This week we are taking a look at a line of in-ear headphones from Audiofly. Audiofly is a young Australian company that first entered the market in 2011 and has been gathering very positive feedback for their audio equipment. Last time we covered the AF78 model; today we will look at the budget-friendly AF45m in-ear headphones.
- Driver type: 11mm dynamic driver
- Magnet type: Neodymium,
- Frequency range: 18-20 kHz
- Sensitivity: 118dB at 1 kHz
- Impedance: 16 Ohms
- Cable length: 1.2m / 47in
- Plug type: 3.5mm gold plated
What’s in the box
- Audiofly AF45m In Ear Headphones with microphone and call button
- Three extra pairs of silicon ear tips for various comfort, fit and noise levels
- Vinyl storage pouch
- Instructions and Warranty information
There is an assumed and often proven correlation between cost and quality. Less is usually, not more. After being thoroughly impressed by Audiofly’s premium AF78 ear buds, it was time to see how the more affordable AF45m stacked up. Again we begin with the packaging. I keep coming back to Audiofly’s pride in the product and even in their lower priced tier, the packaging was not an afterthought. Not as fancy as the AF78’s fabric container and display presentation, the AF45s are sill shipped in a well designed, albeit more conventional package. The nice little vinyl carry pouch takes precedence here, while the ear buds are secured underneath. The extra ear-tips are no longer on a rack but in a plastic baggy. Definitely not the same level of presentation as the 78s, but it would never be confused with a pair of $20 headphones you pick up at Best Buy.
The AF45s are attractive but more pedestrian, and while noticeably smaller than their AF78 brethren they still look big next almost every other pair of ear buds I own. This is hardly a concern since they are light and are a great fit. The tips are silicone so there is no need to tamper with them as you would with foam ones; you simply pull back on your ear and slide these bad boys in. I can’t tell you how many ear buds I have gone through that simply slide out as soon as I put them in. Audiofly’s fit securely and comfortably; their weight and fit make it easy to forget you’re wearing them. The sound isolation is not as good as you would get with foam tips but it’s better than you would expect and most background noise faded away. Audiofly clearly only made compromises where they had to as you are still provided with the same braided cable wrapped in Cordura nylon as on the much more expensive AF78 model. This really does aid in durability while noticeably removing “cable noise.”
Being spoiled by the AF78 headphones, this test had to be approached fairly and objectively. The AF45m buds are, after-all, over $100 cheaper than their more premium sibling. Listening to the same mixed playlists and podcasts I lived with the 45s for a while. In case you are wondering; that’s a good sign. Audiofly again managed to impress me. Although the sound quality is not on par with the AF78 model, these ear buds still easily trounced everything else I have used. In fact, it was only by quickly switching between these and the pricier pair that I even noticed the difference. Additionally, the AF45 buds are louder. And not by a pithy amount. I had to turn the volume down by anywhere between 15 – 25% from where I usually keep my level. The bass is also noticeably stronger. This does mean that the sound is not as balanced and some finer details are lost in the booming bass. The cons here are small, however, and overall the sound you get is still some of the clearest and richest you will find.
The “m” in the name means this is the model with an included mic for phone calls. There is also a button to make and end calls. Incidentally the button also functions as a Play/Pause control when listening to audio. To get an accurate result, I made numerous calls, only asking about the quality at the very end. Not a single person realized I was using a headphone mic and all claimed I sounded completely crisp. Likewise, all received audio was accurate and better than just using the phone earpiece.
For the $69.99 that Audiofly is asking, the AF45m headphones are a superb value. For the price you can find them on Amazon, they are a no-brainer. If you’re looking for great sound, loud bass, good looks, and thought-out details and included perks like the Cordura covered cable, the nice little carrying pouch, the free ear-tip replacements and the five year warranty, you will have trouble finding anything to match these at this price point.