Campfire Audio’s Trifecta IEMs Are Probably The Best You’ll Ever Hear

As a evaluation of client audio, I usually get requested: “What are the perfect headphones or earbuds you’ve ever examined?” Different instances, individuals may ask which headphones I’d suggest they purchase if cash had been no object. Nevertheless, it’s at all times been troublesome for me to suggest a product as a result of individuals need various things from their headphones.

For instance, some individuals assume they need an enormous fats bass and plenty of element within the treble as a result of they as soon as heard a pair of earphones tuned that means and had their sonic socks blown off. Sadly, overblown designs could also be spectacular at first, however they’ll quickly make your ears drained they usually distort the music, making it sound nothing just like the artist and recording engineer supposed.

To know when you like a pair of earphones or headphones, you have to spend time listening to them, utilizing music you recognize and love properly. Solely that means can you recognize whether or not a pair of earphones can reproduce music the way in which you prefer it. I not too long ago had an opportunity to spend a while with a pair of earphones or IEMs that blew my socks off and possibly got here near being the right earphones.

Campfire Audio is a Portland-based producer of high-end headphones. The corporate makes a variety of merchandise starting from a couple of hundred {dollars} as much as $3,000 or extra. The IEMs in query are Campfire Audio’s Trifecta IEMs, a limited-edition design restricted to simply 333 pairs and with a singular design precept.

The Campfire Audio Trifecta differ from most high-end IEMs in that they use three dynamic drivers reasonably than the extra ordinary a number of balanced-armature designs utilized by many high-end producers. Balanced armature know-how is exact, however the sound generally is a bit scientific and lack heat. The know-how requires intelligent crossover engineering to make sure that all frequencies are fed to the proper drivers. Actually, it’s an advanced idea and typically misses the mark.

What Campfire has carried out with the Trifecta is to make use of three equivalent 10mm dynamic drivers organized in an equilateral triangle and all centered on a single spot the place the soundwaves from every can come collectively. It’s a daring and strange design that seeks to show the higher finish of the luxurious earphone market on its head with one thing that appears barely counterintuitive.

The Trifecta makes use of clear housings created from Nylon. The consumer can see all three dynamic drivers organized in a triangle with their related wiring. The housing dimension is comparatively small for a multi-driver IEM and extremely snug to put on. Like all Campfire Audio merchandise, the Trifecta are equipped with an in depth selection of ear suggestions, together with silicone and reminiscence foam varieties in varied sizes. It’s price slightly time to decide on the proper dimension and sort of tip earlier than listening to the Trifecta. The selection of the tip makes a world of distinction concerning how these earphones sound.

Like most IEMs, the Trifecta use removable cables and Campfire Audio hasn’t stinted. Contained in the beautiful packaging by which the Trifecta is delivered, there are three flat, four-core cables with balanced 2.5mm and Pentaconn 4.4mm terminations, in addition to an unbalanced 3.5mm connector most individuals are used to. The standard of the silver-plated cables is excellent, with all 4 wires organized in a flat cable that produces hardly any microphonics, these annoying vibrations and rubbing sound headphone cables make once they chafe.

The becoming fashion of the Trifecta is up and over the ear, routing up from behind the wearer’s ear. This association is ideal for preserving microphonics to a minimal and may be very snug. The cables are all fitted with high-quality MMCX connectors for attaching to the earpieces. The cables will be changed simply if the worst occurs or intensive use ought to put on the cable out. It’s unlikely, however good to have ought to it is advisable renew the cable for any cause.

Now let’s transfer on to the meat of the act. How do the Trifecta sound with their drivers’ uncommon, triangulated positioning? The Trifecta produce a soundstage so convincing and well-focused that it’ll blow these proverbial socks away. There’s a pure feeling to the soundstage that beats many high-end IEMs that typically create soundstages so large the sound feels synthetic and might even find yourself making you are feeling barely nauseous in a means that spatial sound can.

The tone of the Trifecta IEMs is near perfection, for my part. They’ve a heat and deep bass that manages to be refined and correct in a means few earphones can. The midrange is pitched completely, with simply sufficient forwardness to carry the present collectively. In the meantime, the treble is beautifully candy, with a stage of element that doesn’t beat the listener across the head or set off a migraine. The key here’s a sound that brings out the perfect from dynamic driver know-how with out the harshness that balanced armature drivers can typically create.

Given a selection, I might at all times go for well-designed dynamic drivers over balanced armature items. I like the nice and cozy and analog really feel dynamic drivers can create. That stated, for a dynamic unit to cowl a large frequency vary with ample conviction, they have to be very properly designed. This can be one cause why some producers will pair a dynamic driver with a balanced armature driver or two as a result of it’s simpler to get the next stage of element than to engineer a dynamic design with sufficient precision to cowl the identical dynamic vary.

Dynamic driver know-how is one thing that Sennheiser additionally is aware of learn how to do properly. It’s why the corporate nonetheless makes use of dynamic drivers in its high-end IEMs. Sennheiser’s engineers understand how good dynamic drivers will be, however they have to be well-designed and manufactured to the tightest tolerances. Today it’s simpler to mass-produce wi-fi earphones utilizing Bluetooth chipsets and TWS know-how to create earphones that produce a specific sound that’s usually distorted and deeply dissatisfying as soon as the preliminary sonic gloss and glitter put on off.

To check the Campfire Audio Trifecta, I fired up one in all my favourite albums on TIDAL’s MQA Masters collection. Christina Clara is a wonderfully proficient Portuguese fadista. Her fabulous album Lua Adversa is a fantastically recorded assortment of delicate songs that includes some mournful piano and flute, overlaid with Clara’s searingly clear vocals.

The Trifecta introduced out each nuance in Clara’s excellent voice, whereas the soundstage centered the piano to perfection on tracks like “Viagem”. That is the form of music that the Trifecta IEMs had been made for. There’s a sense of Saudade working by means of all of the songs. The phrase means a quiet pathos and longing and might’t simply be translated from Portuguese. In some way, the Trifecta conveys this Saudade feeling within the music’s minor keys, bringing out the disappointment and longing with delicacy and poise that creates an emotional response within the listener that few different IEMs or headphones can handle. These earphones sound like the perfect over-the-ear headphones you’ve ever heard however with all of the consolation and benefits of an IEM design.

Verdict: What are you able to say a couple of pair of earphones or IEMs that price this a lot? After all, they’re going to be good at that worth, aren’t they? I’ve reviewed quite a few different costly IEMs and have been lower than impressed. I’m assured sufficient within the sound of Campfire Audio’s Trifecta that I might establish them in a blind check.

There’s one thing distinctive within the heat and analog character of the Trifecta IEMs that’s unmatched in some other earphones I’ve auditioned. They might look slightly flashy with their see-through design however don’t let that put you off. The Trifecta are most likely the perfect IEMs I’ve ever heard as a result of they create a convincing soundstage with a tone that fits my ears and the form of music I wish to hearken to. Sure, they price some huge cash, however that previous maxim: “You get what you pay for” has by no means been extra apt.

The Campfire Audio Trifecta are most likely the perfect IEMs you’ll ever hear, bar none. I’d desire them any day over flashy multi-driver balanced armature driver fashions. If the Trifecta had been a musical instrument, they’d be a Stradivarius violin as a result of there’s a bespoke and handmade really feel about these gorgeous-sounding earphones that’s unmatched by some other. When you can afford them, get a pair earlier than Campfire Audio sells out of all 333 items.

Pricing and Availability: The Campfire Audio Trifecta IEMs can be found now and restricted to a manufacturing run of simply 333 items worldwide. The worth is $3,375 / £3,399.

Extra data:

Tech Specs:

  • No of drivers: 3.
  • Driver diameter: 10mm
  • Driver sort: Customized gold-plated dynamic with ADLC diaphragm.
  • Frequency response: 5Hz – 20kHz
  • SPL: 94dB SPL @ 1kHz: 16.91 mVrms
  • Impedance: 6.3Ω @ 1kHz.
  • Complete harmonic distortion: <1%
  • Building: Optically clear Nylon shell.
  • Spout: Chrome steel.
  • Connectors: Beryllium / Copper MMCX.
  • Drivers: 3 x full vary, 10mm, ADLC diaphragm, gold-plated dynamic.
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Jean Nicholas

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