The Campfire Audio Vega 2020 is a continuation of the earlier popular IEM model. Campfire Audio is one of the hardest working companies in the headphone game, always seeking to innovate and provide unique and quality audio products. They are a confident bunch, and rightly so, as headphone after headphone they release is embraced and beloved both for its careful craftsmanship and top notch sonic performance.
The new update to the Vega IEM is their latest project, and offers a signature and profile that is quite different to that of it’s more colorful original iteration. Does this make it a better or worse option for you? Let's find out details in this review.
What’s in the Box?
The new packaging here is in line with what Campfire Audio has done with the new 2020 releases, featuring the same box type as the Andromeda. It has the exterior shell which folds in over the box and is this really nice scarlet color with some silver detailing.
On the inside, you have the same color and material that flips up here to reveal your zippercase. This is a light green and is actually made out of upcycled marine plastic. This is in collaboration with a program called the Seaqual initiative that partners with companies to make products out of raw materials from ocean cleanup, so huge shoutout to Campfire Audio for this! It looks and feels great, and they’re doing a lot of good.
Also inside this separate compartment here you have two mesh bags, one of which contains a variety of ear adapters, including - 3 size campfire marshmallow (foam), and 3 size silicone, as well as some other bonuses. There is also a cleaning tool, and a campfire audio pin.
Design and Fit
The primary difference that you can see off the bat here is that the Vega 2020 has a new paint job. These IEMs have gone from a metallic silver to a straight white color, with the same black accents throughouts.
Our cable here has also changed from a lighter color to a more smoky shade. The cable is litz wire with silver plated copper, in a medical grade PVC jacket. It is a 3mm L shaped connection on the bottom, and the end that connects to your IEMS is a custom beryllium copper mmcx connection, for an extra durable component.
As for the building of the housing here, the body is made of a high density ceramic material, and the nozzle is a fresh looking stainless steel.
The nozzle here is a tad bit slimmer and stretches out a little further than that of the previous Vega, but for me I think this has slightly improved a fit that was already one of Campfire’s more comfortable. The Vega 2020 sits very comfortable in my ears and doesn’t feel too bulky or misshapen. The end of the nozzle also has a slightly different mesh patterning here, which is just a little bit larger.
As always, you are going to want to experiment with the eartips here and really make sure that you get a fit that is both comfortable for you, and help produce the most optimum sound. Campfire recommends the marshmallow tips for maximum isolation and proximity and resonance, but of course go with what feels best.
Check out our unboxing and video review of the Campfire Vega 2020 IEM as well.
When talking about elements under the hood, the calling card of the previous Vega was the unprecedented driver technology. Campfire became the first company to use a non crystalline diamond dynamic driver implemented exclusively for IEMs. That driver measured at 8.5mm, but this time around, it is back with a size increase to 10mm and a plasma enhanced diaphragm. This is designed to provide for a huge amount of clarity, micro detail and good agile dynamics.
An important thing to note here is that this is just a single dynamic driver, which is different from something like the Campfire Andromeda, which features 5 different balanced armatures, or the Dorado which is a hybrid model, with one of each.
These new Campfire Vega 2020s also feature a jump in their output impedance from 17.5 ohms of the older Vega all the way up to 36 ohms, so with a little more technological heft these are now also going to take a little more to drive - which is worth considering when figuring out your players and sources here.
The stage here is quite impressive for how wide it can get as an IEM. If you have these in with a tight seal and are listening with a decent amount of volume, the stereo image becomes very pronounced, and even a bit semi holographic here - but all without losing its special accuracy. The sound here extends to the edges of the earpieces and even leaks out some, giving a bit of the 3d type character you may get from open back over ear headphones.
If there was an area to focus on here, it would be perhaps that the height of the image does not succeed as well as it’s lateral elements - leaving a lot of the high clarity details feeling more spread out when they could afford to have a bit more depth. But overall, very satisfying stage for an IEM
The frequency response here is listed at a pretty low 5hz to a more standard 20khz. Given this, it is no surprise that, like it’s earlier version, this Vega has quite a lot to say when it comes to the low end of the sonic picture.
Bass frequencies are very present and have a large presence, but they have shed some of the more dominating qualities that it exhibited last time around - some probably found it to be overbearing, but I enjoyed the deep rattle. The response here is just a little more natural and balanced. The sound is definitely a little thinner, but bass elements are definitely legible, and have a good amount of separation and articulation.
A song like Girls@ by Joey Purp works really well here because it has a driving beat that - while very low end heavy - also has a pretty unique dry and forward quality to it, which is perfectly accentuated by this kind of signature. If you don’t know the song, check it out, you may see what I mean.
As far as mids, this is usually far and away the strength of a Campfire IEM, but this model surprisingly features a response here that is a little more reserved than you would usually expect. There is still a great amount of clarity and definition as I mentioned a little earlier, but the different mid frequencies are more recessed throughout in a pretty noticeable way, which gives these a different quality than I was expecting. Sounds are generally warmer, and there’s a bit of low mid extension, but the bridge from the high mids into the treble space is definitely scaled back a bit here.
In terms of the high frequencies themselves, these return to pretty excellent territory here, as they have an output that is strong and detailed, but definitely eschewing toward being more natural sounding. You won't find any added juice to produce more sizzle or sparkle up at the top end. This complements the rest of the signature well, and leaves the signature feeling and tending toward natural definition, but still with the character that the general U shape of the more recessed mids will provide.
Overall, these IEMs definitely provided a bit of a different sonic experience than I might have expected coming in. The signature of the Vega 2020 has just a little less color than its previous iteration, but if you’re more accuracy and analytical minded this may be a welcome change for you. Regardless, the Vega 2020 is another update from Campfire that seeks to offer a calculated variety in their line, instead of always rehashing the same experience.
These will be great for you if
-You want a straightforward and unobtrusive fit
-You like Campfire but want a bit more low end from them
-you want lots of detail and a big stage in your IEM
These may not be for you if
-you prefer the higher colorization and texture of the previous model.
The Campfire Vega 2020 IEMs are available to order at Audio46.