Campfire Audio have done something a little different with the Saber, their latest limited run earphone, sporting two dynamic drivers and a single BA tuned to be engaging and fun.
Fit for intended purpose
Fit and Comfort
The Campfire Audio Saber follows a very similar design to the Satsuma and Honeydew. However, this time they have used Damascus steel for the faceplate and ABS for the inner shell. This means they have the slightly narrower and longer stem which actually helps when it comes to fit. These fit really well once you settle on the right tips. The nozzle allows for a medium insertion depth that is secure yet comfortable. The inner edges of the shell are smooth and the included cable is lightweight. My only gripe is the cable is the OFC one that uses mouldable memory wire instead of the more comfortable pre-moulded earhooks on the newer smokey litz cables. However it must be said this is a personal preference and most will get on fine with the included cable.
Comfort is excellent due to the housing shape. These are easy to wear for hours on end with no discomfort, making them great for long journeys or just general commuting and daily use. Just take some time to find the right tips for your preference and you’ll have no problems with the Saber.
The Saber are quite low impedance for an earphone, 8.2 Ohms @1kHz, this means they are very sensitive to source changes and benefit from a source with low output impedance. They have a sensitivity of 94 dB SPL @ 1kHz: 25.4 mVrms. These are very sensitive and work well out of portable devices provided they have low output impedance. Saying that, these sound great out of most devices as is.
The Saber uses two dynamic drivers to cover the low and mid frequencies. The largest 8mm dynamic driver adds an impressive amount of depth to the bass but it still retains a tight and controlled response. One that is not as full as the Mammoth yet doesn’t lean too far into the analytical camp either. The Saber manages to have a solid bass foundation with impact and extension without bloat or emphasised warmth. They don’t fulfil a bass-head tuning like the Mammoth but there should be more than enough presence and oomph for most listeners. They are impressively punchy and I doubt anyone could be bored with this presentation.
Wonderfully placed and well detailed without sounding cold and lifeless. The midrange has great tonality and vocals cut through the mix with ease. There is a little thinness at times in the upper midrange but not enough to cause fatigue and sibilance is well handled only becoming problematic on poorly mastered/hot tracks. The Saber have the ability to be snappy and controlled yet utterly fun to listen to. You never lose track of anything going on in the mix, they handle whatever you throw at them and just turn it in to an enjoyable listen.
The treble is sparkly, and razor sharp, but not to the point they sound fatiguing. With great air and placement they successfully manage to avoid being too hot for my tastes. These do not hold back, they are not the smoothest or most refined earphones for sitting back and relaxing with, instead they are dynamic and energetic and want you to tap along to the music. There is no lack of extension, no lack of detail whatsoever at the top end of the Saber. They could never be described as dull and that is exactly how Campfire wanted them to be. Fun!
Instrument Separation and Soundstaging
The Saber easily pick apart complex mixes and don’t become congested or muffled with fast tracks. The layering is excellent and they are very responsive in terms of transient response.
The soundstaging is also impressive. It’s intimate with a tightly focussed centre image and good width and space. The treble positioning is very impressive and there is realistic yet accurate staging.
Campfire Audio Saber: Verdict
So fun in fact, that I have already bought a set!