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Campfire Audio IO

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  1. zombywoof
    I have the Nova and Orion. I have not done an A/B comparison of either with the Io, but I think that it is safe to say that the chosen tuning for each of these IEM's is unique. The Nova is less detailed (warmer?) than the Io. I use the Nova regularly at the office (320mp3>Lenova Thinkpad>JDS C5>Nova). The bass on the Io is very clean, and detailed...it grabs your attention. On the Nova, the bass is also nicely present, but is less precise...it is there but doesn't command attention...amorphous? The Orion is a flatter presentation than the Io...less emphasis on bass and treble, so the mids appear more forward than on the Io. Although, I do not find the mids to be lacking with the Io, or "hollow" as some reviewers have noted (I am not even sure what that means). The Io presents greater detail than the Nova and Orion. I would also characterize the Io as having a wider sound stage than either of the others. Although, the Orion is closer to the Io than the Nova in this regard. Not sure how helpful this was. If you like the Orion or Nova, I don't think you would necessarily be drawn to the sound of the Io. It is as different from the Orion and Nova as they are from each other.
    Perfectofi, snk8699 and kevingzw like this.
  2. kevingzw
    Thank you for your input! I am a huge fan of the Comet's flabby bass response. I can't quite remember the Nova's sound signature (it has been 3 years since I last tried them). I'm not chasing a "linear response" but the scooped-out mids of the IO might be a deal breaker for me.
  3. zombywoof
    No problem. I am not very good at describing what I hear. Personally, I do not hear a lack of mids on the Io. I can, however, see how this could be perceived given the detailed top and bottom end. Good luck.
    Perfectofi likes this.
  4. kevingzw
    Cheers! Unfortunately, there are no audio-stores in Brisbane carrying the IO's. Would love to demo them.
  5. H T T
    I searched the thread, but I could not find my answer. Am I correct in assuming the Io is worn-over ear and not down?

    For the video gamers among us, here is the Io avatar from Devil Survivor 2:

  6. Gamblel254
    Yes it is over ear
  7. Rockwell75

    Yes I'm pretty sure the only CA IEMs that get worn down are the Comet and Atlas.
  8. H T T
    Thanks. The Io piqued my interest as some initial reviewers mentioned how well the IEM rendered vocals. The IronMan color scheme is awesome as well...
  9. antdroid
    Just my thoughts and opinions, but I don't think the IO renders vocals well at all (or anything in the mid-range). It does most everything else well though. I find the mid-range tuning quite unique. YMMV.
    Last edited: May 27, 2019
    JustJoseph likes this.
  10. zombywoof
    It would seem that there are few, if any, headphones or IEM's where all who try them agree on every characteristic of the sonic presentation. I will agree that the tuning of the Io is unique, and probably not to everyone's liking (there appears to be abundant evidence in this thread alone to back that up), but to my ears the vocals are reasonably well executed. I read other descriptions calling the vocals hollow. I am not even sure what that means, to be honest.

    So...not trying to be contrary here...and certainly not trying to forward any agenda...just interested in what others think and hear.
    Wheel Hoss likes this.
  11. antdroid
    I think it depends on what you're used to listening to and what types of vocals. I find deep male vocals to sound fine. I find female vocals to sound a little bit off. For example: Stevie Nicks in "Dreams" by Fleetwood Mac, or Elizabeth Fraser in "Heaven or Las Vegas" by Cocteau Twins. It becomes more dramatic when you switch back and forth between headphones and hear the energy level rise in the mids from the IO to any other IEM I own (for example the Etymotics ER3SE or Campfire Solaris/Andromeda). I think IO's mid-sound can be adapted to, and it works well in some songs, but it doesn't come across as energetic enough to keep me wanting to listen to it. To me, the lack of presence makes some energetic songs, lose their momentum.

    What I like about the IO is the really great wide sound, with great technical ability, good resolution of detail, and fast quality attack. The bass is done really well on this IEM. Treble is extended well, and has good energy. But the lack of upper-mids, to me, pull a big curtain over everything and it's not for me unfortunately, as a lot of music I listen to -- I like this area to be accentuated more so than it is on the IO. For those who don't mind or don't hear what I hear, that's great for you all. The IO is otherwise a great performer in the other areas mentioned for this price it's being offered at.
    JustJoseph likes this.
  12. zombywoof
    Thanks for the thoughtful reply. I will definitely check out the songs you mention. I was listening to Steely Dan - The Royal Scam today, and found the Io to be really exceptional, all the strengths you mentioned. Steely Dan tracks can be quite busy, and the Io provides clarity and separation that other IEM's lack. The vocals are a bit further back in the mix than with the Orion, for example, but still I found the vocals to be engaging. Thanks, again.
    antdroid likes this.
  13. Zabens
    This is the least helpful thread on head-fi. I seriously can't get any sort of grasp of what these sound like from reviews. Apparently everything?
    thejoker13 likes this.
  14. Currawong Contributor
    @Zabens Did you see my review?
    Oscar-HiFi, kevingzw and ExpatinJapan like this.
  15. Zabens
    I did. I'm using your review as my main impression of them. I also like compiling impressions from multiple sources. Right now it's between the IO and Polaris 2 for some everyday walking to work IEMs. I want an upgrade to the comets for that purpose but from what I hear these might not be it. Also, keep up the great reviews @Currawong. You've been helpful many times.
    Currawong likes this.
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