Campfire - Solaris
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No I haven't unfortunately. The Plenue L was another player I was considering but the N6ii ticked more boxes for me. I defo want to hear the Plenue at some point though (the L or any flagship level).
To sad , if you have the chance to listen to the PL do it :) and you can give some Brief compare to the n6ii .
 
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To sad , if you have the chance to listen to the PL do it :) and you can give some Brief compare to the n6ii .
I would love to...for some reason high end Cowon players are stupidly hard to get a hold of in Canada. If their next player comes with USB C I will be seriously tempted.
 
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I would love to...for some reason high end Cowon players are stupidly hard to get a hold of in Canada. If their next player comes with USB C I will be seriously tempted.
germany too... had to import it from italy
 
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This review isn't structured like a normal review-- it's basically a stream of consciousness collection of some of my thoughts after owning the Solaris for a few days. I will start by saying that I'm in no way affiliated with Campfire Audio-- this review was not sponsored in any way. If I come across as a fanboy it's because I'm quite taken with the company. Their philosophy, craftsmanship and grassroots ethic place them in a class all their own. You really get the sense that the people behind these products are in business because they share the same passion for music and sound as the rest of us. Couple all of that with peerless build quality, accessories, value and customer service and it's a bit of a no-brainer. On with the review...

The Marriage of Heaven and Hell-- or how I learned I'm not a basshead.


Sitting here enjoying my coffee and my Solaris on the first day of spring break proper and it feels like a good time to jot down some more thorough impressions. Before I say anything I want to take a moment to re-emphasize the importance of trying something for yourself, or at the very least taking everything you read online with a massive grain of salt. I'm fairly new to the world of high-end IEMs and in the comparatively brief time I've spent perusing forums and reviews I've come to the conclusion that nothing can substitute for actually LISTENING to something for yourself. Pick any great IEM you want and if you read enough you will find people who hate it, people who love it, people who say it excels at this or that and others who say it's weak in those exact areas. So many times I tried to get to the bottom of whether a particular IEM was right for me and I'd only find myself bewildered at all the varying opinions and perspectives. Even people who are often in line with my views and preferences will occasionally say things I disagree with-- it's all part of being human. Psychology is a funny thing-- you can read 100 glowing impressions of a product but all it takes is one false note to throw everything into doubt in your mind.

Another thing is that it seems to me that people in this hobby are prone to a funny sort of auto-suggestion. You can read dozens of glowing impressions and then someone will come along and say something like "I tried to like it but I noticed a hollowed out sparkle register in the lower mid-treble and I couldn't get over the tonally imbalanced dynamics of the floo floo-- here are some graphs which back that up". Invariably following that there will be a string of new impressions, and a few of the originals will come back and say "well I liked it originally but when listened to it again I really noticed that hollowed out sparkle register in the lower mid-treble and those tonally imbalanced dynamics of the floo floo". Then along will come someone like me who doesn't know any better who will think "oh wow I was considering pulling the trigger on this, and I have no idea What any of that means but it sounds bad...maybe I should hold off". Then later on I'll get to try the thing for myself and I'll think something like "I don't know what any of those people were talking about-- this thing sounds amazing."

I had similar experiences with the Atlas and most recently the Solaris. I almost passed on the Atlas because I put too much stock in the words of a prominent internet reviewer. Had I done that I would have missed out on one of the best sounding IEMs on the market right now. The point: there is no substitute for hearing something for yourself-- we are all different. It's true that I am fortunate to live near a Campfire Audio distributor. If I lived in Toronto I'd probably be in the Empire Ears thread right now raving about the LX because that's what the store there carries. But the point still stands-- no two of us react the same to the same stimuli. And just hearing something in a shop briefly isn't enough. Having an IEM is like being in a relationship-- you get wowed by certain features off the bat, but those little quirks you gloss over initially might drive you mad in the long term. Find any IEM on the market and there will be people who love it and people who trash it. All of that being said...

Prior to having the Solaris I had thought that my ideal was along the lines of a V shaped signature with a robust and powerful low end and just enough sparkle and detail in the treble. While they're both amazing IEMs I much prefer the Atlas to the Andromeda-- I'm not a fan of BA bass in general and, as much as love the detail and precision of the Andro, in a pinch I would rather have the bass of the Atlas...and I did for a few weeks before picking up Solaris. When I went to demo Solaris my idea was to pick up something to compliment the Atlas. I had read many impressions of Solaris that said it lacked bass or that "bass heads need not apply". With that in mind I figured the Atlas would be main daily with Solaris stepping in every now and again to give me something different. I then made a playlist of songs I felt would sound great on Solaris (and a few Atlas favorites for comparison) and headed to Headphone Bar in Vancouver to try it out.

A note on fit: I am a large man with a large head and large ears and the Solaris fits me perfectly. Even Travis at headphone bar commented that the Solaris fits me as well as the Andro fits him. The memory wire holds it in my ears perfectly, it doesn't protrude at all and I can wear it for hours comfortably. Also, make sure you find tips that give you a good seal. I have read a few impressions by people who complained of the "hollowed out mids" but were able to mitigate it with the right tips.

When I arrived at Headphone Bar on Saturday I had been listening to the Atlas straight for a number of hours-- so I had impressions of its signature firmly in mind. I was able to sit down in the shop with an Andromeda and Solaris for over an hour going back and forth between the two forming impressions. Regarding Andro, it was just like I remembered-- amazing in its own right but not my ideal sig. It would never satisfy me as my sole daily like the Atlas did. When I tried Solaris I was totally blown away. Expecting a lack of bass I found all, or at least enough, of the Atlas sound present to totally satisfy me. Instead of a lack of bass I found near perfect balance. I don't have the vocabulary to really do this justice but all I can say is that when listening to some of my favorite tracks for bass (Exodus by Bob Marley or Not Exactly by Deadmau5 to name two) I found absolutely nothing lacking. Instead what I found was the meaty dynamic bass of the Atlas thumping below me with the precision, detail and sparkle of the Andro whispering in my ears. Having previously been listening to these same songs on the Atlas for much of the previous day and month I didn't find myself missing anything at all.

In addition to the Atlas quality bass Solaris delivers a vastly increased soundstage with all the best features of the Andromeda woven in and around it. I stand by my original impression: Solaris is Andro plus bass-- a beautiful synergy of the best of the Andromeda and the Atlas. When I first demoed the Atlas I fell in love with its massive sound. The Solaris takes that massive sound, stretches it out and fills in all the spaces with detail, holography and pinpoint precise nuance. Put Another way, listening to the Atlas feels like you're in a small room (though it took the Solaris to make me realize it was small) with the bass and treble in the forefront (ie., a V) and everything else a little bit further back. The Solaris takes that same bass and treble, puts it in the centre of a bigger room and surrounds it with lush layers of extra detail and mid/treble flourish a la the Andromeda. So while it's true that the low end doesn't dominate with the Solaris like it does with the Atlas-- you can still very much tell that it's present, only dispersed over a larger soundstage. Quite frankly I find myself too wowed by all the detail, sparkle, precision and space that have been added to mind the decreased emphasis on the lower end. Again, I still sense it there, I don't feel it's lack, rather I'm too busy focusing on the Andro-like loveliness that's now filling the gaps. It's not at all what I was expecting bass-wise from the Solaris based on the reviews I'd read...maybe the lesson is that I'm not a basshead after all?

When I got the Atlas I raved that it was all I ever wanted-- but with the Solaris it's all I ever wanted from the Atlas plus everything I didn't know I wanted from the Andromeda. I have probably close to 30 hours on the Solaris and it's only getting better and better. When I went to try it I imagined that I would prefer Atlas maybe 70% of the time and use Solaris for the remaining 30% but what I'm finding is that just about everything sounds way better, fuller, on Solaris. There is a bit, maybe 5% of my music that I would rather listen to on Atlas, but this mostly (I think) boils down to poor mastering. The Atlas is more forgiving of this than Solaris in this regard. My takeaway from all of this is that maybe my preference is for a more neutral sound signature-- and with an IEM as honest and well executed as Solaris it's a match made in heaven.

One thing about Solaris that is unique for me is that it's perfectly satisfying to listen to at very low volume. Usually I'm one to crank the volume-- I was always resisting the urge to do this on Atlas. With Solaris I can sit there with my Fiio M9 on 30 and not miss any detail, bass or sound quality. I will not be looking at new IEMS for a very long time. It these are at all on your radar, and you have the ability to try them without putting yourself out too much, you owe it to yourself to do so. If you have the Solaris and the means check out In the Gallery by Dire Straits-- it brings to the forefront everything Solaris does best. I have admittedly not heard a wide variety of TOTL IEMS so I can't do any worthwhile comparisons-- all I can say is that, for my tastes and preferences Solaris does everything right. Nothing is lacking-- and, again, this is coming from an Atlas fanboy, so take that for what it's worth. It sounds cliche but my heart just says "Nicely Done".

Edit: One thing I'm appreciating more and more about the Solaris after the first week (and probably about 60 hours) is how balanced and cohesive it is. Nothing stands out yet at the same time everything stands out. I've never tangibly perceived such a sense of unity from portable music before-- I can focus on each level and be totally wowed but at the same time sit back and appreciate how seamlessly it all blends together. If I were to chime in on the burn-in factor at this point I would say that as the hours wear on with this unit the sound becomes more and more cohesive. When I first tried it there was a vague sense of each of the different layers working to carve out their respective spaces but as the time wears all on of that dissolves into a serenely engaging unity. It doesn't matter what I'm listening to-- I can engage with each of the different layers if I choose but it's also easy to sit back and embraces the whole of the sound and not be distracted by any particular layer of it. Whether it's due to actual burn in or psychological burn-in who's to say but I think it stands as a testament to the quality of the tuning on this thing (for those who prefer a more balanced signature).

Campfire Audio display at Headphone Bar:


Moment of glory:



Fit:


Earphones of the gods:



Radiating beauty, elegance and power:



Conclusion:
Very pleasant reading! :) I had a similar feelings about the Solaris --- surprisingly well balanced for a hybrid with a massive DD that proved in Atlas how intense and deep bass can sound.
 
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Very pleasant reading! :) I had a similar feelings about the Solaris --- surprisingly well balanced for a hybrid with a massive DD that proved in Atlas how intense and deep bass can sound.
Glad you enjoyed it man...my impressions have not changed at all in the intervening months. Totally stoked on the Cayin N6ii right now...it's a great pairing with Solaris.
 
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Glad you enjoyed it man...my impressions have not changed at all in the intervening months. Totally stoked on the Cayin N6ii right now...it's a great pairing with Solaris.
Ye, I totally got you :) While not being absolute best sounding for each frequency or certain instruments, the balance and wide-open sound make them an excellent all-arounder that doesn’t offend in any music genre. Like I’ve mentioned in my 2 cents only the vocals could be put more forward, but it’s maybe because of my preferences.

I’ve heard them through Plenue S (lately, my favourite DAP), AP80 and ZX300 and overall, sound was very pleasant for a long listening (fit :X) - switching between genres without fading. Also, the pairing via phone was quite nice, I guess that the higher sensitivity contributes to listening “just from a phone”.
 
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Ye, I totally got you :) While not being absolute best sounding for each frequency or certain instruments, the balance and wide-open sound make them an excellent all-arounder that doesn’t offend in any music genre. Like I’ve mentioned in my 2 cents only the vocals could be put more forward, but it’s maybe because of my preferences.

I’ve heard them through Plenue S (lately, my favourite DAP), AP80 and ZX300 and overall, sound was very pleasant for a long listening (fit :X) - switching between genres without fading. Also, the pairing via phone was quite nice, I guess that the higher sensitivity contributes to listening “just from a phone”.
I also like that review in part of its wording and impressions. Thanks for that. Next are my impressions.

I have bought Solaris today. Unfortunately, for me Solaris seems like "Andromeda with improved bass", not as synergy of Andromeda and Atlas. In comparison to Solaris, Atlas is unbeatable. Atlas is very universal regarding genres, has fuller sound, crystal highs, great bass, spherical soundstage with very good width and depth. Very sweat IEMs. On the other hand, highs and mids of Solaris are harsh and thin. Soundstage of Solaris is not bigger than one of Atlas (that was my primary consideration). It seems like it is simulated, synthetic. I guess this is due to BA drivers.

In sum - Solaris is mediocre IEMs. As an attempt of merging two worlds - BA and DD - it is pointless. It could be considered as evolved Andromeda, but it is far from Atlas. May be because I definitely don't like sound of BAs. Comfort of Solaris is much worse than one of Atlas - Atlas are unbeatable here too. Disappointed. Will sell my Solaris.

I suppose that sound of Solaris could be improved after burning in. But I doubt it will be changed drastically.

P.S.: Source is LPGT, both balanced and unbalanced outputs.
 
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I also like that review in part of its wording and impressions. Thanks for that. Next are my impressions.

I have bought Solaris today. Unfortunately, for me Solaris seems like "Andromeda with improved bass", not as synergy of Andromeda and Atlas. In comparison to Solaris, Atlas is unbeatable. Atlas is very universal regarding genres, has fuller sound, crystal highs, great bass, spherical soundstage with very good width and depth. Very sweat IEMs. On the other hand, highs and mids of Solaris are harsh and thin. Soundstage of Solaris is not bigger than one of Atlas (that was my primary consideration). It seems like it is simulated, synthetic. I guess this is due to BA drivers.

In sum - Solaris is mediocre IEMs. As an attempt of merging two worlds - BA and DD - it is pointless. It could be considered as evolved Andromeda, but it is far from Atlas. May be because I definitely don't like sound of BAs. Comfort of Solaris is much worse than one of Atlas - Atlas are unbeatable here too. Disappointed. Will sell my Solaris.

I suppose that sound of Solaris could be improved after burning in. But I doubt it will be changed drastically.

P.S.: Source is LPGT, both balanced and unbalanced outputs.
You don't like the sound of BAs, neither do I. They sound like plastic to my ear. Stick with Dynamic Drivers.
Good luck with the sale.
 
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I also like that review in part of its wording and impressions. Thanks for that. Next are my impressions.

I have bought Solaris today. Unfortunately, for me Solaris seems like "Andromeda with improved bass", not as synergy of Andromeda and Atlas. In comparison to Solaris, Atlas is unbeatable. Atlas is very universal regarding genres, has fuller sound, crystal highs, great bass, spherical soundstage with very good width and depth. Very sweat IEMs. On the other hand, highs and mids of Solaris are harsh and thin. Soundstage of Solaris is not bigger than one of Atlas (that was my primary consideration). It seems like it is simulated, synthetic. I guess this is due to BA drivers.

In sum - Solaris is mediocre IEMs. As an attempt of merging two worlds - BA and DD - it is pointless. It could be considered as evolved Andromeda, but it is far from Atlas. May be because I definitely don't like sound of BAs. Comfort of Solaris is much worse than one of Atlas - Atlas are unbeatable here too. Disappointed. Will sell my Solaris.

I suppose that sound of Solaris could be improved after burning in. But I doubt it will be changed drastically.

P.S.: Source is LPGT, both balanced and unbalanced outputs.
It's amazing how people can have such different impressions of the same IEM. Subjectivity rules in this hobby and there's no substitute for hearing something for yourself. I love the Atlas but couldn't go back to it (or the Andro) after hearing Solaris. To each their own.
 
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Hi everyone, how is the soundstage on these? i'm a huge fan of big soundstages (lcdi4, fourte, andromeda)
 
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Hi everyone, just wondering... if i already know that i will buy the andromeda no matter what, is it worth it to also get the solaris? in other words, is it worth it to have both andromeda and solaris or are they too similar that its not worth having both? thank you.
 
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It's amazing how people can have such different impressions of the same IEM. Subjectivity rules in this hobby and there's no substitute for hearing something for yourself. I love the Atlas but couldn't go back to it (or the Andro) after hearing Solaris. To each their own.

Same for me. I consider solaris to be an upgrade from both andro and atlas, in all aspects. Only complaint that i have with solaris is the size.
 
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Hi everyone, just wondering... if i already know that i will buy the andromeda no matter what, is it worth it to also get the solaris? in other words, is it worth it to have both andromeda and solaris or are they too similar that its not worth having both? thank you.
Have you heard the Solaris? At first, when I heard it, I thought of it as an Andromeda with improved bass. Of course, after a little more listening, it's a bit more nuanced than that and I have a untethered my opinions of both those IEMs, but it's still very good. I might suggest the Solaris instead of the Andromeda if price isn't a factor.
To me, the Solaris has the same precise imaging, vivid highs, better bass.
But imo one plus the Andromeda has is the stage size and some trickery with the openness (not sure what causes it for me). There is more outward diffusion of the sound with the Andromeda than Solaris, and that was the wow factor.
 
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I also like that review in part of its wording and impressions. Thanks for that. Next are my impressions.

I have bought Solaris today. Unfortunately, for me Solaris seems like "Andromeda with improved bass", not as synergy of Andromeda and Atlas. In comparison to Solaris, Atlas is unbeatable. Atlas is very universal regarding genres, has fuller sound, crystal highs, great bass, spherical soundstage with very good width and depth. Very sweat IEMs. On the other hand, highs and mids of Solaris are harsh and thin. Soundstage of Solaris is not bigger than one of Atlas (that was my primary consideration). It seems like it is simulated, synthetic. I guess this is due to BA drivers.

In sum - Solaris is mediocre IEMs. As an attempt of merging two worlds - BA and DD - it is pointless. It could be considered as evolved Andromeda, but it is far from Atlas. May be because I definitely don't like sound of BAs. Comfort of Solaris is much worse than one of Atlas - Atlas are unbeatable here too. Disappointed. Will sell my Solaris.

I suppose that sound of Solaris could be improved after burning in. But I doubt it will be changed drastically.

P.S.: Source is LPGT, both balanced and unbalanced outputs.
You must have your Atlas divinely burned in. To me Atlas is much more one-sidedly sounding than Solaris and Andromeda thus not convenient for every genres, don't get fooled by the single DD putting "everytjing more forward"... Also, I don't consider Solaris to be an Andromeda with better bass, to me Andro leads in mids and not just by vocals, also by higher level of details revealed. As mentioned if your preferences are in a single DDs, then it's another point of view.

Anyway, this is what I really like - we all have different preferences thus our own IEMs charts :wink:
 
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You must have your Atlas divinely burned in. To me Atlas is much more one-sidedly sounding than Solaris and Andromeda thus not convenient for every genres, don't get fooled by the single DD putting "everytjing more forward"... Also, I don't consider Solaris to be an Andromeda with better bass, to me Andro leads in mids and not just by vocals, also by higher level of details revealed. As mentioned if your preferences are in a single DDs, then it's another point of view.

Anyway, this is what I really like - we all have different preferences thus our own IEMs charts :wink:
It seems that I have understood my preferences. Previously I thought that I don't like BA IEMs due to poor bass. After listening with Solaris I have eventually got it clear: no, bass is not a problem for me (and no, I'm not bass-head, after all). The main problem is BA-nature of sound versus DD-nature, in any range. While I'm impressed by bass of Atlas, at the same level I'm impressed by whole sound of Atlas. For me BA-based sound is dirty, plastic (as was mentioned above). If such sound is "higher level of details" - ok, I accept that it could be very well for BA fans. But for me it is evidence now, that I'm definitely in DD camp, not even in hybrid one :). It would be interesting for me to see (in future) hybrid IEMs from CA that have multiple DDs, and only DDs.
 
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