Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar-Horizon Review featured image

Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar Horizon Review

We review the Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar Horizon, which is a high-end single 10mm dynamic and triple custom dual-diaphragm BA driver IEM. It is priced at $2670 SRP.

Disclaimer: This sample unit was sent to us in exchange for our honest opinion. Headfonics is an independent website with no affiliate links or services. We thank the team at Campfire Audio for their support.

Click here to read more about Campfire Audio products we previously covered on Headfonics. 

Note, that this article follows our current scoring guidelines which you can read up on in more detail here. 

Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar-Horizon Review featured image
Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar Horizon
The Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar Horizon is the most mature offering I have heard to date from the company with a more balanced tuning, improved resolution, and an excellent and very open soundstage.
Sound Quality
9.3
Design
9.2
Comfort & Isolation
9
Synergy
9.3
Slide here to add your score on the gear!64 Votes
8.8
Pros
Open and airy soundstage
Balanced flexible tuning
Beautiful and sturdy design
Cons
One cable with 3 interchangeable jacks would have been neater
Missing Final E tips
9.2
Award Score

The Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar Horizon is the latest edition of the original multi-driver Solaris universal in-ear monitor that saw its debut back in 2019. 

There are actually a ton of limited editions that have come and gone between the original and the new Solaris Stellar Horizon. Still, if we are to draw a critical path this is the 3rd generation with the 2020 version in between both.

Until recently, it was also the company’s flagship universal IEM but things move quickly with the recently reviewed triple dynamic driver Trifecta, (and its variations), now taking that top spot.

And although the basic hybrid configuration remains untouched, the design and the choices of drivers including their application have been overhauled. Those changes may well be a contributing factor for the new higher $2670 SRP.

Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar Horizon on finger

Tech Highlights

Driver Configuration

The Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar Horizon is a hybrid 5-driver universal in-ear monitor. It uses a mix of dynamic and balanced armature drivers with Campfire’s classic A.L.D.C. 10mm dynamic driver for the lows and 3 BA drivers for the mids and highs.

The Solaris Stellar Horizon still benefits from CA’s tubeless T.E.A.C technology for the highs with a single crossover between the mids and the highs at around 4k. Both the mids BA driver and the dynamic driver are “roaming free” up to 4k.

Improvements

The main improvements over the previous Solaris editions come through the use of an upgraded dynamic driver acoustical space called Radial Venting which I presume replaces the older model’s ‘Polarity Tuned Chamber’ and new dual-diaphragm BA drivers that were first launched by Knowles in 2022. 

It’s not the first time that radial venting and dual diaphragm BA drivers have been used by CA. The partnership with AK and their Pathfinder IEM also had similar technology though the radial venting was for a dual dynamic driver setup and only one out of the three BA drivers was dual-diaphragm. 

The Solaris Stellar Horizon radial venting surrounds the entire circumference of the 10mm A.L.D.C. driver expanding the physical space and allowing it to shift more air volume compared to the older models. The net effect should mean a deeper soundstage quality to the performance but with less perceived pressure or bass bloat.

The dual-diaphragm RLQ technology is really about size and output power relative to that size allowing CA to do more inside a smaller acoustical space. Instead of one chamber inside each driver, you now have two, each equipped with its own drive rod and diaphragm. 

Ideally, that improved output power should provide lower levels of distortion, sounding less “thin” and more natural in tone as a result. 

Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar Horizon design

Design

The original Solaris went with gold, the 2020 edition went with a more muted black, so I guess it should not come as a surprise that the Solaris Stellar Horizon edition has a combination of both.

Honestly, it’s a beautiful design and much more intricate than the previous offerings with an almost ‘rune-like’ custom gold PVD inlay pattern running across an otherwise deep black laser-cut acrylic plate design. Everything is integrated into the PVD including a clever extension of the pattern integrating CA’s own logo. 

Underneath it is all change also with a much smoother two-piece precision machined, brushed stainless steel housing accented by brass fasteners and CA’s one rounded Beryllium/Copper MMCX capture system.

The new main body shell is quite a contrast to the older grooved surfaces that permeated through the first two generation shells. It feels a lot smoother and better compliments the silver finish of the newer patterned grill stainless steel spout.

And is also a lot smaller than the original editions with less height and a shorter plate-to-nozzle tip length. I do know CA has worked on the overall size of the Solaris design with the 2020 edition also a fair bit smaller than the original so if you are coming from that edition the size difference is less noticeable.

One final smaller subtle change is a larger more noticeable venting port on the top of the Solaris Stellar Horizon shell which I presume is related to the new Radial Venting system.

Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar Horizon comfort

Comfort & Isolation

Out of the three generations of Solaris I have tested thus far, the Solaris Stellar Horizon form factor has the most comfortable fitting to date.

The slightly narrower curving of the main shell over the 2020 edition, especially around the start of the spout, gives it that edge. Certainly, over the original Solaris, that reduced size and thickness makes Solaris Stellar Horizon not only more comfortable for longer listening sessions but also produces a lower profile with less protrusion out of the ear.

As with most stainless steel shell IEM designs, the Solaris Stellar Horizon spout penetration combined with the choice of the tip is still the top factor in terms of getting a secure leak-free fit.

Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar Horizon ear tips

Tips

Campfire Audio provides two choices of stock tips, and they are pretty much the same tip choices that came with the Trifecta. Both are single flange designs with one set of soft wide-bore silicone and the other, a wide-bore foam finish. Both tips come in small, medium, and large.

The foam tips will provide the highest level of passive isolation as well as the most secure fit but they do place more outward pressure on your ear canals that might feel less comfortable over prolonged use. They also produce a warmer tone with a more fulsome bass response and sound the more natural of the two tip choices.

The wide-bore silicone tips provide the most comfortable fit but with far less isolation. They have a more open staging quality, especially through the mids and highs where vocals carried a bit more presence.

Campfire Audio Trifecta cables

Stock Cables

The Solaris Stellar Horizon comes with the same three new in-house-made Time Stream series cables as the Trifecta. A design that I have found perfectly useable as well as an enjoyable performer when connected with the Trifecta over the last few months.

All three cables are made from SPC as opposed to the previous OFC Litz designs and are finished with different plugs to suit your needs. Those plugs are 3.5mm TRS, 2.5mm TRRS, and 4.4mm balanced. 

As before, I presume it’s an 8-core SPC of around 26AWG with some element of Litz to prevent them from going oxidization given the jacket is a translucent soft PVC material.

The 46″/117cm long designs are unusual for their “Stax-like” flat geometry rather than a typical rounded wire build. It does make for a wider cable but the pros are that the cable is very memory and tangle-free making them a pleasure to work with in everyday use.

The memory coating on the cable MMCX connectors is super soft and low-profile. These are very comfortable around the ear creating zero hot spots through prolonged use.

The Solaris Stellar Horizon barrel finishing matches some of the aspects of the shell design with a gold PVD wrap on the very slimline splitter and gold-plated plug poles and MMCX connectors. The main barrel is made from aluminum in a chrome finish which complements the wiring quite nicely.

My criticism of the cables is also the same critique from my Trifecta review. One cable with 3 interchangeable plugs would have been more efficient for the user and potentially cheaper for the company than 3 separate cables.

Campfire Audio Solaris Stellar Horizon carry case

Packaging & Accessories

The Solaris Stellar Horizon packaging is a virtual identikit of the Trifecta experience except in orange and black and given that is our website branding colors it gets a solid thumbs up from me. 

Aside from the corporate bias, it’s actually a pretty cool offering and a step up in ambition from the older models’ “less is more” packaging experience. It still pays an important homage to sustainability with a lot of recycled materials thrown in there as before.

As with the Trifecta, this is a heavy package because of the use of a wooden container box full to the brim of accessories. This is a hefty box but a well-built one with some beautiful grain finishing.

As before, the Solaris Stellar Horizon box doubles up as a display stand with the detachable finger used as a prop for the drivers and cables to dangle from. This time a black finger as opposed to gold.

Aside from the display functionality you also get the aforementioned tips, cleaning brush/pick, the CA pendant, and various paperwork included with the Solaris Stellar Horizon.

Carry Case

All of these are neatly packed into the new Solaris Stellar Horizon ‘business class travel’ carry-case designs, both in black instead of the previous egg-blue color.

The first is a nylon folding case with inner slots to carry the stock cables. The second is more in line with Campfire Audio’s previous case aesthetics and is called the ‘Dark Matter Dimensional’ folding case made from Portuguese-made stitched leather and incredibly soft to the touch. 

The Trifecta folding case is a fairly substantial form factor and reminds me slightly of a class Business Class amenity kit with its fold-out presentation and storage slots on each side.

There is loads of room to stuff your cables inside as well as the Trifecta drivers but given the case’s softness, CA has included a padded mesh dual pocket pouch to stuff the drivers in and give them a bit more protection.

Click on page 2 below for sound impressions and our recommended pairings.

Click on page 3 below for our selected comparisons.

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