I lately did a evaluate of the Sony IER-M9. And after that evaluation, I had a handful of you asking concerning the variations between it and the Campfire Audio Solaris. Each IEMs go for $1499, so it made full sense to ask such a query. I didn’t need to reply to the questions with a easy, common reply. So I took a while over this week to pay attention side-by-side. Which one matches higher together with your sound signature preferences? Let’s take a better look with this Sony IER-M9 vs Campfire Audio Solaris Comparability Assessment.
Within the Field
|Sony IER-M9||Campfire Audio Solaris|
|Sony IER-M9 earphones||Campfire Audio Solaris earphones|
|unbalanced MMCX cable with three.5 mm connector||unbalanced MMCX cable with three.5 mm connector|
|balanced MMCX cable with four.four mm connector||Ultimate Audio E-Sort eartips (xs, s, m, l, xl)|
|silicone hybrid eartips (ss, s, sm, m, ml, l, ll)||silicone eartips (s, m, l)|
|triple consolation ideas (ss, s, sm, m, ml, l, ll)||foam ideas (s, m, l)|
|cleansing material||cleansing device|
|shirt clip||lapel pin|
|carrying case||drawstring protecting sleeve|
|documentation||zipping leather-based carrying case|
Look and Really feel
The Sony IER-M9 and the Campfire Audio Solaris have very totally different seems to be and feels. On one hand, the IER-M9 feels mild. It’s manufactured from magnesium and has an understated look with a matte-black end. It has just a little carbon fiber design plate on the again, making it look costlier although. Its form and measurement follows the form of the ear.
Against this, the Campfire Audio Solaris has a extra flashy design. It sports activities a gold shade on the surface of its rippled housing. In comparison with the IER-M9, its shells are giant. Their form was constructed particularly to optimize sound high quality. And whereas the form is a bit unusual in consequence, the eye to element on the surface of the shell makes it fairly.
Consolation and Match
The Sony IER-M9 and the Campfire Audio Solaris match in another way and can work higher or worse for various ears. The match of the IER-M9 match a lot better for my fairly small ears than the Solaris. Nevertheless, for these with bigger ears, you may need a terrific match with Solaris.
Moreover, the cable of each earphones embrace earhooks. They differ from one another as a result of the form of the hook of the IER-M9 is malleable and can return to its place once you transfer it. Against this, the earhooks of the Solaris cable curve to no matter form you bend them.
Each the Sony IER-M9 and the Campfire Audio Solaris have unbalanced, removable, MMCX cables with three.5 mm connectors. Moreover, the IER-M9 comes with a balanced MMCX cable with a four.four mm connector. The design of the 2 cables is analogous to one another. The cable of the IER-M9 is a silver-coated OFC cable. It has a braided cable that’s then wrapped in a silk-braid jacket. This jacket particularly goals to scale back vibrations within the cable (which usually end in cable bump noise).
However, the cable of the Solaris is a silver-plated copper litz cable. The conductors have a thicker diameter than the IER-M9 however maintains a way of malleability, making it tremendous manageable.
Whereas each the Sony IER-M9 and Campfire Audio Solaris make the most of the quickness and readability of balanced armature drivers, their designs are totally different. On one hand, the IER-M9 has 5 balanced armatures. The tweeter is product of magnesium, and all of the drivers are housed in a magnesium body. This body helps to keep away from unwelcome vibrations!
By comparability, the Solaris has a hybrid driver design, that includes one dynamic driver and three balanced armatures. It has a particularly designed 3D acoustic inside. Moreover, it makes use of the identical sorts of know-how within the different high-end Campfire Audio IEMs, together with the Tuned Acoustic Enlargement Chamber and the Polarity Tuned Chamber.
Each the Sony IER-M9 and the Campfire Audio Solaris have a pleasant thick, low finish with emphasis within the sub area. Neither IEM has over-energetic lows. Nevertheless, along with the sub increase, the IER-M9 additionally has a lift round what seems like 80Hz. Consequently, kick drums have a tendency to take a seat a bit bit louder within the combine than regular. It additionally appears to deliver the kick nearer in area.
Against this, the low finish of the Solaris has a top quality of evenness and naturalism. Consequently, kick drums, bass guitars, bass synths, and different devices with wealthy low finish info come by way of with realism and a way of wholeness. Whereas it has an incredible sense of extension, the lows really feel like they’ve much less emphasis basically than the IER-M9.
One factor each the IER-M9 and the Solaris do properly is their low-end tightness and quickness. There’s a feeling of punctuality from each of them and it contributes to the emotional impression low-frequencies have on the combination as an entire.
For instance, once I was listening to the music I’m Callin’ by Tennis, the sense of motion of the kick drum, and the best way the compressors react to it when it hits within the combine feels truly fairly comparable in each the Sony IER-M9 and the Campfire Audio Solaris. In consequence, the kick contributes to the groove in an identical method with each IEMs. Nevertheless, the precise area the kick takes up feels a bit totally different. With the Sony IER-M9, the kick drum sounds nearer in area, somewhat bit louder within the combine, and tonally centered round that 80-Hz-sounding increase. It has a way of thump that feels totally different from the Solaris.
Then again, the kick sounds deeper in each frequency and spatiality. Tonally, it sits evenly within the combine, however nonetheless has that little sense of sub power which provides it influence. Moreover, it appears to be quieter within the combine than the IER-M9, setting it again in area. This backwardness additionally provides it a wider feeling, just like the kick takes up more room even though it’s quieter within the combine.
The center frequencies of the Sony IER-M9 and the Campfire Solaris begin to reveal the variations between the 2 IEMs. On one hand, the IER-M9 appears to have a larger low-mid emphasis. It has a good center midrange, after which a high-mid response that favors the high-mids. This response pushes bass guitars and vocals ahead in area, and shapes the combination towards articulation and presence. Vocals have a tendency to take a seat louder within the combine than normal.
As compared, the midrange of the Solaris feels prefer it has a higher sense of spaciousness and separation. The low-mids have element and power, however sit decrease within the combine in comparison with the IER-M9. The center a part of the midrange is analogous in frequency content material however totally different in power. Whereas the Solaris maintains a way of harmonic complexity, it has a extra energetic dynamic which creates a way of area. Moreover, its high-mids really feel barely colourful, however finally really feel full and harmonically complicated. Vocals don’t stand aside from the combination, however slightly sit the place they have been deliberately positioned by the mixer. And due to the of the sense of dynamic motion within the mids, this leaves room for loads of additional element to shine via.
For instance, once I was listening to the music Thanks for Nothing by Center Brother the bass guitar within the music felt extra ahead and loud within the combine once I listened with the Sony IER-M9 than with the Campfire Audio Solaris. The combination of acoustic guitar, and drums felt comparable within the center a part of the midrange, however there appeared to be a bit extra nuance within the separation between the ghost notes of the snare and the assault on the strings of the acoustic with the Solaris. Moreover, the vocal sounded a bit extra ahead within the combine with the IER-M9 than the Solaris. This forwardness gave it a reasonably sense of intimacy, readability, and articulation which was not emphasised in the identical method with the Solaris.
By comparability, the vocals felt somewhat bit much less intimate, though had an identical quantity of readability due to the dynamic power leaving area for it.
The form of the high-frequencies of the Sony IER-M9 and the Campfire Audio Solaris are totally different from each other. In consequence, they provide a special vibe to songs and work higher or worse relying on the music, style, and priorities/preferences of the listener. On one hand, the IER-M9 has a thinner high-end with emphasis on the prime vary of the decrease treble and emphasis within the higher octave. In consequence, it has a way of articulation and air for cymbals, vocals, and strings. A minimize within the higher treble helps the earphones keep a way of element with out contributing to harshness or sibilance.
I’ve learn critiques of the IER-M9 that describe it as a darkish earphone. I don’t assume that is true, and I interpret the high-end in another way. I feel the large dip within the higher treble could make it really feel darkish, although tremendous high-end power continues to be there. And this power manifests itself with the specificity of particulars in percussion, air in vocals, and a way of soundstage peak. It’s truly a singular and fascinating high-end that works properly for brighter recordings that want high-end element however want their harshness to be tamed.
Against this, the high-frequencies of the Solaris are extra ahead within the combine. A lift within the decrease area of the decrease treble provides articulation to assaults of drums, vocals, strings, and horns. Just like the IER-M9, the Solaris has a dip within the higher treble, however it isn’t as dramatic of a dip. In consequence, cymbals keep a way of fullness and harmonic complexity that they lack a bit with the M9.
For instance, once I was listening to the music Quizas Quizas Quizas by Pink Martini, the form of the strings, piano, horns, and percussion leaned towards the higher octave, and decrease treble. As end result, every of those devices, together with the vocals had a reasonably sense of airness. Moreover, there was a softness to them which helped them keep away from harshness, but in addition make them sound barely much less full than regular.
As compared, when listening with the Solaris, the strings, pianos, percussion, and vocals exhausting air and fullness. They maintained nice separation due to their dynamic power. Because the Solaris doesn’t have the large dip within the higher treble just like the IER-M9, it had a larger sense of texture within the guiro, harp, and vocal rasps, however had a way of hardness, notably when the muted trumpet performed.
The soundstages of the Sony IER-M9 and Campfire Audio Solaris really feel fairly in another way from one another, partially due to their totally different frequency responses, and notably due to their distinction in dynamic power. In a basic sense, the IER-M9 has a narrower, extra intimate soundstage. It has a way of nuance throughout all three dimensions, though its sense of depth is skewed towards closeness due to its high-mid and higher treble increase. Its sense of peak, probably the most comparable facet of the soundstage to the Solaris, has emphasis due to its excessive and low frequency extension. Lastly, its sense of width has nuance and power, however is a bit narrower in really feel than the Solaris.
Against this, the Solaris has a extra formed and particular sense of three dimensionality. Its sense of nuance in depth provides it a sense of realism, power and separation. The dynamic exercise contributes as properly to the sense of width of the earphones, and it has nice distinction between wide-panned devices and people within the phantom middle.
For instance, once I was listening to the track Miles Runs the Voodoo Down by Miles Davis, with the IER-M9, the trumpet within the center felt near the listener in comparison with the darker guitars and keys. Nevertheless, all of the horns felt ahead as nicely. When the guitar dug in, it too felt nearer in area, skewing the realism of the sense of depth. Moreover, the cymbals and trumpet felt tall and had airiness which contrasted in a dramatic approach from the strong, lowness of the bass guitar, decrease drums.
As compared, when listening with the Solaris, the sense of width of the cymbals and wide-panned guitars and keys felt extra dramatic. Moreover, whereas the trumpet felt much less ahead in area, there was extra nuance and separation between the bass, guitars, and keys. I might hear extra particular person notes amongst all of them, making this complicated association simpler to comply with. The sense of peak felt comparable in nature to that of the IER-M9 as a result of each have a pleasant sense of excessive frequency and low frequency extension.
General, the Sony IER-M9 and the Campfire Audio Solaris are totally different from one another in design and sound. Each are extraordinarily high-quality, and on the price-point you’d anticipate them to be. However they’re for 2 totally different sort of music listeners. On one hand, the Sony IER-M9 goes to be for a listener who has smaller ears. Let’s admit it, the Solaris is basically a big IEM! It will be for somebody who appreciates intimacy of their music. It’s going to be for somebody who loves listening to older, harsher recordings like jazz. Moreover, it’s very nice for feminine vocals since you’ll get the great element you want with out the sibilance.
By comparability, the Solaris goes to be for somebody who prioritizes realism and soundstage. The Solaris will work properly for all kinds of genres. It has kind of a 3D component to its soundstage. That stated, it gained’t be for these whose ears are finicky with IEM matches.
The Sony IER-M9 and the Campfire Audio Solaris can be found for one of the best worth right here:
Sony IER-M9 at Audio46
Sony IER-M9 on Amazon
Campfire Audio Solaris at Audio46
Campfire Audio Solaris on Amazon
|Sony IER-M9||Campfire Audio Solaris|
|Drivers||5 balanced armature||1 dynamic, three balanced armature|
|Impedance||20 ohms||10 ohms|
|Sensitivity||103 dB/mW||115 dB/mW|
|Frequency Response||5Hz – 40 kHz||5Hz – 20 kHz|