Campfire Audio Orbit Review – Out Of Space

Usability & App –

Connectivity –

Using the Qualcomm QC3040 SOC, the Orbit delivers a reliable and simple connectivity experience. Pairing is very simple, occurring automatically on first power cycle and can be activated via a 5s press on the charging case. Should issues arise, a 10s press resets the device. I found the Orbit connected quickly to my smartphone and PC via aptX. While LDAC isn’t supported, aptX is much better than SBAC than it is worse than LDAC and is effectively identical on most designs. I found latency was suitable for multimedia use with minimal lipsync delay and range matched other modern competitors. I didn’t experience artefacts or dropouts in public places with more wireless noise such as on public transport but some random single-side dropouts from time to time. It wasn’t to the extent that it irked but is something to note.

Controls

The Orbit makes use of touch controls on the faceplates though unfortunately, they are far more reminiscent of the touch controls of old than the more responsive implementations we’ve seen lately. Specifically, accuracy is around 80% and there is a notable delay before activation of the function. In addition, multi-tap gestures require a particular cadence which slows down operation and further reduces reliability. I didn’t find them to be hugely annoying and this is partially alleviated by offloading pairing gestures to the charging case. However, they are a clear step below many modern TWS earphones in this regard.

Campfire Audio App

Campfire Audio has made a companion app for the Orbit which offers a simple but intuitive UI and a god selection of features similar to competitors. This includes a more precise battery percentage for both sides, feedback on the active wireless codec and touch control adjustment. Unfortunately, you can’t customise the gestures, you can only toggle which gestures are available. There is also a firmware update function. Perhaps the most notable function for enthusiasts will be the eQ feature.

Campfire Audio provides 7 presets stock in addition to a user-adjustable preset. More can be added to suit. It’s a 7 band eQ allowing the user to increase the frequency band by 3 dB or reduce the amplitude by 12dB. The simple addition of eQ did solve a lot of the niggles I had out of the box. For instance, the Orbit has a very sensitive driver, so the volume trends far higher than your average TWS earphone. Accordingly, volume adjustment lacks granularity at the low-end. By reducing the volume in eQ, I was able to achieve a finer adjustment for my tastes. Moreover, the settings write to the earphone and stick on all devices.

The downside to this is a few seconds of lag with each adjustment and, in my experience, frequent crashes and disconnections during adjustment. I was only able to adjust the eQ a few times before the earphones required a power cycle and several times, the eQ settings only applied to one ear requiring the same treatment. I did receive the 1.0.66 update during my testing. I was unable to find a changelog but did notice they added a dB counter on the eQ adjustment. Connectivity also appeared more reliable, however, issues did persist albeit with reduced frequency.

Call Quality

The Orbit touts dual high-quality built-in microphones which makes it a shame that the earphones don’t even have aware mode support yet alone ANC. Perhaps this will be an addition with future firmware updates. Nevertheless, mic quality is subjectively quite good, with recipients noting I sounded clear and discernible with good volume. Ambient noise cancellation is also well average making the Orbit far better for calls than the majority of audio focussed TWS earphones. While they don’t quite possess the clarity and wind-noise rejection of market leaders or a dedicated headset, the Orbit is a good choice if you value call quality alongside audio.

Battery Life

Campfire Audio quote 8.5hrs of runtime on the earphones alone and 30hrs total including the case, meaning the case provides almost 3 additional charges. That’s not bad given the size of the overall design. In use, I found this figure to be accurate albeit do note that I am a low-volume listener

Next Page: Sound Breakdown

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ABOUT AUTHOR

Picture of Ryan Soo

Ryan Soo

Avid writer, passionate photographer and sleep-deprived medical student, Ryan has an ongoing desire to bring quality products to the regular reader.

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