Campfire Audio Honeydew is a second release from yesterday. This time it’s an IEM with a single 10mm dynamic driver inside, and the price is set at $249.
That’s the second IEM that Campfire Audio secretly released today, on the first day of summer. The first one is Campfire Audio Satsuma, which has a single BA driver inside. This time, it’s a custom-built LCP 10mm dynamic driver. There’s only one way to distinguish them by eye, the color. Honeydew is as yellow as Bumblebee from Transformers when Satsuma has a juicy, orange color.
Packaging & Build Quality
CFA Satsuma and Honeydew share exactly the same build quality and design. They are rather small and lightweight. The design is rather plain, but thanks to its interesting curves and those cool, bold colors they do look fresh and just fun. While not as premium looking and feeling as the Andromeda, IO etc, the Honeydew will be far less prone to scratches, so you won’t have to baby them as much.
Inside the (as always) beautiful box, you’ll find three soft sacks, the first one with a zip, and two others with pouches for each earphone to prevent scratches. Besides that, there are IEMs themselves, Smoky Lite cable, a set of Final E Tips in one pouch, and a pair of foam tips.
Comfort & Isolation
As I mentioned in Satsuma’s review, I had some problems with a proper fit using Honeydew. Using Final E tips made me correct them in ears because even a slight change from the basic position caused big problems with the sound. Using foam tips made all these problems go away, but of course, fit problems are personal, so don’t bother yourself too much about that.
The cable is nothing new for Campfire Audio – It is their Smoky Litz, that they have been using for years now, and it’s a durable, comfortable and good quality cable. It’s actually good to see that even though those two are really inexpensive for CFA, they haven’t cut any corners when it comes to the cable.
Isolation compared to the Satsuma is slightly worse, that’s caused by the hole on the faceplate, which is there to equalize the pressure. Honeydew lets through mainly sounds like engines or some very irritating female voices (for sure everyone has a friend with that kind of voice). Of course, when music is playing this problem disappears, and we can dive into the music.
The biggest difference between the Satsuma and the Honeydew is obviously the sound. As I wrote at the very beginning, the hero of this review is a baby Dorado 2020. Enhanced bass, great vocals, huge soundstage, and delicate treble.
Also, this time it’s not so source-dependent like the single BA construction released today, so here we go with our standard format of review.
The bass is powerful. It’s also really powerful. And did I mention that it’s powerful? But okay, it’s not the only feature of lows in this case. They’re powerful too.
Sorry, I watched too much Family Guy before, so I’m in the mood for prolonged jokes.
The bass is really clear and easily dominates the whole presentation, but it doesn’t cover the mids, which is really great. I’m shocked with the speed because it’s similar to the one from Vega 2020, even though they are about 4x the price of the HoneyDew.
It’s also highly textured, so we can’t say anything about smoothness or even being muddy. Compared to the FH3 with LC-C cable, which together cost about 40$ less than Honeydew I must say that it’s easily outclassed by CA’s newest product.
The midrange is also fantastic, I was expecting something like Vega 2020, which’s pushed the vocals back, and I’m gladly surprised. We have highly textured mids, which are only delicately less important than the bass. Any hip-hop or pop music sounds perfect for me. Female voices are natural, without any void colorization, just with a little addition of vibrance. Doesn’t matter if I’m listening to Dua Lipa, Billie Eilish, Die Antwoord, or Nina Simone. With male voices, it’s delicately different, because low ones, like Louis Armstrong’s, are on the front, then we have voices like Michael Kiwanuka in “Cold Little Heart” which places the vocal deeper, and as the last, but not least, The Weeknd, whose voice is a little nasal with EarMen Eagle, but Cayin N3Pro again placed it a little closer, in a more pronounced style.
As the icing on the cake, details. There are not many details as in the Satsuma, but in this case, that’s not the point. Only fun counts in the Honeydew. And tell me, who cares about details when he’s forced to sing by the sound?
The treble is a very delicate section, which doesn’t try to avoid the rest of the show. It’s playing in the background and rarely gets to the front. When I’m trying to focus strictly on the treble I hear how sweetened it is. There are many details, but each of them has rounded edges, so if you’re treble sensitive, there’s nothing to worry about.
It also forgives all mistakes of bad mix and mastering, which is really helpful when some underground artist tries to make something crazy there.
On the other hand, in orchestral music, or even some metal, the treble seems quite boring, so if one of these is your favorite genre, the Honeydew might not suit you.
The soundstage is another really good point of Honeydew. It’s broad and shocks with the amount of air in it. Even if all sound sources are thick and powerful, they’re not getting into one wave. They’re all striking from their positions, so almost from all around us. Single DD constructions often have great soundstage, but this time it’s even better. I think I can compare it to the Fidelio X2HR soundstage size, but it closes a little faster behind us.
The height is also great marked, violins in “The Imperial March” by John Williams are moving up and down all the time, making this song even better.
It’s also a great IEM for gaming. It shows directions and distances really well, so it will help in competitive games. If you prefer some single-players with a lot of action, Honeydew will help you to be closer to that and to enjoy the gameplay even more.
Campfire Audio Honeydew vs. Campfire Audio Satsuma
Like I wrote in the review of Satsuma. Those IEMs are absolutely different. Honeydew focuses on a lot of fun, powerful (ha, once again) bass, the Satsuma is all about great guitars and vocals in small realizations. Using Cayin N3 Pro on Ultralinear mode, the Satsuma gets closer to the Honeydew on EarMen Eagle, but that’s still nowhere close to that level of fun. Satsuma has a slightly better response in treble, and feels delicately drier, even if the Honeydew provides better texture in the mids and bass.
It’s best to have them both on the board, trust me.
Campfire Audio Honeydew vs. FiiO FH3 with FiiO LC-C cable
I’m sad to say that, but Honeydew massacres the Chinese opponent. In terms of almost everything. Bass quality and quantity, texture, and details in the mids. Treble is quite debatable this time, because for some FH3 will be too bright with LC-C, and then Honeydew will be perfect, but for others, Honeydew’s treble will be too delicate. One prefers apples, another one likes pears more. The only thing where FH3 wins is the material that the shell is made of. Metal vs plastic, I think that it’s not really a surprise.
Campfire Audio Honeydew vs. Bqeyz Spring 2
Well, Honeydew is an exact opposite of Bqeyz Spring 2.
Honeydew is a pure fun provider, when Spring 2 lacks the fun. It has a great detail reproduction and really neutral presentation, with a Japan school of tuning. But you know, this monster bass in Honeydew is what I like the best.
If we would combine those two signatures’, we would have a really neutral IEM, something like Fir VxV.
I’ve been using Honeydew with all sources that are specified under the review, and it’s good with every single one of them. Using xDuoo XD-05Plus with the bass switch turned on, it is a powerful head massager.
For daily listening, I prefer Cayin N3 Pro with Solid-state mode on. It doesn’t overwhelm with the bass, has a lot of texture and the soundstage is doing magic things.
Campfire Audio Honeydew is a beast in its price range. I don’t think there’s a better fun provider at a similar price. Don’t forget about everything else it has to show though, like excellent mids and really broad soundstage. As I wrote in the Satsuma review, it’s the best first day of summer ever.
Gear used during this review for the sake of comparison and as an accompanying equipment:
- Headphones – Campfire Audio Vega 2020, CFA Andromeda, Campfire Audio Solaris LE, Fir Audio VxV, Craft Ears Four CIEM, Dunu EST112, CFA Satsuma
- Sources– Cayin N3Pro, EarMen Eagle, EarMen TR-AMP, xDuoo XD-05Plus, Cayin C9