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.
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.
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.
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