Table of Contents
Welcome to “Crinnotes“, a series where I push out rapid fire opinions of some of the headphones I’ve heard but can’t be bothered to fully review. Thus I won’t get too in-depth, nor will I be too formal and technical. Less analysis, more… from-the-heart if you will.
The new year always brings new gear, and Campfire is no exception.
A late entrant in the 2021 game, Campfire reenters the sub-$300 market with the Satsuma and Honeydew, occupying the $200 and $250 price brackets respectively. The twins also represent Campfire’s first foray into plastic ABS shells and so are their lightest IEMs ever produced, especially relative to their usual stainless steel, aluminium and ceramic builds.
No denying that Campfire have been on a bit of a cold streak on IEF recently, so hopefully these new brightly-coloured gems can turn the ship around. And so we answer the question: how good are the Satsuma and Honeydew actually?
Shoutout to r/forbiddensnacks, where these IEMs would fit in nicely.
Product page: https://campfireaudio.com/shop/satsuma/
Driver configuration: single BA
Just when I thought Campfire had finally stopped with the reboots, it appears that the Satsuma is basically a rehashed Comet.
All data has been uploaded to the Graph Comparison Tool.
Disregarding some insertion depth variance causing the position of the peaks to shift between the two IEMs (I’ll need to remeasure the Comet to properly hit my standardised 8kHz resonance point), one could reasonably consider the two to measure very similar. Now I wouldn’t go as far as to say that they are using the exact same driver seeing that the two IEMs have slightly different sensitivity and impedance ratings @1kHz, but safe to say that the overall tonality between the two should be at least considered “within the same category”.
There may be some justification for the existence of the Satsuma though; one may be a fan of the Comet and not like its bullet-style fit, so the Satsuma’s more traditional cable-over-ear fit may be preferred.
However, under IEF metrics, the Satsuma performs effectively the same as the Comet that preceded it. That is to say: a little weird, but nothing really competitive at its price point barring the individuals who really crave its particular blend of spices.
Overall Grade: C
Tone Grade: C, Technical grade: C
Product page: https://campfireaudio.com/shop/honeydew/
Driver configuration: single dynamic
Again for those who aren’t familiar with my grading system, the simple adherence to “IEF Neutral” (or Harman, or DF, or whatever reputable target curve for that matter) is not the most significant factor in my determination of an IEM’s tonal score. The question I ask here is, “is the Honeydew a good representation of a bassy sound signature?”
If you’ve read my Dorado/Vega 2020 impressions, you can probably predict that something with the Honeydew’s tuning would stand basically no chance under IEF metrics. I’d argue that the Honeydew is in fact worse in tuning compared to the two, with a complete disregard for upper mids in combination with the excessively bloated bass response packing a wallop of a combo.
And while the bass may be boosted to what some may consider as an unreasonable degree, the Honeydew’s true death knell lies in its tuning… everywhere else. The midrange is simply not correct and butchers any instrument above tenor, and the treble resonates with an odd timbre that marrs percussions. If one wants to argue that this is “colouration” that gives character to this IEM then all the power to them, but if you’re asking me I’d rather just say the first thing that comes to my mind when listening to this: bad.
Look, I pride myself in being harsh but fair. If I found this tuning in some $20 chifi IEM I would still be saying the same things I am now, brand prestige be damned. Do better.
Overall Grade: D-
Tone Grade: D-, Technical grade: D
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9 thoughts on “[Crinnotes] Campfire Satsuma and Honeydew: Forbidden Snacks”
Yeah but how do they taste?
I had a feeling Crinacle was not going to like either of Campfire’s new IEMs.
Not relevant to the review, but I really don’t like how the Satsuma and Honeydew look. It gives me cheap children’s toy vibes looking at it. At $200/$250, both IEMs look a bit like crap.
No excuse given that the IO has a full metal build and is only a tad more expensive than the Honeydew.
Back to the drawing board Campfire.
Gotta call it like you hear it.
“A fresh take on Pro IEMs.” says Campfire’s website. While sporting a KZ level response graph and technicalities for 10x KZ price. Do they at least provide something Pro, like isolation? Or just the logo? At least the aforementioned Dorado/Vega 2020 provided a unique frequency response that looked like there was thought and effort put into it, not just chi-fi randomness. Though such a luxury costs 100x KZ price with worse technicalities. Meanwhile, you can buy the legendary ER4XR Etys for under 200 smackers on Amazon.
Campfire has been making lots of crap recently, what you said are all quite true 🙂
Were the Satsuma measurements made with the stock foam tips or 3rd party ones (like Spiral Dots)?
All Crin’s review are done with stock tips if I remember correctly