I have been searching for my “endgame” IEM for a while, leading to my encounter with some TOTL ones. After many more trips of local hifi store, I settled for CFA Andromeda 2020. In this post, I want to share with you some impressions and comparisons against other high-end IEMs.
Why Andro 2020?
- Warm and rich lower midrange, with pulled back upper midrange. This tonality gives Andro a relaxing, non-fatiguing sound similarly to Final Audio E series. This tonality allows you to listen much longer.
- Top class detail retrieval, beating my A4000, Blessing 2, as well as 64 Audio U6t.
- Stereo imaging. The precision and sharpness of stereo image is noticeably better than anything I tried in the store. I’m not talking about slight difference that you need to bend your ears and replay test track side by side 10 times to pick out. The improvement is very apparent.
Here are the comparisons against some alternatives in this price range (under AUD$2000) that I managed to A/B tested:
- 64 Audio U6t: Precog is right about the dynamic of 64 Audio. U6t slams and punches. It is very engaging listening experience, yet also non-fatiguing. However, it is AUD$400 more, and its stereo imaging is no where near Andro.
- CFA Ara (Ara): Precog is also right about this one. It has strange tonality.
- CFA Dorado: I personally don’t think it is worth the same price tag as Andromeda.
- Dunu SA6: This one is good. Better than Blessing 2 and tamer than A4000, IMHO. It is smooth, non-fatiguing, yet detailed. Isolation and comfort is also excellent. However, the stereo imaging is pale when putting next to Andro.
- Dunu Zen Pro: The bass is exceptional on this one. However, the imaging and detail is not on Andro level. If you don’t care about top notch imaging and detail, I think this is a serious contender.
- Final Audio B1: Beautiful and high quality sound with thick, strong bass. It’s kind of unbelievable that it has only 2 drivers inside. However, it is not as smooth and warm as Andro or 64 Audio, and its stereo imaging is not as good as Andro. The worst thing is that it is only AUD$600 lower than Andro.
- Final Audio B3: Same as B1, but colder tonality.
Detailed review might come in several weeks as I am in the middle of revamping the review methods. The Final E3000 and A4000 messed up my criteria and benchmarks so I need to A/B and rank my whole collection again.