Introduction: Campfire Audio is a company based in Portland, Oregon USA and has established their reputation as a good audio manufacturer and is well regarded for their great audio products like fan favorites Andromeda, Vega (and my other love, Polaris). This year marked a departure from their usual IEMs with their well received Cascade and now, the new Campfire Audio alpha/omega IEM's; beginner friendly Comet and their ToTL Atlas! I would like to thank Campfire Audio for the Comet review sample they provided. The Comet is currently at $199 USD.
Frequency Response: 20Hz–20kHz
Sensitivity: 97 dB SPL/mW
Impedance: 48 Ohms @ 1kHz
Driver Config: Single Full Range Balanced Armature Driver
Looking at the rather high impedance (48Ω) and low sensitivity (97dB) one would think it's going to be hard to drive and enjoy; far be it, the Comet can be driven by phones at good loud volumes with no trouble.
Standard Campfire Audio Box
Unboxing: Like previous Campfire Audio (IEM) packaging, the Comet comes in a minimalist box that fits the carrying case and other accessories/documents with little to no waste of space.
Nicely Done Yet Again
The black textured earphone case holds the IEM and the cable, while under it is a false bottom that hides the rest of your campfire goodies.
From Top Left to Right
Campfire Audio Lapel Pin
Silicon Earphone Tips (s/m/l) w/ Cleaning Tool
Campfire Audio Comet User Manual
Campfire Audio Marshmallow Tips (s/m/l)
SPINFIT Tips (xs/s/m/l)
The case is made of faux leather that seems to be as good as the real leather ones that came with the higher end CA IEMs.
Inside hides the Comet, protected by drawstring 'socks' (that seriously, the Andromeda should have too) and connected to the pure copper Litz cable with controls and a mic.
Mallow Tips Attached by Default
Cable: Is made of four pure copper Litz wire conductors and is very soft and durable being covered in an opaque black jacket.
The Y-split is a simple plastic bar holding the chin adjuster slider in place
Unmarked 3-button controls, works with Android and IOS (Vol+, Play/Pause, Vol-)
No memory wire, light L/R markings and colored dots with the MMCX connectors.
Having a microphone and the Comet designed to be used in either ear makes identifying left and right easy as the right will always have the microphone and control bar. You may need more indicators when using 3rd party or non microphone wires though.
Fresh From The Crater
Design/Fit/Build: The Comet is housed in a drop forged stainless steel body that's shaped like a canon (or sci-fi pistol/hair dryer as some have noted), and though at first glance it may seem awkward, it works. With the right tip, the Comet fits easily in ones ear and stays in place with the stock cable even if it's a weighty IEM; with heavier cables you might need to do an over-ear loop to help keep them in place. You can comfortably wear them for hours with no issue even when lying down (some ears may beg to differ though).
The shell is smooth and quite possibly a scruff and scratch magnet if not treated carefully, thankfully, since they are metal, they can be buffed back if the scruffs aren't so deep. The inner workings of the Comet include one custom designed vented full range balanced armature housed in their proprietary T.A.E.C. (Tuned Acoustic Expansion Chamber). The nozzle is nicely made with a prominent tip lip and covered by a grill to protect the Comet insides.
Sound Stuff: Out of the box the Comet was a surprising piece of kit, even more when you realize what is inside the shiny metallic shell. It showed capable bass hits, clear mids and crisp highs. After over a hundred hours of use, the Comet is ready to be dissected.
Bass: For a single BA, having palpable bass isn't something easy to achieve and yet the Comet does it, with a sub-bass extension that is moderately deep and clear. The smooth bass is quick and accurate in resolution. Mid bass doesn't have as much presence as other multi BA IEMs or even a small dynamic driver but it has a quick and near moderate punch that sets the pace for an engaging overall bass presentation.
Mids: There is a good amount of body in the lower mids that gives life to male vocals, the upper mids have a bit of forwardness and warmth that makes female vocals inviting and fun. Overall the mids have a clear presentation with great retrieval of detail and good transparency in layering that doesn't sound congested or busy.
Highs: Have a good amount of extension that sounds natural, clear and modestly detailed. There is a good amount of air and sparkle with a crisp texture to the notes in this range that lends energy to the music. There is no sibilance or harshness with the treble which shows great control and articulation.
Soundstage: Has accurate positioning of instruments and vocals, with a wide soundstage; vertical layers are less spaced than horizontal spacing with the Comet. The overall stage sounds natural and open.
Conclusion: The Comet has a good level of bass with great mids and very good treble that provides a relatively balanced musical experience. Combine it with great staging, detail retrieval, solid build quality, great accessories, a relatively affordable price tag and you have an excellent product that is of great value and a gateway for better Campfire Audio stuff.
Please note that when you use (way) louder than normal volumes with the Comet, the bass can start to blow out on bass heavy tracks. Also, when using a device with high output impedance, the Comet can demonstrate distorted and/or blown out bass as well as sharper highs.
Pros: Goodly balanced output, fun musical experience, good details and layering, easily driven, solid build, great accessories and cable.
Cons: Chin adjuster is stuck before the control bar in between the IEM (basically will not work as intended)
Nitpicks: Considering the price, there isn't, not even the limit to the volume.
Nicely Done, Good Day
Sound testing was done using a Sony WM1a (Primarily), a Hiby R6 and Zishan Z1(for comparison) and a phone (for checking driveability) volume matched to 90.X db of max volume for safe hearing below 8 hours of use and calibrated using a 1kh tone on a dedicated DB Meter, all sources patched through a switcher. More information will be available on the About Me page (once I find the time to write it up.)