The AF180 are the latest in-ear monitors from up-and-coming Australian headphone maker, Audiofly. Like others in their class, the AF180 abandon standard dynamic drivers for a four-pack of tiny balanced armatures which combine to create a powerful, vividly accurate sound. Adding a comfortable design and a sound signature that comes about as close to full-sized headphones as we’ve heard from an in-ear at this price, the AF180 make for a very attractive new option
While some consider the wrap-around ear pieces a little inconvenient, the AF180 are possibly the most comfortable and secure in their class, besting competitors like the Westone W40, and the Nuforce Primo 8 in that regard. Just as important, they also offer an impressive level of passive noise isolation, blocking out a majority of room ambiance with music playing at a reasonable level.
However, we have some real concern about the delicacy of the cable at the top of the earpieces. Those who plan on using the AF180 as their go-to travel headphones may want to spring for the more durable CL cable, which is thicker, and also comes with a mic and three-button control piece. That stretches the headphones’ already costly $550 price tag even further, however, and we think the cable should have been included in the package.
But a lot can be forgiven once you put the AF180 in your ears. The headphones offer a gorgeous mix of balance and precision, without the type of sibilance issues common with many armature driver headphones. For more on the AF180’s overall performance, stay tuned for our full review, coming soon.