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Hands on: Audiofly Cans

Audiofly’s new prototype headphones match rich and detailed sound with one of the most interesting and comfortable designs we’ve come across at CES 2014.

Fledgling headphone maker Audiofly may be relatively new to the game, but it’s been busy. The Australian company came crashing out of the gate at CES last year, showcasing a litany of armature in-ears, as well as a hybrid armature/dynamic driver-based model, the AF78, that sounds fantastic, and earned the company a coveted CES 2013 Innovations Award.

Yesterday at CES 2014, the company got our attention again, this time with a whole new bag. Brandishing a brand new studio-inspired over-ear prototype known only as “Cans”, Audiofly has created one of the most interesting — and comfortable — headphone designs we’ve come across at the show. Most importantly, they sound pretty damned good to. We tried out the upper-tier model, which the company hopes to release sometime in the 3rd quarter of this year for around $500. And even in the hustle and bustle of the teeming showroom floor in Vegas, the headphones impressed.

The first thing you notice about Audiofly’s new babies is that the earcups self adjust to your head, moving seamlessly along the band to match your features and cup your ears in luscious, velvety comfort. A thick braided headphone cable extends from the left cup, and the dull silver earcup shells give way to black screens on the interior, painted with a studio-nostalgic VU meter. The velvety earpads are also completely removable, and we assume there will eventually be alternate styles available for purchase, or possibly thrown into the package.

As far as the sound signature goes, parsing through a few of our stand-by test tracks, the headphones cut with clear brilliance up top, providing plenty of detail, while the lower register was rich and buttery. The suggested $500 price point is higher than we’d like, but the clean, smooth sound immediately had us smiling, and that’s almost always a sign of top notch sound to explore ahead.

Audiofly says it will be making a few more tweaks to the prototype, so we’ll have to wait and see how the final model comes out. But as for now, we like what we hear.

Highs

  • Excellent detail
  • Rich lower register
  • Awesome, self-adjusting design

Lows

  • Still in prototype stage
  • Pricey