Pros: Build Quality, Comfort, and Big Sound
Cons: Accessories quantity
full review here:
The earphones were given about 40 hrs.
The AF56 are not just an improvement over the AF45 in design and comfort, but also, and mainly, in Sound. They offer a much bigger and very lively sound with better overall balance.
Not unlike the AF45 model, the bass is very dominating. But this time, the AF56 offer a better achieved low end giving more room to the rest of the frequencies to play their part. The bass is really huge and surrounding, very engaging indeed. In terms of quantity alone, these are even with the 45's, a large amount of bass everywhere, but in comparison, these are more focused into the sub-bass regions rather than mid-bass. Compared to the ATH-CKM500, the AF56 still have more mid-bass kick, while the Audio Technica manage to reach deeper. As for quality there's no complaining here; it's tighter, faster and much more controlled. Full bodied with excellent texture and well layered.
Climbing to the midrange, they may not be the main attraction and the sole reason to get the AF56, but within the AF line, the midrange is clear and well detailed. Not necessarily recessed, but more distant compared to the highs, let alone the lows. As for vocals, they have a more neutral position, drier and colder in nature, and just a tad veiled on heavier tracks. Male voices carry more weight from the upper-bass, while female voices are brighter and a bit edgy at times due to added enhanced treble.
As for the highs, they are more balanced together with the lows, especially when compared to the AF45 which offered a much smoother and forgiving upper-end. Treble is more emphasized, crispy and well extended, full of energy and a bit harsher with brighter music. EDM, Techno,Trance and similars really shine with these. Overall clarity is good and it is not hard to pick up small details, but can't match the CNT driver based phones such as the CKN-70 and FXD-80, but at least are smoother and easier to listen than those.