Audiofly AF1120 MK2

General Information

Driver type: Six Balanced armature drivers with 3-way crossover
Driver arrangement: Dual bass, dual mid, dual high
Frequency range: 15-25kHz
Crossover: Passive 3-way electronic crossover with Butterworth filter
Acoustic tuning: Physical 3-way frequency divider
Impedance: 11Ω
Sensitivity: 109dB at 1kHz
Cable length: 1.2m / 47”
Plug type: 3.5mm gold plated, right angle format

Latest reviews

dooxtypoox

Head-Fier
Pros: + Solid technicalities
+ (Almost) tonally spot-on
+ Neutral tuning as advertised
+ Laidback due to lower treble dip, non-fatiguing
+ Comfortable fit
Cons: - Neutrality may be too sterile for some
- Lower treble dip may be too laidback for some
- Shell design is bare-bones for a premium priced product
Video Review

Price & Specifications
Price: AUD$849.99 / USD$649.99
Audiofly AU
Audiofly Amazon

Driver type: Six Balanced armature drivers with 3-way crossover
Driver arrangement: Dual bass, dual mid, dual high
Frequency range: 15-25kHz
Crossover: Passive 3-way electronic crossover with Butterworth filter
Acoustic tuning: Physical 3-way frequency divider
Impedance: 11Ω
Sensitivity: 109dB at 1kHz
Cable length: 1.2m / 47”
Plug type: 3.5mm gold plated, right angle format

photo_2020-10-10_18-30-43.jpg

Introduction
Audiofly has been around since 2012 and they create bluetooth products for the casual listener under the name of Audiofly Headphones, and IEMs for audiophiles, musicians and sound engineers under Audiofly Pro. In their lineup of "Pro" IEMs, the 1120s were tuned to be neutral for audio professionals who require an accurate playback.

I'd like to thank Michelle from Audiofly for arranging to have these IEMs loaned out to me for a full review. I greatly appreciate Audiofly's kindness and generosity.

Accessories
  • Protective hard case
  • 2.5mm balanced cable
  • 3 sets of dome silicone tips
  • 1 set of Comply tips
  • 3 sets of foam Flytips
  • 3 sets of Dekoni Audio Bulletz
  • 3.5mm to 1/4" adaptor
  • Airline adaptor
  • Cleaning tool
  • Cable tidy
photo_2020-10-10_18-30-35.jpg

Comments on accessories
Unlike other brands which have been progressively moving toward compact round carrying cases, Audiofly has chosen a pelican-style hard carrying case for the 1120s which tends to be more space consuming. Nevertheless, it will protect the IEMs just the same.

The cable may not seem fancy like what boutique cable manufacturers offer these days but I've grown to like its ergonomics. The fabric makes the cable more pliable and I can see it remaining so, unlike PVC based cables which tend to get stiff over time with exposure to sweat and UV light, which is normal.

It has also been reinforced by CORDURA fabric for better durability. It's not something audiophiles who listen at the desk and on their daily commute will strictly need but rather, this is something that stage musicians might better appreciate. The thin 2-wire braid above the Y-split is light which is also something stage musicians will find reliable to work with when wearing the IEMs from behind. I've read of people who found the stock cable lackluster but I'm alright with it as I prefer thin and ergonomic cables.

If there's anything I would change about the cable, it's that the Y-split is too big for my liking and the plastic used for the Y-split and 3.5mm connector feels relatively cheap for a premium priced product.

It's a nice thought to have the 2.5mm balanced cable included for those who have a balanced output on their source. But it should be noted that the balanced cable feels stiffer and cheaper when compared with the stock cable. The discrepancy in build quality is significant and I would have preferred to see the same implementation of the CORDURA fabric on the balanced cable.

Additionally, the balanced cable may not be necessary unless your source's balanced output has a low noise floor. The 1120s are very efficient and when connected to my ZX300's balanced output, electronic hiss was very much audible. This is why all testing was done with the stock cable on my Sony ZX300.

Sound
Here is the raw graph provided by Audiofly.
08 graph.png

The 1120s have a warm-neutral sound signature. They feature a very broad bass lift by about 2dB which does more to lend the music a sense of warmth than to emphasize either the sub or mid-bass. Despite the bass boost being broad, the boost itself is mild hence the 1120s leave no room for any muddines or boominess, just enough to lend warmth.

The 1120s have minimal content in the sub-bass, which is only mildly audible in hip-hop rumble drops.【1】 Consequently, it's more difficult to track bass guitars when they are adjusted to be heard in the sub-bass.【2】 It can certainly be heard in all its definition because the 1120s are very resolving but it's just softer than what I'm used to. I might not have noticed the growl of the basslines on first listen if I wasn’t looking out for it in my music.

The mid-bass retains the same reserved quality as the sub-bass, which makes kick drums and synthetic bass beats sound tight.【3】

The upper midrange rises at 2kHz and peaks at 3.5kHz at 4dB. I feel that this doesn't balance out the wideband bass boost enough, causing music which prioritises instruments over vocals to sound slightly veiled.【4】 There is more transparency with music where vocals are at the forefront of the mix.【5】 The 1120s will certainly be welcome by lovers of smooth, tube-like presentations out of the box. I have to add that the 1120s top this off nicely with its midrange tone which is almost spot-on.

There is also a pronounced scoop in the lower treble following the 3.5kHz peak which may be a potential dealbreaker for some. The lack of energy past 4kHz reduces presence of vocals and instruments, causing the 1120s to be a very laidback set of monitors. This isn't a problem for me as the midrange is still tonally acceptable and it has the added bonus of being non-fatiguing. It's just that such an aggressive lower treble dip may not provide the energy and aggression that some audiophiles crave.

While cymbals and hi-hats are primarily driven by the mid-treble from 8-9kHz, the dip in the lower treble reduces the intensity of their attack. Cymbal crashes and hi-hat patterns are heard at the volume the audio engineer intended for them to be heard in the mix, nothing more, nothing less.【6】 There is neither any bite nor sparkle, or a feeling haziness - dead neutral.

The 1120s are by no means detail monsters from its laidback treble but it doesn't fall short in terms of note definition. To me, the biggest selling point of the 1120s lie in their technical ability. It has outstanding instrument separation and resolution which sit well above average. For instance, tracking background electric guitars which often get masked by lead vocals is a breeze and busy metalcore mixes never sound congested.【7】 It images well within its modestly sized soundstage.

Comparison with M7 & M9
I felt that it is only appropriate to compare these with my favourite sets of warm-neutral IEMs which are none other than the Sony IER M7 and M9. I'd like to thank Addicted To Audio for allowing my friend and I to audition and take pictures of the IEMs in their beautiful showroom here in Perth. We appreciate the staff's kindness in assisting us.

photo_2020-10-10_18-30-51.jpg

I will speak about the M7 and M9 broadly as a whole as they sound very similar to me, with the exception of the M9 having a superior treble response over the darker M7, due to its magnesium super tweeter.

In terms of tuning, the M7 and M9 have more sub-bass relative to the 1120s, causing them to have much more impact when the mix calls for it. The M7 and M9 have more energy in their upper midrange relative to their low end. To me, this makes the M7 and M9 more transparent than the 1120s.

In the grand scheme of things, both the M7 and M9 are pretty laidback IEMs due to their well-controlled lower treble presence. Similarly, the 1120s are also laidback but to a much greater extent.

In terms of resolution, 1120s = M7 < M9. The 1120s sit on par with the similarly priced M7 and the M9 edges out both these IEMs marginally. It should also be noted that the M9 costs almost twice as much as the other two.

Another possible reason why a potential buyer may choose the M7 or M9 lies in their superior soundstage over the 1120s. This could be because the semi-tubeless design employed in the M7 and M9 gives the impression of expansive width and depth to complement their extremely precise imaging.

Technical Summary
AF1120 MK2 2.png
To sum up the differences, I am certain that many consumers will find the tuning of the M7 and M9 more appealing, being musically-inclined whilst retaining the excellent technicalities befitting of a studio monitor. The combination of the spacious staging qualities, high level of transparency and tonal accuracy makes for an organic listen. Their ambience is just a whole lot more immersive which is why I'd pick them for personal enjoyment, especially so for listening to playback of live performances.

In contrast, the 1120s are much more clinical in nature. They adopt a flat neutral approach and a clear focus on precision, which allows the listener to hear exactly what the audio engineer envisioned when adjusting the volumes of different instruments in the song - their excellent dynamic range accomplishes this with ease. It clearly achieves what Audiofly set out to do with the 1120s' neutral tuning direction as it doesn't emphasise any frequency.

All in all, the 1120s are a highly technically competent workhorse. Their warm and flat neutral signature makes them an all-rounder for studio mixing and non-fatiguing stage monitoring. Audiofly also offers CIEMs but the program is on hold for the time being due to COVID-19. I feel that a perfect fit from having a CIEM version of the 1120s may increase perception of its clean sub-bass response. Additionally, its non-fatiguing signature is likely to work well with a CIEM firing past the 2nd bend in the ear canal for long audiophile listening or music mixing sessions in the studio.

This is it for my Audiofly AF1120 MK2 review. All photographs were taken by my good friend @teriyakeith.

Thanks for reading! You may find more reviews on my Head-fi thread.

These are some of the notable tracks used to come to my conclusions for those who're interested (not exhaustive).
Sample tracks for reference: Artiste 1Song 1, Song 2. Artiste 2Song 1
1. Falling in Reverse - Popular Monster, Losing My Mind.
2. MY FIRST STORY - With You.
3. Coldrain - REVOLUTION. Josie Dunne - Old School.
4. Coldrain - COEXIST, THE SIDE EFFECTS.
5. The xx - Angels. Machine Gun Kelly - I Think I'm OKAY
6. ONE OK ROCK - Yes I am (mixed louder), Taking Off (mixed softer).
7. Bring Me The Horizon - Antivist. Crystal Lake - Watch Me Burn.

Attachments

  • photo_2020-10-10_18-30-46.jpg
    photo_2020-10-10_18-30-46.jpg
    39.2 KB · Views: 0
Last edited:
riverground
riverground
I gotta give you a virtual handshake! lol your music choices are superb!
I actually used a lot of Coldrain and ONE OK ROCK tracks for my upcoming review as well.

Great review man!
dooxtypoox
dooxtypoox
@riverground Thank you! After all, it is truly the music that keeps us going in this hobby :)
I saw your unboxing video, looking forward to the full review!
riverground
riverground
That is very true!
And thanks man!

I'm still waiting for my new CPUs for my computer, so I can finally start recording.

John Massaria

500+ Head-Fier
Audio Fly AF1120Mk2 Six Driver IN EAR MONITORS
Pros: Easy listening without fatigue, nice musical design, bass is good enough - but will not blow minds- its more accurate and not bloated- tight as a drum, mids are the highlight here and pleasing, extend and no listener fatigue, comes with balanced and single ended cable, fit is excellent for IEM, nice extended thinner type nozzle makes for ez tip choices for tight fit, fits the cymba conchae like a glove, imaging is good, excellent ear tips included, solid Pelican carry case is excellent, MMCX connectors make cable swaps ez
Cons: white single ended 3.5mm cable is pitiful in this price range but does sound nice- looks very cheap, the snap together shell looks cheap for this price range
IMG_4400.jpg


The manufacture says:
"The neutral-focused AF1120 is for audio professionals who thrive on impeccable accuracy and astounding clarity.

Nothing short of perfection. With six finely-tuned balanced armature drivers arranged in a dual low, mid and high configuration in a unique hybrid 3-way electronic/acoustic crossover, the neutral-focused AF1120 is for audio professionals who thrive on impeccable accuracy and astounding clarity."

LETS SEE....OR SHOULD I SAY HEAR....
the price for AF1120Mk2 is $649.99 USD

AF1120mk2-BehindtheProduct-Blog-3.jpg
VS
Audiofly-AF180-FR.jpg

(This Graph is from Audiofly Web site and the other is from another reviewer (fit issue on right? do you see the difference? Who is right and who is wrong? I do not know...)

I think like all IEMs - proper fit is key and deep insertion is a must for best sound. I use Etymotic ER4P/S and am used to getting a perfect fit but Etymotics take some getting used to on how far they go into the canal of the ear- where these Audioflys are much easier to get perfect fit and seal- they are always comfortable and no getting used to is required since they provide so many ear tips to choose from including the Dekoni (the ones I chose as best for me).

IMG_4407.jpg
IMG_4402.jpg
IMG_4404.jpg
IMG_4405.jpg

AF1120Mk2 are not clinical and are not a musical masterpiece but a well balanced sound that will please anyone who appreciates good engineering. Engineering? Yes! When it comes to matching multiple drivers- where even more expensive headphones into the $899 and over range can't get right - this $649 USD IEM manages to get the music right. They are toe tapping good- always musical no matter the source- be it MP3 or FLAC or from a CD- the AF1120Mk2 is a friendly headphone that will not offend anyone- it sounds balanced and pleasurable. It will sound fine with a phone, but will sound much better with a portable DAC/AMP and even best with a Class A Amp like my PASS WHAMMY with OPA 627 upgrades, Gilmore Lite Mk2- or the Topping A90- a truly amazing amp worthy of 5 times the price... any how... short answer here- If I needed a pair of good IEMs that are under $700 I would certainly put these on top of my list.

IMG_4425.jpg

Untitled.png
Audiofly-AF180-FR.jpg

ON LEFT IN BLACK - PENON ORB FREQ GRAPH vs RIGHT SIDE IN WHITE AF1120Mk2

PENON ORBs ($259) are simply gorgeous in and out - I LOVE MINE! but don't have a balanced sound signature like the AF1120Mk2- but if I didn't have the $649 for the AF1120Mk2- I would settle for the Penon ORBS and not look back they are that good for their price range. My ORBs punch way above $500 IEMs out there- but they can't compete against the AF1120Mk2 for overall texture and layering and over all balance. The ORBS are more bass fun and I like that for certain music. The AF1120Mk2 always seem to do well on any music- so a safe bet; female vocals, male vocals and piano strings etc- they are just musical and satisfy.

IMG_4435.jpg


ABOVE: The $29 cable you can buy from just about anywhere vs AF1120Mk2 included 3.5mm wire... plan on trying out other cables if you can't stand the included cables a) looks b) tangles beyond reason c) like to cable roll d) Like more bling with your IEMs

Compared to many other IEMs, I would say the Etymotic ER4p/s are closest to the AF1120Mk2- BUT the Audiofly seem more musical and have a better sound stage. They aren't as perfect as Etymotic in all frequencies which makes them a tad bit more musical and fun to listen to- again very balanced and pleasing.

Etymotic Research ER-4S - DF.png


11307553.png
thueembnail.jpg


I will say the AF1120Mk2 sound best with their included black balanced 2.5mm jack seen in middle lower bottom- but what a terrible cable - so cheap for this price range.
Audiofly- I read many other reviews of your IEMs and everyone says the same thing about your cables- they are no frills cheap feeling cable- oh but maybe its like a under cover agent blending in their environment so not to be noticed- the cable is plain Jane, the shells of the AF1120Mk2 are plain Jane- ah BUT maybe that was intentional.

IMG_4430.jpg

thumbndail.jpg


Well- maybe some people like to travel unnoticed without fancy bling- I get it... maybe now I get it... but honestly people spending north of $600 want a nice complimentary cable included- and the shells these days seem so SHURE clam shell style like from the early 2000's. BUT they work and work well they do... but these IEMs just won't impress your friends with BLING here- the bragging isn't in the looks but the performance. And they do perform. Anyone giving these a less than stellar review I would argue they are influenced by the cheap cable feel or the shell design as cheap feeling- all true- but IF THEY ARE FITTED PROPERLY IN YOUR EAR- the Audiofly's AF1120Mk2 do what they are suppose to do- sound darn good and demand a try out at they very least. They are solid performers.

These are strongly recommended IEMs for those looking for performance and not frills.

NOTE: The AF1120Mk2 were sent to me for review- I receive no benefit from the review and sadly have to return them back to Audiofly... may they find a new home once they refurbish them or do what ever they do- someone somewhere will be very happy with the low key looks and nearly stellar performance in this price range. I DO HOPE AUDIOFLY upgrades the cable still... -JM

Attachments

  • IMG_4401.jpg
    IMG_4401.jpg
    1.4 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_4405.jpg
    IMG_4405.jpg
    1.3 MB · Views: 0
  • 11258429.png
    11258429.png
    3.6 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_4430.jpg
    IMG_4430.jpg
    2.4 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_4428.jpg
    IMG_4428.jpg
    1.1 MB · Views: 0
  • IMG_4427.jpg
    IMG_4427.jpg
    2 MB · Views: 0
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: B9Scrambler

Loquah

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Imaging, coherency, neutrality, detail retrieval, comfort
Cons: Cable slightly tangle prone, a little bit more bass weight would be nice
As a long-time music lover and regular reviewer of gear here, on my old blog and now on my YouTube channel, I listen to LOTS of gear. The AF1120 Mk2 are one of the first pieces of audio equipment to really grab my heart in a very long time.

I've completed a thorough YouTube review on these, but wanted to share a summary of my thoughts and a few highlights here as well because I believe the AF1120s deserve more attention.

At the time I first listened to these, I had the Noble Audio K10 customs (original version K10), Campfire Audio Andromedas, and FitEar TG!334 in my collection. I've also previously owned the Shure SE846. Of all these earphones, the AF1120 connected me with the music more. After sending back the review pair provided on loan by Audiofly I went out and bought a pair of these and have since sold the FitEar TG!334 and am preparing to sell the Andromedas. That's not to say that the AF1120s are definitively better than these, but to me they are an amazing combination of qualities in a single earphone and at an excellent price.

Highlight 1: Comfort
My first highlight of the AF1120 mk2 (and indeed all of the Audiofly pro range) is their comfort. Just like Shure's outstanding ergonomics, the Audiofly range sit so comfortable within the ear and are both easy to insert and easy to wear for long periods. This has long been my biggest issue with the Andromedas and is a key aspect of my reasoning for parting with them soon.
The AF1120s are tiny compared to many multi-BA IEMs on the market and they really 'disappear' once you're wearing them. I can't sleep with any IEMs in my ears, but the 1120s come closer than anything else I've tried.

Highlight 2: Presentation (incl. Signature & Staging)
The other thing that totally won me over with the 1120s is their ability to provide an engaging and enjoyable, neutral sound. Rather than overwhelming our ears with treble details, the 1120s focus more on details across the whole spectrum with perhaps a slight emphasis on midrange detail. This results in a very realistic soundstage presentation that is large and well focussed. I've only found a couple of IEMs that match the ease with which the 1120s present a soundstage and allow me to mentally walk between all the instruments.

One thing that has surprised me is the very mixed views I've read about the 1120s and I finally discovered why after I bought my pair. The 1120s are quite tip dependent and possibly source dependent to reach their best sound. I tried the 1120s with the included triple flanges, foam tips, stock silicone tips and some Spinfits. The silicone tips were the only ones that gave me the ideal insertion depth and seal to allow the 1120s to really shine. I can only assume that people who've had lesser experiences with the presentation from the 1120s haven't had the benefit of a perfect insertion depth (which can be challenging with any IEM and accounts for the wide varieties of opinions we all see).

Lowlight 1: Tangle Town
The cable is a nice enough cable, but I do find it quite prone to tangling above the Y-split. It often takes me a minutes to untangle it ready for listening and I have definitely considered a new cable as a result (which is disappointing for a company's flagship IEM)

Lowlight 2: Bass Weight (sort of)
I'm a fan of a bit more bass than 'neutral'. To give you an idea, the Meze Empyreans are my go-to headphones and I prefer them with the leather pads for the extra warmth and impact. I also love my Noble K10s. The 1120s sometimes leave me wanting just a little more groove and rhythm from the music because the bass is very neutral. I still prefer the 1120s to the K10s because of the overall presentation I described above, but a touch more bass would make these perfect (for me at least) so long as it didn't come at the cost of everything I described above and I'm not sure if that is possible.

Here's the full review I posted to YouTube if you're interested in hearing more...
AF1120 Mk2 Review

Comments

There are no comments to display.
Top