Campfire Audio Orion - Single BA IEM from the folks at ALO - Overachieving from Portland OR - first impressions
Nov 30, 2015 at 9:38 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 122

Ivabign

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I usually don't trumpet new items I get on the forums - usually because I have bought the headphone based on what I have read on a forum and followed members that I respect's impressions, or I have jumped in comfortably a year after an IEM was released - often buying used when the bloom was off for someone else. I bought my Angie new based on the former, but got my Roxanne & K10 via the latter (K10 was a Owner Transfer re-mould)
 
I have done my level best to avoid the Black Friday insanity as I have had a few new items enter the collection recently and no amount of discount negates the fact that anything bought is still MORE money... and Christmas is coming...
 
BUT - I got the Black Friday email from ALO and saw the Campfire Audio package they were offering - an RX IEM amp (which I have wanted to try) and an Orion IEM - the single BA. 
 
I must confess, at first blush, I thought it was the Lyra they were selling for five hundred bucks and I was IN no matter what they were adding - but upon further inspection, I realized it was the Orion - and I figured it was still a good deal...
 
Now I have never been a fan of single BA IEMs - Other than the Ortolan e-Q5, I have been non-plussed with every one I have tried - not that it has been a boatload, but a few - and they usually disappoint. I haven't heard a Final Audio...
 
Well FedEx showed up this afternoon as I was working at home on the computer on a proposal. I was listening to my K10's through my solo-db and RxMK3-B+ and happily bumping along - but I had to open the box...
 
Really neat and simple unboxing - I'm adding some pics - but this isn't a review and I will probably add to it later as I get to know these - but I had to (and I rarely ever do this - ask the guys I have been part of tours with) share my impressions...
 
These things ROCK - they have extension - both upper and lower extension. They have a nice large soundstage - they sound natural with warm tint - they sound richer than I expected - much richer... Bass hits and cymbals sound real - not like a single BA IEM - not by a long shot. (I even sent ALO "KB") a PM to ask if they were doing something weird with the enclosure - because this doesn't sound like a straight tube off a BA and into my ear - there is more going on...
 
Not sure what they are selling them for normally, but I remember they were supposed to retail at $499 - they may have dropped MSRP - but I got them for under $300 and the Rx for around $200 - new...
 
I thought the amp was the deal - I may have been mistaken...
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Really, really cool case - nice cable - nice selection of tips...
 
...also - I didn't mention - they fit really well - and I have trouble with IEMs ofttimes - they are comfortable!
 
Jan 6, 2016 at 7:15 AM Post #2 of 122

lomenhk

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Got my pair last week, now it had been burned-in for 80hrs approx.
 
This is my most satisfactory purchase of earphones. Its sturdy, high quality made Tinsel cable and earphone body is amazing. I must also say the soundstage of Orion (only 1 BA driver) even beats my UM Pro 30 which has 3 BA drivers, just the bass is not as punchy as UM Pro 30.
 
Jan 6, 2016 at 4:19 PM Post #3 of 122

HiFlight

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The Orions sound very interesting to me. Could anyone make any SQ comparisons with the ER4PT just to give me an idea?
 
Jan 10, 2016 at 7:59 AM Post #4 of 122

lomenhk

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The Orions sound very interesting to me. Could anyone make any SQ comparisons with the ER4PT just to give me an idea?


Sorry HiFlight, I did not own ER4P before so I cannot did a comparison.
 
Jan 10, 2016 at 8:04 AM Post #5 of 122

lomenhk

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Some magic happening again on the bass when my Orion reaches 95 hours of burn-in, the bass now thickens itself and kick a bit harder, really fantastic. I think now it has reached nearly 90% of bass performance of UM Pro 30, but its soundstage definitely beats UM Pro 30.
 
I hope it will keep to improve for another 100 hrs burn-in, really looking forward to it.
 
Jan 11, 2016 at 2:12 PM Post #6 of 122

HiFlight

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I received my Orion today and can submit a few of my first impressions:

Packing (minimal) included the Orion, cable, one set of Comply tips and a nice zipper case.

Build quality is absolutely top-notch. Beautiful fit and finish. These phones appear to be indestructable

As I cannot achieve satisfactory seals with foam tips, I experimented with a variety of silicone tips finally choosing the Spiral Dot (L). With these tips, my fit is excellent, one of the best fits I have yet experienced with a universal IEM.

Using my DX90, I listened to several of my .wav rips that I often use for testing as they contain a variety of instrumental and vocal genre's of both large and small groups.

My first impression was of a very clear and crisp SQ with detailed highs and natural vocals. Bass did seem to be a bit on the light side, but soundstage was quite expansive, more so than any of my other single-BA phones. Imaging is excellent in both placement and depth. I suspect the sense of realism is, in part, due to the perfect coherence resulting from the use of a single driver.

I did get the impression that the stock cable was acting somewhat as a high-pass filter and that there should really be more depth in the lower octaves, so I swapped the stock cable for my Linum BAX which, according to its measurements, does provide a modest lift to bass frequencies.

With the Linum cable installed, the sound seemed to have more weight with a very satisfying presence to drums, tympani, and string bass. Detail was still excellent as cymbals had a natural shimmer without a hint of sibilance. Vocals, both male and female, are just stunning in their sense of realism.

Given my preference for classical and acoustic genre's, the Orion seems to be an ideal fit!

I was originally undecided as to whether to order the Jupiter or the Orion and settled on the Orion simply to get an idea of the overall Campfire quality at a modest cost. While my curiosity remains regarding the performance of the Jupiter, I am very pleased with the sound of the Orion and will continue to explore its capabilities.

EDIT: After several hours of enjoyable listening, I decided to try some sine wave samples at 60Hz, 50Hz, 40Hz and 30Hz. To my complete surprise, my Orion had strong and smooth response all the way down to 30Hz! For sure the capability for satisfactory bass response is present when called for. Sine sweeps were smooth to above my ability to hear.

These tests were conducted using my desktop Linux computer to play the files via USB into my Grace M9XX DAC/Amp.

.
 
Jan 11, 2016 at 3:19 PM Post #7 of 122

rroseperry

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I have the ER4S, an older pair. The Orion has all the accuracy of the Etymotics, with a hair more depth/space in the sound. They're also perhaps a little warmer, but not in an unbalanced way. They are my favorite universals at this point.
 
Jan 12, 2016 at 2:52 PM Post #9 of 122

BRCMRGN

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Has anybody else bought the Jupiter or am I the only one?
 
Jan 12, 2016 at 6:19 PM Post #11 of 122

BRCMRGN

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  Did you have a chance to audition the Orion and Jupiter when you purchased the Jupiter?

No, Ordered on blind faith (and a few reviews).
 
Jan 29, 2016 at 9:59 AM Post #13 of 122

BRCMRGN

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  Jupiter Verdict?

I really like it. Excellent for Trance. The reviews on Headfonia, Headfonics  and here are pretty accurate.
 
Feb 8, 2016 at 8:06 AM Post #14 of 122

d marc0

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Feb 8, 2016 at 10:04 AM Post #15 of 122

HiFlight

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The more I listen to my Orion, the more impressed I am with its ability to accurately portray music in a most lifelike manner. Timbre and imaging are outstanding.
 

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