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Campfire Audio IO

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  1. Jackpot77
    I have both the Io and the Polaris 2, and I'd say the Polaris 2 would make a lot moremore sense as a "walking to work" IEM, unless you really like a neutral sort of sound signature. The additional bass capability of the P2 will help mask the usual transport noises and general everyday noise a lot better than the lighter Io signature.

    The P2 leans a lot more towards the Lyra II / Cascade / Atlas / Vega style of house sound, whereas the Io are much more light in terms of weight (and bass).
    B9Scrambler and Mike-WI like this.
  2. Zabens
    I live in a smallish town so outside noises aren't a huge distraction. My comets are going to gym duty and I like them a lot. Basically, the Io is super sexy and it would be nice to save the extra $200 but it's not necessary. Looks like I might go P2, I was hoping to see @Currawong video review of them first.
  3. H T T
    I am thoroughly confused as well. Maybe Campfire can get reviews from Pinky Powers and Dombresco George? They are my go-tos for reviews.
    Zabens likes this.
  4. awubis
    I think the most controversial part regarding the IOs are the mids. The bass is relatively light, but solid (I was pleasantly surprised after reading reviews). The highs seem perfectly good (I don't really know what to look for in highs, to be honest). The soundstage and imaging are definitely above average. It almost sounds like the music is a small distance in front of you, as if you are listening to a pair of studio monitors; this might be a side effect of the wonky midrange, I'm not really sure. The first time I listened to the IOs, I imagined their sound signature as kind of a W , but with reasonable roll-off for the sub bass and highs, and this isn't too far from reality. There is a pretty distinct separation between lows, mids, and highs. Back to the most controversial part, if you look at the frequency response graph you'll see a big boost in the midrange and a big dip in the upper midrange. The upper midrange dip contributes to a 'hollow' sound and the midrange boost seems to produce a metallic/tinny sound, but I've seen people use the term shouty. If you have a lot of experience listening critically to many different iems, this might bother you a lot. If you don't, it probably won't. I can hear the weird midrange but I still enjoy the IOs a lot and think they are worth it if you have the money.

    For reference, I am not really experienced in critical listening, and my only other earphones are Shure SE215s and Pinnacle PXs (same as P1s). I haven't listening to any other earphones in this price range before, so I don't really have any direct competition to compare these two. Not sure if this helped at all or just made things more confusing!
  5. Zabens
    Yes. Just more confusing! Lol. I think I'm going to order them just out of curiosity. I have my Cascades for bass so I hope it'll make for a sweet little combo until I get my Andros in July.
  6. Jackpot77
    Been listening to the Io and Polaris 2 alternately over the last day or two. Once you adjust to the Io's lighter signature, it's a nicely musical and very technical dual-driver. The point people are making about the vocals manifests in a lighter and less "chesty" presentation of voices for my ears - as an example, the Polaris emphasis the richness of Mavis Staples' voice in its delivery, whereas the Io presents something much lighter in consistency (almost like a sonic version of a souffle). Rather than the rich middle band of the singer's voice being the point of emphasis, the Io draws more attention to the breath sounds and the edges of the vocal phrases.

    It works really well with more acoustic or sparse fare, allowing a greater sense of detail and imaging to present itself for me. It's still enjoyable with more upbeat music (it did a very good job with No Doubt last night, for instance), and carries a lot of energy and crunchiness for instruments like electric guitar.
    snk8699 and Wheel Hoss like this.
  7. JustJoseph
    Warning about the Polaris V2, they are EXTREMELY bassy and have a heavy V-shaped signature. They are bassiest iems I have heard. The bass quantity is even considerably higher than the Atlas/Vega from memory (and those are already quite bassy iems), and even the Cascade. The bassy cousins of the campfire lineup are quite bassy, but they never felt overpowering to me unlike the Polaris. I'm not exaggerating when I listened to them and felt that the bass made up 1/3 to 1/2 of what I was hearing. They reach extremely deep and have tonnes of impact and rumble.

    You can even hear the rumble on Rihanna - Lemon at the 1:34 mark (1:05 if you are watching on YouTube ). This is so far impossible for most iems except those expensive >1K USD iems with dynamic drivers.

    However, the bass is quite muddy sounding and bleeds into everything else. On some tracks like Daughter - No Care and Daughter - To Belong, it sounds amazing as it gives a heart pounding rhythm that are what those tracks are about. But on most other tracks, it distracts from everything else.

    I'd say get these only if you are a basshead. I'm pretty sure you'll find them bass heavy even on the commute. They seem to be made for people who like copious amounts of bass. I wonder if there are any measurements of these as I'm interested to see how exaggerated the bass portion of the graph looks like.
    Last edited: May 29, 2019
  8. H T T
    Thank you for your insight. I have heard and owned "shouty" IEMs. They are not my cup of tea. I have a tendency to prefer a fairly flat fr with a boost at about 8 kHz.
  9. H T T

    I noticed you have the Noble Bell EDC. The Bell and the Io would be quite different beasts, I would assume?
  10. Jackpot77
    Yup. Bell is a classic all rounder - warm, smooth and with a classic small mid bass hump. Signature is still reasonably balanced, but notes are thicker than the Io, with more of a laid back presentation.

    Io has more technical chops - the Bell isn't bad for its price bracket, but it isn't tuned to squeeze out detail like the Io. Two very different presentations and styles of IEM.
    audio123 likes this.
  11. H T T
    Thank you! Now that I have a reference point and your description of the Io, I am now significantly more interested in the Io. By any chance, do you have experience with the Hifiman RE 400 or the Beyerdynamic DT 880 and how they would relate to the Io?
    Last edited: May 30, 2019
  12. rogan
    Received IOs and I enjoy them very much.

    Acoustic tracks especially they blow me away. Noah Gundersen - The Sound, Phoebe Bridgers - Scott Street, Bon Iver - re:stacks, all sound magic.

    The bass is definitely not in your face, Burial - Archangel sounds punchy and moody but maybe less 'atmospheric' as intended.
    Wheel Hoss and waiho2k1 like this.
  13. antdroid
  14. shyylence
    My first post so pardon me for my lack of terms. Ive been using my IOs for a while and i honestly can see, or hear, what half the thread is talking about. The mids on these arent quite hitting the mark- they do sound hollow and quite "lacking in energy". However, the bass and highs are quite pleasant. I listen to mostly EDM/Pop, and while i find the comet sufficient for bass, I'd say these are much more detailed. On tracks like Who Do You Love and Kills You Slowly by The Chainsmokers, the bass extends well enough, but does not drown out the other frequencies like the Polaris II does (the bass on the P2 is too much for my EDM) . Yet it is source dependent, on tracks like Feelings by Deep Chills and All My Friends by Madeon, the bass rumbles well on the Lyra II, Comet and SE215, but this is less promiment on the IO. Highs are sufficient and not fatiguing, which is quite nice, as seen in tracks like Open Your Eyes by Sam Feldt and Bipolar by BEAUZ. The highs on the Io outperforms the Lyra II in both of these tracks in my opinion. Still, the mids are really interesting, and i have to spend more time with them. But at this point, i still very much enjoy the Io, not to mention its impressive soundstage at this price (on Feelings for example, the bass tones really are seperated well, and the airyness of the track on the second drop is really felt). But still, this IEM is really subjective, and if you have access to a store, definitely do try it out.
    antdroid likes this.
  15. requal
    For my taste, IO are very good. Those are very tips depending earphones. With SpinFits and Epro I had best results, not so good with Jvc SD.
    Lows, mids and highs without any recession.
    Definitely worth to try!
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