Without doing any official TV-game-show-style polling, I’m going to assume most readers use some sort of device that calls for earbuds.
It could be for late-night shredding, casual music listening or when you're on the bus or subway — or maybe just to avoid social interaction. I’m not here to judge.
Regardless, if you’re going to use earbuds, they may as well sound great. Audiofly’s AF78 earbuds have been named an International CES Innovations 2013 Design and Engineering Awards Honoree.
The Australia-based company is comprised of musicians who build headphones with other musicians in mind. The AF78 earbuds feature a dual-driver design. Usually you don’t see more than a single driver in earbuds, unless you’re talking about high-end in-ear monitors. But Audiofly has broken the mold.
The company also has thrown the cheap rubbery cable to the curb. Its cable is coated with a Cordura brand nylon that reminded me of Fender’s vintage cloth wiring; but more importantly, it tangled much less often than other earbud cables. The inner-workings of the cable involves a unique braided design for durability and blocking out interference. The conductors are reinforced with Kevla — yes like bullet-proof vest Kevlar!
I think I’m close to my suggested 40-hour break-in time. While the AF78s are quieter than your standard earbuds, the clarity is superior. The sound is natural, flat and clear. No distorted bass, scooped mids or washy hi-hats here. The Comply foam ear tips are a nice touch. They include regular silicone tips, but the Comply tips act like Memory Foam to help combat fatigue.
Accessories included with the AF78 earbuds include a compact storage tin, an airline and splitter adaptor, a Clear-Talk supported mic with on/off switch, a cleaning brush and six sets of noise-isolating ear tips. Four of the sets are your standard silicon ear tips, the remaining two sets are Audifly’s Comply foam tips. There's a limited five-year warranty.
Price: $192.90 retail
You can't believe everything you read on the Internet, but Billy Voight is a gear reviewer, bassist and guitarist from Pennsylvania. He has Hartke bass amps and Walden acoustic guitars to thank for supplying some of the finest gear on his musical journey. Need Billy's help in creating noise for your next project? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.