REVIEW: Audiofly AF45
Build & Design:
Great. Audiofly chose to use very good materials for the AF45. They're available in four colors: Black, White and Black, Green Olive, and Brown.
Starting from the straight plug, it's very sturdy and well relieved. The housings, while are made of plastic, feel very sturdy too. They are lightweight but a bit on the large side.
As for the cable, it's a Y-cable and one of the best and nicest I ever seen (at least at this price range and a bit above). It's a braided Kevlar reinforced cable and covered by Cordura fabric on the outside. Soft, smooth, easy to store and very comfortable to wear. Microphonics are noticeable, but the cable doesn't move around to much. There's no cable cinch or shirt clip, though.
The earpieces don't seem to be vented, so there's minimal driver flex.
The Right side is marked with Braille writing on the strain relief, while the Left side has an 'L' printed on the nozzle.
With the M (microphone) version is easier as the microphone is placed on the left side, and the control button on the Y-split.
Fit, Comfort and Isolation:
As mentioned above, the AF45 are on the large side, so may not be comfortable for those with small ears. For everyone else there'd be no problem even for a long listening session.
Isolation is pretty good even with a fairly shallow insertion.
The provided ear tips can be a bit scratchy, even after a short while.
Note: Auvio tips are almost identical in sound, but more comfortable for the long use. (The bad news, those are only available in the U.S.)
Not much here. Just 4 pairs of ear tips, 1 Small, 2 Medium and 1 Large. And a very nice plush storage pouch. It's kinda small, just to store the earphone, but not together with even a small mp3 player (like Sansa clip or Apple shuffle).
Not many but of great quality for sure.
The included User guide is not your formal language written guide. It's actually fun to read. – I know nobody would care about this about wanted to mention it)
Now to main part.
The earphones were given about 40 hrs of burn-in as suggested by Audiofly.
Very dominating. Be it Sub, Mid or Upper Bass it's well layered, with good definition and without sounding muddy or congested. Not the tightest, but of excellent quality for a Bassy IEM. Among many other heavy-bass oriented these are one of the best I've heard up to date. Great impact, with a lot, a lot of rumble. Seriously, like a lion roar. They can be a bit aggressive and tiring after a while.
They can be called Bass Monsters for the quantity and Kings for the quality.
Even though they seem to be a closed back (not vented) IEM, they sound very 'open'.
But despite the strong bass, midrange bleed is minimal.
Mids and Treble:
Well balanced. Lower mids have, as expected, an extra weight and warmth because of the Bass. The whole midrange manages to remain clean and clear, and not recessed. Of course, it isn't the main attraction like the Lows but yet well presented. The Treble is sparkly and energetic. Not harsh at all, neither sibilant. Not too smooth to sound boring or missing, but not to be called a V-shaped signature. The right amount for most music genres.
While the AF45 can't compete against vocal-oriented earphones, vocals are still a touch more forward than the rest of the mids (especially upper vocals). Smooth but not very sweet (actually a bit on the dry side).
But the main surprise is the overall detail which is very good, and not just for the darker sound, but rather for the price range.
Soundstage has good width and height. But they lack some air and separation.
Speed is also quite good for a dynamic driver.
When compared to other bass oriented IEMs, like the Brainwavz M5, the AF45 win in detail, clarity and control. Bass quantity and impact is similar but the Audiofly reach deeper. They also don't have the slight upper-bass 'hump' the M5 had. The midrange is much nicer on the AF as well against the more veiled Brainwavz. On the other, the M5 are brighter and show more sparkle.
Another competitor is the Dunu DN-23 Landmine. The DN-23 is obviously much smoother with a sweeter and silky midrange, more suited for vocals too.
The AF45 MSRP is AUD$60 ($70 for the Mic. version). They may not be the best all-arounder earphone, but for what they do they're very good. The accessories pack may be small, but the excellent build quality and great looks may compensate for that.
Audiofly may be a small starting company but I'm looking forward to see new products from AF on the portable audio market.
Edited by Zelda - 8/12/13 at 11:35am