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. Having already reviewed their premium offering with AF78 and the budget-oriented AF45m, we now aim straight down the middle price point with the AF56m In-ear Headphones.
- Driver type: 13mm 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 AF56m In-Ear Headphones with mic and call button
- Three extra pairs of ear tips for various comfort, fit and noise levels
- Storage tin
- Instructions and Warranty information
Being the middle child is not easy. You tend to get overlooked. Dismissing the AF56m juts because the price puts them seemingly somewhere between the best and the affordable, would be doing the earphones and yourself a huge disservice. There are numerous qualities here that take cues from the top and bottom tiers here. Starting with the package for example, you get the same beautiful fabric-covered box as with the AF78, along with the headphones prominently displayed inside, but you lose on the small extras like the cleaning brush, more ear-tips, splitter and airline adapter. You also give up some of the tech, losing the armature driver for example. However, like, the AF45m, you do pay significantly less and still get a good looking pair of earbuds, that get loud with excellent lows. As with the all models we reviewed, the braided cable wrapped with Cordura fabric is standard here as well, providing durability and removing “cable noise”. In the pure looks department, I found the AF56m to be the best looking of the bunch. However, either due to the shape of the buds or the kind of tips included, I could not get them to sit in my ears securely and as a result, they never formed a perfect seal, something the other two models did perfectly. I have had a similar issue with other headphones, so it may just be me. Since I had the AF78 earbuds just laying around, I pilfered the foam tips and put them on the AF56m resulting in a perfect fit. So if you do get these earphones, make sure to pick up a set of better tips, or ask the fine folks at Audiofly and they may just send some over.
As was the case with it’s brethren, the AF56m did not disappoint at all. Picking up the same rich bass as the AF45m, the AF56m also generates a more balanced sound overall. The mids and highs are not exactly on par with the AF78 but a very noticeable improvement over the budget AF45m. The middle ground is what you expect and that is exactly what you get here. It should be noted that the experience improved dramatically once I replaced the stock tips with the foam ones. Prior to doing so the sound quality was on par with the cheaper model but a little quieter. With the right tips, the music took on a whole new pervasiveness. Again, I must recommend that you replace the tips immediately after buying this model, or you may never experience the truly great sound these little headphones create.
Being the “m” variant means the earphones come with a mic and a call button that also functions as a play/pause audio control. As before, I made several calls and only asked at the very end if the person on the other end could tell I wasn’t using the phone mic. No one suspected I was talking through the earphones and considered the sound quality to be identical to speaking directly into the phone. On the receiving end, most callers sounded louder and more crips then what I’m used to hearing through the phone earpiece.
The real value of the AF56m is hard to peg. For a reasonable amount more you could get hybrid dual drivers, accessories and the perfectly balanced sound of the AF78; while saving some money, gets you a very potent set of AF45m earphones that can blast your ear with rich bass. However, the AF56m is a successful amalgam of those two. The better overall sound quality, make the bump from the AF45m worthwhile, and sacrificing some mid and high balance while saving some cash makes it a strong contender for the AF78. And unlike the 78s we tested, the AF56m does have the mic and call button that add value while still costing less. Add the fact that some price-hunting can land you some great deals and you have, what is my opinion one of the best values around.