Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 Review

 

 

 

 

Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 Review

 

Introduction:

Campfire Audio is a located in Portland – Oregon and is specialized in the Development & Production of “Portable Audio Equipment’s” such like In-Ear Monitors, Cables and Headphones.

The Dorado 2020 breathes new life into the name and the legacy of the original Dorado that was released in 2016 with a fresh take on its classic hybrid design. It comes with a custom Balanced Armature Driver and a redesigned 10mm diameter dynamic driver that features Campfire’s A.D.L.C. Diaphragm and offers an improved material selection like a Ceramic Monitor Shell and a new Stainless Steel Spout design.

 

 

Disclaimer:

I would like to thank Campfire Audio for providing the Dorado 2020 IEM as review sample. I am not affiliated with Campfire Audio or any third person beyond this review and all these words reflect my true, unaltered opinions about the product.

 

 

 

Price & Availability:

The MSRP price for the Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 is $ 1.099,00 USD. More information’s can be found under the link below;

 

 

 

 

Package and Accessories:

The Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 came in a very similar square shaped box such like the Vega 2020 with a unique design. It is wrapped with a cardboard that is of USA made “French Paper Company” paper which has a “Retro Style” label on the top that features the illustration of the product.

The box itself is made from the same cardboard material in “Pale Green” color that has the Campfire Audio logo on the top in gold color, set in a scene between a sky full of stars and a mountain surrounded by trees that could represent the nature of Oregon where the company is located.

 

The stylish box of the Dorado 2020 comes with the following items/accessories;

  • 1 pair x Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 In-Ear Monitors
  • 1 piece x Campfire Audio Litz Cable with MMCX connectors
  • 5 pairs x Final Audio Silicone Ear Tips (extra small, small, medium, large, extra-large)
  • 3 pairs x CA Silicon Ear Tips (small, medium, large)
  • 3 pairs x Foam tips (small, medium, large)
  • 3 pieces x Pouch
  • 1 piece x Cleaning Tool
  • 1 piece x Campfire Audio Pin
  • 1 piece x Campfire Audio ‘Diver Orange” Upcycled Marine Plastic Zipper Case
  • 1 piece x Print Material (Warranty Card, Final Audio Type E Instruction, User Manual)

 

The Dorado 2020 has also a very rich ear tips selection that includes 5 pairs of Final Audio E Style Tips, 3 pairs of foam ear tips and 3 pairs of CA silicone ear tips with a relative wide opening. Inside the box are also 3 pairs of double pocket soft pouch’s where you can put the monitors and the ear tips.

The cleaning tool and a pin with CA Logo are some nice addition that we also know from past Campfire Audio products.

The Dorado 2020 comes with the same a stylish “Upcycled Marine Plastic Zipper Case” like the Vega 2020 but in a so called “Diver Orange” color, which is made in Portugal. The protective case is a special attraction and a nice environmentally friendly update to the older zipper cases that came with products in the past.

The Dorado 2020 has also a very rich ear tips selection that includes 5 pairs of Final Audio E Style Tips, 3 pairs of foam ear tips and 3 pairs of CA silicone ear tips with a relative wide opening. Inside the box are also 3 pairs of double pocket soft pouch’s where you can put the monitors and the ear tips.

The cleaning tool and a pin with CA Logo are some nice addition that we also know from past Campfire Audio products.

 

 

 

 

Design and Build Quality:

The Dorado 2020 is a High End Hybrid In-Ear Monitor with a stylish looking monitor shape that shares the same design with the Vega 2020, which was in white color instead of black. The main attraction of the monitor is the Ceramic material that was used for the production of the body. Ceramic is a scratch resistant and dense material that pairs well with dynamic drivers because it doesn’t let vibrations run wild.

The Dorado 2020 features a 1x Custom Balanced Armature Diver and a 1x full-range Dynamic Driver with a 10mm diameter diaphragm with Campfire Audios A.D.L.C. (Amorphous Diamond-Like Carbon) coating material, which is a unique lightweight and rigid diaphragm material. The physical attributes of the A.D.L.C diagram do increase the performance of the driver by reducing driver flex and sonic distortions.

On the front of the monitor shell the so-called faceplate is the “Campfire Audio” brand logo and a small vent that is located near the bottom corner.

The rear surface of the monitor shell sports the L (Left) & R (Right) markings and the sound nozzle.

The Dorado 2020 features a sound nozzle that is made of “Machined Brass Material” with a Midnight Grey’ PVD finish. The sound nozzle comes with Campfire Audio’s new grill design with 12 small openings on the top of the spout that do prevent the insertion of small particles like dust or ear-wax.

The top of each monitor sports a Beryllium Copper female MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) connector that offers a very robust mating mechanism.

The Dorado 2020 comes with the Campfire Audio’s Litz Cable, which is made of 4 core Silver Plated Cooper wire material that that has a soft, flexible and durable insulation in dark grey color. What I really like about the insulation material is the very low microphonic effect and that it is not prone to mixings.

The MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) connectors are made of a custom made beryllium copper material that provides a robust mating mechanism. The MMCX connectors do have a semitransparent plastic housing in grey color and do sport left and right color indicators.

Near the connectors are transparent heat shrink ear guides for a more comfortable over the ear wearing experience, which works pretty well especially on the go.

The Y splitter and chin slider are made of metal in black color.

The 3.5mm single ended headphone jack has a plastic housing in black color with an L angled profile.

The build quality of both the monitors and the cable is top notch same like any Campfire Audio products that I have reviewed in the past.

 

 

Comfort and Isolation:

The Dorado 2020 shares the same monitor design with the Vega 2020 and has a pretty ergonomic shape that fits pretty well in to my average sized ear concha. The isolation is on an average level that is sufficient for the use in relative noisy environments like a bus, metro or train.

 

 

 

Drivability & Pairing:

The Dorado 2020 is an easy to drive IEM with its pretty low impedance of 10 Ohms with a sensitivity of 94dB. This makes it ideal for the use with relative weak sources like Smartphone’s or Tablets. I do recommend you to pair the Dorado 2020 with neutral sources like the iBasso DX220 MAX or DX160 that do offer a great synergy.

 

 

 

Technical Specifications:
  • Driver Configuration   : 1x Custom BA + 1x Dynamic Driver with 10mm A.D.L.C. Diaphragm
  • Freq. Resp.                   : 5 Hz – 22 kHz
  • Sensitivity                    : 94 dB SPL @ 1 kHz: 18.52 mVrms
  • Impedance                  : 10 Ohms @1kHz
  • Connector                   : Beryllium Copper MMMC (Micro Miniature Coaxial Connector)

 

 

 

 

Equipment’s used for this review:
  • In Ear Monitors         : Campfire Audio Dorado 2020, Campfire Audio Atlas, Campfire Audio Vega 2020
  • Sources (DAP/DAC) : iBasso DX220 MAX, iBasso DX160, FiiO M11 Pro

 

 

Albums & Tracks used for this review:
  • Dionne Warwick – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sarah McLachlan – Angel (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • Aretha Franklin – I Say A Little Payer (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • David Bowie – Heroes (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Michael Jackson’s- Billie Jean (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Bro Safari, UFO! – Drama Party Favor Mix (Spotify)
  • Infected Mushroom – Flamingo (Spotify)
  • Jo Blankenburg – The Magelan Matrix (Spotify)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
  • Portishead – It Could Be Sweet (Spotify)
  • Charly Antolini – Duwadjuwandadu (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Lunatic Soul – The Passage (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Deftones – My Own Summer (Shove it) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Opeth – Windowpane (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Spotify)s
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Spotify)
  • Yosi Horikawa – Bubbles (Spotify)

 

 

 

 

 

The Sound:

The Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 is an IEM with a very high fun factor thanks to its V shaped sound signature that shares some similarities with the Vega 2020. The leading part is the lower frequency region that is powerful, meaty yet surprisingly controlled. The midrange is a bit recessed and offers a moderate sense of clarity and detailed retrieval, while the treble area is fairly bright, crisp and shows a good level of extension.

PS: I have used the stock Campfire Audio silicone ear tips and the cable that where included to the package and have burn-in the Dorado 2020 for about 100 hours. I have paired the Dorado 2020 mainly with sources like the iBasso DX220 MAX, iBasso DX160 and the FiiO M11 Pro. The Dorado 2020 shows a better synergy with neutral sources.

 

Bass:

As I have mentioned before, the focal point of the Dorado 2020 is the lower frequency region that is produced with an impressive sense of power, authority and depth. This area adds the overall presentation nice level of body and fullness which is highly enjoyable with certain genres especially Pop, Rock and Electronic Music like EDM or Trance.

I highly recommend you to burn-in the Dorado 2020 for at least 50 to 60 hours, which will give it finally a better sense low-end decay and better clarity in this area.

The Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 show a solid subbass performance with tracks like Bro Safari, UFO! “Drama Party Favor Mix”, Lore’s “Royals” and Massive Attack’s “Angel”. The subbass has a great sense of rumble, depth and intensity, along with top notch of decay.

The midbass region on the other hand is pretty controlled, impactful and extends pretty well up to the 200 kHz region. Instruments like drums are reproduced with a good sense of speed and control, do sound fairly detailed and are full bodied in songs like Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”, Opeth’s “Windowpane” or U2’s “Sunday Bloody Sunday”. Other instruments such like bass and acoustic guitars, trumpets or a contrabass do sound quite emotional, musical and detailed without to have negative conditions like muddiness or mixings.

The Dorado 2020 is the ideal choice if you are looking for an IEM with a deep, impactful and full bodied lower frequency response with high fun factor.

 

Midrange:

The Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 shows a fairly soft, full bodied and musical midrange presentation with sufficient sense of clarity and airiness. The midrange is slightly recessed due to the V shaped sound signature, however the detail retrieval is pretty good, but not as outstanding when compared to the Solaris 2020.

 

Vocals & Instruments:

The lower midrange of the Dorado 2020 is quite pronounced and adds the overall midrange presentation a nice sense of warmth, body and depth when I do listen to male vocals like Barry White, David Bowie or Sting.

The upper midrange of the Dorado 2020 has moderate intensity that is able to produce a good level of energy for a pretty transparent and lively female vocal presentation. Female voices from Sarah MacLauchlan to Diana Krall, form Dionne Warwick  to Aretha Franklin do sound smooth and emotional, without to shows some negative situations like sibilance or sharpness.

When it comes to the instrument presentation of the Dorado 2020, I can say that it shows a slightly warmer than neutral tonality with good amount of body and depth. Instruments like pianos are mildly bright, nicely pronounced and lively, while violins or flutes do have a mildly bright tonality and are reproduced with a good level of extension

 

Upper Midrange & Treble:

The upper midrange region of the Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 has a mildly bright tonality and shows a good level of extension tanks to a well-rounded peak around the 3 kHz region. The upper midrange is quite detailed, while the transitions are in general fairly soft without to show remarkable negative situations like sibilance or harshness when I do listen to female vocals or instruments like violins or pianos.

The treble range of the Dorado 2020 sounds pretty highlighted and has a focal point in the upper treble region. The lower treble range is less pronounced compared to the upper treble area, which shows a peak around the 3 kHz region. The lower treble region shows a good sense of clarity and definition, while the extension is a bit short. The upper treble region is more accented and detailed which is adds the overall presentation a good level of airiness and sparkle, without to get overly sharp and too bright, thanks to a precise adjustment about the 8 kHz area which is a popular tuning these days.

The general treble extension, intensity and quantity of the Dorado 2020 is on an moderate level, while the detail retrieval and control fulfils the expatiations from an In-Ear Monitor at this price range.

 

Soundstage & Imaging:

The Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 has a quite good performance in terms of separation between the right and the left channels and placement of instrument and the vocals. The soundstage is pretty wide and moderately deep, while the neutral air between the instruments gives the stage a fairly airy atmosphere.

 

 

 

Comparisons:

 

Campfire Audio Dorado versus Campfire Audio Vega 2020:

The Dorado 2020 is a 1BA+1DD Hybrid IEM, while the Vega 2020 comes with a Single Dynamic Driver. Both IEM’s do look pretty similar, however the main differences are the colours (Black Dorado vs White Vega) and the spout material of the sound nozzle (Stainless Steel for Vega and Brass for Dorado).

The subbass region of the Vega 2020 is slightly more highlighted and shows a bit more depth and rumble compared to the Dorado 2020, which has an slightly advantage in terms of decay and control. The midbass region of both IEM’s shows a pretty similar character, however the Dorado 2020 sounds a bit tighter and has the shows a bit more sense of authority.

The midrange of the Vega 2020 shows a smoother character compared to the Dorado 2020, which shows slightly more clarity and resolution thanks to its additional BA driver that adds also a higher sense of energy and dynamism to the upper midrange area.

The treble range of the Dorado 2020 is slightly more pronounced especially in the upper treble area. The Dorado has also the slightly edge in terms of extension, definition and micro detailed, while the Vega 2020 shows a more relaxed and smooth overall treble tuning.

When it comes to the soundstage performance, I can say that the Dorado 2020 has the slightly edge in terms of wideness and airiness of the stage.

 

 

Campfire Audio Vega 2020 versus Campfire Audio Atlas:

The Campfire Audio Atlas is one of my favourite single Dynamic Driver IEM’s thanks to is very well implemented V shaped sound signature that is highly entertaining yet detailed.

Both the Dorado 2020 and the Atlas do have a V shaped sound signature, while the Atlas is slightly more aggressively tuned on both ends, the lows and highs. The Dorado 2020 shows slightly less subbass rumble/intensity, while the midbass region has a pretty similar tuning that is impactful, controlled and full bodied.

The midrange of the Dorado 2020 has a tad warmer tonality and shows a more intimate vocal presentation compared to the Atlas, which sounds a bit more recessed and with higher sense of headroom, due to the more aggressively tuned V shaped sound signature. The upper midrange of the Dorado 2020 is a bit more relaxed, while it is on par with the Atlas in terms of control and detail retrieval.

The lower treble range of the Atlas sounds more energetic, pronounced and detailed, compared to the Dorado 2020 which shows a smoother and controlled tuning. However, the differences in the upper treble region are minimal, both IEM’s are quite successful in terms of airiness and sparkle, while the Atlas has the slightly edge when it comes to the extension.

Both the Dorado 2020 and Atlas are successful in terms of soundstage performance, however, the Atlas offers a bit more depth and airiness.

 

 

Conclusion:

The Dorado 2020 is another IEM from Campfire Audio that has a very well implemented V shaped sound signature with its highly entertaining solid bass performance, natural midrange character and energetic yet controlled treble response. Moreover, it has a comfortable and gorgeous looking ceramic shell and offers also a very rich set of accessories that comes in an environment friendly recycled packaging.

 

 

 

Pros and Cons:
  • + Highly Entertaining V-Shaped Sound Signature
  • + Solid Bass Response (Powerful, Fast & Controlled)
  • + Smooth & Musical Midrange Character
  • + Energetic yet Controlled Treble Tuning
  • + Beautiful Looking Comfortable Ceramic Shell
  • + Rich Set of Accessories

 

  • – Not for those who are looking for a balanced sound character
  • – Missing Some Refinement in the Midrange
  • – Not the most affordable IEM

 

 Thank you for the Read!

 

 

 

 

 

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