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Campfire Audio Satsuma and Honeydew Review – Sweet & Sour

Verdict –

While the recent set of flagship refreshes from the company might gather more hype than this release, I was personally just as excited to try the Satsuma and Honeydew. This is so, because I had no idea what to expect from Campfire’s foray into prosumer audio. In reality, both earphones are undoubtedly a CFA creations; their tuning idiosyncrasies are sprinkled throughout and the overall experience will be familiar to past customers too. While it is sad to see Campfire switch to plastic shells, the step up in fit stability and comfort will be a huge asset for professional stage monitoring.

As before, the company draw upon their extensive experience to masterfully cater towards specific users and preferences. Accordingly, it is evident mass appeal is not the goal. For the Satsuma, this sentiment applies less so. This is a good cheapish IEM in all regards but shy of greatness in many though I cannot personally deny its charm. It is also relatively versatile if still best suited towards the vocal lover. Meanwhile, it it evident that the Honeydew targets a much more specific niche who require a clear focus on the bass whilst retaining modest linearity in the bass itself.

Satsuma

When it comes to musical enjoyment, the Satsuma is an especially enjoyable model to me. I know the Comet is one of the companies more popular options, and the Satsuma builds nicely on its foundation. While it is slightly more vocal-focused, the Satsuma is noticeably deeper reaching in the bass, cleaner in its voicing and more detailed on top. The soundstage is more spacious if at the cost of being a little diffuse. It is easy to drive, being basically source agnostic, has a musical and well-considered tonality and enough bass power to be enjoyed with many genres.

Honeydew

The Honeydew is the more polarising option of the two though perhaps intentionally as it wasn’t designed for balance or versatility like the Satsuma – placing the quantity and quality of its bass above all else. It does retain a reasonably clear and natural vocal range in addition to a nicely detailed lower-treble, albeit both are substantially laid-back and separation leaves much to be desired. While it is slightly more detailed and does have the bigger soundstage of the two, the step back in imaging acuity, separation and its overt bass focus mean it won’t be the choice for most listeners.

Closing Thoughts

The ease of drivability and focus on all-day comfort and fit stability are all conducive towards a good user experience for professional musicians. Similarly, these models may appeal to more casual audiophiles with less priority on critical home listening and more frequent portable use; in the presence of loud ambient noise, the Honeydew’s large bass may makes a lot more sense. When considering the total package on offer for Campfire’s target demographic, the intention and the execution are both worthy of praise and the price point is more than appropriate.

The Satsuma and Honeydew are available from Campfire Audio (International) for $199 and $249 USD respectively at the time of writing. I am not affiliated with Campfire Audio and receive no earnings from purchases through this link.

Track List –

Arcade Fire – Funeral 

Childish Gambino – Kauai EP

Courtney Barnett – Tell Me How You Really Feel

Dirty Loops – Next To You

John Legend – Get Lifted

H.E.R – I Used To Know Her

Kehlani – While We Wait

Lee Suhyun – Alien

Mac DeMarco – This Old Dog

MAMAMOO – TRAVEL

Missy Higgins – The Sound of White

Nature TV – Emotion Sickness EP

Nirvana – Nevermind

Radiohead – Pablo honey

Steely Dan – Aja

The Cranberries – No Need To Argue

Tori Kelly – Solitude

Weezer – Weezer

Vaundy – strobo

ZICO – THINKING Part.2

2 thoughts on “Campfire Audio Satsuma and Honeydew Review – Sweet & Sour Leave a comment

  1. Hi Ryan, hope you’re doing well in these difficult times. It’s been a long time since I visited your blog. Amazing job on the satsuma and honeydrew impressions.
    Now that the things are coming back on track with offices re-opening here in my country, I was thinking of upgrading my audio set up for commute. Currently I use Tin P1 with my Hiby R5. I absolutely love my P1 and wish to have another iem with similar sound signature albeit with a better sound stage and a cleaner sound. I guess lower mids in P1 could’ve been slightly thinner since they can sound muddy in complex tracks (e.g. various genres of heavy metal). Satsuma seems a promising upgrade, what do you suggest. I read somewhere that Orion is even better than Satsuma and here in my country both are selling at the same price.

    Like

    • Hey Mohammad,

      Thanks for your support and kind words, hope you’re doing well too!

      The P1 is quite a full sounding earphone, not the most separated as you say. I think you’ll find the transition to the BA transducer type to naturally bring greater separation and definition. The Satuma will sound considerably more separated but also more forward in the mids, consider if this is okay for you.

      The Orion is a pretty balanced earphone but we’re talking Ety levels of flatness in the bass, where the Satsuma has a bit more extension and warmth here in addition to an airier treble. I personally find the Satsuma more versatile but the Orion is good if you want a more accurate voicing in the midrange.

      Hope that helps!

      Best,
      Ryan.

      Like

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