Campfire Audio has built a reputation for its funky, angular designs and hefty price tags. The Oregon-based headphone brand shows no signs of moving away from its aesthetically-focused roots with its latest releases, completely redesigning its original Andromeda and Solaris models from, it claims, the basics.
The company has announced the launch of Andromeda Emerald Sea and Solaris Stellar Horizon in-ear headphones, available for £1,449/$1,450 and £2,669/$2,670 respectively at retailers including Amazon, Harrods and Selfridges. It is therefore clear that Campfire Audio continues to focus on the higher echelons of the market.
I hope those changes are worth the price. Campfire Audio has promised a complete reinvention of both angular earphone models, with the Andromeda Emerald Sea benefiting from a new ergonomic shell construction, a new acoustic design and, hopefully, a new improved sound.
We found that the original Andromeda suffered from a lack of true sonic cohesion and an unpleasant harshness in the mid-range, so we expect Campfire to have accounted for these flaws for the sequel. The new Andromeda model features five new custom dual-diaphragm balanced armature drivers in each enclosure, designed to deliver less distortion and more stability.
Whether the brand’s claims of an “expanded acoustic range, lower sensitivity… and a sweet analog glow to its sonic signature” yield tangible results for the listener, however, remains to be seen.
The original Solaris has also been upgraded to the new Stellar Horizon model. Campfire promises a “revolution from top to bottom”, once again teasing a new shell design, updated materials, and new internal components (including updated driver tech) that will hopefully offer greater sonic range and flexibility. The new Solaris model uses three custom dual-diaphragm balanced armature drivers, said to deliver more output, better high-end performance, and less distortion. This is combined with a new “Radial Venting” that surrounds the 10mm dynamic driver – which should also provide a wider soundstage, says Campfire.
You also receive a few extras for your not-insignificant financial expenses. Both models come with three headphone cable options (2.5mm balanced, 3.5mm stereo and 4.4mm balanced) and their own unique presentation boxes. If there’s one thing Campfire Audio understands, it’s presentation.
In terms of performance, Campfire Audio’s new earphones can compete with the five-star rating Sennheiser IE 900, an excellent choice for anyone who wants the best sound on this side of the market. Even if they can’t match those Sennheiser rivals in terms of audio quality, the unique visual appeal of Campfire’s styling may prove to be enough to entice potential buyers. If they can afford it, that is.
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