True Wireless Earbuds for $250. No multipoint. No in-ear sensor. No active noise cancelling. You still here? Well you must be interested in the Campfire Orbit.
We’ll get right to it – these are pretty easy earbuds to review. We’ll talk about 3 things – design, sound and… should you get it?
⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯🛒 Links For Latest Prices⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯ 🎧 Buy the Campfire Orbit 🎧 Buy the Final ZE3000 🎧 Buy the Sennheiser Momentum 3 🎧 Buy the Sony WF-1000XM4 🎧 Buy the Apple AirPods Pro 2 🎧 Buy the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro 🎧 Buy the Oppo Enco X2 ⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯⋯
Well at least when this ‘audiophile’ company made wireless earbuds, we’re happy they didn’t take a massive chunky design and just ‘make it wireless’. *cough moondrop cough*
The hardware is really well thought out. The case is pocketable, the buds are TINY for what they can do – we’ll talk about that in the sound section. But here’s the thing – I don’t have giant sausage fingers, but even with my bare hands, these weren’t the easiest to extract from the case. When you have even thin gloves, this becomes a real challenge and I was very concerned about dropping these in the canal while doing the microphone test. That’ll be later in this video.
And the color scheme… well I asked my 6 year old if he liked it and his response was and I quote “I especially like that bright part”. So I guess – these are kinda for a younger generation? Because – these colors are… a bit different from what we’re used to here. But still – imagine having to design earbuds and a case in 2023 and then trying to stand out! Campfire has done that – and that’s commendable. The shape has these soft angles, so it’s very easy to handle and to pocket. Wireless charging is on board, with a color-blind friendly LED indicator, a pairing button between the buds and a USB C port on the bottom.
And this tiny case? Well due to the absence of active noise cancelling, the battery life is pretty damn good. 8.5 hours on the buds and 30 from the case. But – this sounds better than it is – the Sony WF 1000 XM4, for example, can do 8 hours WITH ANC. But still if you’re not a hankerin’ for the cancellin’, you’ll be fine.
The buds themselves are controlled by capacitive touch surfaces on either bud. A very straightforward control scheme that lets you do everything – change volume, control playback, track control. Campfire Audio does have an app.You can’t customise any of these – because let’s face it – you don’t really need to, but you can disable each of these controls in the app. There’s no active noise cancelling on board as we mentioned, so that’s one gesture less you need to toggle on the buds. One thing we do wanna say is that this is Campfire’s first gen product and it seems to have some first gen issues, especially around connectivity. We had the occasional blip connecting to the buds and the app. So we just threw the buds back into the case and hit the pairing button to resolve that.
The buds are also IPX5 and good enough for workouts or splashes or splashy workouts. In terms of comfort and fit – these were incredible for us! We used these with silicone tips for HOURS and they worked just fine, never even coming close to falling out! So medium sized ears like ours should be very happy with this.
What you also get in the box is 3 pairs of silicone tips, 3 pairs of foam tips and a lapel pin. Interesting merch choice from Campfire. Speaking of merch – we have new merch available at https://shop.dhrme.nl. Go check it out!
The foam tips naturally give you slightly better passive noise cancelling. But luckily for us, the silicone tips fit fine. This will of course affect the sound, but we’ll come to that in a bit. Overall, these are very good at passive noise cancelling.
Ok you know what – you’re probably not buying these specifically for phone calls – but still you wanna know how these do, right? Check out the video above. What did you guys think? Usable?
All right, let’s talk about what you’ve been wanting to hear this whole review – the sound. First off – thanks to the app you have a bunch of preset EQ options as well as full control over a 7 band graphic equalizer. You’re getting AAC codec connectivity on Apple devices and APTX Adaptive on devices that support that codec. But how do they sound?
To begin with – the volume is MONSTROUS! 30% on the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 was in ‘loud’ hearing territory, I don’t even WANT to guess what close to 100 does.
This is a 10mm dynamic driver – and you know what? Campfire calls the Orbit’s tuning ‘north of neutral’, which is to say a bit more bass boosted than neutral. We’d call it ‘East of honky’ or ‘South of boxy’ though. Instead of a frequency response chart, Campfire gives you these… horizontal bars?
So yeah – the tuning out of the box was surprisingly congested. Sure – it’s punchy, but the tuning reminded me of all the criticism wireless earbuds get – especially Sony buds. We think Campfire assumed that these are wireless earbuds which will be used on the go. And so that extra mid-bass gets compensated by walking around and possible loosening of the seal. But anyway – we changed up the tuning, by pulling back the 500 hz band, raising the two mid bands.
Bass and mids
The biggest ‘lack’ for us is the sub-bass, even though the frequency should extend down to 5hz. If you like them dark sound signatures, you’ll be in praise of these shadows. Great thing is that these respond very well to the in-app EQ, so you can kinda fix that.
The mids are very recessed out of the box, however. But after compensating for that – these sound pretty great.
Soundstage and imaging
The most unique thing about the Campfire Orbit was that when I was hearing these buds I found myself looking behind me. A LOT. Like something or someone was approaching me. I think this might be the most impressive soundstage I’ve ever heard on true wireless earbuds – and that too without any kind of spatial audio trickery. Imaging also appears to be pinpoint, but you should not trust me on imaging, because my brain is terrible at imaging. Subscribe for more honest admissions.
The treble is on point – never getting sibilant. But treble junkies might be left wanting as even maxing out the treble frequency bands doesn’t give you what I’d call a ‘bright’ sound. But I’m just fine with that. The treble isn’t thin though and does give you sufficient detail.
Timbre and genres
Another good aspect of the sound is the timbre. And you know what – I’m a metalhead. And having played in bands myself, overdrive and distortion are important factors for me. I think these are very good for rock and metal! From classic Megadeth to Metallica’s new ‘Screaming Suicide’, guitars are rendered very well after EQing. In terms of genres, we’d think that these might be a little less suitable to hip hop and EDM, especially if that sub-bass rumble is your jam. It’s there, but not as pronounced as some other earbuds we’ve tested.
Tweaking the sound
A very interesting take is how Campfire has approached its EQ presets. They’re simply numbered – 1 through 7. You don’t see what tweaks are being made and you have to really listen carefully to see which one you like. It’s actually kinda cool. There are also two presets you can completely customize using that 7 band EQ we mentioned.
Should you get it?
All right – was that enough? The Campfire Orbit is a very interesting take on ‘sound-focused’ wireless earbuds.
Now here’s the difficult part. There’s some REALLY good sound-focused buds out there if you don’t want to muck about with noise cancelling or any smart features.
Vs ‘sound focused’ wireless buds
Let’s start with the Final Audio ZE3000. And the Campfire reminds us a lot of the Final. Same rounded-edge design and touch controls. But the Final are even more no-nonsense than the Campfire. They don’t even have an app, so not even any EQ tweaks. The Campfire’s stock tuning is a bit mid-bass focused and the Final is ‘clearer’, but you can tweak the Campfire in the app and we definitely think they have the edge in sound.
In many ways – The Campfires are the anti-Moondrop Alice. Those earbuds sound great too, but have a completely different focus sonically – brighter and lighter on bass and they are very rough around the edges, with a chunky design, a weird app situation and connectivity issues. Campfire’s connectivity wasn’t perfect either, but at least Campfire’s app comes from the official stores and doesn’t ask you to sideload apps from public sites on the internet. Campfire brings a lot more polish in terms of their software and hardware design.
And finally, in keeping with the shadow theme – here’s a dark horse. A recommendation that might just blow your mind – the Sony WF C 500. Often shadowed by its premium siblings, the WF C500 is a no frills, extremely well-tuned set of buds that sound VERY VERY good for the price. Seriously – these buds are so underrated – and underpriced. They’re a fifth of the cost of the Campfire Orbit – at about 50 bucks! And you also get EQ control in Sony’s app.
Vs ‘sound focused’ wireless ANC buds
And then there are the ANC mainstream champs. Why not consider other excellent options out there – the Sony WF-1000 XM4, Airpods Pro 2, the Sennheiser Momentum 3, the Samsung Buds 2 Pro or the extremely underrated Oppo Enco X2? So much more value for money. Does the Campfire Orbit sound better than the Sennheiser Momentum 3 or the Airpods Pro 2. Ehhh… maaaybe there’s an argument to be made? But you’re talking on the absolute fringes – in our mind like a 3 or 5% difference.
Don’t get us wrong – we REALLY enjoyed the Campfire Orbit. If these were the only buds we had and money were no object, We’d be pretty happy. But we don’t live in the shadows. Audiophile companies with wireless products have to use the same bluetooth infrastructure as everyone else. Money IS an object.
Would we recommend the Campfire Orbit – if money matters to you? No – not really. But audiophiles tend not to be like that. Luckily for us, they also don’t watch this channel. Or run it.
If you wanna see the full review of the Moondrop Alice, click here and for our Airpods Pro 2 review click here. Thanks to all our patrons and YouTube members – you guys make this possible.
You’ve been seeing the light… and we’ve been DHRME. Namaste!