The Jupiter has a largely neutral tonality with a hint of bass warmth and presents a nice balance between accuracy and musicality. Campfire have tuned the Jupiter with a lot of control and balance and whilst I wouldn’t term the presentation as the most holographic or 3D there is a really nice sense of width and depth without any nasty peaks in order to achieve that audible extension. The signature is also pretty linear at the low end and full sounding and only starts to dip ever so slightly around 2-5k mark.
What I like most about this tonal signature is the control on the 5-7k lower treble marker. That slight dip in the lower mid-range has the effect of creating a forward sounding 5-8k without ever having to push it too hard and producing a sharp peak. That is music to my sensitive ears as tonally the Jupiter reproduces percussion with very little if any sibilance or harshness. Upper treble does have a nice little peak around the 10k marker giving a touch of sparkle and articulation but never strident or too hot.
Bass extension and weight used to be a tricky challenge to get just right with BA designs but of late more and more BA assemblies seem to be delivering excellent results and the Jupiter is no exception to the increasingly confident low end reproduction. It’s a full sounding bass response but actually quite linear and controlled at the same time. Its only sub 30hz to you get any sense of a slight roll off and even then it’s fairly gradual allowing the Jupiter to produce above average sub-bass extension whilst at the same time further up around 100hz it doesn’t dip into any crass elevated mid-bass tweaking to impress the bass heads.
Full sounding but never disjointed is how I can best describe the bass response of the Jupiter. It is there when you need it but it is not ever-present, stubbornly colored or too forward. Just a nice hint of warmth but not in any way sluggish or with a lingering presence that distracts from the rather impressive mid-range.
The mids on the Jupiter have a forward sounding presence and a slight bump also around the 1-2k marker. Campfire though have avoided too much emphasis in the mids and kept the decay a touch dry also so the presentation sounds quick, clean with good separation but never too thin or unnatural sounding. I have to pay special praise to Campfire for the timbre on the mid-range which to my ears is very natural and organic indeed. There is very little harshness evident right throughout the Jupiter’s mids, wisely laying off any heavy handed accentuation in percussion attacks for my overly sensitive ears.
Vocal presence on the Jupiter is also slightly forward in keeping with the general thrust of the mid-range but not dominating. It is, however, clear and well presented with very good texture and a nice control on sibilance with very few vocals, be it male or female sounding edgy or “ssss” heavy. I had a preference for male vocal work, particularly hard hitting metal vocals such as Ivan Moody, Karl Sanders and James Hetfield. Something about their aggressive almost guttural vocal work seemed to gel very well indeed with the Jupiter’s prominent presentation of metal rhythmic guitar work. Basically any riff work with a dropped tuning sound particularly impressive on the Jupiter.
The Jupiter’s treble avoids a lot of nasty little peaks and troughs courtesy of some smart tuning by Campfire guys and those resonating chambers are emitting some excellent results allowing high end percussion to hit hard without any distracting sibilance as well as keeping a nice sense of pace with the rest of the signature. There is very little suck out from 6-10k, at least compared to some other leading IEM’s and that helps keep the treble on an even keel.
Extension is perceptibly good with a nice peak at 10k that doesn’t ring too much in your ears and puts enough sparkle and brilliance into the treble to keep it from sounding too soft or too polite. Post 10k the drop off is steep but never uneven. There is really nothing edgy about the Jupiter’s treble performance but the detail and articulation is all there.
The Jupiter is a more sensitive and efficient IEM than the Lyra with a 114db compared to the Lyra’s 110db rating. As such I found two things prevalent with the Jupiter. The first of which is that it does like a source or amp with a very good level of noise control and a matching level of sensitivity handling. The second of which was less obvious until I started moving it around my various setups mixes and that was the above average level of transparency in the Jupiter’s presentation allowing various DAP’s to present their own distinct tweak on the Jupiter’s stock response. No two DAP’s really sounded the same tonally and noise level wise.
Not all DAP’s are created equal in terms of tonality and general noise performance and so it was with the Jupiter which in no way blinded me to what was pumping out from the source attached. Sadly, DAP’s like the ZX1, whilst displaying a nicely weighted tonal balance, exhibited rather higher than desirable levels of hiss and background noise compared to the more serene and holographic X7 from FiiO. The Lotoo Paw Gold has perhaps the best balance between musicality and clarity and a slightly more engaging presentation than the X7 which didn’t quite match the really smooth treble reproduction and richer mids the Paw Gold is capable off. It is also dead quite for noise.
And so the story continued with amping, portable or desktop, it really comes down to your amping’s power rating and sensitivity handling. Purpose built units such as the RX from ALO Audio and the Piccolo from Cypher Labs excelled and even the glorious Continental Dual Mono, also from ALO Audio did a pretty decent job conveying its soulful sound on low gain.
Those that performed less well included the Theorem720, but no surprise there as its a well-known hiss monster with sensitive earphones. Further down the chain the older E12 which really doesn’t have the resolving chops or low noise levels to gel well with the Jupiter compared to its sibling the E12a.
If you have a chance check out the zero noise CDM and Sustain84 from Cypher Labs pairing with the Jupiter. This was perhaps the best performing system for the Jupiter with a fantastic level of detail and far outshone the all the DAP’s sampled in terms of engagement, clarity and speed. The dynamics where off the charts and the vocal performance was simply stellar. This pairing I could listen to all day.
So where does the Jupiter sit in the scheme of things because there are a quite a few 4-driver BA IEMs vying for your money at differing prices. Popular units such as the Westone W4, UE900s and the Noble 4 Classic cost roughly half the price and have garnered quite a following. On the flip side you have the quad driver SE846 for $999 and the dynamic driver IE800 coming in at similar prices and both are considered their company’s respectful flagships.
I am still a keen admirer of the Noble 4C as a referencing tool such is its flat and neutral signature I can really get some decent comparison work on sources and amps. As a joyful listening experience though that ultimately depends on your tastes but compared to the Jupiter its sounds less immediate, a little bit thinner and a less forgiving presence and lower treble region. Percussion sounds more palatable with the Jupiter then the 4C’s harsher strike. It is also immediately clear that the Jupiter is a much more efficient earphone requiring a lot less power for an optimal response.
Noble Wizard Savant
The efficiency gap is much the same when comparing the Jupiter to the more musical and smoother Noble Wizard Savant. Though technically a lot closer in terms of musicality the Savant still needs a lot more grunt on the pot to get the same response as the Jupiter. It also doesn’t have the same bass weight and extension as the Jupiter and sounds a little bit thinner overall. Generally speaking, the Jupiter has a much more forward and meatier response than the Savant especially for rock where it sounds the more confident of the two.
The same story continues even at the flagship level. Volume matching with the Jupiter for comparison purposes is quite a challenge because it is such a breeze to power the Jupiter that the gap between competing IEM’s and the Jupiter for efficiency is so big. On the Paw Gold the IE800 is a good 10-15 steps higher than the Jupiter such is the disparity.
Tonally the Jupiter is a much more visceral experience than the IE800 with a fuller sounding bass performance though I found the IE800 slightly cleaner and a bit better at micro dynamics with a bit more space. The Jupiter by contrast had a slightly thicker and more weighted sound with a more immediate soundstage and is the more musical of the two. Treble performance on the Jupiter is not quite as clean as the IE800 but it is much more forgiving than the IE800 which at times can get too hot. If I am carrying both I think I would keep the Jupiter for rock and metal and the IE800 for the classics and acoustics given their individual strengths.
The efficiency gap is a bit smaller between the SE846 and the Jupiter compared to the other tested IEMs though I still rate the Jupiter as the easier one to drive out of the two. The SE846 is also a little bit cleaner than the Jupiter but lacks the energy and drive of the Jupiter particularly in the mid-range. Though both the SE846 and the Jupiter have full sounding low ends the SE846 is the more dominant of the two and feels slightly less balanced in comparison. Treble performance on the SE846, though detailed, is bit muted in comparison to its more forward mid-range and bass performance and lacks a little bit of brilliance and sparkle compared to the Jupiter’s little 10k peak which injects a bit more energy at the top end.
It is really amazing how far BA setups have come in the last few years and the Jupiter is an excellent example of how things are evolving. I often remember stating that dynamics have better bass and bigger sound stages than BA designs like it was an unchanging fact. Not so anymore.
The Jupiter may not have the most holographic of sound signatures out there but it has excellent width and above average depth and a really nice energy from the mid-range that makes it ideal for rock and metal, particularly rasping male rock vocals. I love its weight, its balance and the detail it can capture, whilst staying very musical indeed. I still think though the likes of the IE800 has a slightly better micro dynamic performance and a bigger stage making it the better pairing for classics and some acoustics but outside of that my pick is the Jupiter.
The Jupiter also competes very well with flagship quad BA’s such as the SE846 and its sensitivity and ease to drive is perhaps among the best out there right now. You do not need an amp, but if you pair one then pair it with the Sustain84 desktop tube amp and see how well this IEM can truly perform. Of course sensitivity being what it is you have to rule out a few amps such as the Theorem720 which otherwise would have been a fantastic pairing such as is the unacceptable hiss and DAPS such as the Sony ZX1 are out also due to high levels of hiss.
Just like the Lyra, the Jupiter package makes me want to take it with me everywhere I go. I am a sucker for that case. Thankfully the sound is right up my alley for my bloated metal collection so I can see myself spending quite a number of hours on the go with the Jupiter for that reason alone.
- Frequency Response 10Hz-28kHz
- Impedance @1K 35 ohm
- Sensitivity @ 1K 114dB SPL/mW