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If you want to read me ramble on more about haptics and finish quality, head to Ω image's review

 

I know it is a year on and this earphone is no longer en vogue. However, I reviewed it. Take that world! ARggggh!

 

Why has it taken so long for me to get this on? Well, because I take a long time. Yes, even if the review is short. And I've sort of changed opinions on a few things, preferring items that guarantee long-term investments. Items that are well-designed (not just for looks) to be comfortable, strong, and that don't get in the way- these are the items I really dig. Really. 

 

The AF78 is okay in this regard. I love its sound. Its build is strong, but its usability isn't as good as a number of options out there. I'm not on the fence, however. In the world of 200$ earphones, there are a lot of wannabes that just do sound or just do style. AF78, while not what I call a handsome earphone, is simple enough and easy to wear. Its sound is good for those that like a bit of a warm, expansive feel to their music and don't mind a soft upper frequency dip. 

 

So I tip back and forth.

 

Fit and Haptics

Best fit is done with the cable down. You can wear them with the cable draped around the ear, but the neck cinch-less heavy cable turns the earphone around and it the earphone may fall out of your ear. The sound tube is thick, so tiny canalled peeps may find it tight. Some may find it uncomfortable. The cable transfers way too much noise to the ear. Curdura: it's strong. Yay. But this isn't a big headphone and it is meant to be worn out and about. Something light and that mitigates touch/bone noise would be much more welcome. Strong can be all those things. Check the Audio Technica CK10 cable. 

 

A neck cinch is imperative. Alternatively, use a twist-tie. But then you have uglied your fly earphone.

 

The remote nub works somehat like an iPod shuffle: triple tap to return to the first song of an album/shuffle queue; double goes forward; single to pause/play. It's a workable system but the button is too recessed and the remote small. Triple tapping: if you can do it repeatedly, you are destined to be a brain surgeon. If you are already in your thirties, can do the triple tap, and are not a brain surgeon and rich... better luck next time. Bad design.

 

Sound

I did not like this sound at first. Boring. Dull. "Where's the upper stuff?" I was apt to say in my bathrobe of ripped towel and moth-eaten banana pants. It's there, but it takes time to hear it, especially if you are coming from, you know, Audio Technica's CK10, ER4, or even the ortofon EQ5. But once you uncover it, you uncover a richness that really isn't that common in in-ear earphones. It is a somewhat dark, mostly sumptuous upper frequency. Good 3D space in the uppers and lowers. Mids don't fair as well for space, but the overall impression is good. Bass power is certain, but it doesn't reach really low. It doesn't travel too far up the frequency scale, but it exudes low end warmth. Mids are their own, but slide a bit into upper bass and lower treble. 

 

It's very like an earphone version of the HD650, but maybe slightly warmer. Viz., if you're expecting shimmer and rattle, you may be disappointed, or you may have to wait a while. Definitely wait a while. I did NOT LIKE THESE PHONES at first. Two months later, I have a very hard time putting them down. But it required a LOT of effort on my part. I'm typically an ER4 guy, you know. I'm changing. 

 

And the AF78 really helped me realise that. 

 

Speed isn't overly fast, but it keeps up with today's poppy trance quite well and a lot of 2001-2003 turning-point albums like DJ Tiësto's 'In Search of Sunrise' series. Speed is good enough. Atmosphere is perfect. Perfect. Fast metal tracks with machine gun percussion such as Dyer's Eve isn't maybe the best venue for the AF78 to stretch it's legs. But it works well enough. 

 

These phones are for: The Smiths, Arcade Fire, Nick Cave and so on and forth and all that stuff. And I dig them very much. Just not their fit. 

 

If AudioFly could put this sound into an over-the-ear design with a portable-friendly cable, I'd ride right in on these all the time. 

 

If you want to read me ramble on more about haptics and finish quality, head to Ω image's review