With the culmination of efforts from both the manufacturer and customers’ feedback, the Polaris V2 brings “ground-breaking” improvements that bassheads will love.
Campfire Audio announced the launch of two new models – Campfire Audio Polaris V2 and Campfire Audio IO during Fujiya Avic Headphone Festival 2019. After the launch in Japan, I had the opportunity to work with a distributor to launch these two models in Singapore. This is an amazing experience for me because of the support from the Campfire Audio fans.
I have been impressed by Campfire Audio since the first launch of Orion, Jupiter and Lyra and also had some experience with the previous generation of Polaris V2. It is a fun “V” shaped in-ear monitors (IEMs). The sound signature had changed significantly in this new version of the Polaris V2.
Is it an improvement? Absolutely. Read on to find out why.
- »Thunderous bass
- »Warm and smooth vocals
- »Excellent stock cable
- »Meaningful story behind the case design
- »Tonnes of useful accessories
- »Driver flex when the IEMs are pushed too hard into ears
- »Shell could be too big for those with small ears
The packaging for Campfire Audio is like a child. It grows across the releases.
I compared the new packaging with my pioneer generation packaging from Campfire Audio Nova and the differences are significant. The new packaging is more grand and classy as compared to the old packaging which focuses more on simplicity.
Campfire Audio changed their design approach of the box and IEMs – mainly on the color theme. Now the box, case, and IEMs will have the same color. You can identify the models from far based on either the box, case or the shell color immediately. The palette of choice for Polaris V2 is one of my favorite – Blue.
The outer layer of the packaging is a sleeve with a sticker which consists of the IEMs, model, and brand. The sleeve can be opened up by removing the small round sticker at the back of the sleeve.
After opening the sleeve, the presentation of the inner box is amazing. The inner box “shines” in the galaxy and it is the only focus. Words cannot describe the beauty.
Opening the box, you will find a blue leather case with the Polaris V2 sitting inside. There is a major change in the case – it looks like a blue curry puff (I like this description, it is from one of my co-worker). I like the new case. It is more spacious as compared to the squarish case.
Besides the case, you will find an accessories box. These are the accessories in the box:
- Final Audio Tips (Five sizes from XS to XL)
- Campfire Audio Marshmallow Tips (Three sizes from S to L)
- Silicone Earphone Tips (Three sizes from S to L)
- Campfire Audio Lapel Pin
- Cleaning Tool
All these accessories are kept in Campfire Audio mesh IEM bag. This could be useful for you to keep your IEMs and prevent them from being scratched.
- 5Hz–20kHz Frequency Response
- 105 dB SPL/mW Sensitivity @ 1k
- 17 Ohms @ 1kHz Impedance
- Single Balanced Armature + tuned acoustic expansion chamber(T.A.E.C.™)
- 9.2mm Dynamic Driver + Polarity Tuned Chamber™
- Newly Insulated Custom Beryllium / Copper MMCX Connections
- ‘Cerulean’ Blue Anodized Aluminum Body
- Black PVD Screws
- Black Stainless Steel Spout
The Polaris V2 features a ’Cerulean’ Blue anodized finish with black PVD screws on a machined aluminum body. The color is very eye-catching. I fall in love with it on the first-sight – simply lovely.
The anodized body has a better resistance towards scratches. I believe Campfire Audio fans always face this issue – IEMs with a lot of scratches. Within the 2 months of usage, it had remain scratch-free.
Besides the improvement on the shell, Campfire Audio improves the MMCX port. Custom beryllium-copper insulated round MMCX connector is used on the IEMs. Tested and proven, the MMCX connector gives me a satisfactory “click” whenever I attach the cable.
The Polaris V2 has a black stainless steel spout or nozzle which improve the durability of the nozzle. As I mentioned in my previous review for Simgot EK3, the connector and the nozzle are the weakest points on the IEMs and the implementations successfully improve the overall build quality.
The cable included in the case is the new Smoky Litz Cable. Building from ALO Audio Silver Plated Copper Litz wire conductors and tangle-resistant twisted cable weave from Silver Litz and Super Litz cable, Campfire Audio added a new stylish Smoky jacket to compliment the unique finish of their new line of earphones.
Smoky Litz cable has a new light-weight molded ear-hook design replaces the memory wire. The result is a lightweight cable that is a pleasure to use every day.
This could be the greatest news for audiophiles who are wearing spectacles like myself. Memory wire ear-hook design is disastrous for us. For those cables with memory wire ear-hook, the memory wire constantly hit on the spectacles when we are moving. This creates a “microphonics-like” noise. Besides the noise, it is hard for us to shape the ear-hook due to the presence of spectacles. The new cable saves us from hell.
Polaris V2 has the typical shell shape as the previous releases of Campfire Audio. There are some slight changes – weight and edges. Due to the change in material, the new shell is lighter in weight as compared to the previous releases. There are less sharp edges in Polaris V2 and this yields a more comfortable wearing. I can wear Polaris V2 for hours without an issue.
The isolation for Polaris V2 is above average. When commuting, I can immerse myself in the music by turning the volume slightly higher as compared to normal listening. There is a vent at the faceplate of the IEMs to minimize dynamic driver-flex. This does not affect the isolation.
It is always fun to listen to Polaris V2. I have to control myself not to dance in public.
Exhibiting the same sound signature from V1.0, the new Polaris V2 has a fun sound signature. However, it no longer has the “V” shaped sound signature. The sound stage has changed in this release and I think it is a great improvement. I will further elaborate in the upcoming sections.
This is a very different IEMs as compared to other Campfire Audio models – this IEM emphasizes a lot in the emotion. It is smooth and lush. I like the warmth injected in the overall presentation. It gives every note a soul and everything becomes lively.
The soundstage is always handy for Campfire Audio. Without a doubt, it ticks the box in my expectation sheet towards Polaris V2. It is wide and deep – as deep as an ocean. This could be the deepest I can get within the price range. I always like the depth in my Empire Ears Bravado and Polaris V2 beat it with an uppercut from way down deep.
If you read my previous reviews, I always find the “secret weapon” in every IEMs. “Secret weapon” is the unique selling point for a particular model which distinguish it out from the pools of choices. Some people use “wow” factor to describe this. For Polaris V2, the lows will definitely be the “secret weapon”.
Rumble is not accurate enough to describe the lows. An earthquake would be more apt.
This is no exaggeration. It is indeed an earthquake when the lows kick in. It is so full, rich and deep. It is like a subwoofer embedded in the IEMs and it creates the waves that awaken your eardrums – making them vibrate together with the subwoofer.
The attack and decay speed of the lows is average. It is well controlled in its own region and the decay speed is in the sweet spot between bleeding to other regions and being too technical or “dry”. The quality of lows can easily fulfill the craves of a bass-head.
This is the area where the Polaris V2 improved as compared to the previous version. In the new Polaris V2, the mids are more forward – at the center of the stage, having the spotlight shining on it. This positioning is my favorite because I love pop music. The mids is very important to me and I really appreciate this sound stage.
The vocals are warm – full of emotion and it is comfortable to listen to. The body is full and I always prefer a fuller and richer vocal presentation than an airy one. The airy vocal is like sea breeze hitting softly in your face while a rich vocal is like a glass of warm milk sliding down your throat. All these are personal preference and I believe every type of presentation has its own fans.
With the T.A.E.C implementation in the BA driver, highs is not an issue for Polaris V2 – well extended with sufficient amount of air. Highs is always not an issue for Campfire Audio except for Nova – highs rolled-off too early.
The well-extended highs improved the overall fidelity of the presentation and also thanks to the highs, it prevented the overall sound signature from being too warm. The air and slight sparkle balanced off the emphasis in the lows. The weight will not topple to the lows side too much.
Is the highs sharp and peaky? This is a tricky question for me to answer because I have very good tolerance towards treble. I will answer no. The highs is very gentle towards my eardrums. No harsh and no piercing even after long listening.
It is like a wave hitting on the beach and no tsunami. Everything is fine.
The Campfire Audio Polaris V2 is a great choice for audiophiles who are looking for a mid-tier IEM with quality bass that rumbles the ground. Polaris V2 can definitely satisfy your craves in bass. This release poses a potential threat to a lot of other models from other brands which have same configurations such as Empire Ears Bravado.
Outstanding performance from Polaris V2 has convinced me to change my daily driver. My Nova is now officially retired.