Outstanding sub-bass extension and power, Gorgeous build and design, Upholds a relatively natural midrange
Not balanced in the slightest, Bass bloat is present due to its tuning, Male vocals quite laid back and occasionally muffled
The new Polaris provides a fun sound without compromising driver quality, retaining a mostly natural vocal image and highs that possess newfound cleanliness and nuance.
We’re all familiar with Campfire Audio, but for the uninitiated, these folks have been making some of the finest IEMs on the market for years. With designs hand-assembled in Oregon, a hallmark of Campfire Audio has always been their build quality and stunning combinations of colours and shapes. The Polaris was among their first hybrid driver offerings and brought with it acoustic developments that enabled cutting edge designs like the flagship Solaris. Campfire has since updated their line-up to include the Polaris II. In addition to completely redesigned internals featuring an upsized 9.2mm dynamic woofer and further improved build quality, the Polaris II also receives a $100 price cut compared to its predecessor, now offered at $499 USD. You can read more about the Polaris II and treat yourself to one here.
I would like to thank Campfire Audio very much for their quick communication and for providing me with the Polaris II for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.
Similar to the IO, the Polaris II comes with Campfire Audio’s updated packaging with a larger box that opens up to reveal the goodies inside. Buyers receive a similar zippered case to the IO in matching cerulean blue with signature faux shearling interior that prevents scratches during transit. The box also contains a Campfire Audio shirt pin alongside 3 pairs of marshmallow foam tips, 3 pairs of silicone tips and 5 pairs of Final Audio E-tips.
It would come as little surprise that the Polaris II looks gorgeous, carrying the signature Campfire Audio aluminium shell in stunning cerulean blue. This is topped off with black stainless steel nozzle, an upgrade over the plastic unit on the original, and flat black screws. The Polaris II looks sporty and clean, a huge step up over its two-tone predecessor. The machining is also improved with more rounded corners, smoother edges and a more even finish across its flat planes.
In the ear, the earphones are comfortable and sit at just the right angle. The slightly longer but slimmer nozzles permit a deeper fit than past Campfire earphones and the seal remains just as solid. Combined with an over-ear fit, the Polaris II has terrific fit stability combined with excellent passive noise isolation, especially for a vented earphone. They isolate more than the original Polaris making them a much better choice for commute, especially when combined with their bassy tuning.
The venerable Beryllium reinforced MMCX connectors make a return and along with them, solid action, even tension and excellent reliability. The cable, however, sees some refinements as with the IO and 2019 Andromeda. It has the same silver-plated copper Litz internals with a new smoke jacket that complements the Polaris’ aesthetic well. Furthermore, the awkward memory wire of previous models has been replaced with pre-moulded guides that hug the ear with greater confidence and comfort. This is topped off with excellent build quality throughout from the well-relieved 3.5mm plug to sleek, metal y-split.
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