Should I get the Campfire IO with/without a DAC?

  • Yes, both the earphones and the DAC, the AQ Cobalt

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Yes, the earphones but different DAC

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Just the DAC (or other DAC)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Speakers?

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Something else, please mention!

    Votes: 0 0.0%

  • Total voters
May 1, 2021

I'm currently the owner of a sony wh-1000xm3, a bose soundsport wireless, an audio-Technica ath-m50x and a Sennheiser hd559. An earphone recently caught my eye, the Campfire Audio IO. But I'm not sure if it's really worth it to get it. I don't have any way of hearing the buds without buying them since I live pretty far from suppliers/dealers. And I don't have any components other than my laptop (dell xps15), smartphone and iPad, listening in both wired and Bluetooth connections.
I listen to a variety of music, with the majority being: classic rock, pop, EDM and some acoustic and classical. I use Tidal for streaming, thinking of Qobuz in future.
I don't know whether the CA earphones will really fit my need which is the reason I'm posting this. I thought I need earphones to use in hot weather since most of my cans get hot/uncomfortable after a couple of hours. I also like how it looks and what I'm hearing about the sound signature (exciting). I also heard I'll need a DAC (like an AQ cobalt) to take advantage of the SQ improvement. Honestly, I just got an opportunity to spend some money (in the range of $200 - $500) but I don't know where to spend it for Hi-Fi.
Or should I skip this matter and just get a speaker system? Budget would be up to $700 in that case but a bit later.

I would appreciate any comments about this matter and answers to the poll. Sorry for the long post.

Deleted member 188533

I can't help you much with IEMs because I haven't heard many of them. I can certainly help you with over ear headphones though.

Sennheiser HD560S at $200. Neutral and more for critical listening than for 'fun'. But the best headphone in the price range.

At around $300 you can find the AKG K712 Pro on sale occasionally. On of my personal favorites and my daily drivers. The soundstage is second only to the HD800.

At $350 the HiFiMan Sundara. Very well rounded and competes with stuff in the $500-$700 range easily. I'd say you need an amp with the Sundara. Despite the low ohm rating they aren't very sensitive and need more volume than almost anything else I own.

If you can find them on sale for cheaper than the Sundara the HD660S is the best Sennheiser I've heard and I owned the 598, 600 and 650 previously. I kept the 660S. BUT, technically the Sundara beats it I think so it's not worth paying full retail with the Sundara cheaper.

Honorable mention: HD600 and HD650 ( or 6XX from Drop if you're in the US ). Again wouldn't pay more than around $300 for these.


Well-known member
Sep 20, 2016
I'd second AKG K712 Pro particularly as you mention feeling hot. AKGs will be fine.

Saying that I would not spend any money if I were in your position. It looks to me that you're not sure yourself what it is that you're trying to do. I appreciate we all want to treat ourselves once in a while and if that's the case go for whatever you like. However if you're really looking to improve overall sound quality and comfort I'd suggest a little soul searching.

What stopped you from getting speakers before? Was it preference or some kind of restrictions? If you couldn't accommodate speakers before has anything changed? You obviously listen to music for hours at a time and would like it to sound the best it could, but is it active listening or simply background? Try to give us as much detail as possible and the answers should reveal themselves. Personally I'd always go for speakers, but do use headphones daily. Your environment and habits will dictate what's right.


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