Today’s article is all about the new $1,399 USD Campfire Audio Bonneville, a hybrid IEM.
Disclaimer: Campfire Audio sent the Bonneville IEM in exchange for our opinion. The review reflects my honest opinion.
We all know that Campfire Audio is a highly regarded brand in the portable audiophile market and they have a particular fanbase. It all started in 2015, and since then, they have come a long way in producing reliable products, particularly IEMs.
I’m sure many audiophiles are aware of their successful Andromeda model, and we reviewed it back in 2016. Andromeda has been a huge fan favourite, so huge that Campfire released a 2020 version later on. You can still get the classic Andromeda in its final form.
Campfire has been known for putting musical enjoyment to the front, and that’s why they have a distinct fan fair. However, with releases such as Trifecta, Solaris and Bonneville models, they try to make sure that discern audiophiles are also satisfied.
The Bonneville, a standout in Campfire’s Chromatic Series, targets serious audiophiles seeking technical precision and musical satisfaction. Its hybrid configuration boasts a 10mm single dynamic driver complemented by balanced armature (BA) drivers for the mids and treble. The focus here is innovation, with a “Dual Magnet Dynamic Driver” technology enhancing bass response while preserving clarity.
Campfire’s collaboration with Knowles for the dual-diaphragm BA drivers promises rich, distortion-free sound output and lower sensitivity for an enhanced sonic experience.
Let’s start with the review then.
Bonneville has two packaging options; essential and deluxe. Deluxe packaging sets you back $200, therefore you have a 1599$ price tag for the deluxe version. The essential version costs 1399$.
The essential includes a two-pocket mesh bag, and a ‘Breezy Bag’ mesh carrying bag, together with the stock cable and ear tips. Deluxe has two additional cables with terminations of your choice. Also, you get a special leather case handmade in Portugal, and a RipStop cable bag. My sample unit came with the essential package, which is very compact and small.
The outer purple-coloured cardboard box is unique to Campfire, which has lots of easter-eggs and an awful lot of information. You don’t get any paperwork for instructions or information. The cardboard box has all the information you need, printed everywhere you look. It’s certainly a distinct feature of Campfire’s packaging, and I’ve never seen it with any other brand.
Inside you get a breezy bag which stores the IEM, and the IEMs are inside the pocket bags individually. You get your ear tips in a paper bag, and there’s a cleaning cloth and tool to make sure your IEMs are in a pristine state at all times. Overall, the packaging is very lean but very effective. The essential packaging was my choice for shipping reasons, so I can’t complain here.
Design & Build Quality
Campfire designs are usually quite colourful and striking, and the new Bonneville is no exception. The published design has a flashy purple colour, with silver face plates and a white/purple stock cable. I like to go with more professional-looking designs so I requested the black version, which looks slicker in my opinion.
Looks-wise the Bonneville appears more impressive in person than the pictures in my experience. The white stock cable completes the design nicely and it overall looks very cool. I thought the faceplate looked a bit over the top in pictures, but it looks quite authentic and catchy in real life.
The build quality is perfect with a stainless steel faceplate and monoblock chassis. The nozzles are made of metal. It’s a great design with a combination of acrylic, metal and steel. The MMCX connectors are quite stiff and feel durable. The cable has great tensile strength and rigidity, including the connectors. Overall it’s a fantastic build quality.
Fit is another strong feature of the Bonneville, as it has a custom-like fit which is flush and stiff. The shape of the IEM is very close to a custom monitor so it can be used on the stage. You can get the Bonneville in full custom form too, and although it costs more than the standard price, it might be worth getting the best possible fit and isolation, depending on your usage scenarios.
With foam tips, the Bonneville fits perfectly and isolates well. The IEM appears a bit large in the pictures and real life too, but the actual result is great in terms of comfort and ergonomics. The shape of the chassis is fantastic for a secure and snug experience. Isolation is as good as it gets for a universal monitor, almost like a custom with foam tips attached. Campfire nailed the fitting part without question.