Shoutout to Michelle from Audiofly for sending me the af140 to test and review. While I always appreciate the chance to test and review products sent in from manufacturers, it never affects the opinions of my review.
I’ve heard of Audiofly before but tend to stay away from mmcx iems due to my love for cable swapping( I hate fighting with tight mmcx connectors). Lots of the descriptions on their website sound like each iem is tailored to specific needs for musicians so that also kept me away from giving them a shot as I tend to like all rounders with a slight focus on low end. I was lucky enough to be given the chance to try out their af140. It’s an hybrid setup with a dynamic driver that sits in the shell with no sound tube(much like the CFA Polaris II) and an dual balanced armature for mids and highs. It is marketed for those who really love bass. Last time I heard this claim was with the Polaris II and just like the Polaris II it very much is meant for either bass heads or those who need to monitor their bass guitars without too much fuss from a sound rig when practicing or on stage. Since the af140 is marketed towards a very specific type of sound signature I’m reviewing it based off who it’s meant for.
Onto the review of the sound! My personal preference are a dynamic hybrid iem where I get good hitting bass and have a brighter treble with decent mids. When it comes to an over ear headphone I prefer a spacious sound with a deep low end, the mids to be more forward and the highs to be a little bright with some sparkle. I listen to a lot of genres but I hover in the classic rock, blues and edm music with some rap here and there.
iPhone X with headphone adapter, lotoo PAW s1, smsl sh8/su8 combo.
Comfort, fit and looks
I must say these take a very basic no frills approach to looks. I don’t mind a boring looking iem if it’s comfy. These are most definitely super comfy. They fit in my ears with the supplied tips really well and stay put with no comfort issues on long listening sessions. They’re super light weight as well so they stay in snug. The sound bore/tube looks like the skinny shure style bores so I had no tips out of my ridiculous tip collection to tip roll. Sad day! I must say I’m super impressed overall with the comfort and fit.
Thick hard hitting low end. These hit fairly hard and is most definitely the star of the show with the af140. Since the sound bore is fairly small thickness wise you get some bleeding into the mids and highs. A little bloat as well. With these being advertised for bass lovers I believe they do their job very well.
Mids are fairly flat sounding and get somewhat lost in due to the overpowering lows. With eq of the low end applied the mids sound average with nothing really sticking out.
Highs take a campfire Polaris II approach and go for a splashy sound. I’d still say these fall close to flat sounding highs but the af140 definitely tries to have a little brightness in the highs. For what these are meant for I’ll give the highs a pass.
Imaging is a mixed bag since the low end can really overpower everything. When things aren’t as intense the imaging is rather average.
Soundstage is slightly wide on the sides but there is no depth and it feel like a wall of sound vs any openness.
I tend to avoid mmcx since changing cables always seems to be a hassle since most modern iems have nice and tight mmcx connectors. I used my trusty lune cable and couldn’t tell a difference in sound. The stock cable is actually really nice with little micro-phonics so I don’t think a cable upgrade is needed. Balanced also didn’t make a difference other than slightly higher floor noise.
These aren’t too picky on power but don’t really do much when amped. They can bring out the mids and highs a tad bit on a brighter amp but nothing extreme.
Comparisons(well just one really)
Campfire Polaris II($500)-
The Polaris II has a better soundstage(with depth and width) and has a little extra splash in the higher frequencies. Both sound super similar. The only real thing you get over the af140 for an extra 300 bucks is a really good looking iem in blue and some soundstage but it’s at the cost of a somewhat less comfortable fit for longer listening sessions. The af140 wins hands down when it comes to comfort.
I normally like an all rounder iem but I’ll overlook my preferences when an iem claims to be targeting a certain sound. I really think these sound extremely similar to my campfire Polaris II. I think a hard hitting bass head iem is fun for EDM but unlike the Polaris II, these only cost $200 USD which I much prefer. If a super comfy bass head iem is something you’re looking for then I can easily recommend the af140. Another reason would be if you ever wanted to get an idea of what the Polaris II sounds like without spending $500. If looking for an all rounder or something a little more balanced with a slight focus on low end, then I’d recommend something else like the Ikko OH10 at $189. Thanks for reading!