Campfire Audio Supermoon

Sound Analysis.

I analyzed Supermoon sound performance paired up with LPGT while playing a variety of test tracks, such as Agnes Obel “The curse”, Sandro Cavazza “So much better” (Avicii remix), C-Bool “Never go away”, Ed Sheeran “Shape of you”, Alan Walker “Darkside”, Galantis “Hunter”, Iggy Azalea “Black widow”, Indila “Boite en argent”, Dua Lipa “Love again”, Counting Crows “Big yellow taxi”, Bob Marley “Jamming”, David Elias “Vision of her”, and Michael Jackson “Dirty Diana”.  The sound analysis was done after about 150hrs of playback time, so it has plenty of burn in time.  Also, I used the provided foam eartips, and this sound description should be close to what you would expect from Audiophile fit. 

Supermoon has a balanced signature with a clear detailed tonality, deep analog quality bass, and natural non-fatigue upper frequencies.  For those who were able to get their hands on universal version of SM, eartips selection is crucial.  If you decide to use silicone eartips with a narrow bore opening, you will hear a more exaggerated peak around 8kHz which is going to yield a bit more aggressive mid-treble definition.  With universal pair of SM to get the sound closer to a custom version, you need to start with provided foam eartips which do a great job attenuating down that peak, resulting in a more natural revealing tonality of upper frequencies.

SM is my first single Planar Magnetic Driver (PMD) iem, and I was expecting a coherent performance typical of a single driver design.  But the unique nature of these PMD drivers turned SM performance into something I would describe as coherent-hybrid.  When you are dealing with IEMs that have DD bass and BA/EST mids and highs, often you can hear a clear separation between the bass and the mids, almost like lower mids were scooped out to give the bass shorter decay and more control, making it stand out.  Other IEMs have a more coherent tuning with all drivers working in unison.  Here, you get the best of both worlds, a coherency of a single driver tuning and the bass performance typical of a hybrid tuning which makes low end stand out.

Bass has a deep extension and a noticeable lift, down to a textured analog rumble of sub-bass which gives the bass its fullness and extra weight.  The mid-bass punch has a slower and more rounded impact, blending in perfectly with a sub-bass.  We are talking about bass with the weight and the impact of a pure dynamic-driver analog performance.  It is not overpowering or spilling into mids, as a matter of fact, it has a well-controlled note decay.

Lower mids are closer to neutral, with a little extra body, but not too thick.  They definitely do contribute to the overall tonality with a more natural warmth without any extra thickness.  Upper mids are clear and detailed, with a tastefully done pinna gain boost around 2kHz to bring out more details in vocals and instruments without any shoutiness, and still exhibiting quite a natural tonality.

Lower treble, as already mentioned, could be tricky since SM was designed around custom version.  In my case, while listening to uni, foam eartips didn’t just provide a perfect custom-like fit and seal, but also kept the sound less fatigue and more natural.  The treble definitely contributes to a great level of definition and resolution of the sound without being fatigue.  The extension does have plenty of airiness as well, but more on a moderate level.  Treble is not rolled off, it has a very good natural extension, just a bit less airiness.

The soundstage expansion is quite wide and deep, expanding on holographic level with a 3D-like imaging.  You do feel like being on stage with a performing artist, being surrounded by a sound, instead of the sound being out of your head farther away.  The layering and separation are pretty good too.  I wouldn’t say I hear a lot of air between the layers, and it’s probably due to a nature of the treble extension.  But the actual layering and separation of the instruments is quite distinct with every element of the sound in focus and easily identified.

There is also one interesting effect I noticed with some of the EDM songs where you have a lot of the layered synthesized instruments.  I assume it is due to the nature of PMD design where it responds fine to macro-dynamics changes in volume over the whole songs (parts of the song which are louder or quieter), but sometimes doesn’t respond as swift to micro-dynamics changes with fast transients within small parts of the song.  I haven’t noticed this effect in acoustic or classical or jazzy tunes, but I did with some of the EDM tracks with synthesized instruments.  But overall, it performs well with any genre of the music.

Also, absolutely no hissing and pure black background with all the sources I tried.

cfa-supermoon-15

Eartips Selection.

The selection of eartips is crucial to any universal in-ear monitor and will affect the sound, especially the bass impact depending on the seal.  Due to a large opening of my earcanals, I usually go for the largest size eartips to get a better seal.  Also, please keep in mind, eartips impressions are subjective and will be based on anatomy of your ears.  I’m just sharing my experience and describing what I hear, and hope some will find this info useful in general despite the fact that SM is custom IEM.  You never know, Ken and Caleb can surprise us down the road.

So, eartips selection here was a challenge for me since it can make or break the mid-treble, going from harsher and fatigue to more natural and tolerable.  From the get-go, I found narrow bore tips to be a no-go for my ears.  Wider bore tips were better, like Azla Sedna (short stem version) or JVC Spiral Dot, but the sound can still get a bit bright even with those.

Then, I remembered Ken saying that for a sound sig closer to a custom fit you need to try foamies.  Keeping that in mind, I started with Symbio F, my go-to foam eartips.  It does gives you the sound similar to wider bore opening silicone eartips, and I was OK with it.  Then, I remembered that CFA also included their own foam marshmallow eartips.  Decided to try it and was pleasantly surprised, even graphed the comparison between Xelastec vs CFA Foamies.

cfa-supermoon-10

In case of uni SM, foam eartips is a must to get custom like tuning and smoother mid-treble.

cfa-supermoon-19

Page 3 – Comparison, Source Pair up, and Conclusion.

2 thoughts on “Campfire Audio Supermoon

    1. Most of the cables I have are 2pin. I do have some Effect Audio with ConX which can switch to mmcx, but those cables are too expensive, just makes no sense to even recommend it for iem that cost less. Then, there is EA Signature budget series, but those will aceentuate more upper frequencies in this pair up. If you can get your hands on uni version of SM, eartips selection will have a bigger impact on sound fine tuning here.

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