Audiofly AF140 MK2 - Reviews
Rich smooth in ear monitor goodness
Pros: comfortable rich sounding headphone for those who like more bass presence.
Cons: lacking in detail across the board, never reaching the stars in any specific area.
First off I would like to thank Audiofly for sending me this pair of AF140 MK2 for review. These were loaned to me for the purposes of reviewing and then sent back to the manufacturer afterwards.

I have been a fan of Audiofly since their inception where I did some reviews back in the day. About a year ago one of the national electronics stores here in Canada started to carry the mid/high range Audiofly headphones and I picked up a pair of the AF140 at that time. So when Audiofly was looking for reviewers I thought it might be good to do a review of the new MK2 version of the AF140 and do some comparisons to the original model and reached out to Audiofly.

Upon receiving the new MK2’s I was immediately impressed with difference in comfort and fit. The original AF140 were mostly comfortable but in a way that made the guide not properly form around the ear. The new model fits perfectly around my ear and is easy to forget once inserted. I also appreciate the more premium look of the paint on the MK2 as compared to the original AF140 which looks more plasticky in comparison. Finally the carrying case of the new model is also a significant upgrade over the original case. So overall in all areas non audio related the MK2 is a major improvement over the original model and shows that Audiofly has been paying attention to their customers.

I am not a great photographer thus the lack of photos but I thought one picture showing the color differences and the way the ear guides look was in order. Note the massive arc on the origjnalAF140 ear guide and the dull grey coloring versus the metallic grey of the MK2 and tight ear guide.
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Regarding sound I find the new model to have more bass presence as compared to the original with similar levels of midrange detail and slightly more treble presence. The over all effect of the new model is a slightly warmer yet slightly more nuanced listening experience as compared to the original AF140. For most of my music this translates into a slightly more enjoyable listening experience. But I also notice that some of my music tends to come across as a bit overbearing in the bass response as compared to the original model.

So if you own the original model and thinks it’s bass level is right where you like it and your OK with the fit then the MK2 is not going to be an upgrade for you. But if you would like more bass or have fit issues with the original then the MK2 will be a solid upgrade bet.

So how does the MK2 compare on its own?

Accessories and fit – 4/5

The over all kit of tips and accessories included with the AF140 MK2 is pretty typical of audiophile-oriented headphones. That is, they include a basic non microphone cable designed to work with any 3.5mm stereo system, the typical silicone tips, complies, and 1 pair of medium Dekoni tips. While I applaud Audiofly for eschewing a microphone and controls for the sake of audio quality, I feel it is a misstep on their part as the missed functionality makes these less useful for people on the go who listen to music using their phone which I suspect will be the largest target audience. The included case is very sturdy and flat but slightly larger than I would like to carry in my pocket but is fine for a backpack, case, or purse.

Testing the included tips I quite liked the Dekoni tips as compared to the tradition Comply tips finding them slightly less irritating to my ear canal. But in the end, I switched back to the silicone tips as I generally find them easier to manage and the least irritating to my ear canals.

Bass- 4/5

Over I enjoyed the bass presence on these for the most part. I occasionally had songs where the bass was a bit overbearing though and I found the bass to be slightly one noted lacking detail and nuance as compared to some bass oriented headphones I have owned over the years. I think the bass works best with electronic music and worst with jazz that rely on double bass or cello oriented music.

Midrange – 4/5

I found the midrange to be rich and enjoyable lacking just a bit of detail that brings out the emotion of vocals or the full nuances of piano and guitar decay.

Treble – 4/5

The treble is slightly more detailed than its predecessor but over all loses some of the shimmer and space that some bass oriented IEM’s have managed to achieve.

Sound stage / imaging 4/5

I find the overall sound stage of these to be slightly on the intimate size but decently 3D in presentation, creating a small but engaging listening experience.

Final Impressions:

So my overall score is 4/5 pretty much across the board as these satisfy many areas but never reach for the stars in any area. This may seem like a knock against the headphone but I think not. These were designed primarily as a stage monitor for musicians and as such would generally play it safe to protect the musicians hearing and make them less distracting and this regard, they have nailed their demographic. For consumer-oriented buyers these are best suited for people who struggle with too much upper midrange/lower treble presence and also appreciate a heavier bottom end.

For me these work great when I am working and just want to enjoy music without getting distracted by the detail. They offer an excellent non invasive signature that is enjoyable without over whelming me. But when I want to fully focus on my music and get lost in the details I find myself reaching for something more detail oriented.
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Pros: Full bodied low end
Low end extension
Balanced mids and highs
Package and accessories
Price.
Cons: Would benefit with more highs extension
Would be good to have more details on the mid to high region.
  • Disclaimer
Just to get this out of the way first. These IEMs were provided as a loan, free of charge, by Audiofly in exchange of my honest review/impressions. No request was made by the company in any respect and everything has been completely transparent from both sides.

Before even starting I would like to remember that I’m not a professional reviewer and I do this for fun and love for the music. Sonic impressions are completely subjective and in this case it’s my unique opinion, feel free to have yours, but always remember to respect your forum colleges.

  • Introduction
Ok, I wrote a bit about my experience finding out about Audiofly on the AF1120 review here. On this one I will tell you a bit about Audiofly and their Pro range.

Audiofly is an Australian Company established in 2012 by a diversified group of people. On their own words “a fierce, rag-tag group of creative individuals, including musicians and music lovers, pop-culture nerds, coffee enthusiasts, foodies and beach freaks based out of Perth, enjoying the Summer vibes.”. Being in Australia for a few years already I totally reckon these characteristics around here and they definitely represent our way of life and that’s something I appreciate.

Those characteristics are clearly seen on their products. With simple and efficient design, great range of products and prices that can cover all styles and needs. Ranging from 1BA to 6BA per side IEMs, including the AF140 that is a Hybrid 1DD+2BA. One can go from a sunny Sunday brunch relaxed listening to perform on a stage to a detailed producing session. Audiofly’s range will cover all. That’s on the PRO side, they also have the general public product range mostly found on big electronic store chains (like BestBuy in US), as an audiophile, I will focus on the PRO series, sorry.

As per my reviews I will take a different road from most of the reviews around and will based on music that I like and what I love to listen on my daily basis. And, I’m not an “Audiophile music guy”. Later at the end I will make a couple comparisons with other hybrid IEM’s I have around at the moment. All listening will be made with original cables, Tidal, A&K SE100 and Dragonfly Cobalt (S10e and Computer)

Let’s start where everyone starts when they get a new baby at home…

  • Unboxing and Presentation
The first impression when getting the AF140 box is, like the whole Audiofly Pro range, you will see details of the product all over the package, like someone going to a musician gear store and choosing your next IEM from the shelf. That’s not bad, I do like the packaging a lot, it’s informative and really nice. AF140 has a smaller box, compared to AF1120 and we will get to why.

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Opening the box apple like products, means it takes forever to go over the inner vacuum, but with a scientific explanation to that time, it increases the expectation. Ok, in the case of the Audiofly Pro range, the expectation is well covered. The beauty AF140 shows straight away in grey and black accents. And, an EVA caring case, unfortunately not the same as the TOTL AF1120 that I loved, but totally understandable. Both are really well designed and the interior is also covered in velvet fabric like the AF1120 case. Even being smaller, the case still fits my daily portable setup easily.

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I really like the cable, with an exemption of the y-splitter that I covered more on the other review. It is thin, light and feels durable. The cable colours also follow the IEM design, so it’s not a bulk buy cable like other brands. Nice touch in my opinion.

The feeling I have after going through the package, product and accessories is that they put a lot of attention to details from the outer layer of the box to the inner details of the accessories.

As usual, it comes with plenty of tips, airplane adaptor (who connects to these?) and a1/4” adaptor.

  • Design and Comfort
Having the IEM on my hand and seeing that they packed a 9mm mylar Neodymium Dynamic Driver and a couple other BA for Mid and High on each side with this minimal formfactor is great. The shell on this model is Grey and black, so no way you can see what is inside, but seeing the AF1120 I can expect the best internal design and quality. The fit is perfect. The combination of stem size, diameter and angles are just spot on to my ears. No issues at all, even trying multiple different ear tips designs. For my other IEMs, I usually find one pair of tips that work and that’s it, no other pair of tips would work, not on Audiofly’s PRO range of IEMs. These are definitely the most comfortable Universal IEM I ever used. Better than SD5, Sony M9 and others. I definitely forget them in my ears even after many hours of listening sessions.

I did cover this a bit more on my AF1120 impressions, you can go that and have a look here.

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But let’s go to what our colleagues here are looking for. How does it sound? I will make my comments basically around Hip-hop. Why? Because these definitely shine with modern music.

  • Hip-Hop and a few things around the mainstream area
I usually listen to this range of music when relaxing and chilling, so I normally don’t want a full detailed gear, I do prefer a more relaxing one. On this expectation, the AF140 definitely hit the point almost spot on and I will develop a bit on that with a few songs as reference. I also want to sorry about the lyrics of a few of them, but those are Hip-Hop, so it’s expected.

To kick off my playlist I have Lil Wayne “How to love” and “Don’t Cry”, these songs have a really strong sub low kick and extension along the whole song, they also have some splash highs with Lil Wayne’s voice in between, so the gear needs to be really good in dynamics without being spiky. The Low end kick of the AF140 is amazing with really good extension thanks to the Dynamic Driver, where full BA IEMs don’t give the emotion needed by the songs. “How to Love” will show the slight V shape of the tuning with the mids a bit behind. In “Don’t Cry” Lil is placed really nicely within the staging and never overwhelmed by the DD driver, like the EE LX for example.

Still within Lil Wayne songs, you can find “lollipop” that is an extreme low end test to any gear you have, with some imaging and soundstaging to challenge any high end IEM. Not all of them can play this song without overwhelming the rest of the frequency range with the big low end kick and extension. For example, the so acclaimed Empire Ears LX gets completely overwhelmed by the low end on this one. A12t is another loved IEM that has an amazing kick, but not close to the DD extension of the AF140. While the Mids are placed behind, they are not recessed to the point of missing it. It’s true the AF140 won’t have the full details as the AF1120, but this IEM if for a different purpose.

Jumping now to Wiz Khalifa we have “Big Pride” and “what you deserve”. If you have a hybrid IEM, I strongly suggest you to give these songs a try. They have an amazing low end with constant plates high pitch and splashes that will tell you straight away if your IEM has good Low end, Dynamics or if it is spiky on the highs. With AF140, it is a big pleasure to listen to this song and feel the extension on both ends, within the whole frequency range you have a lot of side sound effects that makes you relax and just enjoy, that’s the word, “enjoyment”. Different from Lil Wayne, Wiz’s voice is placed right in the middle and balanced within the whole song. Again, this IEM doesn’t have the full details of the AF1120, on the other hand the AF1120 sounded harsh on these songs, just showing those IEMs fill different areas. Just throw “Black and Yellow” to the list and challenge the dynamics of your IEM again.

Going a bit to the newer times on Billboard hits. On Khalid’s “Better”, you can hear enough details here to enjoy and feel the intent of the producer, from strong kicks, light splashes and some piano with two different voice tones placed side by side and some back vocals to complete the range, perfectly placed on the balance. It lacks in details, for sure. But not to the point of wanting to throw away. Peacockaudio P1 sounded really bad on this one.

Are you a Bass Guitar lover and want to see if the AF140 is capable for monitoring? Give Wale “on Chill (Feat. Jeremih)” a go and you will see what I am talking about. On top of that the singers sound great on this one. Imaging and separation are really nice and no noticeable gap between sides. This is the kind of song that makes me really happy with the tuning Audiofly achieved on the AF140. Throw in Justin Bieber “Yummy” as another good sample for this check.

To finish I will jump to a guy that like a lot of complexity in his songs. Eminem’s new album is an amazing shine from the dark times he was buried in, it is a complex album with a lot of elements on the whole frequency range. AF140 made me smile going through this album, with a crazy balance between low and high peaks and extension and never overwhelming the mid area, felt like everything was perfectly placed and sometimes moving from side to side as smoothly as possible. Special attention to “Unaccommodating”, “Godzilla” and “Darkness”. The last one giving Goosebumps with the intimate tuning that felt like siting on my lounge with Eminem siting on a chair in front of me, with a TV just playing on the background.

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  • AF140 vs AF1120
Fat Joe, Dre, Eminem, Mary J. Blige “Lord above”, had wider soundstage and details on the AF1120, but sounded bright to me. While AF140 still had everything there, it was harder to put details on the things placed further. Still comparing the Bass guitar extension, the big Post Malone “Wow.” Is a good example to show how different tuning's are needed for different purposes within the professional area (of course the enjoyment area too). AF1120 sounded bright, detailed and full of energy in the higher area of the frequency range, but definitely missed the same energy on the lower area. AF140 just sounded Right, just right for the kind of sounds being reproduced. They would definitely complement each other, but I’m not sure about being better or not. They are totally different tuning's and different purposes.

  • AF140 vs Peacock P1
Just going out of Audiofly range, I will start throwing one around the same price range. This is definitely prettier, but that’s it. The box and accessories feel cheap, really cheap compared to AF140. Sound wise, peacock sounded completely congested where the AF140 sounded much more refined, detailed and better tuned overall. They feel like sharing a similar sound signature, but AF140 is an example of how to do it right and P1 an example on focus on design and barely on sound refinement. No second thought on AF140 tuning and attention to details compared to P1.

  • AF140 vs Noble Tux5
For sure Tux5 is on a totally different level of price. Also, the Tux5 is one of the best implementation of hybrids design for me. It has great and deep low end, but also really detailed, bright and airy upper range. AF140 have a nice lower end, not as big and full as the Tux, but as controlled as the last one. I would be happy with any of those if my focus was only in that area. When throwing in the mid-high portion of the spectrum, definitely the Tux5 sounded better, it has the level of energy, details and separation you find on the AF1120 and that can be missed on the AF140. Getting those side by side you have the real feeling of something is missing on mid to highs area and that the a balance between deep DD and energetic BAs can be achieved. But putting the price in perspective, Tux5 costs 5x more. Would one be happy to pay that much for that little bit of extra? That goes to each one to answer. If one is a bass guitar player or drummer, I personally think you will be well covered with the AF140 MK2.

  • AF140 vs EE Legend X (why not?)
Ok, this one is just for the sake of comparing as I have both around. LX is my baby for when I want deep low end and just relax and this one is the king for that. Personally, I would never use the LX for monitoring. Comparing to AF140, as I mentioned, some of the songs the low end felt completely overwhelming the rest of the spectrum, while the AF140 felt more balanced. Lacking details on the mid to top end, but still balanced. While the LX gave full details everywhere. But gave me enjoyment and relaxation I was looking for with the songs. For 10x the price? Yeah, I will leave that to you guys, if you have a chance to compare both.

  • Conclusions (for now)
Surely Audiofly wanted a different tuning and customer on the AF140 compared to AF1120. It feels like an opposite tuning, but at the same time feels like one complement the other and again they achieved that really well. They also managed to keep the price even more affordable compared to AF1120 and to other brands. That is a great positive point on what the company is doing and I hope they keep on that line with well-designed and tuned gear on an affordable price range.

The AF140, can be a good all-rounder for the music lover and specially if you’re looking for a deep DD sound on an IEM and your focus is below 1khz, you will find that on this IEM and will be pretty happy with that.

Keeping the things within Audiofly range, I totally think AF1120 and AF140 are an excellent complement to each other and good keepers for different mood and songs, what I missed on one I could find on the other and was always able to find joy on everything I played. I hope Audiofly will come with a new IEM that will take the best of both on a single product.
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iBo0m
iBo0m
Good reading, the cable may be fine and comfy, but in my opinion it looks kinda funny :)
CrocodileDundee
CrocodileDundee
I Agree, it looks like coming from the general Earphones side of the company. Within everything in the package for AF1120 and AF140, the cable would be the one I would redesign. I do like comfortable cables, but I definitely didn't lile the look and feel of that y-split, it doesn't follow the simple and minimalist design of the rest.
LarryMagoo
LarryMagoo
It won't be long before all HP's and IEM's are Truly Wireless....don't waste your money on wires!
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