Campfire Vega 2020 IEM Review

IEM Main

As the year starts to closeout, Campfire is looking to unleash the last of its 2020 lineup for the holiday season. They’ve provided a few updated versions of previous IEMs from their catalog, like the popular Andromeda 2020, or more recently, the new Dorado. Now the Vega joins the class of Campfire Audio earphones worthy of new iterations. The first version of the Vega was an IEM with superb balance and clarity, with great textural qualities. What does the Vega exactly improve upon? 

Packaging Contents

What You Get

The standard Campfire Audio packaging convention is not broken here. The earphones come in an environmentally friendly storage pouch, which has been an appreciative aspect of these 2020 releases. The IEMs will be attached to its Litz MMCX style cable in Campfire protective pouches. Like most Campfire products, the Vega 2020 comes with a cleaning tool, Campfire insignia pin, and a selection of ear tips in a variety of sizes. The box includes silicone, marshmallow, and bonus tips from Final audio. 

IEM with chord

Look and Feel
This design is by far, my preferred housing shape from Campfire. I enjoy the look of the Andromeda and Solaris, but the compact style of the Vega proves to be a more ideal fit as far as comfort is concerned. The new Vega features an all-white solid ceramic body and is a very tiny earpiece. It has a nice gloss that leaves an impression, giving the Vega some pristine shine. The spout is made from stainless steel and sports an appropriately slim diameter. Using the silicone tips, I was able to push the earphone pretty well into my ear, and the marshmallow tips made for a much more secure, steady fit. The Vega 2020 carries over its solid fit and design and turns it into a more seamless experience with little to no distractions.

IEM Housing

Design

Campfire implements a simple, but effective driver system with the Vega 2020. It uses a single 10mm dynamic driver made from amorphous diamond-like carbon and features a plasma-enhanced CVD diaphragm. Most high-end IEMs like to boast about multiple drivers and big crossovers, but the Vega 2020 opts to do most of its work through a highly specialized driver. We’ll see how much potential this component has. This system achieves an SPL of 94dB at 1kHz 19.86mVrs.

Output

With only a nominal impedance of 36 Ohms, the Vega 2020 becomes a very accessible IEM for laptop and smartphone users. Like a lot of Campfire’s library, the new Vega boosts a powerful signal output that could be dangerous at high gain levels. Watch the volume control on your playback system carefully before hitting play. Campfire’s IEMs like to go for a big sound with a lot of detail. The frequency response of the Vega 2020 is 5Hz-20kHz, making for some nice potential detail retrieval in the low end.

IEM separated

Soundstage

When the Vega 2020 wants to really push to the outer edges of the stereo field, it does it with grace. The signal reaches a semi-holographic quality while still maintaining the accuracy of spatial imaging. To Campfire’s credit, almost all of their IEMs sport a big image, and the Vega 2020 is no different. The sound extends to the shell of the earpiece and leaks outward, creating an almost 3D effect. This sensation is achieved in a lot of over-ear open-back headphone models, but the Vega 2020 also has this effect when it comes to left/right panning information. Otherwise, most of the sound field is quite linear, though accurately so. 

Tracks like “Dysnystaxis” from Nurse With Wound and Sun O))) demonstrate how much space the Vega is capable of extending to, as drones appear on the left and right channels and engulf your outer ear in horrible dread. My only issue with this stage is that I would have liked just a little bit more headroom, because as big as some tracks may seem, they’re large image squishes just the tiniest amount of detail retrieval in the highs. All in all, this is a satisfying image with great extension.

Low End

Without being too glaring, or too overbearing, the bass response on the Vega 2020 is simple and natural. Bass instruments can always be heard, and are separated nicely and carefully articulated. It almost sounds like the bass is fragile, but what’s really accomplished here is a flatter, more reference style response. It’s not the most impactful timbre, but it has its places and helps to balance out the sound signature well.

Mids

I’m a fan of how much clarity and resolution Campfire can crank into a mid-range. However, the Vega 2020 is a little more reserved compared to previous models. It absolutely does not lack in definition, as this is still a top-tier response compared to other brands, but there are more noticeable recesses on the Vega 2020 than any other Campfire IEM. The timbre then takes on more of a warmer tonality, with low mid extension and more specific notches on the sound spectrum. 

Highs

Although the Vega 2020 shows some recession in the mids, the higher bands don’t let up in their response. The treble features a detailed output that’s more natural in its timbre. Everything comes in pretty clean, but don’t expect a ton of sparkle or coloration. It comprises just enough detail to be consistently engaging but doesn’t offer much else in terms of richness. 

Summary

The Vega 2020 presents one of the more reserved sound signatures from Campfire. It sacrifices richness for articulation, and naturality, making it a more unique IEM from their library. In terms of an upgrade, the 2020 edition is a more sophisticated IEM when it comes to the signature, with a more complex response, and analytical details. If you like the more colorful Campfire timbres, this might now be what you’ll expect, but the soundstage might be what’ll change your mind. 

Pros and Cons

Pros: Soundstage, fit, high-end detail, cheaper price

Cons: Not as textured as the previous model

The Campfire Audio Vega 2020 is available at Audio46.

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