While all the world is waiting for Campfire Audio two and a half new products, let’s speak about their lineup that hasn’t had quite a hype. Why two and a half? Well, actually, there is one new model, Solaris is restyled and updated and, strangely we don’t have a new limited edition now. And Andromeda? Well, this Andromeda…
We have almost lost the dynamic model behind all armature and hybrid offerings, but it has it’s own face and its own top — Atlas. This model has provided the driver for abovementioned Solaris. Of course we would like to see a renewed model but company from Portland is mainly developing successful lineups.
Accessories and packaging
Here we get a well-known from the first Andromeda times packaging that has the size of inner pouch. Actually it’s this pouch that we find inside — a rectangular and zipped. It is black, made of supposedly leather (if it’s not leather, it’s really hard to tell) and has pleasant soft fur inside. Let’s put it aside and lift the cardboard bottom. Below it we will find CA badge, cleaning tool and generous amount of tips. Here there are foam and silicone ones, including popular tips from Final Audio. Traditionally all of them are not the best fit for me and I have preferred the smallest JV Spiral Dot++ which I have initially purchased for Solaris SE. The body of Atlas is smaller and allows to insert the IEMs deeper if you want it. They make some accent on lows but bring better control and other quality characteristics. Inside the pouch there are earphones and cable. Each ear piece is put in a soft bag to avoid scratching during transportation.
Design and comfort
Shapy and rather large body is made of polished stainless steel and sports a company logo. Inside there is a 10mm driver with special acoustic camera and of course it cannot be too compact. The nozzle has a special projection to better hold the ear tip and is covered with protective grill. You can wear them both in regular and over ear way. The bodies are rather large and do not require very deep fit but do not exclude it if you want it. The IEMs have convenient and reliable MMCX connectors to switch cables. Stock one is rather convenient – it’s not thick and ergonomic, but it’s at the same time rather thin. It is silver Litz.
The first that I pay attention to here is bass. No, not the dry one. It’s a real bass. You can’t avoid it, it consumes and involves, slams and rocks at the maximum level for 10mm headphone. However, if you don’t stick to stock ear tips and get something with larger nozzle, the bass domination becomes less and it gains even more quality and texture. As for me, it’s a clear sign that not all stock tips are equally good.
So, the bass. It is distinctive, convincing, textured but probably not technical. It does not try to astonish the listener with speed and level of details but brings emotions instead with additional weight. This means that the bass line is not lost in any composition and it’s good but not the only thing you expect from top dynamic IEMs.
It’s not that you have problems with analytics here but for heavy genres I would prefer something else, especially for technical one. However, if you need heavy genres and slams – Atlas is great. Combined with good length bass sounds really meaty. Also lows are very distinctive and full of authority. I can compare it to full-fledged acoustic systems with only correction that you don’t feel it with all your body.
Mids have slight thickness, they are full and distinctive. Charismatic masculine vocals resonates well here. Of course female vocals sound good too, but the priority is for male here. You get needed drive, aggression and what not. Timbres are well-sounding and the detail level is just correct not to prevent music from sounding whole.
Highs have good but not phenomenal length. They are accentuated but not as opposite to bass, but rather in a supporting way. This means that on the one hand the sound is more mild and comfortable, but on the other hand it’s really quality. So we have good level of details and richness. The highs just do not attract attention and do their job well.
The soundstage supposes good instrument and layer interaction and whole presentation. It’s depth that impresses here. It does not try to be unreal but together with that provides great volume and instrument positioning even despite they are having increased size and I’d like to hear more air between them.
As for being critical to the recording quality, the headphones are tolerant without being too picky. Of course it is mainly due to general level of emotions and slightly smoothed presentation, as well as good highs. If the recording is extremely bad, of course they won’t be able to revive it.
The IEMs are rather unusual with their own face, advantages and disadvantages. So, if you want more emotions without sacrificing the quality, you should give Atlas a try.
Translated by: Vadim Kolchev