I received Campfire Audio Solaris 2020 from ConnectIT, distributor of Campfire Audio in Singapore last week. After my unboxing video, I put the three models - Solaris 2020, Ara and Andromeda 2020 for 100 hours of burn-in. Here's my initial impression on Solaris 2020!
The faceplate of Solaris 2020 is different from the original Solaris. Instead of preserving the gold and shiny faceplate, Campfire Audio turned Solaris 2020 into a "dark knight". It comes with a full black faceplate, with a small Campfire Audio logo engraved at the corner. Personally I prefer this faceplate more than the gold because gold is too shiny for me.
Besides faceplate, one noticeable difference will be the size. Solaris 2020 is 20% smaller than the original Solaris, as reported by Campfire Audio. I have a pair of relatively big ears and I do not have issue in fitting the original Solaris. However, I still gain benefits from this size reduction. The Solaris 2020 sits better in my ear and the isolation provided is much better, as compared to its predecessor.
This is the upgrade I like the most - Smoky Super Litz cable. For those who have experience with IO, Polaris II and Andromeda 2019, Smoky Litz is definitely not a stranger for you. Yes, Campfire Audio turns the Super Litz Cable used in their original Solaris into smoky version. The wire ear guides are removed from the heat shrink layer. For a spectacle wearer like me, this is definitely a saviour. I love it!
The sound signature of Solaris 2020 can be classified as neutral with rich texture. To be honest, I am sold to this rich texture of Solaris 2020. Musical notes are flowing smoothly, naturally and delivered to you comfortably. You are not going to experience any fatigues when listening to Solaris 2020.
Solaris 2020 is very different from Ara and Andromeda 2020, in terms of overall presentation, sound signature and texture. It is the most polite model among the three. You can expect more sparks and engaging factors in the other two models.
Solaris 2020 has a full-bodied bass. Powered by a dynamic driver, the attack and decay are slower as compared to balanced armature drivers in Andromeda and Ara. Hence, do expect some warmth in Solaris 2020. Not to worry, it is not overly warm to the extend that resolution is compromised. I still classify Solaris 2020 as top tier in terms of resolution.
The mids is lively, because of the warmth injected from the slower and fuller bass. The texture is rich, almost as rich as the bass. The positioning of the mids is slightly forward, taking the spotlight of the stage. Listening to vocals, the presentation is full of emotional. The rich texture really play an essential role here.
As compared to the soaring highs in Andromeda and Ara, Solaris 2020 is well-tamed. The highs have less sparkles. The extension is decent and the presentation is spacious. This is why the overall listening experience is more comfortable on Solaris 2020.
Solaris 2020 is indeed, one step closer to perfection. With the smaller form factor and a more comfortable listening experience, I believe it will be well-received by a lot of audiophiles, including myself. I will spend more time with it and work on the full review soon. Stay tuned!