Review: Audiofly AF180

A huge thanks to Robin at Hifiheadphones for letting me borrow these for a quick review, I did have very limited time with these and had to fit this review around work so it was a challenge I gratefully accepted. I don't know how many hours these have been played for, but BA drivers don't tend to need burn-in.

Gear Used:
iPod Classic 7G > AF180 (small comply tips)
iPod Classic 7G > Silver LOD > JDS Labs C5D > AF180 (small comply tips)



Configuration
4 x balanced armature drivers with crossover (per channel)
Frequency Range
15 to 25,000 Hz
Impedance
18 Ω
Sensitivity
108 dB at 1,000 Hz
Connector
3.5 mm gold-plated, right-angle format
Cable Length
64" (1.6 m)


Packaging, Accessories and Build Quality:
Packaging is top notch, fabric covered cardboard gives a premium feel, the pictures are very natural looking and it has extensive info on the back. The front folds open to reveal the IEM's securely placed in foam and part of the carry case, very classy packaging. It all opens easily and all is well packaged, with all accessories in the carry case.



Accessories are perfect, 3 sizes of single flange tips (S, M and L), 3 sizes of triple flange tips (S, M and L), 3 sizes of Comply tips (S, M and L), a cable tidy, wax cleaner, 6.3mm-3.5mm adapter, airplane adapter and a superb, albeit a little big, genuine leather carry case with plenty of storage space for your DAP and extra tips. Everything you could possibly need is included.


Build quality is good, the housing is plastic but feels well built, this does keep the weight down and helps with comfort with very smooth, round edges. I wouldn't want to drop it a lot, but with some care I'm sure they will last a long time. The cable is covered with fabric on the bottom half, and the top half is tightly twisted. Good strain relief is featured on the jack, y-split and housing, the cable is detachable and uses the MMXC connector, so there are plenty of aftermarket cables to try out there. The stock cable has a chin slider, and the MMXC connectors have an anti swivel mechanism which helps keep them in place, there is a section of memory wire, it is not mouldable and is soft rubber. Overall the build quality is very good.


Comfort, Isolation and Cable Noise:
Comfort is excellent when you find the right tip and insertion, I could not get a good fit with the standard silicone tips, so I went to my Comply stock and got some T100 tips and put those on (same as what is included) and I got such a great and secure fit with the Comply tips. With the Comply tips they are very comfortable and sit flush in the ear, it would be possible to sleep with these in. The memory cable section takes a while to get used to, but once in the right position causes no problems.

Isolation with Comply is again superb due to the great fit, suitable for all your outdoor needs provided you are aware of your surroundings otherwise you may end up getting hit by a car or cyclist. Again plenty of isolation for flights as well, so great for the frequent traveller.

Cable noise is not a problem due to the cable being routed behind the ear, so no problems here.



Sound:
Split in to the usual categories, with a conclusion at the end

Lows:
These have very present and full bodied lows, they are not bass head level but the presence is great so they can always be audible. The lows are fast and can keep up with all genres of music, they are well separated and also very well controlled, they never dominate the mids or shadow the rest of the spectrum. The lows remind me a little of the Westone UM Pro30 with its realistic decay and very natural timbre.

Mids:
The mids have a level of clarity not many IEM's can match, the mids are very realistic with excellent separation and resolution. You will never miss any detail in the mids, they have a great middle ground between being too warm or too cold and analytical. Both male and female vocals shine through and definitely take the centre stage, listening to acoustic music renders all emotion recorded with realism and space.

Highs:
This is the only place I could possibly criticise, as they could use a tiny bit more sparkle and presence. Detail is there and they are always present, but they are slightly subdued compared to the rest of the sound. This is good for fatigue free listening, but they also come across a little dark. A little EQ would remedy this problem and as I stated they are always there in good detail, just the quantity is slightly lower than I would personally recommend.

Soundstage is not huge but it does have very good imaging and also pinpoint accuracy is perfect.

Instrument separation is excellent, everything is very well portrayed and separated with excellent articulation.



Conclusion: Well these are at the same price point as the Shure SE535, and these surpass them by quite a large margin, the SE535 is a great IEM, but the clarity of the AF180 is on another level, both have a warmer more euphoric sound, being great for longer listening.
I personally think the AF180 is what the Westone UM Pro30 should have been, it has a very similar sound signature, with the AF180 again being on a completely different level of clarity, the AF180 also has better treble response in terms of extension and it also has a little more presence.

Sound Perfection Rating: 9/10


Thanks for reading guys, comments are welcome :)



Comments

  1. Had a pair of AF160, they broke after 2 months. No quibble free replacement with the AF180. Things break in real life the Audiofly customer service was excellent.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah great company and customer service. The AF160 had a couple of issues, and I am waiting for a replacement but they are awesome

      Delete
    2. Really? Great Customer Service? I am unable to reach AudioFly. They do not have a customer service phone number posted on their website, or anywhere on the net. I emailed them several days ago, and never heard back. Just purchased the AF-180, but now I am reluctant to keep them because if something is/becomes faulty, I will be unable to reach them.

      Please share their customer service number.

      Thank you.

      Delete
    3. I don't have a number for them, I'm only a reviewer. I got great customer service through their UK distributor, you should always go back to the retailer for any issues.

      If they are out of warranty, I suggest trying their online contact form.

      Thanks

      Delete
    4. I don't have a number for them, I'm only a reviewer. I got great customer service through their UK distributor, you should always go back to the retailer for any issues.

      If they are out of warranty, I suggest trying their online contact form.

      Thanks

      Delete
    5. Thank you for your reply.

      I had tried emailing Audiofly via their online contact form several times. No response. I will be receiving the AF-180 tomorrow from the retailer. I have 30 days to return. I want to give them a go as they have such great reviews, but the lack of customer service is encouraging me to return.

      Sad. For lack of customer service, this is a high risk buy for me. If something goes awry with the unit, I will be out of pocket.

      Delete
  2. Have you experienced the AF45 or Af56?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I have not heard the AF45 or AF56 unfortunately.

      Delete

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