Special shoutout to my bro Rich Yeung for letting me demo his Andromeda Gold Edition for this review!
New from Campfire, the Andromeda Gold is so fresh even MajorHiFi hasn’t received a review sample yet. But luckily my friend Rich hooked me up with a demo of his model (SN 0081). These earphones use the original design of the green Andromedas but with some twists and turns: first off, we’ve got two more BA drivers in the low end. But this earphone also employs a crossoverless design – a big feature Campfire has been touting on this Andromeda. Lastly, there’s some slight tuning differences to adjust the sound. At $1299, they aren’t the cheapest things Campfire has ever put out. But how do they sound?
Campfire Andromeda Gold Edition Review
Like every other Campfire earphone, the Andromeda Gold Edition comes in a nice box with all the trappings – a ton of eartips, a cleaning tool, some pouches – even a Campfire lapel pin.
Encased in a black anodized aluminum housing with gold fascia screws, this earphone looks as gorgeous as you would expect it to. It’s bundled with the Smokey Litz cable, giving it an unassuming look that is only tipped off by the gold accents.
Dimension-wise, it’s the same overall shape and size as the Andromeda Second Generation.
Where the Andromeda Gold really differs, though, is in terms of driver design. Adding to the original Andromeda recipe, the Gold Edition sports two extra BA drivers for the low end. All of the drivers have been re-configured to eliminate the need for crossover, too – the biggest feature Campfire is pushing about the Gold Edition. But the nozzle and drivers have all been tweaked, adjusting the sound for a new twist on the classic Andromeda flavor.
Fit and comfort wise, there’s no real difference between this earphone and any other Campfire model with the same housing design. If you can wear the regular Andromeda, or the Io or Polaris II, you will have no issues with the Andromeda Gold.
During my listening sessions, I used the Andromeda Gold with my modded iPod. Power requirements are very low, but you definitely want to sling some FLAC or high res files at an earphone this resolving.
The low end exhibits a healthy sense of bass – neither too thick or too relaxed, it shows a strong sense of presence with excellent control. This results in a bleed-free listening experience, with great contrast. This bass response also lends a bit more weight and presence to the typical Andromeda Sound. In terms of detail and coloration, this low end seems no different than that of the original Andromeda: it houses a fantastic level of detail with a real sense of grip and traction.
Superb mids mark the Andromeda Gold Edition. Moreso than the original Andromeda and just a tad bit more than the Andromeda S, there’s a slight emphasis on the midrange here. Just a little forward, the presentation of the mids brings the sound into step with both the lows and the highs, leading to a fairly W-shaped sound. And while it’s not a night-and-day difference from the original Andromeda mids, the difference is more than noticeable. The Gold brings just a little more detail and clarity to the table. So, if you prefer a more mid-centric sound, this sound may definitely hit the spot.
Like its progenitor, the Andromeda Gold Edition rocks a gorgeous high end. Female vocals sound downright heavenly in this earphone, feeling sensuous yet primal. Instrumentation doesn’t falter, either, though. Instead, violins and other strings attack and decay with laser-like precision. Not really all that different from the original Andromeda highs, the Andromeda Gold distinguishes itself here with how its highs work in relation to the lows and mids. With the crossoverless design, the sound definitely feels just a shade clearer and richer.
A strong sense of depth and a solid sense of placement mark the Andromeda Gold’s soundstage. It’s roomy enough to enjoy pop, rock, electronica, and jazz without any issue. And, while it still labors under the yoke of its in-ear design, the Andromeda Gold does pretty well with more intricate compositions, too. On more robust classical ensembles with a ton of instruments, the Gold feels just a little closed in – but still really good for an earphone at this price.
I love the color of the Andromeda Gold Edition. At first, I was a little bit ticked that it wasn’t gold, like a flashier version of the Andromeda S. But after handling it, using it, and photographing it, I’m beginning to come around to the Gold. Subtle yet sophisticated, it’s an understated appearance that underpins this earphone’s sonic sensibilities.
How does the Andromeda Gold Edition stack up to Campfire’s other models? It’s definitely an interesting addition. With it’s emphatic low end and clear sound quality, this Andromeda definitely strikes a balance between the more raucous Atlas and the lofty but precise Solaris. At $1299, it’s the perfect Andromeda if you want a bit more punch and clarity than you could get with a regular Andromeda.
Does it replace the original Andromeda? Not really. Even though the Andromeda Gold appears slightly more detailed, it’s still a different sound signature with more bass. Some people will love that and some people won’t. Regardless, the Andromeda remains a classic that can’t be replaced.
Folks who want a bit more fidelity and less of a v-shaped (or w-shaped) sound would do better with the Campfire Solaris (at $1499).
With a mesmerizing sound, impeccable sense of space, and looks to die for, the new Andromeda Gold Edition will deservedly turn some heads. At $1299, this limited-run earphone definitely offers an impressive proposition for anyone who remain nonplussed with the original Andromedas. Our take? If you crave bass and want the most detailed Andromeda yet, snatch one of these up pronto.
Secure your Andromeda Gold Edition for the best price here: