If you follow our news on In-Ear monitors on Audio-Head, you might know that we are a big fan of the Andromeda earphone by Campfire Audio. The fairly successful product has seen a small tweak in the past few years, but this week’s announcement from the Portland-based company options for a full remodel called the Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020. Along with the little green machine, the flagship Solaris gets a 2020 update. One might even find a new 7-driver product called Ara on the site, which that lands in between the two price-wise.
The new Solaris will now be 20% smaller in size, a common upgrade to new IEMs as changing technology in 3D printing and manufacturing allow for smaller profiles against the head during wear. It wasn’t that long ago that some of the top tier IEMs stuck out far from the listener’s canal, causing some fatigue from increased pressure on the nozzle and tip in the ear. Sure, some of that mechanical advantage could be offset by the cable, but in the end… it didn’t look all the great either. The product is now 3D printed so Campfire has greater control over reliability and the tuning.
The Andromeda now has a solid-body “acoustic chamber”, which may or may not be the big contributing factor to its unique sound. The tip of the IEM is now more of a screen-door-type design rather than the three bore delivery system of the classic. It will also now ship with a new cork zipper case in green for easy carrying.
Campfire Audio’s Ara is housed in a titanium shell which holds 7 balanced armature drivers. Assignments include two for high, one for mids and four for low frequencies. It also sports a solid body internal acoustic chamber in its internals.
These updates represent a fairly big shake up for the line. I’m personally excited to see what changes or improvements have been made to the Andromeda, but I would be lying if the new Ara didn’t hold some intrigue as well. As anyone who frequents the portable audio arena knows, more drivers don’t always equal better sound, but the “internal acoustic chamber” from Campfire has always raised some questions as to its contribution. It is totally possible that the frequency response curve was just uniquely tuned for that original piece, but if pushed to guess, I might propose that something else was going on as well.
The new Solaris will retail for $1,499, the Ara $1,299 and the Andromeda $1,099 and are currently available for purchase direct. More specs on the three earphones below.
More information is available on Campfire Audio’s site.