CES 2012: AUDIOFLY

Tyll Hertsens's picture

Over the years at HeadRoom and now at InnerFidelity I've done quite a bit of looking at web traffic statistics, and one constant is the disproportionate interest in headphones from Australia. For example, on the InnerFidelity YouTube channel, Australia ranks third after the U.K. and Canada, and tops Germany by about 20%. Australians must be just a bit crazy about headphones.

CES2012_audiofly_photo_corkhatIt comes as no surprise then, that Australian headphone companies have started to pop up. This year has seen Burson Audio (a headphone amp maker), BlueAnt (a headset maker), and now AUDIOFLY throwing their cork hats in the ring.

At their CES launch AUDIOFLY introduced a line of four in-ear monitors ranging in price from $29 to $200. Their top-end product is the AF78, which is the first hybrid dynamic/balanced armature driver headphone I've seen. (I'd love to hear of any other dynamic/balanced armature dual-driver earphones readers might be aware of in the comments.) Dave Thompson, CEO/Founder of AUDIOFLY, gave me a pair to play with on the flight home. I found them to have a nice laid-back and slightly warm sound, and thoroughly enjoyed my music on the flight home. Measurements will appear in the next monthly update.

I'll let Dave fill you in on the details.

Company Info
AudioFly
9/23 Gibberd Rd.
Balcatta WA 6021
Australia
info@audiofly.com
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Comments
ernestryles's picture
I know a couple others

The scosche IEM856 have dual drivers with one armature, and one dynamic as these do, but I haven't heard them so I can't really say anything regarding their sound.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
Thanks!
Thanks!
mward's picture
Still evaluating, but...

The Scosche sounds pretty good so far! Although they certainly should for the ~$250 price tag.

Back in the day (maybe 2005ish), I believe Ultimate Ears had the super.fi 5 pro, which was dual balanced armature, but also had the super.fi pro EB (enhanced bass) which was a balanced armature/dynamic hybrid.

(EDIT: Apparently several people already mentioned the UE model.)

br777's picture
UM merlins?

they are customs of course but i believe they are both ba and dynamic

Jlle's picture
AKG & UE

Universal:
AKG K3003 (I don't get these, more expensive then a custom model and very close to a JH16)
Ultimate Ears super.fi 5EB (first to my knowledge, but no longer sold so it seems)

Custom:
Unique Melody Merlin (edit: already mentioned)

And there are a few dynamic 2-ways like radius DDM en ohrundmore.de Swing.

wilzc's picture
Hybrids

There a several other universal fit earphones with dynamic and BA drivers.

I've spent a good few days with the British brand Atomic Floyd's Superdarts. Good sound, but nothing spectacular. I didn't quite like the fit sadly, and fit was really important for it to sound its best. Built for a prince however.

Then there are the aforementioned AKG's (which are priced beyond belief) and Ultimate Ears.

Whats most intriguing, Tyll, is that Grado found a Japanese company to make their GR8 and GR10 earphones for them. This company employs a special single, 'moving armature' driver that is a cross between dynamics and balanced armatures. Now this is the true 'third kind' and not just a combination of both into one earpiece.

The only other brand that uses this new and exciting tech is Ortofon (Japanese as well), with their EQ7 and EQ5 earphones, also sporting this moving armature. I've always been intrigued but never had a chance.

ClieOS's picture
Here's another one.

Atomic Floyd's SuperDart.

[edit] didn't see the comment above already mentioned about it.

Tyll Hertsens's picture
No worries , mate.
Good to know you're keeping you eyes out.