Sunday, November 4, 2012

Audiofly AF78 Premium IEM Review

I love my music, as many of us do. And with smart phones, it is so easy to take it with us everywhere. Often times the included earbuds just don’t cut it. After all, if you like music, why not have it sound good. Up for review today is a premium IEM from Audiofly, their AF78.

I was excited to review the Audiofly AF78 due to their design. When it comes to IEM’s, their are two different types of driver: dynamic and balanced armature. To make a long discussion short, most cheap earbuds and many nicer IEM’s use a dynamic driver. The single dynamic driver produces excellent low end extension, with good mids and highs. The balanced armature typically does not have the low bass output and extension found in the dynamic drivers. They do however provide a better mids and high frequency performance. The Audiofly AF78 is the only model that comes to mind that uses dual drivers, with both a dynamic and balanced armature drivers.

Features and specs:

Driver Type9mm Dyn/Balanced Armature: Custom articulated dual drivers with crossover for incredible separation and beautiful detail in the high end with lush well-defined response in the lower and mid frequencies.

Magnet Type Neodymium: Audiofly headphones use a neodymium magnet for longevity; the alloy has a unique crystalline structure that has a greater resistance to being demagnetized.

Frequency Range: 18-22KHz: The AF78 has an extended frequency response across the entire spectrum with a range of 18Hz - 22Khz for a massive soundstage with impressive detail and separation.

Cable Length1.2m: Our high spec AudioflexTM flat braided cable not only has kevlar reinforced conductors, but a CorduraTM brand Nylon outer sheath for superior strength and amazing durability.

Plug Type 3.5mm gold plated: We use gold plated plugs not because they look good, but because gold is the best conductor with the greatest resistance to corrosion giving you better sound transmission that is durable.

Impedance 16 Ohms: The AF78's dual drivers have a low impedance of 16 Ohms. This is ideal for low powered devices like iPods® and iPhones® giving enough headroom so they have no trouble producing plenty of volume.

Sensitivity 108dB at 1kHz

The Audio Fly AF78 came in an attractive box with color photos of the product and its specs and features. Opening the box revealed a product in premium packaging that was well packaged. It was quickly obvious to me that this is Audio Fly’s flagship product, the materials used, as well as build quality and fit and finish was very good. I like the cloth Kevlar cable, and the quality connections. I also like all the accessories. About the only thing I would change is the round storage tin. But that is personal preference as while it isn’t fancy, it does work.  The next question is how does this all come together in it's sound?

Star Wars - Throne Room and Finale: the soundstage was pleasantly big with good imaging.  The trumpets had great resolution and were not too brassy sounding.  The trombones had excellent timbre.  The full orchestra had a lot of instruments, and you could really hear them.
Junior Wells - Why Are People Like That:  the vocals were really life-like with excellent timbre.  The piano also sounded natural.  I especially liked the harmonica solo that showed off some great dynamics.  And the bass had some great low end extension.
No Doubt - Hella Good: impact and low end extension in the kick drum at the beginning of the song was very good.  The percussion was also crisp and very dynamic.  Vocals had excellent timbre and natural sounding.  Overall the resolution of all the instraments was very good.

Justin Timberlake - Sexyback: had nice low end extension and output.  The snaps were dynamic and the vocals were smooth and natural sounding.  It also provided a big soundstage with great imaging.
Techmaster P.E.B.- Activate, and Time To Jam:  the sound of the dual drivers were impressive, and to truly test the bass output of the dynamic bass driver, I turned to Techmaster.  I was not dissapointed.  Bass output and extension was superb.  I tend to like a lot of bass, and its output was just the way I like it.....LOUD, yet also very clean.
Since the Audiofly AF78 has the built-in call handling feature, I thought I would test it out.  So I turned to my HTC EVO 3D cell phone.  My cell recognized it once they were plugged in.  I received a call, and with a simple press of a button, the call was answer.  To the person on the other end of the call, I was easy to hear, not too tinny sounding, and didn't sound 1,000 miles away. 

The Audio Fly AF78 has proven that Audio Fly is a true contender in the premium IEM market. And with it’s superior design, other manufacturers should be taking notice. For those in the market for some premium IEM’s you would be disappointed not to give them a listen. Based on their design, features, quality and performance, the Audio Fly AF78 has earned our Highly Recommended award. For more info and complete specs, check out their website at