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Campfire Audio IO

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  1. Wheel Hoss
    How can the upper mids be sucked out if the vocals are shouty? That’s the upper mids!

    Think I’m out. Was enjoying hearing alternative impressions, but the hatemongering is just absurd.

    I mean come on, guys. The idea that there is some way to perform an objective analysis is simply ridiculous. They found a way to convince themselves Van Gogh was crap. Well, at least for a while.

    Bottom line is I couldn’t be happier with mine for the price. They look slamming, I get compliments on them, and they have an addictive, snappy presentation. Kind of like Sprite. Sure, you can’t make a meal out of it, but man can it be refreshing!
  2. zombywoof
    Really, I think we got it, @JustJoseph. You do not like the Io. You should let it go.
    cardeli22 likes this.
  3. antdroid
    I havent gotten my demo pair to listen to yet, but from my experience shoutiness occurs for me at between 1-2KHz, and given that graph, I can kind of see that type of impression.
  4. malvinviriya
    Is it wrong to share an impression though? I think this is a thread where we can have free speech.

    To address your concerns, if it pleases you then go along with it. I have made it clear in my short review that some people can and will like it. I think it is cool if you really enjoyed it.I do not think that there is any hatemongering going on except from you who claimed it is.

    As for the upper mids, please clarify me what you think upper mids are. 1kHz is still considered lower mids. As what @antdroid said, the huge amount of energy there is the cause of the shoutiness in the mid. Again, since I saw you writing the same comment on Reddit, perhaps I should reiterate it here. Take any other IEM, and then you EQ down the 2-5kHz or so range, but you push up the 1kHz really high. It will give a caricature of what the IO sounds like. Sure it'll be atrocious but this is going to be an exaggerated expression of the soundsig of the IEM

    Lastly, I am here just to post some review and share it with you. I did not expect my review to be posted again on Head-Fi as I am aware of people who despises a negative review. Seems like there's plenty of them (You, being the example) and they will go to great length to try and discredit someone who just enjoys listening and are keen to share.
    Last edited: May 12, 2019
    Baten, Alvadora, LikeABell and 6 others like this.
  5. zombywoof
    @malvinviriya, thank you for your comment. Your review was very well done, informative, and certainly not out of place here. My comment was not directed to you, but to @JustJoseph as this person seems to be searching for reasons to justify his very well stated position on the Io. Personally, I find the information in negative reviews to be equally helpful as the information one can glean from positive reviews, and often, more so for the former. So, your impressions of the Io are welcome here by this reader.
    cardeli22, JaeYoon and malvinviriya like this.
  6. malvinviriya
    Ah! I am totally sorry for that. It is totally my bad then.

    I am most definitely glad to share my reviews and impressions here! And thank you for your response. I am keen to hear more discussion with people who have tried these :D
    JaeYoon likes this.
  7. zombywoof
    I am enjoying the Io, but there is no doubt that the sound presentation is unique. I can only compare it to other CA IEM's...it will not replace the Jupiter as my favorite, but it is a nice change of pace. Our impressions are subjective, and often difficult to put into words. After all, music brings out an emotional response in the listener. How could the devices we use to transmit the music to our ears not be part of the equation?
    malvinviriya likes this.
  8. jaydunndiddit
    Then that may be down to the individual, honestly, and the genre of music. I think this is constantly getting lost in the shuffle and is REALLY misleading. To me, and even sonically, there is a lot of the Solaris tuning that can be heard and seen in the FR from the IO. And I can also see a lot of similarities with the Andro which has this same "issue" with the CFA house sound (hence the Andro S with the bump in the mids). But then again, we know the Solaris had a ton of drama behind it as well, to many proclaiming the same issue. It seems there are many that don't seem as sensitive to these areas like the rest of us. I happen to be quite sensitive to the region that are pulled down so for my ears, this is welcome as everything comes across loud and clear as it is. Even more so depending on the music I am listening to.

    Just like @Wheel Hoss , how can the upper mids be so sucked out for everything to be hollow/pulled back AND shouty at the same time? Again, this would only seem to make a difference depending on genre of music (as well as tips uses which were Symbios). Listening to compressed pop ,music is quite different than listening to Frank Sinatra. The latter of which sounds pretty amazing through the IO. His voice, the horns, the drums, cymbals, etc. all come through loud and clear with startling clarity with a pretty high level of dynamics. Same if I am listening to Etta James, Nina Simone, Howling Wolf, Buddy Guy, BB King, etc. Those of which I have seen perform in real life across various venues more times than I can count and the IO matches their real life vocal signature. That grain and edge they have in real life, the IO actually can deliver and doesn't hide or mask it. Same with the cello. My wife plays and practices so I have grown quite accustomed to how that instrument sounds rather intimately although I don't play myself. The IO surprisingly does a great job here at delivering the proper texture and tone of a cello. Same when I am listening to Yo-Yo Ma or other classical pieces.

    I think there a lot of mis-characterizations here. "Shoutiness" is most present in the 2-4k hz range, typically speaking. However for some, this can happen in the 2-3k hz range but they both have an impact on the sound differently. For the upper mids (2 to 4k hz), our hearing is the most sensitive here. I fall into this category so I prefer an FR that isn't berating my senses and causing fatigue. Which the IO doesn't exhibit. Same with them being pulled back in the "presence" region (4 to 6k hz) as a boost in this region cna can serious fatigue and harshness. Which the IO also doesn't exhibit. The ER4 and MD+ are also "boosted" in the same regions by a bit more over the IO when you look at their FR. However the latter peak at 2.5k and drop all the way to 6k hz (which is why they sound "darker" when comparing). They also lack the boost in the presence and brilliance region so they don't have that level of sparkle and air from the IO. WHich again, is apparent fas many have complained that the MD+ and ER4 don't have the amount of treble extension they would prefer.

    Really, I guess this is a lot of words to say that subjective preferences matter a lot same with genres of music. The IO is not forgiving whatsoever. If a track is boosted, the IO is going to definitely enhance that and give you a bad time as I have stated prior. Whereas the MD+ or ER4 are more "laid back" and will skirt over those details and smooth things out enough for many to not notice. It reminds me of the HD 650 camp and their sound. I am firmly in the HD 600 camp as they just sound "right" compared the the slow, grainy, and warmer 650. Many would fight me to the death for even stating that alone but, that's just what I prefer.The HD 600 sounds truer to the recording. The 650 does not. I feel as if the IO gets me closer to what the recording should be. Many won't like that as they prefer something smoother and/or more romanticized. Just like those saying the bass of the IO "sucks." Just preferences.

    I very much enjoy the IO, especially as I spend more time with them every single day. Which is also something else that many others haven't talked about much. Using them at work, while biking, in bed, through my portable amp/DAC or my desktop rig, all yield a marvelous experience. One that I admitted from the jump I didn't enjoy on first listen many pages back. I listened to the IO for about a week straight without interruption before really listening to the Polaris V2, Solaris, Atlas, and others. And the IO still sticks out in my mind as I still reach for them. As I said before, the IO is not a generalist, but a honed tool for specific genres. And when you get on that track, it's uncanny in their ability to really deliver a great sonic performance.

    Of course, this is just my .02 cents, YMMV, etc. but I feel these are really being misjudged for all the wrong reasons and hope people actually give them time. As the only thing that has helped me get a handle on their FR and abilities, is time through extended listening sessions over almost 2 weeks to date.
    snk8699, cardeli22, Mike-WI and 2 others like this.
  9. zombywoof
    @jaydunndiddit, have you posted any impressions of the Polaris v2? If so, sorry, I missed them.
  10. jaydunndiddit
    I have a bit further back in this thread and also on the Polaris thread as well. I have had to shelve them for the moment as I'm finishing a review for the Drop Move's and have a deadline to hit. I'll have more to say on those in the future once I get more ear time with them. Short story is, I really enjoy them. Just going back and forth between the IO, they work well together and covers the others "weaknesses." They've been my current dailies since release where prior it was the Atlas and Solaris. And while they aren't to those levels, they both excel at certain genres and really cater to whatever listening mood I am in for the day whether that's some Rap, EDM, Rnb or delta Blues, classical, folk, bluegrass, etc. My music taste are very eclectic so I tend to carry 2-3 sets with me daily to make sure I have the right tool for the job. I'm probably an outlier in this regard though, ha.
    cardeli22, Wheel Hoss and zombywoof like this.
  11. antdroid
    Different ear anatomy can affect how we hear things as well as recordings/music/genre etc. I wont post impressions on IO until I actually hear it. I was just stating that by graph (and graphs don't mean the be all - end all), there is a sharp peak in 1-2K region. The Solaris, which I own, peaks up just starting around 1K and does not drop off a cliff until 3.5K. The MD+/ER4 also peak up but sustain the peak across the entire upper mids and start to drop in the lower treble. The difference is a sharp peak vs a gradual peak. An analogy is like when you look up a hike to go on: you not only look at the peak height but also how long the hike is. A high peak with short distance is brutal, but a high peak over a long distance is more gradual and "even".

    Another IEM I own is the UM ME1 which has a little shoutiness as well at 1KHz. EQing it down made the shoutiness go away. So, that's just my personal experience.

    I am looking forward to hearing this IEM regardless. I was somewhat a fan of the Orion and obviously a big fan of the Solaris. Lukewarm with Andromeda and Comet. Wasn't a fan of Vega, Atlas, etc., as it was not my thing. So I'm interested where this model fits in the CFA Lineup.
    Last edited: May 11, 2019
    malvinviriya and ufospls2 like this.
  12. zombywoof
    Thanks. I'll look for the posts.
  13. zombywoof
    I can relate to the last comment of your post. You may not be as much of an outlier as you think. I have regularly carried my Lyra II and Jupiter with me when I am traveling, or out and about. I am getting ready for a business trip this week and I have added the Io to my bag but find that I can't leave the others behind.
  14. waiho2k1
    Finally got my IO! Had listened to it for around 2 hours in total, so can only provide very simple first impression. My setup is as below:
    Cable: ALO Super Litz 4.4mm
    DAP: AR-M200
    Default foam tip
    I've tried some classicals, j-pop and j-rock songs, and found that it presents the classical music quite well, especially for the live recordings of the symphony. But for the violin concerto that I've listened, seems the violin solo part sounds quite sharp for me, so not sure if that will get better after some times. For j-pop I listened to several female singers like Utada Hikaru, sounds quite nice for me (but of course not as good as my Solaris :ksc75smile: ), but I think I need some time to get use to the "sound position" as I find it quite close to me. For j-rock, percussion sounds very nice which I can hear every hits very clearly and brightly, however for the bass it's not deep enough for my taste, but this is expected.
    So at the mean time I think it is a decent IEM at its price range.
    This is my first review here so please bear with me if it is not a good one, still need to learn a lot more here lol
    cardeli22, Currawong, Fatdoi and 3 others like this.
  15. morndewey
    Received Io tonight. About 2 hours into listening with FiiO M9. Sound is marvelous. I have Moondrop KP, B&W C5 series 2. Liked Io sound immediately.
    Io has full bodied sound. Bass is ample and impactful. Treble sparkles. Spacious and detailed. Separation of instruments like I’ve not heard before. Listening to jazz, Anthony Braxton, ECM, Hatology, Van Morrison, Grateful Dead.
    Using stock foams right now. I’m delighted. This is about as high as I wish to spend on iems.
    Can easily see myself preferring Io to all the aforementioned iems. Granted my experience is limited but this sounds like an entirely different league to me. Thrilling.
    Interesting too that they are loud at volumes much lower than the above.
    Have to spend more time to evaluate mids.
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2019
    nephilim32, jant71, Currawong and 2 others like this.
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