Review: Campfire Audio Honeydew IEMs
For $249, there’s a lot to love here.
In-ear monitors or IEMs have been around for ages, but they’re usually injection-molded or CNC machined from single blocks of metal. With 3D printing becoming more accessible, companies have started exploring using it to design IEM housings that have interior designs with acoustic properties impossible to create by any other method.
One such company is Campfire Audio, which has been creating audiophile quality IEMs from their Pacific North West home for years. They use 3D-printed acoustic chambers in all of their headphones for tuning the sound, and we’re looking at one set today.
So, what are they all about?
Okay, the first thing you’ll notice is that Campfire Audio loves to wow you before you even unpack the things. The packaging is all inside this double layer packaging that’s kinda like a cake box or a fancy party favor, and then there are functional bags inside bags for everything else.
There’s also a heavyweight canvas zip bag for putting everything in, and then mesh pull-string bags for the ear tips and for the IEMs and cable. It’s seriously impressive.
Then you pull out the IEMs and it’s another layer of wow. I mean, most IEMs are boring, dark things that are better off forgotten about until you put them in your ears. Not so with the Honeydew, with their bright yellowy-orange housing that’s full of the geometric facets that Campfire Audio is known for.
Inside those housings are 10mm full-range dynamic drivers, that use bio-cellulose diaphragms for a frequency range of 5Hz to 18KHz. They use standard MMCX connectors for the removable cable and stainless steel for the spouts that your ear tips fit on. That cable is silver-plated and high quality, but we’d like to see either a second, longer cable or a 3.5mm to 3.5mm extender included for desk setups.
Campfire sends five pairs of Final Audio foam ear tips in different sizes, three pairs of Campfire Audio’s ear tips, and another three pairs of silicone ear tips. I’ve got weird ear canals and even I had no problem finding a pair of tips that worked. The foam Final Audio tips in particular were great for extra bass and muffling external sound.
So, do they sound as tasty as they look?
Before I dive into the sound characteristics, I want to take a minute to talk about fit and feel. I mean, the best sounding IEM in the world is effectively useless if you can’t stand to have them in your ears. The Campfire Audio Honeydew only weighs 6g each, thanks to that ABS enclosure, and they’re fairly small, making them extremely comfortable to wear.
Okay, on to the sound. Most consumer IEMs are tuned to a V-shape, with bass and treble increased over the midrange. Campfire Audio took that and extended the bass response even further, so it’s more of a plateau that’s stronger than the rest of the frequencies.
This is the closest to the skull-shaking of speakers that I’ve ever experienced while using IEMs, and I like it.
That bass isn’t just warm and enveloping, it’s smooth as well, a world apart from the muddy mess that most cheap IEMs turn into. The mids get the same treatment, making these perfect for musicians, EDM fans, or any of the bass genres. Campfire Audio wanted to make an all-purpose IEM for traveling musicians and they’ve knocked it out of the park.
The rest of the range is clear, even over all of those low notes. I found vocals to come through fine, and there are zero fatiguing trebles, which is often the reason I stop using any IEM.
So, should I buy them?
For $249, the Campfire Audio Honeydew has enough bass to excite even the most jaded basshead (like me). They’re beautiful, solidly built, and did I forget to mention the bass? Because they’ve got oodles of that.
They’re a strong addition to anyone’s audio setup, especially if they’re a bass player, DJ, or drummer. We do wish there was a longer cable option though, as it’s hard to stretch over your desk to a DAC/AMP stack.
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