Hard to think of a phenomenon in the world of portable audio is more interesting than the well-known company producing a new product. This time, as such, made Campfire Audio, new is their first full-sized headphones Cascade.
On the one hand, there is nothing surprising in the “big” headphones from this American company no, their range of IEM’s, if not ideal, is committed to this condition (to achieve this rank they might as well have a couple more or less budget decisions). So the announcement Cascade was perhaps to be expected. On the other hand, the intrigue still remains: what will be the design which will set the price, what will happen to the sound? But let’s order. Full-sized headphones, closed design, but the overall design is rather “portable”, although not the most compact. The price tag chosen medium (around $ 800 at the time of the review), it’s not a budget model, but in tops, too, not seek. Well, actually, about the sound — will be discussed below.
- Emitter: 42 mm beryllium-coated diaphragm
- Frequency range: 5 Hz – 33 kHz (- 26dB)
- Sensitivity: 100 dB/mW
- Impedance: 38Ω @ 1 kHz
- Cable: removable, silver-plated, laser with ring connectors
- Plug: 3.5 mm TRS
- Weight: ~383 g
- The inner size of the lip (approx): 38 mm × 63.5 mm
Packing and delivery
Of course, typical box Campfire Audio, increased in size several times, looks strange, but it copes. For lovers of pristine packaging sealed in plastic, so you can be sure that no shopper headphones until you’ve tried. In the box is a large leather case on the snake with a noose in hand summoning up nostalgic memories of home after the caps attribute “smooth boy” of the 90s. Inside, of course, you will find yourself “Cascades”, the wire to them, a set of acoustic filters and user-garantiyku. Also don’t forgot to put in the kit and the branded badge with the company logo.
In General, what is called “presentation”, Campfire Audio traditionally on top.
Design and comfortable wearing
Here is the appearance of, perhaps, the Campfire was a success. The model looks quite stylish, while maintaining continuity with the IEM company, but the Cascade look inconspicuous enough for street wear. Cups are made of black aluminum, they have an almost square form with a characteristic of the company’s facets. Fork attachment — one-sided, but they provide rotation around two axes to ensure optimal fit. If desired, the cups rotate flat for a comfortable fit of the headphones on the neck, it is also possible to put them inside the headband, everything expected from a portable model.
One of the most amazing features of the design of the headphones is small the thickness of the cups, removing the thick ear pads, it is easy to make. I think a little distance from the driver to the rear side of the Cup is one of the reasons for the sounding of this model.
The headband is stainless steel, providing a comfortable force fit: it is not tiring, but it contributes to good sound insulation. The headband is made of extremely soft and head top almost no pressure. Judging by the reviews online, some people do not like how the user, wearing the Cascade, looks a full face, but, in my opinion, this is a hard nitpicking. Headband has a normal margin size adjustment, though owners of extremely large goals, it still may not be enough.
Ear pads these headphones applied the corner, they are made of sheep skin and are used for attaching magnets. The ability to quickly remove the ear pads needed here, as it was under them are the insertion of acoustic filters to the sound tuning. Therefore, Campfire Audio used as quick and convenient mounting scheme, to remove amborski or return them to the place can be literally a couple of seconds. By the way, if I understand correctly the idea is that these aftermarket filters close an opening leading to the back of the driver, thus regulating the amount of bass.
The wire, of course, is made removable, it connects to each Cup separately, used an unusual round connector with protrusions to ensure a proper connection. The idea is that the same connectors are used in the Sennheiser HD800, but I could be wrong, vomistar I have, unfortunately, long gone. Connectors these are, admittedly, very comfortable, they are easy to connect, and it is also no problem they can separate. The bundled cable is of sufficient quality as regards material and design, this silver-plated copper litts in cloth insulation that adds durability to it. Because isolation is easy microphonic effect, but it is really small. Fans of balance can immediately look in the direction of sister company ALO Audio on their website already have a model for Cascade.
In General, summing up this section, I will say that the design successfully combines ergonomics, comfort and practicality. Headphones have good sound insulation, sit well on the head and, apparently, able to please the owner for a long time. Long-lasting, possible slight effect of overheating the ears, but this is true for any closed model simply because of the physics, so a short break every couple of hours to do is worth.
To listen following equipment was used.
- Yulong DA9 and Resonessence Labs Concero HP in the role of DAC and amplifier
- Apple MacBook Pro Retina 2016 as the source
- Fidelia in the role of player
- Lotoo PAW Gold, theBit OPUS#2, Astell&Kern, A&ultima SP1000 and the role of other portable players
- Recording high-resolution Lossless-formats (Dr. Chesky have The Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc and others)
Before listening headphones were heated for 96 hours and it is the rare case when warming up the headphones need.
In General, the filing of “Cascades” widely varied acoustic filters, mainly affecting the amount of bass. After the first listen I was thinking about installing any of the filters since the number of woofers out of the box seemed excessive, but during warmup (I think was heated and headphones, and my hearing) the sound leveled up and I decided to stay on the stock version.
As Campfire Audio specialize in sound for portable headphone, they chose the option with a V-shaped frequency response. A headphone that is supposed to listen on the street, this is a logical step, as it is low frequency noise penetrates better into the closed Cup and that the lower part of the range suffers the most. So it is reasonable raised bass in this case it really helps. In turn, accentuated treble (or rather, the lower part at the junction with SC) compensate for the lower part of the range, balancing the flow of headphones. If you are going to listen to these headphones in the room — accenting can be easily removed with tuning.
The bass in this model is very powerful, it has a pleasant firmness and elasticity. He’s not superfast, but in General, the speed of claims does not cause. NCH here have a pleasant solidity and depth, initially by the sound of Cascade reminded Vega, but as a warm-up “toner” is a little shifted in the direction of Andromeda (but had not reached them). The bass is very well controlled and not actually creeps on other frequencies (well, except for the very rich synthetic bass tunes out there simply because of the physics of sound no other options). Headphones have nice drums, ideal for most styles, except for very brutal bands, but for the latter the kit put filters for tuning.
The midrange is a little laid by the wayside, but without any surplus, a strong failure is not here. Midrange is balanced — they are not supercontrast, but not smeared for “softness”, they have a good resolution, but not supercritical to the quality of the recording, they are not sharp, but well convey the emotions. Through proper tuning the frequency response of a Cascade of well-build imaginary scene, of course, open to the top models they can’t reach, but the width of the stage in them more than the average, which is very, very good for a closed headphone. Like Vega, the vocals here brought slightly forward, which in combination with a good separation effect plans gives decent separation in depth.
But what I would like to praise in these headphones is treble. For fans of this band like me, Cascade is very good. There’s no fluidity, no simplicity, no parasitic reflections and synthetics, typical of many closed models. I would guess that it’s in proper tuning (not thin Cup Lee to thank for that), nevertheless the company is not the first year on the market of personal audio. If you are sensitive to treble range, better these headphones to pre-listen.
As much as I wanted to write in this review section comparisons, to do this I can’t, because no comparable Cascade models closed I have no. Of course, it can be noted, for example, that they vaguely resemble panoramer Meze, only better in almost all respects. Or to write that with the Oppo PM-3 (similar form factor) they have nothing in common. You can even mention that on Head-Fi, for example, their competitors some people call Fostex TH-900, but the last I heard. So this time, alas, it will do without comparisons.
Campfire really picked the right sensitivity, their debut model is quite tight, so as not to make noise with today’s powerful players, but sensitive enough to not require polwatta power, just to sound. I would recommend to them a neutral source upper-middle segment, however, their potential is almost without exaggeration enough for tops.
Stylistically, the model is very versatile, although for different heavy genres, I would advise you, perhaps, use a little damping low cut filter, but it is a matter of personal preference. The quality of the recording model of medium is critical, somewhere in the 6 out of 10, problems mastering and you will hear clearly, but at the forefront they do not protrude.
Of course, without a few tracks for example, this review would have been much worse
Nightwish — Ghost Love Score. A great example of music, great bed in the fabric of the filing of “cascades”. Powerful bass assumes the creation of a tangible substrate, especially effective on entry, and a clean midrange and treble, coupled with a nice imaginary scene to complete the flow.
Billy Ocean — Loverboy. Perhaps if you add in a selection of something from pop music, we have to take stars Billy ocean, who was one of the main stars of British R’n’b 80’s. Great track, effectively underlined by the manner of the filing of the heroes of this review, it just automatically takes you into the atmosphere of discos of those times (and what about the rhythm section in the performance of the Cascade…)
Che Ecru — Lonely. Well, another track is selected using tailor the solution to the answer. Composition with spectacular bass and surround stereo in combination with the first pornogratherapy Campfire Audio is hypnotic, mesmerizing and just envelops their sound.
I’m not sure whether this model will someone use it as a portable on the street, but the fact that we got a good model for those who want qualitatively to listen to music in the office or at home in the same room with the household — no doubt. Campfire Audio, according to them, more than one year tune the sound and design of this model, and admittedly, the result is “level”. Separately, developers want to thank in absentia for what not to do “flagship” price tag, in this they went contrary to the recent trends.
Buy Campfire Audio Cascade