CAMPFIRE AUDIO ORION: A New Breed. {GIVEAWAY CLOSED}

Campfire Audio is an audio design and manufacturing company located in Portland, Oregon USA. The company began by hand-building cables and audio amplifiers as ALO Audio, which is now a known brand for a wide range of high quality audio products. Last year ALO Audio marked its 10th year at Head-fi.org and to celebrate the milestone, Campfire Audio was introduced. A brand with a new focus and vision; building earphones with high quality components through fine craftsmanship without compromising sound quality. Earphones that will stand up to the riggers of daily use while performing at the highest level.

 

Three brand new In-ear Monitors (IEM) were introduced by Campfire Audio, they are the Jupiter, Lyra and Orion. These IEMs were all designed and custom tuned from the ground up, using Campfire Audio’s in-house techniques. In this review, we will look at the Orion – a single balanced armature driver IEM described to have the sonic quality to bring your daily listening to a new level of enjoyment.

 

RETAIL PRICE:           US$ 349
DRIVER SPEC:            Single Balanced Armature Driver
IMPEDANCE:             14 Ohm
SENSITIVITY:             113 dB SPL/mW
FREQ RESPONSE:    10Hz – 16KHz
TERMINATIONS:       Beryllium Copper hardened MMCX, 3.5 mm gold plated L-plug
INCLUDED CABLE:   1.35 M Silver-plated Copper Tinsel Wire with FEP jacket
WHERE TO FIND:      http://www.aloaudio.com     http://www.addictedtoaudio.com.au

 

Disclaimer: This review unit was provided as a loaner by Campfire Audio – one of our site sponsors.

 

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I still remember my very first job offer. The company I applied for made a lasting impression based solely on how they presented themselves. That made a massive difference to my perspective on whether or not the company was worth working for. A classic example of the saying, “the first impression, is the last impression”. This time around, Campfire Audio is making an impression…  Their packaging is conservative and practical; all in a small, lightweight cardboard box. It has a simplistic design but ironically eye-catching. Just looking at the box, a part of me hesitated in breaking the seal that resembles an artwork. The other part of my confused self was anxious to see what’s inside. If this is how I feel about the package, how much more when I see what’s inside?! Dear friends, I was not disappointed. After breaking the seal with surgical precision, I was greeted with a beautiful case containing an exquisite pair of IEMs. Campfire Audio has delivered on their promise, fine craftsmanship from the inside – out. Accessories may leave others wanting for more, but really… what else do you need? To be honest, I think a shirt clip can be a valuable add-on as a tool to minimise cable noise (microphonics). Not that it’s hard to acquire one, but having a clip that aesthetically matches the beautiful Tinsel Wire cable would’ve been nice. Other than that, the product packaging is a beauty!

      • 3 pairs Comply Tx 400 tips (S,M,L)
      • 3 pairs foam tips (S,M,L)
      • 3 pairs silicon tips (S,M,L)
      • Cleaning Tool
      • Carrying Case
      • Campfire Audio Pin
      • User Guide

 

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SETUP:
iPod Touch 5th Gen > OPPO HA-2
16/44 FLAC and ALAC
Comply Tx 400 tips were used

 

TEST TRACKS:
Dr. Chesky’s Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc
Seductive Souls – How It Feels
Pantera – Domination
Lorde – Royals
Jewel – Somewhere Over The Rainbow
Dire Straits – Sultans of Swing
Phil Collins – Easy Lover
Nirvana – Lithium
Avicii – Heart Upon My Sleeve

 

Campfire Audio did good on their promise to provide an IEM built through fine craftsmanship. The Orion is a primary example boasting CNC’d Aluminium enclosures with anodised finish. The build quality screams premium, a testimony of their dedication and passion. Looking closely at the finish, the surfaces have a nice texture and aren’t prone to dents nor scratches. The textured surface may be less desirable to those who prefer the smooth finish of plastics. The shape is designed to conform with the contours of your ear but the size may be an issue for those with really small ears. Best to audition them first if there’s any doubt they’d fit you. I consider my ears to be smaller than average and in my experience, the Orions just barely fit my ears. If they were a millimetre longer, they would’ve caused some issues. Fortunately, I did not experience any discomfort from wearing the Orion. The only thing worth mentioning is the slight discomfort caused by the chamfered edges as they rub against a specific cartilage in my ear whenever I push the IEMs in. Once they are in, there are no issues at all. The IEMs sit securely in my ears, and stay on even when I’m moving constantly. Please note that your experience may vary to mine because we all have different ear shapes and sizes.

 

The cables are attached using MMCX connectors, hardened with Beryllium Copper. This improves the resistance of the connectors to wear and tear. The included cable is a silver plated copper 4 conductor tinsel wire protected by a rugged FEP jacket. FEP improves signal travel and eliminates oxidation on the tinsel wire – so this cable won’t turn “HULK” on you.  I must say, this cable is gorgeous! Easily one of the best cables I’ve ever used for IEMs. These are worn over the ears with the aid of short memory wires. There is a slight disadvantage in wearing this cable, the FEP jacket easily conducts cable noise (microphonics) whenever they rub against clothing. This is where the cable cinch comes in handy, pull it up to your neck and it neutralises most of the cable noise. As mentioned earlier, a shirt clip is also an effective tool to minimise microphonics.

 

All of these components are beautifully made and should be kept well protected from harsh environments. Included is a vintage looking zipper case featuring a soft interior with plenty of room to store the Orion and its accessories.

 

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There are a few key factors in making sure your IEMs perform as they should be. The most notable ones are comfort, seal, insertion, and the type of ear tips. In this review I’d like to focus on the type of ear tips. I personally prefer hybrid silicon tips over foam tips. More often than not, silicon tips don’t alter the sound dramatically. Foam tips are known to attenuate the lower treble and for that reason, I rarely use them as my go-to tips despite the fact that they’re the most comfortable tips ever made. What’s ironic is I find the foam tips to be the perfect match for the Orion. I wouldn’t be surprised if the engineers at Campfire Audio knew this, hence, the inclusion of Comply foam tips in the accessories. Please note that I’ve paired the Orion with Comply Tx 400 tips in this review.

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18 comments

  • Carlos R March 5, 2016   Reply →

    Love your reviews my friend! So honest and thorough! Wouldn’t mind trying these bad boys with some Dirty Loops songs!! Keep up the good work!!!

  • Juan C. Ayllon March 6, 2016   Reply →

    Sounds like a great product!

  • Micah March 7, 2016   Reply →

    I’ll probably throw on some Marvin Gaye, because the give-away is sexy and I wanna get it on.

  • Keefe March 7, 2016   Reply →

    Well gotta hear it to believe it! Nice review!

  • Dan March 7, 2016   Reply →

    TOO crazy If I say Judy Garland & Gene Kelly – Ballin’ the Jack ? Need some moves 🙂

  • Leonido Cabanilla March 7, 2016   Reply →

    nice

  • Victor Tay March 7, 2016   Reply →

    The first song I would listen to with the Orion is the My! My! Time flies! by Enya. Hope I can win the Orion! XD

  • Finz_08 March 8, 2016   Reply →

    First song gotta be “get lucky” by Daft Punk coz i’m feelin’ lucky

  • Rui Plácido March 9, 2016   Reply →

    First song to listen: Phil Collins & Phillip Bailey – Easy Lover
    Thanks.
    All the best.

  • dmitry March 11, 2016   Reply →

    I would go for Kurushimi – Jorōgumo if i win.

  • Jomee March 13, 2016   Reply →

    What a beauty, nice review for these IEMs. ✊

  • Kevin March 23, 2016   Reply →

    Very nice single BA universal. Would love to have one on my arsenal.

  • rob felipe March 26, 2016   Reply →

    Bubbles by Yosi Horikawa. It’s my go to song for testing new HPs/IEMs

  • Angel March 26, 2016   Reply →

    I am retakes to hear that the Orion is more reference than coloured in sound signature.

    • d marc0 March 26, 2016   Reply →

      I’m glad that CA decided to have a reference tuned IEM. Every maker should have one.

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