Campfire Audio Vega 2020 IEM Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

Campfire Audio Vega 2020 IEM Review

 

Introduction:

Campfire Audio is a US based company located in Portland – Oregon, which is specialized in the development and production of portable audio equipments such like In-Ear Monitors, cables and headphones.

The Vega 2020 takes all the innovative aspects and design elements of the original Vega that was released in 2016 and improves them. It comes with a redesigned larger 10mm diameter dynamic driver that features Campfire’s A.D.L.C. Diaphragm and offers an improved material selection with its White Ceramic Monitor Shell and new Stainless Steel Spout design.

 

 

 

Disclaimer:

I would like to thank Campfire Audio for providing the Vega 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 Vega $ 899,00 USD. More information’s can be found under the link below;

 

 

 

 

Package and Accessories:

The Campfire Audio Vega 2020 came in a square shaped box with a unique design same like the ARA & Solaris 2020. It is wrapped with a cardboard that is of USA made “French Paper Company” paper which has a label on the top that features the product illustration of the product.

The box itself is made from the same cardboard material in red color that has the Campfire Audio logo on the top in silver 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.

 

Inside the box are the following items;

  • 1 pair x Campfire Audio Vega 2020 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 ‘Seafoam Green” Upcycled Marine Plastic Zipper Case
  • 1 piece x Print Material (Warranty Card, Final Audio Type E Instruction, User Manual)

 

The Vega 2020 comes with a stylish “Upcycled Marine Plastic Zipper Case” with a so called “Seafoam Green” color. 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.

Campfire Audio offers 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 that we have seen before with products like the ARA and Solaris 2020.

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

 

 

 

Design, Features and Build Quality:

The Vega 2020 has a nice looking monitor shell in white color that has a similar shape to the first Vega that was released in 2016. The main attraction is the Ceramic material that was used for the production of the monitor body. Ceramic is a scratch resistant and dense material that pairs well with dynamic drivers because it doesn’t let vibrations run wild.

The Vega 2020 comes with a single full-range dynamic driver that features Campfire Audio’s 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.

The faceplate of the monitor shells sports the Campfire Audio brand logo and a vent near the bottom corner.

At the rear side of the monitor shell are the L (Left) & R (Right) markings and the sound nozzle.

The sound nozzle of the Vega 2020 is made of “Stainless Steal” material that comes with the latest grill design with 12 small openings on the top of the spout.

On the top of each monitor shell is the Beryllium Copper MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) connector that looks pretty robust with the mating mechanism.

The build quality of the monitor and the connectors is rock solid same like with past Campfire Audio products I have reviewed before.

The Vega 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.

 

 

Comfort & Isolation:

The Campfire Audio Vega 2020 is a pretty ergonomic designed monitor with a shape that sits comfortable in my average sized concha. The performance of the Vega 2020 in terms of isolation is on an average level that is sufficient enough for the use in relative noisy environments like a bus or train.

 

 

 

Drivability & Pairing:

The Vega 2020 is a relative efficiently to driver In-Ear Monitor with an impedance of 36 Ohms @ 1kHz and sensitivity of 94 dB so that it can be used with sources like Smartphone’s or Tablets that do have in general a fairly weak amplification capability. However, If you want to hear the full potential of those IEM I highly recommend you to use a sources with better amplification that has a neutral or closer to neutral presentation especially towards the lower frequency region.

 

 

Technical Specifications:

 

  • Driver Configuration   : Single Full Range Dynamic Driver with 10mm A.D.L.C. Diaphragm
  • Freq. Resp.                  : 5 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Sensitivity                   : 94 dB SPL @ 1 kHz: 19.86 mVrs
  • Impedance                  : 36 Ohms @ 1kHz
  • Connector                   : Beryllium Copper MMMC (Micro Miniature Coaxial Connector)

 

 

 

 

 

Equipment’s used for this review:
  • In Ear Monitors         : Campfire Audio Vega, Campfire Audio Atlas, HiFiMAN RE2000
  • Sources (DAP/DAC) : iBasso DX300, iBasso DX160, FiiO M11 Pro

 

 

Albums & Tracks used for this review:
  • Devin Townsend Project – Deadhead “Live” (Spotify)
  • Toutant – Rebirth (Deezer HiFi)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Infected Mushroom – Flamingo (Deezer HiFi)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Infected Mushroom – Flamingo (Deezer HiFi)
  • Photek – he Hidden Camera (Spotify)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Gökhan Kırdar – Yerine Sevemem (Spotify)
  • Eric Clapton – Wonderful Tonight (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Barry White – Just The Way You Are (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Sting – Englishman in New York – (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Isaac Hayes – Walk On By (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Deezer HiFi)
  • B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Edith Piaf – Non Je Ne Regrette Rien (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Sertap Erener – Aşk (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • London Grammar – Interlud (Live) (Flac 24bit/44kHz)
  • Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (Deezer HiFi)
  • U2 – Sunday Bloody Sunday (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Deezer HiFi)
  • Rush – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Deezer HiFi)
  • Tom Player – Resonance Theory “Album” (Deezer HiFi)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Deezer HiFi)

 

 

 

 

The Sound:

The Vega 2020 is an In-Ear Monitor that has a V shaped sound signature with slightly more emphasis/focus to the lower frequency area. The bass is highlighted, pretty fast and highly entertaining, while the midrange shows a moderate level of clarity and above average detail retrieval. The treble range on the other hand is smooth, relaxed/fatigue free and offer a good sense of airiness and sparkle.

This review was written after a burn-in period of 75 – 80 hours, since most dynamic drivers do show a quite positive response in this regarding. I have used the stock Campfire Audio silicone ear tips and the cable that where included to the package.

 

Bass:

The Campfire Audio Vega 2020 is an In-Ear Monitor with a sound signature that shows many aspects of a V shaped IEM. It offers a very entertaining low-end response with good sense of resolution and layering. The Vega 2020 offers a better low-end decay and better sense of clarity in this area after the first 50 hours.

The subbass region of the Vega 2020 offers an impressive sense of depth and rumble while listen to some of my favorite tracks like Photek’s “The Hidden Camera, Lore’s “Royals” and Massive Attack’s “Angel”. The subbass shows an above average intensity and extension, while the level of clarity remains on a sufficient level.

When it comes to the midbass region, I can say that it is nicely pronounced while I have listen to instruments from cross drums up to the trumpets. The Vega 2020 is also highly successful in the midbass reproduction with genres like Pop, EDM or Rock music and shows an impressive performance in terms of control, impact and extension while I did listen to songs like Toutant’s “Rebirth” and Infected Mushroom’s “Flamingo”. Even some songs like Gogo Penguin’s “Raven” that has some very complex bass passages did sound quite successful with the Vega 2020.

Instruments like bass guitars or contrabasses are reproduced with a nice amount of warmth, depth and thickness without to show negative situations like a midbass hump or muddiness.

I have found the Campfire Audio Vega 2020 very successful in the bass department especially while listen to electronic music. It is hard to find an IEM like the Vega 2020, which has a low-end that doesn’t overshadow the vocals in genres like electronic/trance music.

 

Midrange:

The midrange of the Campfire Audio Vega 2020 has a warm tonality with a pretty smooth and rounded character. It is a bit laid-back for my personal preference due to the sound signature that tends towards the V shaped tuning; however, it offers in general a quite musical sound experience in this area. The level of clarity/transparency and airiness is on a moderate level with focus to the macro detail retrieval rather than micro detailing.

The Vega 2020 has musical instruments and vocal presentation that never sounds sibilant or harsh. The vocal presentation of the Vega 2020 can be described as smooth and emotional with both male and female vocals. Male vocals like Gökhan Kırdar or Eric Clapton do sound pretty emotional are reproduced with a nice sense of fullness. Female voices like Edith Piaf do sound silky smooth and emotional, while the sense of sparkle is on an efficient level.

String instruments like guitars, harps or violas or brass instruments like a trumpet do sound slightly fuller/bolder than in natural, while cymbals and pianos are moderately crisp and fairly detailed.

Other instruments like clarinets, violins or flutes do have a warmish, silky smooth and musical tonality, while the level of transparency and extension is on an efficient level.

 

Upper Midrange & Treble:

The upper midrange of the Campfire Audio Vega 2020 is mildy pronounced and shows in general a smooth and fatigue free character without to have remarkable negative situations like sibilance or harshness. The upper midrange transitions are very controlled while the general detail retrieval in this area is on a moderate level that is again concentrated to macro detailing.

The treble region of the Campfire Audio Vega 2020 is in harmony with the upper midrange and shows a smooth and relaxed character that doesn’t sounds shouty or in any way dull/veiled. It’s mildly bright, warmish and soft in tonality, which leads to a fatigue free listening experience.

The lower treble shows a slightly peak around the 5 kHz region, while the upper treble energy is concentrated around the 8 kHz area that is a popular tuning these days.

Instruments like a hi-hat in metal music is slightly in the background, while the hits are quite pronounced and slightly bolder in tonality than in natural. Other instruments like crash cymbals do sound highly controlled while the extension is a bit short.

The general treble tuning of the Vega 2020 makes it to an ideal In-Ear Monitor for those who want to avoid a sharp and overly aggressive treble presentation. I really like the gentle and buttery smooth treble tuning of the Vega 2020 while listen to genres like rock and progressive metal music.

 

Soundstage & Imaging:

The Campfire Audio Vega 2020 has a soundstage with an efficient performance in terms of separation and placement of instruments and vocals. The soundstage shows a slightly better sense in terms of depth compared to its wideness, while the amount of airiness is on a moderate level.

 

 

 

Comparisons:

 

Campfire Audio Vega 2020 versus HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver:

Both the HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver and the Campfire Audio Vega 2020 are IEM’s that do feature single dynamic driver configurations that do offer different sound characters.

The lower frequency region of the Campfire Audio Vega 2020 shows more emphasis in both the subbass and midbass area, which makes it to the IEM with a higher fun factor. The HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver shows noticeably less intensity and depth in the subbass region compared to the Vega 2020 that has also the upper hand in terms of subbass extension and rumble; however the HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver has an slightly advantage when it comes to the decay in this area. The midbass region of the Vega 2020 sounds more highlighted and impactful, while the RE2000 Silver has a slightly advantage in terms of resolution and speed.

The midrange of the Campfire Audio Vega 2020 sounds more musical, has a warmer tonality and better sense of fullness and body compared to the HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver that has a more neutral and bright tonality with higher level of clarity and airiness in this area.

The lower midrange region of the Vega 2020 shows more depth and intensity, which makes it more successful when I do listen to male vocals and string instruments like acoustic guitars or violas. The upper midrange of the HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver is more pronounced, which gives it the slightly edge while listen to female voices or to instruments like violins and cymbals.

The upper midrange transitions of the Vega 2020 are smoother and more controlled compared to the RE2000 Silver, which is otherwise pretty successful in this regarding.

The lower treble range of the RE2000 Silver is more emphasized than those of the Vega 2020 and offers a slightly better sense in terms of clarity and definition. When it comes to the upper treble performance, I can say that both are pretty similar in terms of detail retrieval while the Vega 2020 offers a smoother character.

The soundstage of the HiFiMAN RE2000 Silver sounds slightly more spacious and airy with better sense of wideness, while the Campfire Audio Vega 2020 is more successful in terms of soundstage depth.

 

 

 

Campfire Audio Vega 2020 versus Campfire Audio Atlas:

The Campfire Audio Atlas and Vega 2020 do share more similarities than differences especially in the lower frequency region that is one of the main attractions of both In-Ear Monitors.

The Atlas shows slightly more depth and rumble in the subbass department, however both IEM’s do offer a very high fun factor in this area, especially while listen to genres like EDM, Trance, Pop or Rock music. The midbass region of the Atlas has a bit more energy, intensity and offers a slightly better sense of extension, while the Vega 2020 has the edge when it comes to the decay in this area.

The midrange of the Atlas is slightly more detailed, clear and airy because of its upper midrange tuning that is more pronounced than those of the Vega 2020.  The Vega 2020 on the other hand offers a silky smooth midrange character along with a good level of resolution.

Instruments like violins and pianos do sound a bit brighter with the Atlas, while the Vega 2020 reproduce them with a smother and musical character.

Both the lower and the upper treble range of the Campfire Audio Atlas sounds more highlighted compared to the one of the Vega 2020, since the Atlas has in general a more aggressively tuned V shaped sound signature with emphasis in the low and top end.

When it comes to the soundstage performance, I can say that both are successful in this regarding, the main difference is that the Vega 2020 has a slightly wider stage, while the Atlas offers a better sense of depth and airiness.

 

 

Conclusion:

The Campfire Audio Vega 2020 is a solid In-Ear Monitor, both in terms of build quality with its beautiful white Ceramic Monitor Shell and when it comes to its sound performance that shows a highly entertaining character. The Vega 2020 offers an impressive bass performance, laid-back and musical midrange and a pretty smooth and fatigue-free treble response that is able to provide a good sense of resolution.

 

 

Pros and Cons:

  • + Impressive Bass Response
  • + Laid-Back & Highly Musical Midrange Presentation
  • + Smooth & Fatigue-Free Treble Tuning
  • + The White Ceramic Shell is Beautiful and Very Comfortable
  • + Rich Set of Accessories

 

  • – Not for those who are looking for a neutral sound signature
  • – Maybe a bit too relaxed in the midrange and treble region

 

Thank you for the Read!

 

 

 

 

 

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