Campfire Audio Dorado 2020

Dorado 2020 is a new revision of Campfire Audio first hybrid IEM – Dorado.
It is equipped with a 10mm dynamic driver and one armature with no cross-over. It is priced at 1099$.

Sound quality for the price

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.

Build quality

Rating: 10 out of 10.

Value

Rating: 9.5 out of 10.


Packaging

It’s simply impossible not to love this guy’s graphic designs of any product they release.

Campfire Audio products have almost been the most fun to unbox. The box doesn’t scream luxury but it’s colourful, flawlessly designed and just well-thought.

The box contains a lot of accessories – a carrying case, eleven pairs of eartips, a cleaning tool, Campfire Audio pin, manual, warranty card and three soft pouches, which are great to keep your new IEMs safe from scratches.

Nicely done – well, indeed!

Carrying case

The set of accessories is impressive.

The carrying case of the new Dorado 2020 and Vega 2020 is quite different from what they’ve used in the past. The overall shape is the same as the rest of the current lineup, but this time Campfire Audio decided to use an upcycled marine plastic in salmon color. Sure, it’s not as nice looking and feeling case as their older leather ones but it’s been changed due to ecology. The case is made of raw materials from ocean cleanup, which is a great move from CFA.

Build quality

What a sophisticated, simple and elegant looking IEMs.

Build quality of every single Campfire Audio product I’ve used in the past was simply perfect. Great materials, wonderful, original designs and striking appearance. I’m happy to see that both Dorado 2020 and Vega 2020 are no different, and additionally, these are the most comfortable CFA IEMs that I’ve used.

Dorado 2020 shells are made of ceramic, which is extremely resistant to scratches and looks stunning. That’s not the only reason to use ceramic though, as it is also a very dense material, which pairs great with a big dynamic driver, as it’s less prone to vibrations.

The spout is made of brass with gunmetal finish, and it has been shrinken a bit to provide better comfort and tuning of the IEM.

As usual, the Dorado 2020 is using MMCX connectors, which are just about perfect. They hold the cable very securely providing a pronounced click upon insertion. Campfire has been using the best MMCX connectors in the game and luckily nothing has changed in this regard.

Overall the Dorado 2020 is a strikingly beautiful product built to last.

Campfire Audio yet again proves that it’s products are the best in the game in regard of build quality and overall design.

Comfort

Small footprint and slightly reduced diamter of the spout results in a very comfortable fit.


Dorado 2020 is the most comfortable Campfire Audio IEM that I’ve used.
They are quite a bit smaller than the Andromeda and Solaris 2020, and the nozzle’s design provides a rather deep and very pleasing fit.

Also, the shells are very smooth to the touch, and the lack of any sharp edges results in a very enjoyable and fatigue-free listening sessions.

The cable is also a joy to use – it’s completely tangle free, lightweight and very elastic. The over-ear hooks are well designed and you’ll barely feel the cable itself while using these babies.

Tech

Dorado is a hybrid IEM and it sounds just like a hybrid should.

Dorado 2020 is a hybrid design IEM. It uses a 10mm A.D.L.C driver and a single custom balanced armature.

What is this A.D.L.C magic you’d ask? It stands for Amorphous diamond-like coating. It increases the driver’s musical performance by reducing the driver flex which therefore improves detail retrieval and reduces distortions.

The dynamic driver is responsible for bass and midrange, leaving the treble for that custom balanced armature to do its thing.

Sound

Fasten your seatbelts, as the Dorado is a great, fun ride.

Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 is a lovely performing IEM. Pronounced bass, thick and rich sound from top to bottom.

The bass is the star of the show – big, bold and extremely enjoyable. It is one of the most bassy 1000$+ IEMs I’ve heard and I simply love it.
Regardless of the huge size of the low frequencies, it’s nowhere close to being boomy and simply “too much”. The details, textures and THAT SUBSONIC RUMBLE is truly to die for.
Random Access Memories by Daft Punk really shines on the Dorado in regard of the bass – sounding very dynamic, fun and natural. Switching to the Lime Ears Aether R or Andromeda kills half the fun in it. Details are a bit better on the latter two, but in terms of the fun factor the Dorado 2020 just simply wipes the floor with both mentioned IEMs.
Also, if you’re a fan of more modern stuff like Post Malone, The Weeknd or metal you gotta listen to these babies, it’s just extraordinary with this kind of music.
Comparing it to the new Vega 2020 it is slightly more neutral and less in your face, but it’s not a huge difference. Actually, both new models have a very pronounced, rich and overall fantastic bass response. The biggest difference is the subbass, which is less forward in Vega 2020, so if you’re a fan of that subsonic rumble, i’d choose the Dorado 2020.

The midrange continues a similar approach to the sound, especially in the low and mid sections. Male vocals are thick, big and very natural. I’ve always been a fan of slightly warm, lush and chunky male vocals and I report that the Dorado does it wonderfully.
Nonetheless, what’s very impressive is that even tho the sound continues to be thick and very rich it is by no means bloated or poor in terms of quality. Just as the bass, the midrange is very detailed and the overall resolution is spot on. Compared to the Andromeda it’s not as detailed and open, but yet again it sounds fuller and more powerful.
Vega offers a slightly different approach to the midrange, being a little bit less smooth and more laid-back, which I can actually say about the whole frequency response. Out of the two, Dorado is more neutral but also more energetic and fun sounding, which is quite surprising.
It reminds me a bit of Meze Rai Penta, which also has this punchy, yet sublime sound signature. Nonetheless, Rai Penta is way more laid-back, analogue and warm, while the Dorado is more about dynamics and crispiness.

Exciting, rich and sophisticated all at once.


The treble is crisp, sparkly and well pronounced, offering a fantastic detail retrieval.
It is by no means bright or overly sharp, I would call it neutral with a slight edge. Thanks to that, it complement’s the rest of the sound of the Dorado to be called Fun-neutral. Hi-hats and female vocals sound pretty forward and accurate, but it’s worth noting that due to a slight boost in the treble response the Dorado might sound a bit hot with some music. It is nowhere close to being unpleasant, but don’t expect the Andromeda level of smoothness from just one balanced armature.
Also, the amount of the details is great but slightly worse than the previously mentioned Andromeda or Lime Ears Aether R, which use a couple of drivers for the treble response.

The soundstage is where these beauties shine – it’s quite wide and deep, but the imaging and separation are spot-on. Instruments have a proper mass and size to them, resulting in the staging which is natural and very enjoyable. In comparison to Aether R and Andromeda these stage quite differently – the amount of clarity and air is somehow similar, but Dorado creates bigger instruments and vocals, resulting in more spectacular and true to life staging with studio recordings and slightly worse with live music.

Overall, the Dorado 2020 is a very, very fun and quite neutral sounding IEM.
It is quite unique to have that amount of bass and thick midrange notes while being pretty neutral, but thanks to great resolution and the bass being fantastically controlled Campfire Audio made it happen. I think it is a wonderful addition to their lineup, presenting a classic CFA timbre with even more fun and forwardness.

Summary

Campfire Audio yet again proves it’s position as one of the greatest in the game.

Campfire Audio Dorado 2020 is a great IEM for everyone looking for a more fun side of neutral sound. Great set of accessories, perfect build quality and beautiful design will win you over without even listening to them. And when they’ll sing, you’ll be amazed by the amount of fun factor. What’s the most important though – these are not crazy sounding bass monsters, but a very sophisticatedly tuned, fun hi-end pair of IEMs.

Highly recommended.


Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:

  • Headphones – Lime Ears Aether R, Campfire Andromeda, Noble Audio Khan, Cayin YB04, Meze Rai Penta, Campfire Vega 2020
  • Sources– Cayin N3Pro, Cayin N5ii, Fiio M15, Fiio M11, Fiio M11 Pro, ifi iDAC2, Topping A50+P50

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