Campfire Audio IO
May 7, 2019 at 2:42 AM Post #271 of 488

Fawzay

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Damn.... I wanted to post my impressions of the IO, but seeing where I am from, I guess I better not. I might get crucified more than for liking the UE Live...

Post only lah it's good to hear/see different opinions in regards of this product
 
May 7, 2019 at 3:08 AM Post #273 of 488

joshuachew

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To me I think it sounds abit, hollow (not sure if boxy is the right word to describe it). But for me I like a thick dense tone. Basically I am a tone and timbre nut lol. But I just was not feeling it from the IO.
I think maybe moving forward, maybe CFA could actually send their units around for some prelim feedback about their tuning etc. This isn't apple or other high tech stuff that secrecy about their releases is important for the company and the product. All this (audio, HeadFi) ultimately at the end of the day is about how it sounds, and seeing that CFA has had some (in my opinion) not so good reception on their latest few releases. I would advise them to take their time, slow down, stop releasing a new IEM every other month (they're getting bashed tbh) and to look into why their releases are getting poor reviews and probably in the future, get some initial actual community feedback regarding their tuning during the tuning process. I am not saying that everyone has to like your stuff, but when ALOT of people don't enjoy your stuff (and its not because the IEMs are heavy, has to be used with a module, or us ugly etc) for how it sounds... It should be something that CFA looks into.

Of course all of this will not come to fruition if CFA sees nothing wrong with what they are currently doing, brushing everything off as a conspiracy against them and just telling people to wait for the 'formal reviews'. By doing and saying so, it is not helping with the opine that formal reviews are 'biased' to the manufacturer. Because even for myself, I trust the reviews and feedback from bros here that I trust (based on what they have described previously about how a particular gear sounds, and what I hear fro myself of said gear) more than formal reviews on a website.

That is just my opinion. And my 2 cents from one business operator to another. I hope its taken in good faith.
 
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May 7, 2019 at 3:49 AM Post #274 of 488

ouyangx

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Have just returned my IO back.

Some of my impressions and understanding of the sound of IO, with my A&K AK100II:

Bass:
This the best part. The bass of IO has enough punch that can precisely adds sense of atmosphere and rhythm to the music. The amount is right there for my taste and it don't bleeds into mid-range. The quantity is good, much less than N5005 and less than E5000 as well. The only thing that I dont like about bass is that it has much slower speed so the resolution is not good.

Mids:
Upper mids have been significantly lifted, this makes vocals really close to your ear, and ambient electric music began to lost its range and airyness. Good or bad? I think it depends on the genres of music and personal preference. You will find vocals more intimate, strings like violins stand out from the orchestra, but indie rock may lost its sense of mistery as well. The mids makes the whole music much more clearer, sometimes in a bad way. Mids is more emphasized compared to N5005 and E5000. The resolution is fantastic though.

Highs:
There's a part of highs that has been lifted as well. I cannot describe which part exactly but I think that's close to the range where highs of ie800/800s have been lifted, though not that much in quantity. It extends well and is fast in speed.

This makes resolution on the whole quite good, but if you continue listening to IO for several days you may find two things:
1.The lift of highs and upper-mids make the sound a bit fatiguing to listen for long time.
2.The bass, mids, and highs are separated from each other in the presentation of sound, not combined as a whole package. From my point of view the lifted mids is the part to blame. Your ear can be easily attracted by the upper mids rather than the music on the whole.

Tonality: neutral to bright
Power requirement: super easy to drive
 
May 7, 2019 at 6:57 AM Post #275 of 488
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How many days did everyone run them in for? I found that, fresh out of the box, they didn't sound good at all. After most of a week, that changed. They are still on the brighter side of things, but how much that is good or bad depends on the music. More impressions including music would be more helpful as it makes the most significant difference.

I would say the IO is rather difficult to drive. On my es100 I should turn the volume up to the level of my Vega

Just a reminded that volume level on a device is NOT a representation of its power output, but of the GAIN of a device. I think we need this at the top of all IEM and headphone impressions threads.
 
May 7, 2019 at 7:02 AM Post #276 of 488

FranTBW

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I heard it twice on different days, and through different sources, and I would just like to drop a few thoughts.

First of all, it looks great aesthetically. Classic CFA design, nice touch on the gold screws. Not the first IEM I've seen to don this particular colour combo, but I like it still.

Accessories are great, abundance of tips and the very sexy leather case makes it a very nice package overall. Props to the CFA team for pulling in the physically disabled case builder from Spain (if my memory serves me right) to collaborate with.

However, all that aside, I have major issues with the one fundamental aspect of the IO - the sound. The IO sports a dual BA setup, a tried and tested formula that has worked since over a decade ago, with popular and venerable IEMs such as the IM02, and the LS200 from ATH. Despite that fairly safe formula, there is one fundamental issue that still lies in the IO, that has plagued largely every dual-BA IEM that has been in the market. The midrange is fairly disappointing, with a thinness to vocals, odd timbre and tone on strings, and just sounding hollow on most other instruments, except for perhaps the Saxophone. The plasticky timbre is not new to many BA IEMs, but it seems this one doesn't fix that either. The bass was fairly midbassy, and had not much extension into the subbass region. As for the treble, it was sparkly and fairly alright, and I have not many issues with it, as the larger issue was with the midrange.

Imaging was fairly intimate, and vocals felt very in-your-face. On the DMP-Z1, however, there was a slight improvement regarding that. However, needing a $8k player to improve one aspect is not something everyone has the luxury for.

I don't want to think that this is a bad product, but hearing it doesn't really inspire me to spend close to $300 bucks on this, when some chifi offerings are pushing out arguably better sounding products at a fraction of the price.

Just my two-cents worth, feel free to open a discussion with me if you please.
 
May 7, 2019 at 7:29 AM Post #277 of 488

PhoenixClaw

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How many days did everyone run them in for? I found that, fresh out of the box, they didn't sound good at all. After most of a week, that changed. They are still on the brighter side of things, but how much that is good or bad depends on the music. More impressions including music would be more helpful as it makes the most significant difference.



Just a reminded that volume level on a device is NOT a representation of its power output, but of the GAIN of a device. I think we need this at the top of all IEM and headphone impressions threads.

According to the shop where I demoed, they burned in the units for 3 days straight prior to launch.
 
May 7, 2019 at 8:36 AM Post #278 of 488

jaydunndiddit

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How many days did everyone run them in for? I found that, fresh out of the box, they didn't sound good at all. After most of a week, that changed. They are still on the brighter side of things, but how much that is good or bad depends on the music. More impressions including music would be more helpful as it makes the most significant difference.



Just a reminded that volume level on a device is NOT a representation of its power output, but of the GAIN of a device. I think we need this at the top of all IEM and headphone impressions threads.

Pretty sure it's all going to fall on deaf ears at this point. I've put close to 100 hrs on the IO myself and can agree that it does not sound different now to when I first got them. Same when I'm listening through my xDSD or THX 789, the latter which shows a higher level of control and dynamics. Using them on gain 1 and controlling the volume via my DAC, they're quite easy to power even alongside the Polaris 2. I've also just started using the Final E tips and Comply Smartcores as I've been using the stock medium marshmallows up to this point. With the silicone tips sounding the most strident to these ears but not overly so. Same with music since I've been using the same playlist I always use for reviews (in my profile) as otherwise I find it hard to be consistent otherwise.

But, they have grown on me especially when I start comparing them to other sets. They really do have a wide soundstage, good imaging, and just enough sharp edge to really excite and give notes and strings a wonderful texture. Hell, I've been listening to ScHoolboy Q's new album and they do surprisingly well with Hip Hop sans deep impact. They have nice texture in the lows and give a nice amount of snap to things like toms and snares. Kick drums could use more meat but I'm being picky.
 
May 7, 2019 at 9:52 AM Post #279 of 488

Wheel Hoss

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Pretty sure it's all going to fall on deaf ears at this point. I've put close to 100 hrs on the IO myself and can agree that it does not sound different now to when I first got them. Same when I'm listening through my xDSD or THX 789, the latter which shows a higher level of control and dynamics. Using them on gain 1 and controlling the volume via my DAC, they're quite easy to power even alongside the Polaris 2. I've also just started using the Final E tips and Comply Smartcores as I've been using the stock medium marshmallows up to this point. With the silicone tips sounding the most strident to these ears but not overly so. Same with music since I've been using the same playlist I always use for reviews (in my profile) as otherwise I find it hard to be consistent otherwise.

But, they have grown on me especially when I start comparing them to other sets. They really do have a wide soundstage, good imaging, and just enough sharp edge to really excite and give notes and strings a wonderful texture. Hell, I've been listening to ScHoolboy Q's new album and they do surprisingly well with Hip Hop sans deep impact. They have nice texture in the lows and give a nice amount of snap to things like toms and snares. Kick drums could use more meat but I'm being picky.

This echoes my experience. Got out of a dinner last night after having a few drinks, popped in the Io’s, and really rocked out. Wasn’t noticing any thinness or weak bass. Sounded great.

Also, FWIW, style matters. Got stumped by two dudes in an SUV who rolled down the windows and gave me the thumbs up. Would like to think it was the Io’s (though it could have been the Jordan 11’s I was rocking).
 
May 7, 2019 at 11:16 AM Post #280 of 488

JustJoseph

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I listened to these, and here are my impressions

First impression: absolute crap! I can immediately hear that the tonality is very off. The vocals sound artificially boosted and the treble seems to have an artificial lift somewhere. This results in a bright sound that sounds terrible. The bass sounds meh too, I can't really hear it and it has poor extension. My friend (who is not an audiophile) tried it, and she agreed it sounded bad. She preferred her $30 dollor earphones over these by far. Having heard her $30 iems, I can't say I prefer the IOs over them. They are detailed, that's for sure but they sound like crap*.

So far, lots of lower-mid end BA iems that I've tried have off-sounding tonality. I don't know how to describe it, it just sounds so off and unnatural. Eg the Shure lineup. Iems like the sony A/N hybrid lineup have much better sounding tonality than these, for a similar price. Even the $26 dollor Tin Audio T2 has better tonality than the IOs.

So far, it seems to me that Campfire Audio has done amazing on their expensive lineups like the Andromedas and Atlas, but they can't get their entry models right. Even the Jupiter has bad tonality to me. The Comets sound pretty average too.

I'm pretty sure any of those $100usd iems, eg the ibasso sound better than these.

Please do not buy them unless you have heard them in person.
 
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May 7, 2019 at 11:32 AM Post #281 of 488

JustJoseph

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If you are okay with the typical off-sounding dual BA sound, then the IOs are for you. But for me, I personally prefer a good sounding tonality/timbre that sounds natural.

Before the hardcore Campfire supporters bash me, (we've seen people with criticisms of Campfire on head fi get harshly treated in past events), I must say that I like Campfire products, I like my Andromedas very very much. So I am not just a Sony fanboy. What I say is from the bottom of my heart and what I hear, I do give credit where it is due. But the IOs just sound terrible to me. There are examples of low BA count iems being done right, for example the Ety 4xr which sounds very accurate in tonality and doesn't suffer from the weird sounding BA problem. Even my Klipsch X11i, while having timbre issues, still does not sound as bad as the IOs. I'm sorry Campfire, they just sound bad to me
 
May 7, 2019 at 11:40 AM Post #282 of 488

458302

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Can someone explain to me what natural tonality means? Is this like live performance, when drums and cymbals dominates and devours 85% of the stage? Or something like ordinary dymanic speaker, with bass bleed and fat nasal vocals?
 
May 7, 2019 at 11:54 AM Post #283 of 488

Rockwell75

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So far, it seems to me that Campfire Audio has done amazing on their expensive lineups like the Andromedas and Atlas, but they can't get their entry models right

I would add the Solaris to that list too. History seems to be deciding in favor of the initial hype behind them-- they're amazing. However your overall comment is probably fair. Based on everything I've read (and I read a lot prior to purchasing both the Solaris and the Atlas) the valid complaints about the sound of their products seem confined to the lower tiers. I owned the Comet and liked it enough, but I wouldn't say it was amazing.
 
May 7, 2019 at 12:07 PM Post #284 of 488

candlejack

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Pretty sure it's all going to fall on deaf ears at this point. I've put close to 100 hrs on the IO myself and can agree that it does not sound different now to when I first got them. Same when I'm listening through my xDSD or THX 789, the latter which shows a higher level of control and dynamics. Using them on gain 1 and controlling the volume via my DAC, they're quite easy to power even alongside the Polaris 2. I've also just started using the Final E tips and Comply Smartcores as I've been using the stock medium marshmallows up to this point. With the silicone tips sounding the most strident to these ears but not overly so. Same with music since I've been using the same playlist I always use for reviews (in my profile) as otherwise I find it hard to be consistent otherwise.

But, they have grown on me especially when I start comparing them to other sets. They really do have a wide soundstage, good imaging, and just enough sharp edge to really excite and give notes and strings a wonderful texture. Hell, I've been listening to ScHoolboy Q's new album and they do surprisingly well with Hip Hop sans deep impact. They have nice texture in the lows and give a nice amount of snap to things like toms and snares. Kick drums could use more meat but I'm being picky.

The real question is how does it feel to listen to your Solaris after a couple of hours with the IO?
 
May 7, 2019 at 12:54 PM Post #285 of 488

candlejack

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Maybe I'm naive, but I really believe that a negative and honest review also serves the company in the long run. I would prefer customers not buy my stuff at all, than buy and hate it.

Fewer but happier customers who update/upgrade every 2-3 years are much better than a bunch of one-and-done customers who are lost forever.
 

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