Sunday, November 17, 2013

Audiofly AF78 Dual Driver IEM Monitor Review

Smart phones make it is so easy to take our music with us everywhere. But often times the included earbuds just don’t cut it. If you like music, why not have it sound good. And with the built-in mic, it will work as hands free as well.  Up for review today is a premium IEM from Audiofly, their AF78.

I really like the Audiofly AF78 due to their unique design. When it comes to IEM’s, there are two different types of drivers: dynamic and balanced armature. To make a long discussion short, most cheap earbuds and many nicer IEM’s use a dynamic driver. The dynamic driver produces excellent low end bass, and also has good mids and highs. The balanced armature usually does not have the same low bass output and extension found in the dynamic drivers. They do however provide a better mids and high frequency performance. The Audiofly AF78 uses dual drivers, one for the highs and one for the lows.  There are a lot of manufacturers that make dual driver IEM's.  And the Audiofly AF78 is the only model that comes to mind that uses dual drivers, with both a dynamic and balanced armature driver.

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 Length 1.2m: 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. When I opened the box I saw a product in premium packaging that was well packaged. I could tell this was 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.  Also included is the round storage tin that Audiofly likes to use. It isn’t fancy, it does work.  The next question is how does this all come together in its sound?

Fresh Air II - Going to Another Place:  the flute was really clean with a lot of air.  The percussion was pleasantly crisp and not tinny sounding.  The piano also sounded very natural.  The drums were also dynamic with great midbass extension.

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 instruments 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 disappointed.  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.  Using my HTC EVO 3D cell phone I put it to the test.  My cell recognized it once they were plugged in.  I received a call, and simply pressing the button answered the call.  To the person on the other end of the call, I was easy to hear.  I was not too tinny sounding, and didn't sound like I was 1,000 miles away. 

Audio Fly has proven they are a true contender in the premium IEM market, with their AF78. And with its 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