I know what you're thinking..."yup, they look like stylish earbuds, but how do they sound?" Well, let's get into that. For the majority of earbuds these days, you'll find that the voicing is biased toward the low-end. This type of voicing is well-suited for modern pop music (as demonstrated with the popularity of the low frequency-biased "Beats" lineup), which often features heavily compressed recordings that take advantage of that extra capability in the low/lower-midrange. The AudioFly AF45s seemed to not over emphasize the low-end like some do, which I found made for a better overall listening experience. I tested these with pop, rock, classical, and instrumental music of different decades (and therefore different recording styles) and found them to be fairly well-balanced across the frequency spectrum.
Though less biased toward the general low/lower-midrange, the capability is certainly there if that's what you prefer. Custom tuning the EQ on your source device can make the AF45s as boomy as you like them, or as airy and glassy as your application calls for. I found the earphones' custom voiced drivers with no source equalization to be particularly well-suited for instrumental piano; with clear, bright highs and enough low end to bring out the full depth of the lower keyboard octaves. Overall, the AF45s offer a nicely balanced listening experience that can be custom tailored to fit individual preferences by means of a source EQ if necessary. This is honestly the best way to design earphones, as having a well balanced default voicing doesn't box the listener into a certain sound.
Sound isolation is also important to many, and these don't disappoint in that arena, either. The different silicon cap sizes mean you'll be able to fit the AF45s to your ears, which will maximize the "seal" of the caps, keeping the sound of your siblings/coworkers/roomates or any other noises you want to escape from.
I found the AF45s to fit comfortably in my ears for the entire duration of my 45 minute commute. I also found that they stayed in my ears well during high impact physical activity like jogging. One small standard feature that these lacked is the ability to adjust the length of wire that is freely split between the two channels, which is nice when using earbuds during physical activity (being able to sinch them up so that the wire isn't bouncing around). Others may find that this is less of an issue, but it's something that I've come to expect as a standard. The upside to that is the very durable and secure junction made at the split, but perhaps they can find a way to meld the two.
Overall, this is a well-designed product from AudioFly with regard to sound, style, and comfort, at a price that won't break the bank. The custom-voiced driver of the AF45 is well balanced, and is't too biased toward one end of the frequency band. This makes the AF45 well-suited for many genres of music, and enables a range of acoustic versatility sound enthusaists (read: audiophiles) would likely be happy to get behind. The various color schemes available ensure that you'll have no trouble matching your AF45s with your individual style, and you can be rest assured that no matter what color you choose, you're getting a quality product.
The symmetric design of the AF45 earphones has shown to be versatile in terms of comfort, as we had no comfort complaints from those who have tested them. The AudioFlex cable is a bit of a wash, as the very thin cable is minmalistic and the braiding boosts durability and reduces tangling, it was at times stubbornly stiff and resisted laying flat. Sound isolation is quite good, as we've expected from any earphone that come with a variety of silicone caps, as you'll be able to fit your ear to your liking.
AudioFly is off to a great start since we first saw them at CES this past January, and the start-up looks to have a bright future ahead of them, and we look forward to what they have to offer music-lovers around the world.
At a price of ~$60, the AF45s are priced near the bottom price bracket of the highly-competitive mid-range market. They're affordable, and also offer sound which is hard to find in other earphones nowadays, as their custom voicing utilizes a relatively "neutral" philosophy. The core foundation of of AudioFly's staff are musicians and self-declared music lovers, and their passion has shown through in an elegant earphone with balanced sound that's poised to satisfy mind, ears, and budget.
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