Sound, you're just "space": headphones Campfire Audio Andromeda

Published on May 26, 2017

Sound, you're just "space": headphones Campfire Audio Andromeda

    Hi, Giktayms! There are not so many manufacturers on the premium headphone market who immediately became popular with users after their founding: the way to the top of recognition, as a rule, lies through the ears of sophisticated audiophiles, and these guys do not know mercy. It is all the more interesting to observe how a company that has been producing audio cables for years has tried its hand at creating the highest quality IEM. Those who follow the latest trends, probably realized that today we will talk about Campfire Audio - more precisely, its premium Andromeda inter channel headphones .



    For almost 10 years, she has successfully produced high-quality audio cables, albeit under a different ALO Audio brand. Since 2015, Campfire Audio has been trying itself in a new environment and is doing so quite successfully, despite the fact that the manufacturer has chosen for itself a complex niche of luxury, rather than budget, headphones. Of course, the cost of only one ALO Audio cable sometimes reached several hundred dollars.
     
    The company itself is not Chinese or Japanese, as it is now fashionable, but the real American - all Campfire Audio headphones are designed in the small town of Portland. Unlike many other manufacturers, this one does not just use aluminum when creating headphones, but performs a fully manual assembly, and again in the USA. It is not for you to order from a Chinese company at an outsourcing, where in neighboring workshops it happens to produce low-cost and premium devices.


     
    A couple of years ago, Campfire Audio released its first headphones - Orion, Lyra and Jupiter, which brought her the first wave of popularity. It would seem that you can take a break, but with a small time interval, the company introduced two more pairs of premium devices: the Nova and Andromeda headphones. With the latest model, we just get acquainted today.

    Equipment


    Although these are not headphones where it is worth talking a lot about packaging and bundling (Andromeda is loved primarily for sound), we cannot miss this part, much less to look at. First of all, on the box itself, which is an unusual “space” ingot, because space is a kind of such Campfire Audio chip. The case, by the way, is small, although many manufacturers like to make large useless boxes for small headphones. Inside is a branded brown leather case. Natural, of course.
     





     
    Inside the cover, in fact, the Andromeda headphones themselves and ... nothing more. At least it may seem so, if you immediately take the cover in hand, putting the main box aside. And in the box there is a double bottom, where other elements of a complete set are hidden: a SpinFit set of nozzles, interchangeable amps of size S, M, L and even a small brush for cleaning them, as well as foam caps of size S and L - the size M turned out to be on the headphones themselves. And, of course, the Campfire Audio branded clip, as if with real gold inserts (actually not).
     




    It looks small, but at the same time it is normal for the premium segment when the manufacturer does not want to lure you with a ton of additional accessories, if only you thought you bought cool headphones, albeit with a mediocre sound. Moreover, everything you need is there.

    Design


    The appearance of the "Andromeda" is unusual and futuristic. The angular forms remotely resemble Astell & Kern players (we got acquainted with them not so long ago ), but there are also personality notes that can be used to distinguish Campfire Audio headphones. The emerald color is ideally suited to the body of anodized aluminum of the highest class (at least the manufacturer says so), we could not find fault with the build quality, no matter how hard we tried. Everything is adjusted to the millimeter, and in ears this magnificence thanks to the complete set of replaceable ear cushions in the complete set looks even better.
     

    The aluminum case is not only made by hand in limited quantities (it takes 9 hours to produce), it also suppresses unwanted vibrations, minimizing sound distortion.
     

     

     
    Zirconium plating, made to order and is exclusive - you will not see it on other headphones.
     

    The cable is interchangeable with MMCX connectors, so if you wish, you can replace it, although this action does not look quite logical, considering that Campfire Audio has been working with cables for 10 years. However, nothing lasts forever, and if you accidentally damage the wire, you will not have to buy new headphones. The cable itself is made of silver-plated copper, has the original woven form and perfectly complements the headphones. Probably there is nothing to complain about here, except that I would like a playback control console on the cable.
     

     
    We turn to the most interesting in this model - technical characteristics, because Andromeda is completely missing a dynamic driver.

    Specifications


    Type of sound emitter
    Reinforcement
    Headphone Type
    Closed, plug-in
    Resistance
    12.8 ohms
    frequency range
    10 - 28 000 Hz
    Plug
    3.5 mm
    Sensitivity
    115 dB
    The number of drivers
    five
    Cable
    Interchangeable with MMCX connectors, complete 1.2 m silver plated copper
    Material
    Anodized aluminum

    Let's start with the drivers - there are five of them here, and, as we said, there is not a single dynamic among them, all reinforcing loudspeakers: two high-frequency, two low-frequency and one mid-frequency. The traditional Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber (TAEC) has replaced the traditional “tube & damper” setting system. Acoustic tuning without compression is provided by a three-dimensional printing camera, which allows you to expand high frequencies. They worked on the sound here, and worked very well. The lack of a dynamic driver did not affect the low frequencies: yes, there is no emphasis on bass, but Andromeda has something to surprise and beyond that.
     
    Sound insulation headphones above average, if used with silicone nozzles, and with foam it is even better. Therefore, you can listen to them both on the street and on a plane or subway.
     



     
    It is curious that Campfire Audio is one of the few manufacturers that publishes measurements of its headphones directly on the official website, I would like all IEMs to do so. As they say in the company, the frequency response is the best way to visually describe how the headphones sound.
     

     
    Independent tests show roughly the same picture.
     

     
    The frequency response is almost linear, the decline is, but relatively small. At the same time, Campfire reminds you that no schedule will give you the necessary idea of ​​the sound being played, like the actual audition itself. How did Andromeda work the sound test?

    Sound


    There are quite a few reviews on the Web, where they claim that Andromeda is the best headphones that they had to listen to. We are not going to throw such loud statements, but the headphones sound not just with dignity, but directly masterpiece. Massive bass, clear low frequencies, balanced medium and simply incredible high - the main feature of this model. The detail of the sound is largely ensured by the absence of the problem of matching the drivers in the overlapping frequency ranges, although this is usually the case with multi-driver headphones.
     

     
    We will not engage in warming, may the experienced audiophiles forgive us - right away into battle. To test the sound characteristics of the “Andromeda”, the Cowon Plenue S player was used ( review in our blog); it is easier to connect them to something, probably, even there is no sense. This is the case when the headphones work out any genre perfectly, especially those who appreciate vocals in the compositions will experience special pleasure. Although the device is a premium segment, we can do without, perhaps, an imaginary scene and a “left violinist in the fourth row”. We can say once again about the surprisingly extended high frequencies that transmit the awesome sound, but it is difficult to describe it in words, you have to try it yourself. Moreover, as you know, everything is individual.




     
    Oh yeah, do not think to use these headphones with phones or, even worse, with tablets - you can also watch the new Twin Peaks series with complete headphones from iPhone. Andromeda also created for good players, such as the Plenue S, which can fully unleash the potential of headphones. With a cool player, the headphones are amazing when listening to jazz, vocal compositions and ... yes, electronic music.

    Conclusion


    Campfire Audio Andromeda cannot be called mass or universal headphones, otherwise their cases would not be made in limited quantities, and the device itself would not cost about 80 thousand rubles. These headphones are for sophisticated connoisseurs; not just audiophiles, but those who do not climb their eyes to the forehead at the sight of such a price tag. In this case, the fee is not so much for the materials and exclusivity (like many premium headphones, where 70% of the cost is a rare python skin), but for the sound, which is really amazing. One-driver reinforcement models, of course, are still the same classic, but the five drivers are even better.
     
    PS During the review, no audiophile was hurt.