Campfire Audio Chromatic Series: Ponderosa and Supermoon Impressions

Campfire Audio Chromatic Series: Ponderosa and Supermoon Impressions

For the second half of 2023, Campfire Audio has created a new line of earphones, dubbed the Chromatic Series. The Chromatic Series features colorful designs with a minimalist presentation. While other recent models, like the Andromeda Emerald Sea, came with incredibly intricate and ornate boxes, Chromatic Series goes in the opposite direction, even offering you an “Essential” option with a stripped down presentation. Ponderosa and Supermoon are the first two models to launch from this new series, and while the looks are all new, longtime Campfire fans might find more than a little bit familiar with these.

Campfire Audio Ponderosa Impressions

Build and Design

While Campfire Audio has used a variety of materials in the past – aluminum, titanium, ceramic, and even gold – to create unique designs, all the Chromatic Series IEM have a 3d printed resin body with a stainless steel faceplate. All the new models are available in black, and each IEM is available in its highlight color, if you want something a little more neon. Ponderosa’s color is bright green, while Supermoon is orange. While the new designs might not have the sort of visual flair that the Andromeda or original Solaris had, they’re some of the most comfortable, lightweight, and practical IEMs that Campfire has ever made.

Campfire Audio Supermoon Universal Package

As far as the rest of the package, you can either get the Essential package or upgrade to the Deluxe Package for an extra $199. Either way, you get foam eartips, a small protective cloth bag for the IEMs, a cleaning tool, and a Time Stream cable. With the Essential Package, the only other thing you get is a simple nylon carrying bag. The Deluxe package adds a much nicer leather carrying case, a cleaning cloth, and a set of three cables (2.5mm, 3.5mm, and 4.4mm). The cable is silver plated copper with a 4-core design that lays out all four cores in parallel, rather than intertwining them.

Sound Impressions

Internally, Ponderosa is a 5-driver, all balanced armature IEM, while Supermoon uses a single 14mm planar magnetic driver. Keen eyes might also note that Ponderosa shares its hexagonal faceplate with the now discontinued Campfire Audio Solstice custom – also a 5-driver balanced armature design.

Ponderosa ($799 - $998)

As someone who owns both a 2019 Campfire Andromeda and a Campfire Solstice – and has spent plenty of time listening to a number of Andromeda variants over the years – Ponderosa sounded very familiar to me. It has the clear and emotional vocals, the well-balanced warmth from the low mids into the bass, lifelike percussion, and a three-dimensional presentation. I can’t quite decide if it’s more Solstice or more Andromeda 2020, but this is definitely very close to those classic Campfire Audio sounds.

Campfire Audio Ponderosa Impressions

One advantage of Ponderosa over Andromeda Classic/2020 is the fit. Andromeda was always very dependent on fit to get the bass right, and Ponderosa’s design proves to be more ergonomic, offering an easier, more secure fit. The bass is still more linear and focused than heavily emphasized. There’s a general sense of warmth in the bottom half of the signal, but more of a tight punch than a broad slam in the bass. The mids offer everything you need, including excellent vocals – particularly for female voices. The treble balances things out well, with nice extension, and just a little bit of air and sparkle.

Supermoon ($1099 - $1298)

Supermoon was originally only available as a custom IEM – though there were some limited edition universal versions briefly available – but word still got around about its incredible performance, and now we all get to enjoy it with the full run of the universal version. Supermoon has a single 14mm planar magnetic driver, and uses it to achieve sound and performances that evokes flagship over-ear headphones like the HIFIMAN Susvara or Meze Elite. Supermoon is fast and dynamic, with good slam, a balanced tuning and surprising resolution.

Campfire Audio Supermoon Impressions

The two biggest highlights of Supermoon for me were the vocals and the drums. The vocal dynamics and imaging are incredible, delivering both a high degree of realism and emotion. Drums have a lifelike, visceral feeling that delivers both the impact and vibration of the drums. With both drums and vocals, it’s that element of resolution –  the speed of the attack and the last few milliseconds of breath or reverberation in the decay – that elevates it to the next level.

The Bottom Line

WIth Ponderosa and Supermoon, Campfire Audio has simplified everything else to focus 100% on the sound. Despite not using the more bespoke materials of past models, the color coded designs with different faceplate shapes are very much in line with the Campfire Audio spirit. The aesthetics can’t hold a candle to Trifecta or Solaris Stellar Horizon, but in terms of the level of sound and performance you’re getting for your money, the Chromatic Series demonstrates a real evolution for the brand.

Price (Essential)





5 Balanced Armature

Classic, balanced Campfire Audio sound



1 Planar Magnetic

Absolutely insane technical performance for the price, coupled with a versatile tuning