July 17, 2024
1 Solar System Way, Planet Earth, USA
Headphones

Comparative Review of Campfire Fathom and Supermoon

If you've been looking at IEMs around $1,000, then you've probably already seen the Campfire Audio Supermoon, as well as their new Fathom. Under the hood, these two in-ear headphones don't have much in common. Their controller configurations and designs couldn't be more different. However, they are surprisingly similar in price and sound signature. In this article, we will discuss the similarities and differences of the two IEMs.

What is in the box:


Large moon

Fathom

  • Supermoon IEM
  • 3 silver detachable MMCX cables with the deluxe edition
  • Folding leather case
  • Silicone and marshmallow tips S/M/L
  • cleaning tool
  • depth IEM
  • Time Stream Cables, 3.5mm and 4.4mm
  • Leather case
  • Zippered case
  • Drawstring IEM Bag
  • Marshmallow and silicone tips.

Fit and feel

For as long as I've known Campfire, they've been producing some of the best built IEMs on the market. Fathom and Supermoon are no different. However, they are completely different beasts. The Fathom goes for a more traditional Campfire style. It is made of machined aluminum with a glossy, dark black anodized finish and its MMCX connectors are painted in a reflective purple/blue color. They are durable like any other Campfire IEM and a sight to behold in my opinion. They fit very well in the ear and are light enough to be comfortable for long periods of listening.

The Supermoon, however, strays away from the classic Campfire aesthetic. Starting from its CIEM roots, it abandons tradition for a more ergonomic design. I should mention that this IEM was released as part of the “Chromatic Series” and therefore comes in a beautiful orange color. However, our review unit is the black version. The body is 3D printed for an ergonomic casing, but unlike the Fathom, the Supermoon is quite large as it houses a 14mm planar magnetic driver (we'll get to that in a moment).

While listening, I found the Supermoon to be a little more cumbersome than the Fathom. That said, the fit of the Supermoon is a little tighter in my ear. If I had to choose based on fit alone, I'd probably lean toward the Fathom, but I think the ergonomics of the Supermoon also make it a solid choice.

Design

Well, this is where IEMs become quite different. The Fathom uses six custom-made balanced armature drivers for its sound. It's a wildly different approach than the 14mm planar magnetic driver found in the Superluna. Both IEMs come with Campfire's Time Stream cables (both balanced and unbalanced options), which is a really nice touch. They don't tangle, they don't have microphones and they sound pretty good too.

sound stage

Fathom and Supermoon have different approaches to the soundstage. The Supermoon is wide and has a great sense of depth. I was impressed with its sense of space and its ability to place details in the right places. On the other hand, the Fathom is a little more intimate. It is not as wide or as deep as the Supermoon. However, it still maintains a good image feel within the stereo field it creates. All in all, if you want an IEM that gives you a wider soundstage, the Supermoon is probably a better option. But if you like a more intimate soundstage with precise imaging, Fathom does a great job with that.

Minima

Given the differences in driver design, one would think that the sound signatures of these IEMs would be quite different. However, these IEMs sound closer than you might imagine. However, they are not exactly the same. The Fathom opts for rounder and less accentuated bass. They are a soft IEM, so the bass notes sound quite rounded and deliberate. This is not a low-end punchy experience like other IEMs Campfire produces. It's a precise and delicate bass response that seeks to relax rather than create a scene.

On the other hand, the Supermoon is a little punchier and more dynamic in its low-end rumble. With its more linear sound signature, the bass takes up more space relative to other frequencies and therefore feels a little more forward. The sub-bass, however, is the most impressive thing about the Supermoon. He can reach very low when necessary.

Overall, I would describe the bass as a little polite on the Fathom and a bit punchier and deeper on the Supermoon, although it isn't. also different after all.

media

The Fathom is a mid-front IEM. With that, you get great vocal detail and instrument separation in the midrange. However, that also makes them a little warmer and prone to swelling, specifically in the mid-bass transition area. That being said, if you like mid-drive IEMs, this one will definitely be the one for you. Hearing voices in Fathom was an incredible experience.

Comparatively, the Supermoon has a more relaxed midrange. Don't get me wrong, it's still there in great detail too. But due to the more linear nature of the Superluna, you don't get the same front-mid experience as you do with the Fathom.

Frankly, in my opinion, the midrange is the big separator of these IEMs. A midrange lover will definitely want to go for the Fathom, while someone who wants the midrange to sing but not be too forward will probably like the Supermoon better.

Highs

Finally, we come to the top end of IEMs. As I said before, the Fathom is a warm IEM, and that means the treble is a bit muted. This is a very smooth listening experience where the treble becomes a little thin. This may be nice for the midrange enthusiast who wants that smooth, delicate sound. But if you're looking for a uniform or straightforward triple answer, you'll want to look elsewhere.

That other place may simply be the Supermoon. With its planar magnetic driver, it's a little airier and crisper than the Fathom. That said, I wouldn't say this is a treble IEM. Like the bass and mids, this is a linear IEM. You will get a triple response that is precise and present, but nothing that will surprise you.

Summary

At first glance, Campfire Audio's Fathom and Supermoon bear little resemblance to each other. There are some design features you'll definitely want to take into account, such as fit and ergonomics. However, when it comes to sound, I felt that they both opt for a warm and neutral sound signature, just at different depths. That means if you want a soft, mid-forward approach that's closer to warm, the Fathom is better suited for you. And if you want things to lean more towards neutral, with more bass and treble presence, then your best option is the Supermoon.

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