out in public without quite caring who was watching. And thus, this is where I found the Orion's are truly at their potential: with folk and acoustic music. I could write a novel on how each one of the twenty tracks on this LP are presented, but perhaps I'll save that for another review.
     
    ce44fbe2_IMG_3734.jpg
    Image credits to 

    Summary

    In conclusion, I find the balanced sound of the Orion close to perfection for my personal tastes. I doubt you can show me another pair of earphones at this price that share not only its prowess of many genres, but also its mastery of folk and acoustic music. If they come close in sonic performance, I promise you won't get the same accessories, build, comfort or isolation.
     
    However, if you are in search of a bass presence elevated even slightly above neutral or treble extension to the stars and back (astronomy jokes), you may want to look elsewhere.
      daduy, Raketen, Brooko and 6 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. k4rstar
      Thanks Jazzi and jinxy, already have a second write-up out and plan on doing more as soon as I can get my hands on new gear.
      k4rstar, Apr 16, 2016
    3. cmateski
      Thanks for the review. Good job :)
      cmateski, Apr 17, 2016
    4. Sp12er3
      thanks for the review! as similar  mids and female vocal lover I'm very much interested now with the Orion.. my main IEM right now is Final Heaven II, and what an IEM it is for the price.
      Sp12er3, Apr 17, 2016