Campfire Audio - Solstice CIEM
May 10, 2020 at 9:18 AM Post #106 of 141

candlejack

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Thanks mate. What DAP did you use with your Andromeda’s? I’m trying to decide between the SR25 and the SA700...
I liked the Galaxy S8 and the ZX300 with the Andromeda. Besides OI I didn't find that DAPs made much of a difference in sound.
 
May 10, 2020 at 8:09 PM Post #107 of 141

Mirimar

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I liked the Galaxy S8 and the ZX300 with the Andromeda. Besides OI I didn't find that DAPs made much of a difference in sound.

That’s interesting. I find my Solstice to be pretty flat sounding with the Apple dongle and my iPhone — doesn’t sound bad just not very dynamic. I haven’t seen any official values for Sony’s output impedance but I guess I’ll try an AK DAP and see what it’s like with the Solstice.
 
May 16, 2020 at 5:43 AM Post #108 of 141

Duduche

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Hello,

I love the design too, they look solid and I appreciate the fact they seem to be sold with a good cable and bag protection.

- Would you consider the Campfire Solstice usable for pre-mixing works ?
I guess these are far from being ""neutral"" and more for personal uniqueness pleasure ? How would you compare them from Lime Ears Model X, Etymotic ER-4XR or the lastest UE Reference which are at a lower price range ?

- How "fast" are they ?

- I read in this thread a low impedance DAC would be best to avoid hiss. Do you think my beloved iBasso DX200 or DX220 would be ok with 32 ohms at 1.8 Vrms non balanced and 64 ohms at 3 Vrms ? I think it would easily be.

Thank you!
 
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Jun 26, 2020 at 9:00 AM Post #109 of 141

dooxtypoox

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Hey everyone!

Just thought I'd contribute my experience with the Solstice demo unit at the Perth branch of Addicted To Audio. Special thanks to the owner, Dan, for allowing my friend and I to audition and take photos of both the Solstice and the Andromeda 2019 in their beautiful showroom. We appreciate the staff's kindness in assisting us.

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I auditioned this pair of IEMs with my Sony ZX300 for an hour before making brief comparisons with the Andromeda 2019. Each【X】denotes a reference for some test tracks used to come to this conclusion.

Sound Impressions
The Solstice sports a massive sounding mid-bass which edges just over the well-extended sub-bass【1】. The pseudo-rumble from the BA woofer in the sub-bass is clearly audible and has sufficient presence within the mix【2】.

The broad bass boost lends fullness to the vocals【3】. For me, the richness in the midrange is well-controlled and does not tread "muddy" territories. The broad bass boost also avoids excessive energy in the lower mids to steer clear of vocal honkiness. Being north of neutral favouring a lusher presentation, I can hear why the Solstice may not fit the bill for those who prefer a clean and pristine vocal playback.

The full-bodied midrange is well-complemented with a gentle upper midrange response【4】. This allows for a smoother playback whilst bringing out low level details in the recording. On top of its smooth but clear midrange tonal quality, the midrange scores another point with its great resolving ability.

While I felt that the treble lagged behind the midrange in articulation during playback of cymbals and hi-hats【5】, it still bolstered the mix with clarity and a good sense of air. As much as I love the midrange tonal quality, crash cymbals sound splashy especially in busy metalcore mixes【6】. These attributes form the basis of my bittersweet feelings for the Solstice.

However, another aspect the Solstice excels in lies with its headstage and imaging. I suspect that allowing the drivers to fire freely within the interior acoustic chambers of its "Solid-Body Design" complements the airy treble to give an incredibly spacious sound - instruments are panned across an enormously wide X-axis. The ample height along the Y-axis fuels an excellent sense of ambience during live performances as the crowd cheers soar【7】.

I have to add that CA has nailed the UIEM demo fit, for my ears at least. They sit almost flush against my ear and the shell housings have long nozzles which create a deep fit, almost like my pair of CIEMs. Unfortunately, the Solstice is not available for purchase as UIEMs.

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Andromeda 2019 Comparison
Based on my description of the Solstice's sound signature, users of the original Andromeda may not recognise both IEMs to be sonically similar. In my opinion, the Solstice can be a standalone product in CA's lineup without being associated with the Andromeda.

The Solstice has a larger mid- and sub-bass emphasis than Andro 2019. The Andro 2019's midrange is much thinner and sounds more distant than the Solstice's intimate full-bodied sound; this makes the Andro 2019 sound much "cleaner" in comparison.

As compared to the Solstice's smoother playback which I daresay is a relatively safe tuning, the Andro 2019's upper mids may divide users who enjoy it for the clarity and those who find it a tad too abrasive. Although the Andro 2019 edges out the Solstice with treble articulation airiness in its presentation, the Solstice outclasses the Andro 2019 with a wider sounding headstage than the Andro 2019 (which is already very wide on its own).

All in all, the sonic differences between the Solstice and Andro 2019 are large enough for me to say that they are likely to appeal to 2 completely different music tastes. In fact, my friend preferred the Andro 2019 for its upperhand in clarity. On the other hand, I preferred the Solstice for its intimate spatial details and super-wide headstage despite its Achilles' heel in the treble. I am excited to give the Solstice another listen with more of my favourite tunes in future!

More pretty pictures of these gems can be found on my hobby website!

Test tracks for reference: Artiste 1Song 1, Song 2. Artiste 2Song 1…
  1. The 1975 - Sincerity Is Scary, If You're Too Shy (Let Me Know). Billie Eilish - bury a friend, everything i wanted.
  2. Falling in Reverse - Popular Monster, Drugs. Joe Hisaishi - My Neighbour Totoro (Dream Songs).
  3. Of Monsters And Men - Wild Roses, Stuck In Gravity. Andrew Lloyd Weber - 'Til I Hear You Sing, Memory.
  4. MY FIRST STORY - Missing You, With You. Coldrain - COEXIST, THE SIDE EFFECTS.
  5. ONE OK ROCK - Cry Out, Taking Off. Royal Blood - Figure It Out, Hook Line & Sinker.
  6. Crystal Lake - Apollo, +81. Bring Me The Horizon - Sleepwalking, Shadow Moses.
  7. Bring Me The Horizon - Live at the Royal Albert Hall. ONE OK ROCK - with Orchestra Japan Tour 2018.
 
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Jun 26, 2020 at 2:43 PM Post #110 of 141

armkreuz

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Here's my first impression of the Campfire Audio Solstice CIEM.
But first a bit of background.

Headphone:
After auditioning a couple of model at my local shop in Montreal, I end up with the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay H7. I really like how they sound. Very balance to my ear. But turns out, I prefer wearing IEM. Headphone are too big, too heavy. Just to inconvenient. I still use them from time to time for the bluethoot

IEMs:
I'm a longtime Sennheiser user. I had previously the CX300-II. Cable broke after 4-5 years. Like them so much for the price, I got the same. Cable broke again after 2-3 years. Now discontiued. I decide to try the CX3.0 which are suppose to be the replacement model. Got rid of them after only an hour. Very very dissapointed. They doesn't sound at all like the CX300-II.

Went to my local shop again, and they had the Sennheiser IE80 for sale at 40% discount. Since they had a demo too, I give them a shot. They were much better than anything I had before ... but...
But I'm not a basshead. And they focus a lot on bass, and it's not that good, it's a lot muddy. It overlap too much over the mids. Anyway, after 50+ hours using them, plus playing with EQ on my Fiio X5-II I end up liking it A LOT. To get a better fit/comfort, I also got custom silicon eartip. Expensive, but so much better. I could wear them for hours without noticing it.

After only 10 months, the nozzle broke. So Sennheiser replace them for the IE80s. Same ok sound, but a terrible cable. And the service was very slow. Got sick of it, and very disapointed by the cheap plastic casing for 300$. So I immediately look up for something better/sturdier.

Everything pointed me at the CA Andromeda. There's basically not bad reviews. Since the hole of my custom tip had stretch, I wasn't sure if it would still fit well. So when I reallize CA makes a Custom version base on the Andromeda, the Solstice. I thought, well, why not give it a try... Even at 2000$ CAD.

So to avoid change rate, I have order via HeadphoneBar, base in Vancouver. Sent my ear impression on June 11. On june 23, I got the bad news. CA told them they won't be able to make my Solstice for at least a month. It's unclear why, technical problem, low staff due to Covid. Don't know. Anyway, here comes the best customer service I ever had.

Hats off to HeadphoneBar. They gave me x options.
1- Will refund you, and let you know when CA would be able to process your order.
2- You can wait, and will give you a discount for the inconvenience ( don't know how much they were thinking of )
3- They could send me a modified version of the Solstice that fit regular Universal tip that they use as a demo.

I opted for option 3. 2 Hours later I got the tracking number for the shipping. And I got them this morning :)

So here my impression after only two hours or so of testing.

Gear to test:
FIIO X5-II : output impedance of <0.2 ohm
Samsung Galaxy S7: output impedance of 5.7 ohm
NAD D 3045 USB DAC: output impedance of 2 ohm

And I have compare with the IE80s.

First of all, I read a lot that BA drivers don't produce as much bass as DD drivers. Well, I have to say, I don't understand. This is the most powerfull bass I ever got from IEMs. Especially with the X5, since it's output impedance is almost innexistant. On the Galaxy S7, it a lot thinner but still stronger than the IE80.

Some people complaint about the noise, since they are super sensitive. On my end, with the X5 and Galaxy S7, it's pitch black. On the NAD, whoah, I got a lot of hiss. No matter at what volume. But when the music start, it almost unnoticeable.

Since my main player for IEM is the X5, I don't really care.

I'm a bit surprise by the loudness compare to the IE80s. To get a proper level with the IE80s, I have to crank up the volume at, at least 70 ( on a maximum of 120). Even if they are rated at 116 dB SPL sensitivity. The previous IE80 were very loud past 60. And the Solstice, 112.8 dB SPL/mW Sensitivity plays very strong at only 40. I guess the impedance of only 12.8 ohm compare to 16 ohm for the Sennheiser has something to do with it. I very please. I tend to prefer high sensitivity for my earphone and speakers. More headroom for my amps and lower risk of getting distortion.

The clarity of the Solstice is PHENOMENAL. Playing the introdution for Dark Side of the Moon, Speak to me, I get a very strong kick of drum after only 2 seconds at the begining, which I only start to really notice after a much longer time with any other earphone.

The bass is stronger and punchier than ever before. No muddy bass AT ALL. Mids and High are super detailed. Sound is very crisp. I got all the richness I can get with my standfloor spearkers ( DALI Zensor 7) I can't believe how good the Solstice can deliver. Every single track of my test playlist sound exceptional.

My only complaint. Yes, sometime they can be a bit too sensitive. I pick up all the noise on song like Pink Floyd - Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, which is a quiet song. Still, I can hear details the IE80s are not able to render.

My note for first impression: 9.8/10 ( Nothing is perfect )


I can't wait to receive my CIEM, even if I have to admit, they have the best fit for IEM I ever had. Using them Medium Silicon tip provided by HeadphoneBar ( Final Edge Stype series, Type E) Only other one that gave me a seal that good ( besides my custom silicon ) was the foam tips of the Shure SE215.

If you have the money to afford the amazing Campfire Audio Solstice, you won't be disapointed.
 
Jul 5, 2020 at 10:38 PM Post #111 of 141

orifiel

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In time, i find the right spot with my Solstice, i change the fit to Artist fit (to me, the highs in the Audiophile fit are a bit thin), change the cable for the Effect Audio Cleopatra and the best tonal fit DAP that i found was the AK240SS (the less powered DAPs seems to control the warm in the Solstice and keep it more similar to the original Andromeda sound)

A very enjoyable CIEM by the way
 
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Nov 23, 2020 at 10:04 AM Post #114 of 141

davidmolliere

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@cleg Great!
So it's a universal Solstice? :thinking:
 
Nov 23, 2020 at 10:44 AM Post #116 of 141

davidmolliere

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Yes, but they don't sell them before you start to get any ideas :frowning2: (unless things have changed, could be worth a shout I suppose) They DO however accept .stl files :p

I do know this and if I had any ideas it would be to get a custom :)

But surprising is a demo Solstice in universal form... Solstice is Andromeda in custom form or should be, universal Solstice shouldn't sound all too different from Andromeda as you don't get the benefit of custom form... I am puzzled unless the shells make it sound different...
 
Nov 23, 2020 at 2:22 PM Post #118 of 141

davidmolliere

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yes, it‘s a demo unit from a local reseller and they don’t sell it indeed

So Universal Solstice is already different from Andromeda? Guess the custom has better bass yet...
 
Nov 23, 2020 at 2:30 PM Post #119 of 141

rantng

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It's basically an Andromeda in a resin/acrylic shell. I'm guessing the shell material allows for a better fit/seal, which would equate to better bass... I've been tempted to get the Solstice, but with subsequent updates to the Andromeda, I'm wondering if there will be an update to the Solstice as well.
 
Nov 23, 2020 at 2:33 PM Post #120 of 141

aaf evo

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It's basically an Andromeda in a resin/acrylic shell. I'm guessing the shell material allows for a better fit/seal, which would equate to better bass... I've been tempted to get the Solstice, but with subsequent updates to the Andromeda, I'm wondering if there will be an update to the Solstice as well.

it’s why I held off on a solstice too, too many Andro updates
 

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