Campfire Audio Atlas

Before starting this review, I would like to share technical aspects and package details.

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Specifications:

Driver: 10mm A.D.L.C dynamic driver

Cable Standard: MMCX

Frequency Respons: e5Hz–20 kHz

Sensitivity: 105 dB SPL/mW

Impedance: 19 Ohms @ 1kHz

Total Harmonic Distortion: Less than 1%

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Package Details:

Campfire Atlas earphone

Campfire Audio Premium Leather Earphone Case

Campfire Audio Super Litz Cable

Final Audio E-Type Tips (xs/s/m/l/xl)

Campfire Audio Marshmallow Earphone Tips (s/m/l)

Silicon Earphone Tips (s/m/l)

Campfire Audio Lapel Pin

Cleaning Tool

Earphone Protection Sleeve

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Test Equipment:

Lotoo Paw Gold Diana

Opus #1

Astell & Kern AK120

Hifiman Megamini

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Package, Design & Isolation;

Package is exactly the same as Vega, Andromeda or Jupiter. Only Solaris package has different size and pouch. All other content is identical with other Campfire earphones’ which is great. This is really small package but they have lots of things inside, like a Pandora box. Final Audio E-Type silicon tips, marshmallow tips, cleaning tools, velvet like earphone pouch and leather case, everything you need is in the box.

Atlas design is a hate or love situation and for me; I hate you but I love you. I am not a huge fan of Atlas’ design, but I have to admit that design is absolutely unique and looks great in the hands. Futuristic shell design seems like out of this world. It is looks like a deadly galactical laser gun. Shell is stainless steel and feels built like a tank and it is pretty heavy which I have had some concern about good sealing but nothing to worry about it, fits quite well. Both sides of shell have mini CA logos. Shiny shell design is eye catching and makes people wondering. Like other Campfire’s IEMs, Atlas also has beryllium MMCX socket and it is coming with new 4 braided pure silver cable. Cable design is similar with Solaris’ cable but it is less thick and a bit softer. Also, there is no memory wire due to Atlas design. New grill design nozzle is same as Solaris and Comet. I like the new design but it makes cleaning harder I believe.

Atlas has 1 single 10mm A.D.L.C dynamic driver inside and this driver is identical with Vega, except the size. Vega has 8.5mm and Atlas has 10mm. Campfire Audio is the first company that uses a non-crystalline diamond dynamic driver in earphone. Also, Solaris has the same A.D.L.C driver with Atlas with different tuning. This driver is very capable which is not the final form of this driver, I believe Campfire Audio will use different size or tuning with their hybrid or single dynamic driver earphone in the future. I like this idea, if something is good enough, you don’t have to create something new, just improve and make it different.

Isolation of Atlas is pretty good with foams or good with silicon tips. With the foam tips, fit is pretty secure and clearly better than silicon, and also isolation is great but I didn’t like the sound. It is cutting of the treble and adding some muddiness to the general spectrum. Silicon tips’ sound and fit are better for me and easy to cleaning. In spite of heavy stainless-steel body, it doesn’t fall from ears and stick out pretty well. I have tried different kind of silicon tips like Spiral Dot, Spinfit, Symbio, Acoustune and there is no issue with the fits.

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Sensitivity and driving:

Like most Campfire’s products, Atlas also has low impedance which makes it pretty sensitive. I can clearly hear hiss with some of my source like Lotoo Paw Gold Diana and Hifiman Megamini. When I compare it with Andromeda and Solaris in terms of hiss level, Atlas is more affordable than the other two. You can reduce hiss and background noise with iFi ieMatch as well.

Atlas is very efficient and easy to drive with any source. It is not power hungry, so you can use with any type of source. With my LPGD, I’m listening my UM Pro30 with 44-46 sound level (high gain) but with Atlas 36-38 sound level is pretty loud.

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Sound:

Atlas sound is following the same path of design, hate or love situation. Some flat or reference sound lovers might don’t like the sound because of the beefy bass and fun sound signature, but bass lovers you’ll love it that’s for sure. Overall sound is V shape like Vega, but more bodied and bigger sound. Fun signature and bass-oriented presentation offering very musical presentation.

Atlas’ sound is giving a smile in your face since first second of listening. Powerful and deep bass response with highly detailed top frequencies and slightly recessed mid frequencies, all together are great combined for almost all genres. Thunderous bass is phenomenal and shockingly powerful. Mid frequencies are recessed but vocal is slightly forward but not as forward as Solaris or Andromeda. Although huge bass response high frequencies are not laid back or rolled off, contrary it is quite prominent and detailed. Often bass-heavy earphones make some veil on the other frequencies, but I’ve never felt any veil with Atlas. It is well tuned.

High frequencies are well extended and it has nice sparkle. This reminded me IE800 but Atlas is much more controlled and not as splashy as IE800. Atlas’ trebles are performing a musical and smooth way which is not fatiguing. Cymbals are clear and distinct, not harsh or hot. Upper trebles extend quite well, and absolutely there is no roll off nor sibilance. High frequencies are not metallic and I’ve never experienced digitalization even when the volume is turned up. The clarity of trebles adds air and feels soundstage pretty wide. Bass is the most dominant part of Atlas but it is not over shadowing the trebles. Highs are extended well and you feel that you can hear every single clash, cymbals in the music without rolling off.

Prominent trebles of Atlas don’t show any analytical presentation. In fact, prominent treble earphones feel more sterile and analytical mostly, but Atlas does not feel analytical anyway. I believe power of low frequencies has some role in here. The airy presentation of the treble also has a positive effect on the instrument separation. All instruments are easily distinguishable and Atlas is doing really great job in here. Overall resolution of trebles is quite high. I am pretty impressed by the high frequencies.

The least prominent part of the Atlas is the mid area. I mean, it is not star of the show because of the prominent and detailed trebles and massive bass response. Beefy mids add some body on the overall sound. Lower mids are more distinct than the upper mids, as I said it adds body but at the same time it makes some mid-hump. This becomes more obvious with some bassy-vocal tracks but it is not bothering at all. In sense of timbre, it produces very natural sound, but still the instruments are a bit thicker than they should be. Of course, I am not talking about like JVC FX850 thickness, but it doesn’t feel as neutral as Andromeda. Since, Atlas is more of fun and engaging earphone and it is not trying to produce reference like sound. Listening to Le Trio Joubran songs are fantastic for its timbre. Oud sound is really amazing.

Although laid back mid frequencies vocal presentation is slightly forward and it offers very good listening range. As my personal taste, I like forward and romantic vocal presentation but I think Atlas’ vocal distance has a good effect on the overall soundstage and makes it feel spacious. Also, it is quite realistic and doesn’t feel any artificial effect. I can’t choose which is good but both male and female vocals are quite good with Atlas. It is not overshadowed by huge low frequencies or mid bass.

So, let’s talk about the most delicious region of the Atlas, bass. The bass is truly phenomenal and as much as praised they are. The quantity and intensity of the bass is quite high and bass-head people are going to love it. Despite all the power of the bass, it is quite controlled and tight. I am not talking about Andromeda or Solaris tightness but they are not powerful as Atlas. I’ll mention this on below when I compare all earphones. Bass doesn’t feel slow and recovery time is pretty good. It performs really well with fast progressive house tracks. After listening Atlas’ bass performance, it is hard to go back to the balanced armature bass. I believe dynamic driver bass is more enjoyable and natural than the balanced armature bass and no matter they cannot compete with dynamic driver in terms of quantity, timbre and layering. Only advantage of the balanced armature bass is its speed and clarity. Atlas bass has so much detail and power and sub bass reach pretty deep. Bass is a bit boomy like but it is not dominating other frequencies.

Soundstage is massively wide, and also very successful in depth, but wideness is one step better. Wide soundstage owed to the airy and prominent trebles and slightly forward vocals and laid back mids. Imaging and layering are top notch. Overall, Atlas’ soundstage and spaciousness are above average.

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Atlas vs Andromeda:

5 balanced armature vs 1 dynamic driver! It’s not fair to compare but they are sharing same DNA with different character. Andromeda is more sterile and accurate earphone when I compare with Atlas. Atlas taking its power from low frequencies and they start to differ in this case. Andromeda’s high frequencies are way more extend and details are more upfront. Don’t get me wrong, Atlas is also bringing all details into the music but Andromeda shows easier way. Atlas’ trebles are more like a little bit less sharp and softened. Andromeda’s mid frequencies are forward and detailed. Atlas’ overall sound character is V shape which is vocals and mids feels laid back. Vocal sound is more neutral and natural on Andromeda while Atlas is more smooth and warmer. Atlas is beefier in mid area and when switching back to Atlas from Andro, it is more obvious. Also, Atlas mids are more relaxed and laid back, also bolder and thicker while Andromeda is sharp like a surgeon. Low frequencies are the biggest differences between both earphones. Atlas’ bass is more powerful, impactful and deeper as you expected. 10mm diamond dynamic driver show its ability. Andromeda cannot compete with this department, but only advantage of Andromeda is faster in bass area. Atlas bass feels slower if I compare with Andromeda, but listening one after the other Andromeda bass feels lifeless even if not, which is not. Overall both Andromeda and Atlas are simply gorgeous IEMs and it is all personal preferences.

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Atlas vs Solaris:

Both Atlas and Solaris are sharing exactly the same diamond dynamic driver, but Solaris’ armed 4 more balanced armature drivers, and that makes it pretty dangerous. Solaris is the new shining star of Campfire Audio’s line up and it deserve its position. Although they are sharing the same driver, their sound is very different. I want to start with the low frequencies. It’s hard to believe they are sharing the same driver. Atlas bass is making an earthquake, shaking the bones and punching in your face while Solaris stays calm and doing its job when it’s necessary. Atlas has more physical power and quantity, but it feels slower when I compare with Solaris. Solaris is fast and controlled in bass region and it feels more natural and layered. Solaris mids also laid back like Atlas but vocal is more forward and detailed. Atlas vocal is little bit bolder and fun sound signature make it warm. Solaris has more treble quantity and is extended better but Atlas is not far away. Both earphones sharing same smooth trebles character. Overall, detail and resolution are better in Solaris but Atlas is very close in this regard. These are very different tuning earphones and they perform diversified genres better. For example, Atlas is amazing with EDM or R&B while Solaris performs jazz, acoustic music or instrumental. Of course, they are handling other genres very well.

 

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Verdict:

Atlas is very capable earphone for wide range of genres and doesn’t compromise on its detail and resolution. Pretty fun, engaging and musical. Also, it is a great option for who is looking for high-end bass head earphone and of course it’s not good for who is looking for neutral or reference sounding earphone. The quality of materials and built quality are again superb. Unique design of the Atlas is quite impressive. Campfire Audio’s pioneering role shows on its design language. Although I didn’t like the design at first, I started to like it when I was starting my review and it looks pretty cute right now.

I’ve tried many high-end single dynamic driver earphones on the market and I can easily say that the Atlas has a totl performance. The price isn’t cheap, but considering the recent market price, it is pretty fair for its performance.

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