Campfire Audio Vega 2020 Review

Campfire Audio have taken up the task of reinvigorating their previous range of products. The Vega 2020 is an example of just this claiming to take all the innovative aspects of the original 2016 Vega model and infusing an all-new design and tuning. The Campfire Audio Vega 2020 now comes in a ceramic body finish which pays homage to the Lyra. The material was chosen for its ability to reduce unwanted resonances as well as its superior scratch-resistant profile.

As with some of their products, Campfire Audio have gone for their signature amorphous diamond-like carbon (A.D.L.C) 10 mm dynamic driver at the heart of the monitors. The aim being to deliver sound while improving upon distortion and sonic flex. The Vega 2020 retails for $899 which places it below the $1099 Andromeda 2020 and $1299 Ara 2020. It is nice to see that Campfire Audio have taken time to update their longstanding range to incorporate what they have learnt from recent products.

Campfire Audio Vega 2020

The Packaging

An all-starry design surfaces once again on the Vega 2020 box. This time in an orange and green color scheme. Campfire Audio have really stepped up on the marketing front from yester-generation products and it clearly shows. The design language is overall precise and refined.

At the midst of the geometric patterns and shapes, the pure white ceramic monitors stand out and demonstrates an element of refinement and class.

Included within the packaging are: a selection of Final Audio tips, Campfire Audio Earphone tips, Silicone Ear Tips, a lapel pin, cleaning tool, Campfire Audio Litz cable and a green cork carrying case. The sustainable cork case is made in Portugal and harvested from the outer bark of the Cork Oak Tree. The abundance of accessories, together with the well-constructed case, bear the hallmarks of a premium product.

Build & Design

The Vega 2020 is an overall polished looking IEM with its clean white ceramic exterior. As mentioned, the ceramic serves multiple functions with a dense material to eliminate internal resonances as well as being profoundly scratch-resistant. The ceramic shells go through a sintering process where they are conditioned in high heat before being placed in small alumina stones and water to give their polished finish.

Campfire Audio have incorporated an acoustic dampener to further refine internal airflow to improve sonic performance of the dynamic driver. A small port on the face of the ceramic plates provides a vent for the rear of the 10 mm A.D.L.C dynamic driver. The spout of the Vega is machined from stainless steel and provides a great aesthetic contrast to the inherently white design of the ceramic faceplate. The overall design is robust which smoothened edges compared to the rather industrious design of some of Campfire’s previous products.

Driver configuration

Campfire Audio have chosen to taken a ‘back-to-basics’ approach with the driver configuration of the Vega 2020. There is no cross-over or proprietary technologies in the signal path. Instead, the Vega 2020 maximizes the simplicity of its design and high-quality materials for the end sound. There are high purity conductors used between their custom Beryllium Copper MMCX connector and the dynamic driver. The driver is now a 10 mm in size compared with the original Vega’s 8mm and uses A.D.L.C technology for a high stiffness to weight index.

Cable

Campfire Audio have used the same Silver-Plated Copper Litz cable which comes with the Andromeda and Dorado 2020. It is a tangle-resistant dual braid design with high quality beryllium/copper MMCX connections and an L-shaped 3.5 mm termination jack. The cable has great handleability as well as a low weight profile. There are no surprises here with Campfire Audio choosing to stick with a minimalist Y-splitter to match the smoked twisted jacket finish.

Fit & Isolation

Campfire Audio have really nailed comfort levels here with a design that is both compact and smoothened. The Vega 2020 have the right amount of insertion with the stock foam tips and the chamfered edges rest nicely against the conchae of the ears. The angled cable over the ears has a light plastic sheath to hold the shape in place allowing for a quick and easy fit.

One thing, however, that could be improved is isolation levels. It is very easy for example to pick up ambient noises when the monitors are secured in.

Sound impressions

Tonality

The Vega 2020 is rooted in guttural lows akin to the Campfire Audio Atlas without the peppier highs and zing of the original Vega IEMs. To this extent, the frequency response is largely smooth and whole-bodied with a rich foundation and supporting relaxed highs. Fans of more contrast in the low/treble section may find the Vega 2020 to lack some energy. Overall, the Vega 2020 does lean towards the darker side of the spectrum with a bass that lends warmth to the lower midrange and a treble that curtails in the mid-treble frequencies and beyond.

Bass

The sub-bass of the Vega 2020 is primed with great extension and low frequencies which reach into the abyss. However, there is an element of physicality missing compared to the likes of the Atlas and the 64 Audio Nio. Instead, the Vega 2020 demonstrates excellent range while falling slightly short of full-body impact. Compared to Campfire Audio’s most recent creations, the Vega 2020 renders fuller and warmer bass notes next to the more resolute and tactile bass of the Campfire Audio Ara.

Midrange

In keeping with the bass, the midrange is even toned with a smooth and rich timbre from the outset. Vocals do tend to sit further back in the overall mix which aids in a higher perceived sense of space. Overall, the midrange is full and rounded with little way in the contrast from the bass or treble section. The Andromeda 2020 in comparison sounds more open despite its mid-forward tendencies while the Vega 2020 impresses a richer tonal profile. The Vega 2020 are by no means the leaders of technicalities with other in-ear monitors such as the Campfire Audio Ara and 64 Audio U12 teasing out more detail. However, the Vega 2020 offers a relatively warmer character in keeping with its dynamic driver.

Treble

The treble of the Vega 2020 is more relaxed owing to its dip from the 5k to 9k frequencies. The end result being slightly less headroom and sparkle to propel some added height to tracks. Although this is a deliberate result from Campfire Audio to deliver a darker sound. Fans of articulate and ‘shimmery’ treble should look elsewhere as the Vega 2020 is quite laidback in this particular region.

Soundstage & Imaging

The staging of the Vega 2020 is certainly interesting. While there is an element of midrange recession, the overall large note size does reduce the sense of space and separation. This is exacerbated by the lack of headroom treble meaning the projection of sonic cues are average at best within this price range.  

Comparisons

Campfire Audio Atlas

The Campfire Audio Atlas has a more v-shaped signature compared to the Vega 2020. In addition, the Atlas is rooted in a more explosive bass presence which acts as its defining feature. The Vega 2020, on the other hand, retains a generally darker sound with its elevated bass and relaxed treble. The upper midrange and treble lift of the Atlas helps it in short sustain transients allowing for a bit of peppiness and zing in the higher frequency ranges. It is interesting to see that both monitors incorporate an ADLC 10mm dynamic driver yet deliver a markedly different sound.

Campfire Audio Andromeda 2020

The Andromeda 2020 retails for a similar price to the newly release Vega 2020. Again, both share a different flavor profile. The Andromeda 2020 is the more detail-orientated in-ear monitor which beautifully captures the essence of musicality and technicality with an openness and engagement that is quite hard to match in its price range. The Vega 2020 opts for denser tones with a relaxed treble delineating an overall darker signature. Of the two, the Andromeda 2020 is certainly airier whereas the Vega 2020 delivers a stronger bass to boot.

Conclusion

The Campfire Audio Vega 2020 is a new generation of the company’s portfolio with the employment of ceramics and a back-to-basic approach. At this stage, Campfire Audio have captured different flavor profiles to appease different tuning preferences. While the Vega 2020 is not the strongest in technicalities of their range, the rounded and smooth overtones may delight those with a preference for a darker and richer sound. The build and design do offer a refreshing improvement from the original Vega which looked more industrious in design. It is clear to see that Campfire Audio have released products with their own distinct sound while inherently making use of innovations at each stage.

Campfire Audio Vega 2020 Specifications

  • Frequency Response: 5Hz – 20kHz
  • Impedance: 36Ω
  • Number of drivers: 1
  • Sensitivity: 94dB

Available on Amazon UK

Manufacturer: Campfire Audio

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