Campfire audio, enough for an introduction to the article. This brand needs no introduction. they have been one of the most dominant IEM brands and their Solaris and Andromeda are regarded as some of the best IEMs one can but in their respective price bracket.
Campfire Audio has been busy lately. They came up with Honeydew and Satsuma very recently and now they have two middle weight IEMs. I have both of these with me but the Mammoth sounds like a more relevant of the two. It is replacing the Polaris and houses similar set of drivers too. While the Polaris had a 9.2mm DD paired with one BA while the Mammoth has a more improved 10mm Bio-cellulose diaphragm paired with two separate BA drivers for mids and highs.
Just like most other Campfire IEMs Mammoth too doesn’t have any other color scheme and is priced at $549. It goes head on with Shure Aonic 5, DUNU EST112 and Shanling ME700 lite.
Get your own Mammoth from these links:
All the IEMs I received (Holocene, Mammoth, Honeydew, Satsuma, Dorado 2020) have exactly same set of accessories. The only differences are their packaging color and carry case color. I like the way these IEMs maintain Eco friendly packaging with only paper and cardboard usage. No unnecessary use of material. Up cycled Marine Plastic in the form of SEAQUAL® YARN makes up the rugged outer layer of if this case. Mammoth has a funky looking All Seeing Eye IEM Case. In their words:
“Each case pattern design is unique, and each is one of a kind. Our ‘All-Seeing Eye’ color palette ranges from playful soft oranges to vibrant pinks. Mysterious geometric shapes float freely and collide in unexpected ways. These are fun cases that protect your earphones and give you something fun to enjoy.”
The first thing greeting us is the carry pouches and the IEMs with the cables are placed inside them, while the earpieces are placed in tips organizers. Sets of Final Audio tips, generic wide bore tips and bullets foam tips are placed in a paper box placed over the pouch. One can find a Campfire Audio badge and all the placed inside the same paper box. These tips organizers are really helpful if you like to carry your tips on the move.
HOW IS THE CABLE:
I always prefer good quality cables with any IEM priced over $100. These IEMs have the same litz build as the more premium and cheaper IEMs, thats kind fo strange since this cable is used with both Ara and the entry level Satsuma too. There are some cosmetic changes to the appearance of it but the cores are exactly same. I like this 4 core SPC “Smoky Glow” cable with beryllium copper MMCX connectors, but this time around the connectors have radium in it which glows in the dark for a long time after it is exposed to light. Higher the intensity of light it is exposed to, the brighter it glows. The cores have a layer of clear coat on them to protect it from minor scratches. It is not flashy or as premium looking as the DUNU Zen cable but it compliments these IEMs both aesthetically and sonically.
Build quality of this cable is very good. It is one of the more supple cables with a low profile. It barely has any microphonics. Cable guides too are supple and comfortable. 3.5mm jack has some stress reliever but it is missing at the Y-splitter. There is a cable slider to keep things tidy.
All in all it is a very good cable at this price point.
BUILD QUALITY AND ERGONOMICS:
This IEM has exactly same design we see with more premium IEMs like Andromeda and has the exact type of shell made out of aluminum. But this time around Mammoth has a black PVD finished stainless steel nozzle providing impressive strength, stability and aesthetics. One need not to worry about the weight of the earpiecs either as they are not heavy or as heavy and acrylic filled shells. It has a 3D printed interior. This nozzle is aptly long, longer than Andromeda, giving the earpieces a reasonably secure fit. It can fit anything in between T200 and T400 sized tips. The set of final tips it ships with are exceptionally comfortable and stable inside the ear. There is a single pressure releasing vent on the back plate of the IEM.
Words from the makers:
“3D Printed Interior
Carefully Designed for Optimum Sonic Performance
Close attention to detail is critical to delivering you a superior musical experience from our earphones. Mammoth features an acoustically optimized interior chamber and rear port design that allows its driver to deliver the very best sound quality.”
Ergonomically this shape is average. It is somewhere in between of being semicustom, bland and uncomfortable depending upon individual’s ear’s shape and sizes. If you have big ears like me this doesn’t possess much problem but if you have smaller ears I assume that the sharper edges of this shell can get a bit uncomfortable and if you have huge ears this can feel like a straight barrel IEM. The saving grace here is the slightly angled nozzle. This angle is solely responsible for providing some traction and grip inside the ear. This design is immortalized now and I don’t see Campfire Making much changes to this but hey!! Guys.. Can we have a bit of rounded edges with the successors of these IEMs? With that being said, I don’t expect Campfire to make a semi-custom type shell any time soon.
This hybrid IEM has a very approachable impedance of just 8.1ohm and this should be very easy to drive out of basic audio devices? Not really, this means it needs sources with lower than 1ohm output impedance, don’t worry if I am scaring you, but most of the DAPs till $500 have output impedance of 1ohm or lower, hiby R6 last gen being an glaring exception to this. Mammoth can be used as a daily driver with mobile phones without much problem but that does limits its micro details and dynamics and can sound veiled if not driven properly. The lowly sensitivity of just 94db can be a downer with weaker sources or else it is perfectly capable of getting very loud with decent sources. Use a small DAC/amp like Qudelix 5K to extract better layering, note depth and stage. Use it with a proper DAP like Shanling M3X and DAC/Amps like Earmen Sparrow to unleash its full potential.