PROS: lightweight shells with 2 fit options (ciem), deep analog bass, clear, resolving, non-fatigue tonality, no hissing, premium accessories.
CONS: custom only (for now).
The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.
When you bring up a new Campfire Audio (CFA) flagship release, some audiophiles assume a new version of Andromeda or Solaris. I mean, it is not uncommon for manufacturers to release MKII or even MKIII versions of their popular IEMs. But quite often you hear people talk about the new version being an improvement over the previous one. CFA releases seem to follow a different path where I hear from my readers about them collecting different versions of Andro and finding each tuning to be unique rather than an improvement over the previous one. The same with Solaris where people often ask me questions about both OG and ’20 versions. Obviously, there is still a high demand for both of these IEMs, but it doesn’t mean that Ken and Caleb, the dynamic Campfire Audio duo, hasn’t been experimenting with new ideas.
Known for their thinking outside the box, they constantly explore new BA and DD drivers in addition to new shell materials. And while attending many global audio shows, they are often approached by various transducer manufacturers. That is how they recently discovered a new set of subminiature planar drivers, implemented in their latest Supermoon (SM) release, which is still designed and hand assembled in Portland, OR. I’m surprised it didn’t get more attention, though I think one of the reasons is probably due to it being CIEM only. CFA does offer uni demo at the shows, and even had a limited uni run which sold out quickly. But some people are still afraid of custom commitment, so I hope my review can provide more info for those who have been curious about this latest CFA release. Here is more about Supermoon.
Unboxing and Accessories.
The unboxing experience of SM is similar to their ’20 releases of Andro and Solaris, and still feels like “a box of chocolate”. These IEMs arrived in a compact package with a wrapping held together by a sticker on the back which you need to cut/remove to unfold the top layer like it’s an origami. The wrapping cover and the actual box have the same starry sky scheme, and the box looks like it’s made from a recycled paper. It actually looks nice, something you can place on your desk or a bookshelf, rather than discard after opening.
Inside you will find a premium black leather earphone case with a thick faux wool lining and a quality zipper. The case is an average size, still pocket friendly, and great for storage and keeping IEMs secure during transport. I always appreciate their wallet-like zippered design with side wall protection where nothing falls out as you unzip it. For some it’s a small detail, but for me it’s a big deal.
Other included accessories are a double-pocket mesh protection sleeve, to keep shells separated while inside the case. Also, a cleaning tool, Campfire Audio traditional lapel pin, cleaning clothe, and another small mesh sleeve to store these accessories. Stock super smoky Litz SPC cable was included, and you can select termination when ordering. I also received generic silicone eartips (s/m/l) and marshmallow eartips (s/m/l) since my review unit was universal, not custom. Obviously, the original SM ciem will not include eartips, but I’m glad they did with uni version. More about this in Eartips selection section.
SM is designed as solid-body custom in-ear monitors, 3D printed and hand polished from a solid block of material. The design itself starts with a custom ear impression which is scanned and optimized, including manipulation of internal acoustic chamber to fit the custom shape of the shell. The uni shell I received, also used as a demo during shows, is based on CIEM design and carefully crafted to make its fit universal, including a short nozzle with a lip for eartips. On the outside, you have stainless steel cap “faceplate” and the cable connector featuring custom beryllium copper mmcx socket. Since the cable plug and the shell socket are matched in material and tolerance, the connection is solid and secure.
While you have options of different eartips when dealing with uni model to “customize” your fit, with ciems you have to go by your ear impression. Here, CFA decided to offer an option of two different custom fits, audiophile and artist. Audiophile fit will have a shorter, shallower nozzle which should give you a more comfortable fit for daily use. Artist fit will have a longer nozzle with a deeper and more secure fit and improved isolation as a result of it. I can’t judge how these will sound in comparison since I can’t A/B them, but I heard from some people that artist fit might be slightly brighter in tonality. Of course, everything is relative to your ear anatomy and how you hear things.
Inside, you have 14mm full-range custom Planar Magnetic Driver (PMD) with 2-micron thick diaphragm. For a solid design, this is the only “moving” part inside the shell. The full range PMD covers a wide spectrum of 5Hz to 20kHz FR, the reason CFA was able to tune SM without a need for a hybrid design with additional drivers. The impedance of this IEM is average, 15.5ohms, but the sensitivity is a bit on a lower side at 94dB, which requires extra clicks of volume to bring it up to the same listening level as other average sensitivity iems. But no extra power is required to drive them efficiently to their full potential.
The included stock smoke Litz SPC cable was introduced back with 2020 CFA releases, and offers 3 termination options. The singled ended 3.5mm TRS and balanced 2.5mm TRRS termination have 90-deg gold-plated plug and over-molded rubbery housing with a nice grip and built-in strain relief. 4.4mm TRRRS plug, often out of stock due to its popularity, is straight and with gold-color housing. The 4 twisted Silver-Plated Copper Litz multi diameter stranding wire conductors have a smoky finish with a medical grade soft PVC jacket. The y-split is a slim aluminum black “bullet” with a matching chin slider which retracts from the split.
The wires going to each earpiece after the split are twisted, and closer to mmcx connector housing have a piece of heat-shrink pre-shaped flexible earhook. As I already mentioned, the mmcx connector itself uses a quality beryllium copper material, and the smoky housing of the connector has red dot to indicate Right side. I also noticed on SM product page an option for Artist 3.5mm red/blue cable, probably for an even easier id of the sides.
The fit (uni).