Dorado 2020 review : A proper evolution

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INTRODUCTION:

Campfire Audio, nothing else needed in this introduction. It’s a brand that explains itself.

Andromeda, Solaris, Ara run the show for Campfire but they have had another upper mid range hybrid IEM priced at $1099, yes, exactly same as the Andromeda. It has a more comfortable ceramic shell and a brass nozzle with PVD finishing on it. It only has one color option, black.

Now to the point, our focus here is the Dorado 2020, a simple hybrid IEM. The OG Dorado had an 8.5mm beryllium pvd DD paired with dual BA drivers, I never got a chance to try that beauty but now I have the evolved 2020 version. It has a single A.D.L.C. dynamic driver (with neodymium rare earth magnet) paired with custom BA driver.

In their words:

Greater than the sum of its parts.

A single balanced armature augments our custom-tuned 10mm A.D.L.C. diaphragm dynamic driver.  Leaving the sparkling highs to the B.A., this dynamic driver is afforded the space to dig in a bit deeper, reach a bit lower, and deliver rich and satisfying bass.  Its vocal delivery is precise and pronounced.  Dorado 2020 is very much a hybrid high fidelity earphone.

I will compare it with Shozy Blackhole and Thieaudio Monarch.

Get one for yourself from these links:

P.S. I would like to thank Ken (KB) for the review unit.

ACCESSORIES:

I have received a handful of Campfire audio IEMs and all the IEMs have exactly same set of accessories. The only differences are their packaging color and the color of the carry case. This time around the carry case is shiny orange in color. I don’t like the outer material of this case, it’s wrinkly and doesn’t feel as premium. I like the way these IEMs maintain eco friendly packaging with only paper and cardboard usage. No unnecessary use of material.

The first thing greeting us is the carry pouch, the IEMs and the cable is placed inside it, while the earpieces are placed in tips organizers. Sets of Final Audio tips, wide bore tips and bullets foam tips are placed in a paper box placed over the pouch. A Campfire Audio badge and a cleaning tool can be found in the same paper box. These tips organizers are really handy if you like to travel with your tips.

HOW IS THE CABLE:

I always prefer good quality cables with any IEM priced over $100. Dorado 2020 has the same litz build as the cheaper IEMs and is exactly what the ARA and Andromeda ship with. I like this 4 core SPC cable with beryllium copper MMCX connectors. 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 reasonable cable at this price.

BUILD QUALITY AND ERGONOMICS:

Unique it must sound but Dorado 2020 has a black ceramic shell and this adds to the feel of the earpieces. The brass nozzle with grey PVD finish is an excellent choice, giving the earpieces a very premium feel and look. Yes, these materials have high density and the earpieces are not light weight. It is heavier than the Solaris 2020. There is single vent on the back plate for the DD to breathe. The off body MMCX port gives it a unique look.

The Dorado 2020 is a bit unique when it comes to conventional shapes of IEMs. It doesn’t have a very ergonomically designed shell but the smaller size with a barrel shaped shell makes it a very comfortable IEM inside the ear. The longer than usual nozzle helps a lot with fitting comfort and stability. This nozzle can fit T200 and T400 sized tips without much problem. The rounded barrel design has no uncomfortable sides what so ever.

PAIRING WITH SOURCES:

Dorado 2020 has an impedance of just 10ohm and 94db of sensitivity at 1k which is fairly low for an IEM but strangely it easily gets loud. Don’t even need to dial the volume past 50% on my MI Note 10 pro to attain a fairly loud volume.

And guess what, it doesn’t need heavy stuff to sound better. This is another beautiful thing about this IEM. Put it through a decent mobile phone or a 4.8W dac/amp it doesn’t show exponential improvements. Yes the Micro Signature brings out the best out of it by expanding the stage, giving it a deeper and wider space which improves it’s sonicality. But the difference is not huge and if you don’t have a Micro Signature, you don’t need to bother. Use what you have the Dorado 2020 won’t complain. But to gain dynamics do use atleast a decent DAC/amp like Earmen Sparrow.

Sound quality, comparisons, pairing with sources and conclusion on next page.

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About Author

My humble audiophile journey started in 2010, when I was in college, where I fell in love with the elements, nuances, and variations of this mesmerizing world. The ability of tiny earphones to recreate amazing sounds made my bad days tolerable and good days better! Now I am a full-time audiophile with a preference for musical tracks, especially vocals and engaging ones. I must admit I am addicted, but not to drugs or alcohol, but to earphones. Come join me as I share my experiences, bad or good, and let’s have some fun!

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