New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

REVIEW: Audiofly AF56

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

REVIEW: Audiofly AF56

 

 

 

                               

Specs:

Driver Type: 13mm Dynamic Driver

Magnet Type: Neodymium

Frequency Range: 18-20 KHz

Cable Length: 1.2m

Plug Type: 3.5mm gold plated

Impedance: 16 Ohms

Sensitivity: 118dB at 1 kHz

 

MSRP: AUD$99.95 / AUD$109.95 w/microphone, from Audiofly.com ; Street price could be lower.

Available in 3 color schemes: 'Vintage White', 'Vino' and 'Blue Tweed'.

 

 

After having the chance to try the AF45 (review here) the AF56 are truly what I was expecting, a nice improvement from their lower priced siblings. Not only in sound, but in design and comfort as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Build & Design:

Housing design aside, everything else is exactly the same as the AF45, which means great build quality and nice looks. The straight plug is very sturdy and well relieved. The Y-cable is one of the best and nicest, a braided Kevlar reinforced cable, covered by Cordura fabric on the outside. I really like this cable, it's soft, smooth, and very easy to store. Microphonics are noticeable, but the cable doesn't move around too much.

As for the housing design, this time Audiofly chose a "half-in-ear" design to carry the larger 13mm driver. They may not be easy to wear upside with the cable around the back of the ear, but I don’t think they're meant to be worn like that.

                                      

Like the previous model, the Right side is marked with Braille writing on the strain relief, while the Left side has an 'L' printed on the nozzle. On the M version the microphone is placed on the left side, and the control button on the Y-split.

 

 

 

 

Fit, Comfort and Isolation:

To my surprise, unlike other half-ear IEM earphones I owned, like the ATH-CKM500, the AF56 fit my ears instantly. They are very ergonomic and comfortable for long listening sessions, similar to a small regular earbud (not in-ear). Even though the included ear tips are the same as the AF45's ones, they aren't scratchy at all (I believe it's because the shallower fit).

Isolation is pretty good even with the fairly shallow insertion. On par with the AF45, much better than the ATH-CKM500, so no need to raise the volume really high even on more crowded areas.

 

 

 

 

 

Accessories:

Not much here, just 4 pairs of ear tips, 1 Small, 2 Medium and 1 Large. And this time, a very nice storage tin, but still small just to store the earphones.

Even though I can't complain about the accessories quality, for the price tag, I'd expect more quantity and variety.

 

 

 

 

 

Sound:

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.

 

Soundstage is quite impressive, really huge and spacious with an immersive 3D feeling; definitely one of the main strengths of the AF56.

 

As an Extra, I also tried them with some Meelec bi-flange tips. Fit was much shallower and isolation lower. As for the sound, the results were as expected, a smoother and less aggressive sound. Midrange is slightly thicker and warmer, with a more hint of space and air.

 

 

Conclusion:

The AF56 are very well built, look very nice, and comfortable. Their kind of V-shaped signature may not be suited for everyone, but they do offer a big, surrounding, enjoyable and exciting sound.

 

 

Some extra pictures:

 

 

 


Edited by Zelda - 2/11/14 at 6:07am
post #2 of 15
Great review!
post #3 of 15

Nice review Zelda!

post #4 of 15

I bought these for my girlfriend about 8 or 9 months ago.  One of the housings separated twice (the second time I used more crazy glue).  Other than that she has enjoyed them greatly, even opting for the AF56 over the RE-400 I just gave her a month ago.

 

If you can get them on sale (and using Amazon I didn't pay anywhere near the MRSP) they're a worthy buy.

post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by presata View Post

Great review!

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DannyBai View Post
 

Nice review Zelda!

 

Thanks!

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Deviltooth View Post
 

I bought these for my girlfriend about 8 or 9 months ago.  One of the housings separated twice (the second time I used more crazy glue).  Other than that she has enjoyed them greatly, even opting for the AF56 over the RE-400 I just gave her a month ago.

 

If you can get them on sale (and using Amazon I didn't pay anywhere near the MRSP) they're a worthy buy.

The RE-400 and AF56 couldnt be more different. if you like one you'll probably hate the other. not my case, though.

post #6 of 15

Great Review!

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you!

post #8 of 15

Nice review........How does it sound compared to VSD1S? btw, Is the 3.5mm jack a straight or L shaped or 45 deg. angled and how's the strain relief on it?

Any Driver flex you observed.....it looks like there's no vent there.

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shawn71 View Post
 

Nice review........How does it sound compared to VSD1S? btw, Is the 3.5mm jack a straight or L shaped or 45 deg. angled and how's the strain relief on it?

Any Driver flex you observed.....it looks like there's no vent there.

 

 

Thanks!

the plug is straight, and very well relieved. I didnt experienced driver flex with the stock tips. but with Sony/Dunu hybrid tips it's present, but still less than the AF45 model. didnt find a vent, but these sound nothing "closed"

 

 

VS the Vsd1-s. they're too different. mid-centered sound VS more V-shaped. bass on the VSD is quite good, but very far from the AF quantity, specially in sub-bass. upper-highs are smoother/rolled-off on the VSD while the AF56 have better extension, but more sibilance prone. upper mids and lower highs are the strength of the VSD1, much more thicker and forwarded and SHINE on female vocals, and the AF56 feel colder 

the AF56 have better speed and huge stage. the VSD1-S are more narrow  and intimate.


Edited by Zelda - 12/5/13 at 10:54pm
post #10 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zelda View Post
 

Thanks!

the plug is straight, and very well relieved. I didnt experienced driver flex with the stock tips. but with Sony/Dunu hybrid tips it's present, but still less than the AF45 model. didnt find a vent, but these sound nothing "closed"

 

VS the Vsd1-s. they're too different. mid-centered sound VS more V-shaped. bass on the VSD is quite good, but very far from the AF quantity, specially in sub-bass. upper-highs are smoother/rolled-off on the VSD while the AF56 have better extension, but more sibilance prone. upper mids and lower highs are the strength of the VSD1, much more thicker and forwarded and SHINE on female vocals, and the AF56 feel colder 

the AF56 have better speed and huge stage. the VSD1-S are more narrow  and intimate.

Oh My....Thanks for the picture......... and appreciate a quick comparison.

post #11 of 15

Seeing this thread makes me sad. Why can't Australia make more quality headphones at much competitive prices?

post #12 of 15

I still have a pair of white AF56 and they have held up well - no fraying, no splitting of the housing, just a better and better sound as I use them (I still must have less than 100 - 150 hours on them) I think they look great and sound really good for the price point. I thought with 13mm drivers I would be looking at sloppy bass cans - but they are pretty balanced - nice crisp highs and solid bass - a little mid-bass hump, but just to fill in the sound and make it musical....

 

IEMs have come and go, but my little white (non-mic) 56's hang in there.

post #13 of 15

Well I just feel like getting a pair of made in Aussie phones if I'm going to start a headphone collection and I do love their design though I'm somewhat put off by reviews saying that the housing split. That and they don't seem to get much love around here. I mean this thread is not even 2 pages long.

 

I'm glad to hear yours held up well, but what sort of level would you say the AF-56 performs at? Would be nice to hear a bit more about them.

 

I wouldn't mind putting more money for a pair of AF-78 but it is my understanding that the AF-78 does not have a crossover board as shown by their own website despite being a hybrid dual driver. For that you need to go an extra 50AUD to the 249AUD AF-120 which I feel just isn't worth it. If they can make the AF-33 at 40AUD then it stands to reason that the only difference across the series is just the housing and drivers. I don't feel that they warrant a $150 difference in price tag.

 

AF-56 seems like the best choice in terms of design and functionality, but I don't think I've seen anyone compare how they perform across the entire range yet?

 

 

 

 

 

As you can see the exploded diagram of AF-78 and AF-120, only the AF-120 has a crossover chipset as shown in (2)

post #14 of 15

Just running out of the office but I wanted to answer you before I left - From what I have gathered, many people preferred the 56 to the 78 - more coherent and better sounding - it was Audiofly's first stab at a hybrid - so keep that in mind... IMHO

 

Bign

post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ivabign View Post
 

Just running out of the office but I wanted to answer you before I left - From what I have gathered, many people preferred the 56 to the 78 - more coherent and better sounding - it was Audiofly's first stab at a hybrid - so keep that in mind... IMHO

 

Bign

 

Sort of what I figured with the absence of a crossover board. And comparing AF-56 with AF-120 is just too much of a gap in both price and quality I expect.

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav: