Review: Audiofly AF1120 MK2 In Ear Monitors

Audiofly's flagship in-ear monitors have 3-way crossovers and six drivers, promising unparalleled frequency separation. But how do they perform? Hollin Jones found out.  

Audiofly is an Australian company that makes a range of earphones and earbuds  with models designed for everyone from casual listeners all the way to pro stage monitoring.The AF1120 MK2 in-ears are their flagship model, designed, they say "for audio professionals who thrive on impeccable accuracy and astounding clarity". While they're still earbuds so you can connect them to your laptop or phone, these are really intended more for monitoring - or for casual listening if you have deep pockets.

Rockin' A Hard Case

They come in an attractive hard case - like a mini version of a rack mount case - with a number of accessories. The phones themselves have a mini jack connector, but two adaptors are provided as well as a range of noise isolating tips to suit your ear shape. This is pretty important to get right - I found that tips that were too small for my ears seriously impacted the amount of low end I could hear, more so than with other earphones I have used. Opting for the larger tips however made a world of difference, suddenly rendering the signal deep, clean and rich.

It uses Audioflex cable which is hard wearing, though I found the post-split cables (where one leads left and one right) were prone to getting tangled. Perhaps I just need to be more conscientious about storing them properly - I have become rather used to wireless buds these days.

There are a couple of things that wired models can do that wireless usually can't, however. The first is to hook around your ears, providing a secure fit, especially when combined with the correct tips. If you're running around on stage, you don't want to be worrying about your earbuds falling out. The second thing is volume - wired just goes louder than wireless. So loud in fact that when cranked to full, some tracks did distort a little - though to get to that point, I had to go to 100% volume, which is perhaps never a great idea.


Drivers Galore

Inside, there are six balanced armature drivers with a 3-way crossover - two each for bass, mid and high frequencies. I must admit there did sound to be more separation than I am used to from earphones and this is down to the attention Audiofly has paid to this part of the design. There's a frequency range of 15Hz to 25kHz, and listening to commercial tracks provided a more revealing soundstage than I am used to. This is fine - they sound great - and it's also true that the last thing you need when monitoring on stage is a muddy mix so providing your engineer is doing a good job, these buds should let you hear exactly what's going on.

There is the issue of the price. At $699 USD, you're likely to be buying these for professional work and not just commuting. Whether you can justify it will depend on how much you want and need the secure fit and incredible sound separation that this design gives you. But if that's your aim, these are well worth a look - and a listen.

Pros: Incredible separation thanks to 3-way crossover and 6 drivers. Can go very loud. Secure fit for moving around. Hard wearing cable. Good selection of accessories.

Cons: Fairly hefty price. Important to get exactly the right fitting tips for optimum sound.

Price: $699 USD


Learn more about monitoring:

Hollin Jones was classically trained as a piano player but found the lure of blues and jazz too much to resist. Graduating from bands to composition then production, he relishes the chance to play anything with keys. A sometime lecturer in videographics, music production and photography post production, Hollin has been a freelance w... Read More


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