Campfire Audio has built a reputation on its funky, angular designs and hefty price tags. The Oregon-based headphones brand is showing 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 ground up.
The company has announced the introduction of Andromeda Emerald Sea and Solaris Stellar Horizon in-ear headphones, available for £1,449 / $1,450 and £2,669 / $2670 respectively from retailers including Amazon, Harrods and Selfridges. Clearly, then, Campfire Audio continues to target the higher echelons of the market.
Here’s hoping those changes are worth the price. Campfire Audio has promised a complete reinvention of both its angular earphone models, with the Andromeda Emerald Sea benefitting from a new ergonomic shell construction, a new acoustic design and, hopefully, a newly improved sound.
We found the original Andromeda to suffer from a lack of true sonic cohesion as well as an unpleasant harshness through the midrange, so we expect Campfire to have taken those faults into consideration for the sequel. The new Andromeda model features five new custom dual-diaphragm balanced armature drivers in each housing, that are designed to deliver lower distortion and greater stability.
Whether the brand’s claims of an “expanded acoustic range, lower sensitivity… and a sweet analogue glow to its sonic signature” deliver tangible results for the listener, however, remains to be heard.
The original Solaris, too, have been upgraded to the new Stellar Horizon model. Campfire promises a “top-to-bottom revolution”, again teasing a new shell design, updated materials and new internal components (including updated driver tech) which hopefully will provide greater sonic range and flexibility. The new Solaris model uses three custom dual-diaphragm balanced armature drivers, which reportedly deliver greater output, better high-end performance and less distortion. This is combined with a new “Radial Venting” that surrounds the 10mm dynamic driver – which should offer a wider soundstage too, says Campfire.
You’ll also receive a few extras for your not-insubstantial financial outlay. Both models come with three headphone cable options (2.5mm balanced, 3.5mm stereo and 4.4mm balanced) as well as their own unique presentation boxes. If there’s one thing Campfire Audio does understand, it’s presentation.
Performance-wise, Campfire Audio’s new earphones are up against the five-star Sennheiser IE 900, a superb choice for anyone who wants the best sound at this end of the market. Even if they can’t match those Sennheiser rivals for audio quality, the unique visual appeal of Campfire’s styling may prove enough to tempt potential buyers. If they can afford them, that is.
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Read our review of Campfire’s original Andromedas