Review: Audiofly AF120 (smooth and sweet)

Firstly I would like to thank Mark over at Hifiheadphones for lending me this sample for review, he suggested 50-100 hours of burn-in, and I noticed very small differences. These were used as my daily headphones for 2 weeks and more, and I will try to write an honest review.

Gear Used:
iPod Classic 7G > AF120 (S comply tips)
iPod Classis 7G > Oppo HA-2 > AF120
Dell XPS 15 > Oppo HA-2 > AF120


Specifications:      
  • Driver configuration: 9mm dynamic and balanced armature with crossover 
  • Frequency range: 20-20kHz 
  • Sensitivity: 108dB at 1 kHz  
  • Impedance: 12 Ohms
  • Cable length: 1.6m / 64” 
  • Plug type: 3.5mm gold plated, right-angle format 
  • MSRP: £189.99


Packaging, Accessories and Build quality:
The packaging is the same as the rest of the AF series, it is very nicely done, with an outer sleeve with a picture of the IEM's on the front and info on the back. Tech specs can be found on the side. The inner packaging is fabric covered and has a very quality feel to it. A flap magnetically opens and the IEM's are secured in a foam block, with the carry case located below. I really like the packaging, it has a very quality feel to it, and protects the IEM's well during shipping.

Accessories are plentiful, you get a nice hard fabric carry case with an inner pocket for accessories, also included is a flight adapter, cable clip, wax cleaner and a 3.5mm to 6.3mm jack adapter. Tips wise you are spoilt for choice, you get S, M and L T100 Comply tips, S, M and L single flange and S, M and L triple flange tips. A great offering of tips, and everyone is likely to find one that fits well.


Build quality is very good, the housing is plastic which helps keep weight down and they are well built and don't look cheaply made. The cable is not detachable like their higher end models, but it feels well built. Below the y-split it is sheathed in fabric, above the y-split it is twisted and there is a section of memory wire (which is surprisingly good). All strain reliefs are good and I like the low profile L shaped jack. I can see these lasting a long time if looked after a little.


Comfort, Isolation, Driver flex and Cable noise:
Comfort is excellent, I personally use Comply tips as I find them to isolate best and are the most comfortable. The housing has no sharp edges so they fit in with ease and don't cause any discomfort over long periods of time. I'm not usually a fan of memory wire but the section on these is soft and causes no discomfort.

Isolation is very good, they are perfect for commuting and also would be good enough for flights. Just be careful not to get hit by a car with these in your ears.


Driver flex is only present if you try and re-adjust the fit after achieving a good seal. Otherwise it is not present.

Cable noise is not an issue, for one the cable goes behind your ear, then there is a cable clip and also chin slider, I personally just use the chin slider and  I don't experience any cable noise.


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

Lows:
Well these are hybrid IEM's with a dynamic driver dealing with the lows and a balanced armature dealing with the mids and highs. You can tell as these have very dynamic and articulate lows, they are precise but have some warmth to them. Kick drums have good impact yet are backed up with body, bass guitars are articulate and separate from the kick drums. The lows are capable of digging down low without becoming bloated, they always stay very well controlled and separate from the rest of the sound. I do find the mids are ever so slightly thicker than neutral because of the lows, but it is not a huge problem.

Mids:
I find the mids to be the focus on these, they are ever so slightly forward in presentation and have a very soft and slightly mellow tone to them without missing out on finer details. Both male and female vocals fair very well, with a slight edge going to female vocals as they sound a little cleaner. Guitars have power and everything sounds well placed in the mix, yet also well separated. They don't however have an airy presentation, they do have a slightly thicker presentation.

Highs:
The highs are the place where there is some room for improvement, they tend to get pushed to the back of the mix a little too much, making these sound a little too dark. I would like a bit more presence and sparkle, giving them a little more detail and air. The highs are not bad when you can hear them, they are well defined and not splashy, they are just a little too far back in terms of presentation.

Soundstage is quite narrow, these give a more intimate presentation and are quite engaging to listen to.
Instrument separation is good, there is not a lot of air but everything is well separated.


Conclusion:
Well these are great for a go to IEM, or even for small stage use. The fit is excellent, the build quality is too, and they are not let down in the sound department. They do have a warmer/darker sound signature which works well in noisy environments as you never lose track of the beat. 2 drivers have their limitations, and these are slightly lacking in the treble department, great for those who are treble sensitive, but for people who like crisp and sparkly treble these might disappoint. I really enjoy these as a go to IEM, as they don't break the bank, are comfortable and very enjoyable to listen to for long periods of time.
You can probably get better SQ for the price if you want detail and neutrality, but for fun and enjoyment these are worth your consideration. Especially as Audiofly customer service is excellent, as is their build quality.

Sound Perfection Rating: 8/10 (comfy and smooth listening)


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