Review: Campfire Audio Supermoon

Packaging and accessories

I’d heard good things about Campfire Audio’s unboxing experience, and this being my first ever Campfire IEM, I wasn’t disappointed. 

There are actually two parts to the ‘unboxing’. The first is an intricately folded cardboard sleeve with the Supermoon logo label on top, and a unique identifier label with the serial number and a ‘Nicely Done’ message, with my name, on the side. I really like how the personalisation of the custom IEM experience starts right from the very first impression. 

Second, the actual hardboard box, complete with a more traditional hinged lid, contains the IEMs and accessories and sits inside the sleeve. Don’t throw the sleeve away, even though you won’t need it after opening. 

Inside the box is one of the largest, nicest looking and feeling cases I’ve seen for an IEM. Campfire takes pride in their leather (outer) and wool (inner) cases, and the case that comes with Supermoon is no exception. Unzipping the case reveals two Campfire-branded drawstring mesh bags: a larger bag with the instruction leaflet, cleaning tool and Campfire logo button brooch; and a smaller bag holding the earpieces and attached stock cable.

As an aside, I’m quite familiar with Campfire’s mesh bags, having long used them to keep most of my IEMs protected over the years. Even if you don’t own a Campfire IEM, I’d recommend getting one of these bags, which holds each earpiece in its own compartment for scratch-free protection. I’m yet to find a better product on the market for this purpose. 

But I digress, I really, really like the Supermoon case, especially since it’s large enough to hold at least two IEMs and cables, or IEMs and some accessories. It’s not as hardy as a hard-shell case for protecting IEMs against serious knocks, but for keeping them clean and safe at home or in your bag, there are few that look or feel better than this. 

Also, make sure you keep that cleaning tool handy – CIEMs, and Supermoon in particular –  need regular cleaning, so don’t be shy to use the wax-picker end of the tool to clear the nozzles of any debris after every use.

The cable that came with my Supermoon is not the Smoky Litz cable advertised on Campfire’s website. Apparently there’s a shortage of 4.4mm cable terminations, and since I wanted a 4.4mm cable, Campfire opted to send me a different, slightly upgraded cable, the $199 4-wire Super Litz. This silver-plated copper cable is light, supple, and very ergonomic with molded, wire-free moulded ear guides. It exhibits zero microphonics in use, and is fitted with a decent looking Y-splitter and gold-plated plug. The MMCX connectors, on the other hand, are made with clear plastic, which cheapens the look slightly in my opinion, but does nothing to usability of course.  

Overall the packaging and accessories are of a very high standard, and rightly so for a premium IEM that commands a relatively premium price. 

Design, construction and fit

For a single driver IEM, Supermoon’s shells are large. If you were hoping for a tiny shell that almost disappears in your ears, this is not it. That said, the earpieces are quite beautiful to behold, with their deep dark-blue acrylic resin, hand polished and perfectly finished to the exact contours of your ears.

The driver assembly, electronics and cable connector are housed beneath a chromed stainless steel ‘faceplate’ abutting each earpiece, with the solid body acoustic chamber inside the shell itself.

Build quality is excellent; there are no surface irregularities, the faceplate is seamlessly melded into the resin body, and Campfire’s custom beryllium and copper MMCX connectors are renowned for their hardiness and reliability. The resin itself seems thick and robust, and although the nozzle is wide and appears unprotected, there’s a cloth-like mesh between nozzle and driver to keep earwax and other nasties away from the sensitive parts. 

Still, I advise regular cleaning, wiping down the earpieces with a lint-free cloth and brushing out any residue inside or near the nozzle tip after every session. 

As for fit, this was the part I was most nervous about, Supermoon being my first custom. But the second I twisted the earpieces into place, I knew the fit was perfect. In fact, I thought something must be wrong, because there was literally no pressure anywhere, not where the shells rested against my outer ear, and not where the shorter ‘audiophile fit’ nozzles entered my ear canals. 

Pressing play, however, instantly confirmed a good seal, and shaking my head side to side or up and down, did nothing to dislodge the earpieces in the slightest. They even passed the yawn test (the seal didn’t break while yawning with music playing). 

It’s important to mention here, as I hinted above, that Campfire offers two different types of fit with their custom IEMs: audiophile and artist. Audiophile is a shallower fit, the nozzle protruding maybe half a centimetre into the canal. This is meant for home use, where you’re unlikely to be moving around too much, and don’t need the stronger isolation of a deeper nozzle. 

Artist fit is a more traditional nozzle that goes past the first bend in the ear canal, giving you better isolation and a more secure fit at the cost of some intrusiveness and a potentially brighter sound, with the nozzle tip being relatively closer to the eardrum. Choosing the fit best for you is more a preference, and I’m assured by those that have tried both that there’s very little difference by way of sound and comfort with either.    

I also asked Ken why Supermoon was not offered as a universal fit IEM at the same time as the custom, and he had this to say: “we felt that a CIEM planar would be a good fit for it, but we have not ruled out some form of a universal in the future.” 

At the time of writing, Supermoon is already available as a universal IEM demo, and Campfire also released a limited run of grey-coloured universal IEMs in Hong Kong. Rumour has it that Supermoon will be offered as a universal IEM in the near future, so if you’re not sold on the idea of a custom, or want to improve the resale value of your investment, you may want to wait for official availability, or enquire about purchasing a universal model direct from Campfire. Of course, rumours being just that, you may be waiting for a very long time.

Continue to sound impressions

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ABOUT AUTHOR

Picture of Guy Lerner

Guy Lerner

An avid photographer and writer 'in real life', Guy's passion for music and technology created the perfect storm for his love of portable audio. When he's not playing with the latest and greatest head-fi gear, he prefers to spend time away from the hobby with his two (almost) grown kids and wife in the breathtaking city of Cape Town, and traveling around his native South Africa.

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