I'm not exactly sure how long these have been out but wasn't able to find a thread about them.
I was offered a pair of AF180 for reviewing here in Korea and I thought it would be nice to share and talk about it here on head-fi as well.
Presenting Audiofly's latest "Performance Series" quad balance armature universal fit stage monitor in-ears. AF180.
Driver: Quad BA driver
Frequency Range: 15Hz ~ 25kHz
Sensitivity: 108dB @ 1Hz
Cable length: 1.6m
Plug: Right angle 3.5mm gold plated
I really really liked the packaging for these. I think it may just be the best packaging design I have ever seen for in-ears.
-Comply foam tips (They look like T-200)
-Dome silicone Tips
-Triple flange silicone tips
-Quarter inch gender jack
-Airline gender jack
Wow. I think this is the sexiest case I have ever seen in my life. Real soft brown leather with a vintage look to it. Although I am currently using an Otterbox drybox series for my in ears at the moment, I might just carry these around because they look so nice. Smell nice too lol.
Build and Features
I felt that AF had invested a large amount of time and consideration into their performance series design and features. A lot of small details I have never seen in any other in-ear design. Without losing any points in it's luxury look, AF's design is very practical and durable.
Right angle plug with AF logo engraved
This cable is constructed from extremely durable 'Cordura' fabric. Same materials used in outdoor wear and in military combat uniforms.
The twisted cable you see connects up to the ear guides and the mmcx plug which AF calls 'Soundpatch.'
By the connector part, you can see the Braille dots on the ear guide. I don't have to worry about getting the wrong side in if ever become visually impaired!
It's very thoughtful and creative of them to consider into their design.
As you can see in the photo, there is a little bump on the mmcx connector.
When detaching the cable, all you have to do is twist and the mmcx connectors with unlock and come off easily.
When attaching, you just match that little bump and snap them together.
Very simple and effective.
As you can see there is a thread on the nozzle and this allows the tips to stay on well and removed easily when you 'unscrew' the tips off the nozzle.
At first, I thought the ear guides were too stubborn as they would not take shape. After fidgeting with a bit longer, I realized they do have a firmness to it and you have to force the shape into it and over-bend it.
The AF180 has just raised the bar for me. Previously, the ASG-2 were the most comfortable universals I have ever tried but now it's these. They fit so well like they were designed specifically for my ears. Oh wow, I was just so surprised on it's ergonomic design. I didn't know universals could be this comfortable. The great fit allows great isolation as well with the tip that best fits your ears. Everything is ten out of ten in this department.
I really like my T-Peos silicone tips so I did a tip mod from monster tip kit to fit them on as they have a larger core size.
The overall sound signature of the AF180 are on the natural and warm side. I pictured a green hill with the warm sun giving the grass an orange tint.
Something like this.
It is overall warm but has that hilltop breeze that is refreshing. That refreshing breeze is the treble. Some may feel a 10kHz spike but I like how it sounds now. Highhats and cymbals come across very naturally and detailed to me. I did however notice a dip somewhere around the 6kHz region. So the upper vocal range may sound veiled making the vocals sound a little nasally. The mids are strong and as stage monitors, the guitars were most easily heard in the various band genres that I auditioned them with. The lower mids to bass regions are turned up a lot more with amazing speed and impact. Rhythm part musicians will love this. I felt that it was faster and hit harder than the latest multi ba iem that I've tried which was the Roxanne. This does not mean in anyway that the bass is exaggerated but rather more of how it sounds like on stage. However, this region being turned up gives the sound signature a 'hollow' feel or like a feeling that music is being heard in somewhat a tunnel. It goes great with music that has reverb as it becomes a plus to the imaging and soundstage. Speaking of soundstage, I felt that it was larger than the SM64 which is well known to having a large soundstage. However, instrument separation is not as good.
As a stage monitor, I felt that Audiofly has taken the comments and suggestions from musicians under a lot of consideration like they said they did. Having done a lot of stage performances and monitoring as an amateur, I felt that these were very appropriate as stage monitors from listening to my dap but not sure if that opinion would change if I had used them on stage first hand. I would very much like to if in my next chance to perform. Starting from the long 1.6m cable to be more comfortable while performing with an instrument to it's durability and sound, it would serve any performing artist effectively. Those that want something like the SE846 but don't have the gold, I would highly recommend this pair.
Edited by jonyoo - 6/22/14 at 7:41pm