This is the second review that we are putting the focus on to Campfire audio Satsuma which is the company entry-level IEM that comes with a price of £199.
First impressions may look nearly identical to the Honeydew but sound very different. The Satsuma is a single balanced armature driver which is a less efficient driver and requires more power. We will discuss more on this later in the review.
As with the Honeydew, the Satsuma has similar packaging and theme but the box is lime green carry case and the buds have an orange tone over the yellow that the honeydew comes with.
You get a compact case that is also similar to that given in the honeydew. The only real change is now a lighter shade of green. Inside also like the honeydew you are given quite a range of accessories that include the following:
- Final e-tips (xs/s/m/l/xl)
- Foam Marshmallow tips S/M/L
- Silicone single-bore tips S/M/L
- 3 x cushioned pockets (for the monitors and foam tips)
- Cleaning brush/pick
The design of the Satsuma as mentioned is identical to that of the honeydew they both come with that 3D acoustic chamber to help with airflow of the balanced armature adding to that overall design.
The airflow has actually helped with the performance of the Satsuma as the implementation of TEAC technology. This is a tubeless acoustic chamber designed to let the treble breathe. Satsuma has also used an ABS injection moulded shell which is done to reduce weight and the smaller driver also helps with the weight reduction.
The finishing is also very smooth and the edging is more for style and won’t dig into your ears or hands when in use. The colour of these earphones is orange fizz and that colour is used all over the bud apart from the stainless steel spout and the connectors which do not join the orange flow.
The cable that connects the earphones is the same used in the Honeydew and that is a smoky lite edition that is 1.32m which is a more streamlined version available on their more expensive options. The cable still comes with a black memory foam coating which also assists with weight reduction.
Campfire Audio has continued with the level of comfort and isolation levels you get from the Honeydew even though the satsuma option is not vented. You also get a smaller spout which allows for more of the foam to dig into the ear deeper. However, you still get plenty of space in the ear and do not press on the cartilage around the concha.
The isolation is dependent on what tips are used; the foam tips provide average isolation. However, it’s the Final E tips that improve that isolation tenfold and reduce a lot of unwanted background noise.
If you’re looking for bass-heavy offerings then the Satsuma provides a completely different offering. There is a fair degree of mid-forwardness in these earphones that is warm and the texture set it apart from the more traditional single-driver earphones on the market. You will find you will get a pronounced mid-bass tempo at the cost of a little bit of upper mids.
When listening to a wide range of music over the last few weeks you do get that balanced sound but you do get a lighter level of bass as well as a smooth treble. The soundstage is smaller compared to the honeydew. The biggest benefit of these earphones is that the midrange is crafted and transparent and offers natural vocals and acoustic instruments that make you think they are more expensive.
However, the downside to these earphones is the bass it’s just a little shallow so when you listen to some meatloaf or guns N roses the bass feels a little thin which affects the lower and sub-bass frequencies. Moving to the treble it’s well balanced and offers a good presence and a strong presentation of definition.
The Satsuma are a fantastic pair of single armature earphones with only the ergonomics stopping me from using it as my everyday pair. The design of these buds really is something they are stunning. They offer an excellent sound signature and are well balanced and technically capable with a nice sound stage and good detail. It’s just if you’re looking for bass-heavy earphones these won’t do your better off with the Honeyview.
So to summarize the satsuma provides an excellent offering at a more affordable price. If instrumentals and vocals are more important than bass and you’re looking for an IEM to chill out with, these are well worth buying.
- Design: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
- Comfort: 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
- Audio Performance: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars
- Value for Money : 5.0 out of 5.0 stars
Overall Rating: 4.8 out of 5.0 stars – 4.75 Stars
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