Today we are taking a look at the Campfire Audio Vega. This is the companies previous flagship model, having been replaced by the Atlas, and Solaris. It is currently available at a reduced price from Campfire Audio directly, although if you look around, you might be able to find a slightly better deal due to their ex-flagship model status.
The Vega represents a ballsy (literally in this case, thanks Ken Ball!) take on a flagship earphones tuning. It prioritises bass. Yes, not treble or luxurious mids, but thunderous bass. I’m not sure where it originates from, perhaps the overly bass-y “consumer” model headphones, which are ubiquitous, but audiophiles seem to be scared of bass. They also seem to be scared to admit they enjoy bass, even though slightly elevated bass leads to a more natural and authentic sound profile, in my opinion. It took a bit of courage for Ken Ball, CEO of Campfire Audio, to not only tune an earphone with this much bass, but to make it his flagship model. Now, with all that being said, the Vega does take it a little bit too far, verging into “basshead” territory, but I love it. These earphones may as well have been tuned by the greek gods rather than ken ball, the bass is that thunderous.
Campfire Audio, based in Portland Oregon, seem to pay an amazing amount of attention to their build quality. The Vega, and the rest of the product line exude quality. They weigh just the right amount, and have meticulous detailing. Even the MMCX connectors, which can be problematic, are done in beryllium copper, to be longer lasting and robust. The Vega feature one 8.5mm ADLC dynamic driver, eschewing the multi driver balanced armature set ups seen commonly from other manufacturers for their top of the line models. I have always felt that a single dynamic driver, done well, can match or even exceed multi driver models in terms of sonic performance. In my opinion, the Vega does.
Lots of it. Really. Lots. Though perhaps a little bit bloated sounding at times, it still manages to hit hard. These sort of remind me of the full size Abyss AB-1266. It isn’t the most detailed bass I have heard, but in terms of closed back earphones, it is no slouch. Some may feel the Vega and its epic bass response is a bit of a party trick, but I don’t agree. It brings a sense reality to the music you are listening to.
The mids are mediocre on the Vega. In comparison to something like the Hifiman RE2000, they lack the quality and slightly liquid nature in terms of the mid range. The mids aren’t very present, and in combination with the slightly elevated treble, make these have a bit of a V shaped frequency response. The detail in the mids is adequate. Not amazing, but not terrible either.
The treble on the Vega has a slight sparkle to it, and is definitely boosted, especially in the lower end of the treble. I detected a bit sibilance at times. However, the detail in the treble is super. Perhaps this is due to the treble being elevated, making it more apparent, but it is super nonetheless.
The Vega have excellent dynamics and slam. The soundstage, whilst not as spacious sounding as either the Campfire Audio Andromeda, or the Audeze LCD-i4, has great depth.
Campfire Audio Andromeda
The Andromeda are definitely the better earphone. They have a bigger soundstage, better technicalities, and a more balanced tuning. However, I just don’t enjoy them as I enjoy the Vega. I can definitely see the Andromeda appealing to a wider audience than the Vega, and I believe it does. If you prioritise bass, slam, whilst still retaining good technicalities give the Vega a shot. If you tend to prefer a more balanced, less bass-y, “Audiophile” type tuning, try the Andromeda. Both are great earphones!
Campfire Audio Atlas
The Atlas is the earphone that replaced Vega in terms of being Campfire Audios TOTL statement piece. The Atlas is still a single dynamic driver earphone, but it bumps the size of the driver up to 10mm from the 8.5mm of the Atlas. Basically, the Atlas is like a bigger sounding Vega. They both go for the same bass centric tuning. The Atlas does have a bigger soundstage, though not as large and spacious sounding as the Andromeda.
The Campfire Audio Vega is a great pair of earphones. Ken Ball went against the grain and came up with a bass-y flagship IEM. Unusual, but appreciated by myself and many others. It has a bombastic low end, but does lack in ultimate detail retrieval and technicalities. They are currently going for around about $650USD on the used market, and if you are looking for a bass centric pair of earphones, I would highly recommend them. At their current new price ($1099USD) I would recommend saving up a little bit more, and purchasing the Atlas.
Thanks for taking the time to read!