Campfire Polaris: Dual driver hybrid

Discussion in 'IEMs and Portable Gear' started by Crinacle, Aug 11, 2017.

  1. Crinacle

    Crinacle Friend

    Staff Member Friend IEMW MZR
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2016
    Likes Received:
    817
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    SG
    Home Page:
    As most of the IEM community should already be aware of the hype, I won't spend too much time on introductions.

    A Polaris demo was just recently made available and I got a trusted friend (@malvinvnv, doesn't use SBAF much though) to get some measurements and impressions. Unfortunately as I'm not in IEM paradise now, I won't be able to get a personal listen until they hit Aussie shores.

    polaris1.jpg
    polaris2.jpg

    <1ohm OI
    [​IMG]

    3ohm OI
    [​IMG]

    Disclaimer: While they are performed on the same IMM6 + tubing rig that I use, take the above measurements with a grain of salt as there are not mine and thus subject to subtle differences in equipment and/or technique. Will attempt to get measurements of my own as soon as possible.


    First impressions (not mine)
    • V-shaped signature
    • Enhanced yet surprisingly fast bass
    • Recessed midrange (particularly lower mids)
    • Upper mid rise, reminiscent of Asian/Japanese-styled colouration a la FitEar/Pinnacle P1 that focuses on female vocals
    • Polite treble, decent extension
    • Average soundstage. Not as wide as Andromedas but not as compressed as Etymotics
    MSRP set at 600USD.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 14
    • List
    Last edited: Aug 11, 2017
  2. KenBall

    KenBall Owner - Campfire Audio

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,073
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Home Page:
    Hey Guys,

    Sorry I have been absence for a while on SBAF, so busy with not enough hands on deck.

    Polaris has a lot of tidbits, doodads and a-ha!'s we as a company complied through a lot of work with all our past models. We wanted the price tag to performance ratio to be very attractive for the customer. I think the Polaris does this in a big way and we hope the customer finds it as enjoyable to listen to as we do. The Polaris excells with a mobile device streaming files and has a extremely "fun" sound that is designed to put a smile on your face.

    North-Star... put a smile on your face.

    Cheers,

    Ken
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 18
    • List
  3. deafdoorknob

    deafdoorknob Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2016
    Likes Received:
    485
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    hong kong
    sorry i wasn't able to catch you guys at the HK show this year. Do share with us some ideas behind the polaris when you find the time or while awaiting to board your flight!
     
  4. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,495
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Meow Parlour
    @KenBall
    May we set up a loaner tour?
    I'd like to hear the a-ha's.
     
  5. KenBall

    KenBall Owner - Campfire Audio

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,073
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Home Page:
    Indeed, please PM me with a address.

    Thank you,

    Ken
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 7
    • List
  6. KenBall

    KenBall Owner - Campfire Audio

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,073
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Home Page:
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 7
    • List
  7. zerodeefex

    zerodeefex SBAF's Imelda Marcos

    Staff Member Friend BWC
    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2015
    Likes Received:
    12,926
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Hey Ken,

    Our gear Master is retiring so we need a couple of days to figure out how we're going to handle loaners going forward. A Polaris tour would be awesome!
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 2
    • List
  8. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,495
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Meow Parlour
    @zerodeefex
    I'll volunteer to manage the Polaris tour, if you like.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 5
    • List
  9. Mithrandir41

    Mithrandir41 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2016
    Likes Received:
    2,010
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Ridgecrest, CA
    Count me in if this happens!
     
  10. mscott58

    mscott58 Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2015
    Likes Received:
    2,144
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Philly - Yo
    Ditto. I'm in. Cheers
     
  11. deafdoorknob

    deafdoorknob Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2016
    Likes Received:
    485
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    hong kong
    impromptu audition part 2

    polaris... tldr: a more vibrant, colourful, open cousin to the noble X. fits better than all the CFA i've tried. possibly the highest vfm within the product line, tho andros is seriously good vfm for a totl iem.

    very likeable, i would say W shaped more than V shaped, the upper mid rise makes vocals project nicely, even if you get more throat than chest.

    crunchy in a very good way.

    good depth. less claustrophobic than noble X or lyra2/dorado.

    @KenBall is it normal to get so much driver flex upon insertion? it's a little disconcerting lol.

    ergonomics request... please offer a moulded heatshrink minus memory cable option for the cables... pretty please!

    well done ken & co! possibly my 2nd favourite CFA iem after the andros.

    personal ranking... Andro > Polaris > Jupiter > Vega > Dorado > Lyra 2 > Orion > Nova
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 5
    • List
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2017
  12. Changeling

    Changeling Tube Slut

    Friend
    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,327
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Sweden
    Is there a way to do a loaner tour in the EU as well?
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  13. Aleatorius

    Aleatorius Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2016
    Likes Received:
    90
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Dallas
    Sounds like I'd vastly prefer this over the Jupiter, if a tour is available I'd like to participate, thanks!
     
  14. muse

    muse Facebook Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2015
    Likes Received:
    229
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Managed to demo the Polaris today.

    I've not dipped my feet into this hobby for more than half a year due to hectic work commitments, and so may not be up to date with the latest IEM offerings, but the Polaris is the most cohesive sounding hybrid that I've come across so far (against the UM Martian, FLC8S, IBasso IT03, and other Chi-fi stuff).

    It has been mentioned how the Polaris was designed to sound great from the HO of smartphones; I found this to be the case using my iPhone 6 streaming Hi-Res Tidal.

    In terms of sound signature, I'll leave more qualified folks on here to do a more comprehensive breakdown, but my impressions generally coincide with @deafdoorknob.

    • Colored sounding. Not in the all-over-the-place overblown crap way. Fun.
    • W-ish shaped.
    • The type of bass only a DD can provide -- great texture and decay. No bloom.
    • Midrange a teeny bit 'wonky'; lower and upper mids seem slightly disjointed (I find this to be my primary gripe with hybrids)
    • ^Still the best among all hybrids.
    • (FWIW everyone raved about the cohesiveness of the IBasso IT03 but I just could not agree with that assessment, so perhaps it's my inherent/intrinsic disagreement with that type of sound?)
    • The second hybrid I would deem to have a refined, well-controlled treble (alongside the FLC8S setting no. 2724.2)
    • Staging is a good deal forward. Intimate.
    • Soundstage width not the widest. Overall nicely proportioned.
    • Plus points are layering, spaciousness, airiness.
    • Fit was a bit meh for me. I have fucking weird ear anatomy.
    • Those with tiny, short, finicky, disagreeable and unimpressive... ear canals like me will prefer the shorter bore length of the Andromeda, which allows the bulk of the monitor to fit more snugly within your ear cavity.
    Comparisons with the Andromeda:
    • Tonality is different.
    • Density and weight of notes is heavier on the Polaris.
    • Andromeda is leaner, with cleaner and faster transients.
    • Staging on the Polaris is a good bit more upfront.
    • Andromeda is more refined.
    • Andromeda is more cohesive.
    • Andromeda is the king of IEMs.
    • Andromeda sounds more natural overall.
    • Polaris DD bass is rendered more nuanced and natural than any BA IEM can produce, Andromeda included.
    • Higher frequencies are similar in flavor, including the telltale Andromeda treble 'shimmer' without any sibilance.
    • The midrange is where the Andromeda and Polaris really go in different trajectories.
    • Andromeda is a lot smoother.
    • Andromeda has equal emphasis on both the lower and upper midrange.
    • Lower mids of the Polaris sounds 'sucked out' in comparison.
    • Both quite versatile. Shit recordings and good recordings sound at minimum decently enjoyable.
    • What happened to Coldplay though? Long gone are their heydays of stripped down, soulful music. Also the amount of compression in their newer albums is just absolutely awful.
    • The Andromeda is more resolving.
    • Layering and separation on Polaris is good but Andromeda is still a notch above.
    • Stage on the Andromeda projects slightly further out in all axis, and is also better proportioned.
    • The Andromeda is truly the fucking king of IEMs.
    • If you're loaded with cash, I'd say the Polaris and Andros complement each other nicely.
    • (Andromeda also through the iP6, but with reference to the ZX2 which I did not bring back home)
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 11
    • List
  15. deafdoorknob

    deafdoorknob Almost "Made"

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2016
    Likes Received:
    485
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    hong kong
    had another brief listen today (was there mainly to listen to the UM ME.1 again) @muse is right with the mids, inasmuch that podcasts take on a slight quacky quality that is MUCH LESS offensive with music. upper mids are cleary projected. creates a very addictive "3D" effect tbh

    i wonder if tip rolling would minimise that as the store was using spinfits.
     
  16. muse

    muse Facebook Friend

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2015
    Likes Received:
    229
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Yeah the same at my local store. I love spinfits with the Andros, but it only further elongates the bore length and consequentially worsens the fit with the Polaris. Maybe I should have requested for foams, but in my experience with Comply tips thus far I've always hated how it stymies the upper frequencies and 'blankets' over the sound.
     
  17. KenBall

    KenBall Owner - Campfire Audio

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,073
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Home Page:
    A quick word regarding the driver flex.

    Our dynamic drivers are a custom driver that uses a unusually thin PET speaker. This extreme thinness is the reason its so good/different sound wise, there is no way around the driver flex you hear when they are inserted in your ears. The material is incredibly thin in order to have the dynamic range and awesome low end, as a result when you insert it in your ear you will hear the speaker "click" a bit and is totally safe. The flex is suppose to do that and will not degrade the life of your IEM, we did life tests on these speakers and made sure it would be stable.

    Cheers,

    Ken
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 10
    • List
  18. KenBall

    KenBall Owner - Campfire Audio

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2016
    Likes Received:
    1,073
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Home Page:
    Sounds good, PM me a address to send to if your still into it.

    Cheers

    Ken
     
  19. Kunlun

    Kunlun cat-alyzes cat-aclysmic cat-erwauling - Friend

    Friend IEMW
    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2015
    Likes Received:
    5,495
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Meow Parlour
    Done

    @Vansen Will collaborate with you. Just getting this started and will see you on Sunday.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 1
    • List
  20. PoochZag

    PoochZag The Shadow knows - Friend

    Friend
    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2015
    Likes Received:
    1,223
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Boston
    I got these this morning, after trying to rid myself of needing to use a DAP, and as a consequence Andro with it (my phone's OI is around 6.5 and Andro is too bright for long work listening sessions).

    Polaris immediately reminds me of a just generally better Mee P1. It has tighter, more textured bass and a bit more clarity and sparkle up top, but definitely a similar V-shaped signature with that fairly forward upper midrange. @La Cenric was spot on with the Japanese tuning comment.

    It doesn't have the insane slam and authority of Dorado down low, nor Dorado's crystalline highs. But Polaris is a more subtle V than Dorado, and while the nozzles are a bit longer than the BA designs, they fit well, and is still much more reasonable than Dorado's long nozzle.

    Not the reference type signature of Andro/Jupiter, and not as clear and resolving, but a nice fun listen for sure, looking forward to it being my new daily driver at work. The tasteful amount of extra bass helps fill things out when listening for hours at lower levels, but retains good detail and treble sparkle, which IMO Lyra 2 failed to do.

    These are much prettier in person than in pictures, the two tone initially jarred me, but that blue is gorgeous and they look normal and unassuming when in the ear. The new black cable is a pleasant surprise, seems a little but thinner and more pliable than the Andro litz cable.

    [​IMG]

    I am curious to see more measurements, impedance, more impressions, and to know where the crossover is.
     
    • Like / Agree Like / Agree x 12
    • List
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017

Share This Page