What's Hot: Clear and full sound, comfortable to wear with noise cancelling, awesome cord.
What's Not: Not cheap.
Reviewed by Tong Zhang
Audiofly is an Australian company that designs and makes premium in-ear headphones and is trying to build a brand that's artsy and cool. Behind this market image though is a strong product line that includes a series of headphones with true audio for mobile devices. The Audiofly AF78 is currently their high-end headphone that has amazingly full audio, a very comfortably form and a robust lanyard that can withstand daily wear and tear.
The Audiofly AF78 is an in-ear style headphone but has a unique design. The shape of the earbuds is different from common earbuds that go straight into your ears. The Audiofly AF78 headphone has longer and angled shape that include anodized alloy covers for the main voiced 9mm drivers chambers, extended arms with balanced armature drivers hidden inside and soft silicone tips that come in three sizes. The driver chambers and the ear tips have just the right angles so that when you put the ear tips into your ears, the driver chambers can wedge against your outer ears to create noise cancelling seal effectively. The earbuds aren't marked, but the entrance to the right driver chamber has Braille dots to mark for the right ear. The Audiofly AF78 headphone feels very comfortable to wear for hours at a time.
The Audiofly AF78 headphone has a gold plated 3.5mm audio plug that's long and skinny enough to fit your phones or tablets' audio jack even when they are in protective cases. The Audiofly AF78 comes with nearly 4 feet long cord that's built for long lasting. The rounded, speckled dark cable, Audioflex as Audiofly calls it, has Kevlar reinforce conductors with Cordura Nylon out fabric which is often used for backpacks. The cord feels robust and sturdy.
The Audiofly AF78 has an amazing amount of range for a small in-ear headphone. The combination of the 9mm custom dynamic driver and the balanced armature device in the earbud hall give the audio not only full range but also amazing separation across the range. If your smartphone, MP3 player, tablet or computer has good audio chip and output, you will notice how good the audio coming through the Audiofly AF78. Couple the amazing audio quality with the super effective noise cancelling design, audio experience via the Audiofly AF78 is unusually immersing. The claimed noise cancelling rate on the Audiofly AF78 is up to 23db, and we can tell you based on our experience, when you are listening to music, you can't hear someone talking even when they are talking right in front of you.
One downside of Audiofly AF78 headphone's ability to drive true audio range and quality is that you can easily tell which devices you have that come with high quality audio and which ones don't. We tested the headphone with a variety of smartphones and tablets, and could clearly hear the differences in audio quality of the devices. For example, the HTC One X with its Beats audio and HTC's enhanced audio chip sounded a lot fuller with clear pieces in high, low and medium channels coming through regardless whether they were vocals or instruments. Tracks sounded clear in parts that were mastered to stand out, and bass sounded powerful but not overwhelming. The audio had such depths in all tracks that we didn't feel like we've missed anything by channeling the sound via the small headphone. Among tablets we tested, the Acer Iconia Tab A510 stood out with its full audio range, clear sound quality and loud volume. Movies and games had full sound FX coming through, and we often noticed more subtle sound FX and background sound on this tablet using the AF78.
The Audiofly AF78 headphone has one of the best audio qualities we've heard on a in-ear headphone. Its range is full, audio clear and the design ensures the very effective noise cancelling. The AF78 is suited for both listening to audio in a quiet room for appreciating the full sound range and on a noisy airplane for blocking most background noise. The headphone is made with top quality material and is comfortable to wear. One thing to note for those who want to combine their wired headset for phone calls and their headphone for listening to music and movies, the AF78 has a separate model with a built-in mic that sells for $10 extra. The price isn't cheap, but if you are looking for a nice high-end headphone that lets your device audio shine through, the Audiofly AF78 is a very good choice.
Price: $199.95 with the built-in mic; $209.95 with mic. Web site: Audiofly