Gift Guide 2018: Plug Your Ears with the Best Earbuds on the Market

Written by | Lifestyle

Andromeda earbuds: tiny — but state-of-the art audio reproduction

Until now, even the best earbuds could only hint at detail and resolution, as well as highs that don’t sound shrill or tinny and lows that don’t distort.

Campfire Audio has solved those problems with a pair of earbuds called Andromeda, and finally you can hear sterling sound quality reproduction without having to look like you land planes for a living.

The Andromedas retail at close to $1000.00. While that would cause many a casual fan of Madonna, Beethoven or Keith Urban to lapse into sticker shock cardiac arrest, the difference is readily apparent — and stunning.

What sets the Andromeda earbuds above and beyond what you’ve heard before — from Beats to Bose — are the five balanced armature drivers. There are two balanced drivers for bass content, a single balanced driver (for midrange, like voices and piano), and another pair of balanced armature drivers for high frequency response.

Pop the metallic earbuds in, and whether you’re playing music from a smartphone (nowhere near the best source, by the way), a now-outdated iPod (which still reproduces music better than U.S. phones do) or an audiophile dream machine, you’ll hear a level of clarity you simply didn’t know existed in your library.

But… Are They Worth It?

Cheap earphones will basically let you hear what you own as if it was a transistor radio leftover from your Dad’s (or Granddad’s) tours of Vietnam. Higher-priced and more meticulously crafted earbuds can put you on the dance floor (especially when it comes to the bass-heavy Beats, which were developed and marketed from the outset to please fans of hip-hop and rap). These put you in the recording studio or the kind of concert hall where creating the ideal acoustic environment might have cost millions.

Andromeda’s “soundstage,” as audiophiles like to call it, creates such a roomy distance and separation between instruments that you’re easily able to hear each time a finger touches the fretboard of a guitar or the almost inaudible intake of breath when someone put the reed of an instrument into his mouth. Did you know that in order to give “Billie Jean” a more haunting feel, Michael Jackson whispers the lyrics behind his singing track? You’ll be able to hear that ghostly vocal now. The overall impact of getting these earbuds is like someone re-gifting your entire music collection to you.

These are not for those who are casual with earbud care, either. They don’t like to be dropped, and although the drivers are housed in an elegant metal casing, what’s inside is as delicate as the music you want to hear. For someone who considers music one of the most indispensable elements in a hectic world, they could be the gift of a lifetime.

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Last modified: December 4, 2018