I recently got the opportunity to review AudioFly’s complete performance in-ear headphone collection. There are four headphones in this collection that each fit into a consumer’s budget. There is the under $50 pair, the under $75 pair, the around $100 pair, and the around $200 pair. I recently reviewed the AF33 and the AF45 earphones that both keep their prices under $100. This time, I’m taking a look at the AF56 earphones that break into the $100 price range.
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Unboxing and Accessories
One notable upgrade from the two less expensive earphones we have looked at is the AF56 earphones come in a pretty cool box that holds closed with a magnet. Inside the box, you will find the headphones plus the normal set of several ear tip sizes and a nice metal tin for the earphones themselves.
While the metal tin a nice addition, I found it to be small. I would have to wrap the earphones tightly to fit into the case, which I am worried might wear on the cables inside resulting in them breaking. Also, there is no room to carry any accessories with you in the case. The fit is so tight that you will not be stuffing the earphones into this case; instead, you will have to carefully wind them in order of them to fit.
The box that all the accessories were packaged in is extremely nice, and has the AudioFly name embossed in silver on the top. I actually took the foam insert out and put my earphones in there when I am not using them because they are easier to fit in there than in the case they came with. Of course, if you are planning on taking these earphones with you everywhere, you will be putting them in the case for portability.
Design and Build Quality
The design of these headphones are quite interesting with the rear of the earphones being large, flat discs. This is to contain the custom 13mm drivers inside. While the design is not typical of normal earphones, I found it to be extremely comfortable. They do not fit too deep into your ears, but the large rear portions hold them there snugly like a pair of earbuds. Combine this with the comfortable ear tips that sit just far enough into your ear, and you have an extremely nice fit that feels strong but is not uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time.
The rest of the AF56’s design is fairly similar to the AF45. You have the braided cable that not only looks good but feels strong and well made which will keep these earphones from tearing or breaking easily. Unfortunately, there is still a fair bit of cable noise which can be a problem for some. There is a button where the earphones split that can be used for music control as well as making and answering calls if you have the version with an in-line mic. The mic sits about halfway up the left earphone cable which puts it in the perfect position to talk into.
The AF56 improves on the design of the AF45 with a better, more comfortable fix and keeps the strong braided cable and sleek look.
AudioFly upgraded their AF56 earphones with a 13mm driver that is supposed to deliver great bass without overpowering the mids and highs. I can definitely say that the bass is extremely nice on these headphones. It is definitely powerful, but it does so without sacrificing quality. The low range is still tight and smooth.
The mids are somewhat of a different story. They are not bad by any means, but they seem to be overshadowed by the bass. The highs are paired much better with the enhanced low range, and I wish the mids were the same. At times, vocals can be lost behind the lower range. The highs, on the other hand, are well matched with the powerful bass, stay clear and crisp, and round out what I would say is a good sounding pair of earphones.
One specific thing that I did really like about the AF56 is how good they are at separation and soundstage. Listening to David Bowie’s Space Oddity is awesome one these earphones with each instrument in a definite space in the music. The separation is great with every instrument and beat resonating clearly.
For their $100, the AF56 earphones provide a great listening experience that should please just about anyone. If you listen to music that is heavy on the bass, you will appreciate AudioFly’s focus on the low end on these earphones, but even those who prefer music that is lighter on the bass will find these earphones provide a good, fun listening experience.
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After using these earphones for a while, I continue to be impressed with AudioFly’s earphone collection. The AF56 earphones are well made and come with a nice set of accessories. I do wish the metal case was a bit larger, however. Even with this slightly underpowered mid-range, the earphones provide awesome sound quality that is sure to please anyone who listens to it. You can grab the AF56 earphones from AudioFly’s website or Amazon.
[alert color=”green”]AudioFly currently has the white version of the AF56 with no in-line mic for 40% off with the code “jinglebells” until December 21. Go grab some while you can![/alert]