Great battery life, Pleasing call quality, Rich and dynamic bass, Natural vocal presentation, No background hiss, Good isolation
Lipless nozzle may lose tips, No stabiliser fin or features, Overly smooth treble
Audiofly’s new TWS model balances sound quality and daily usability better than most and at a cheaper price point, albeit with a rather safe tuning.
Audiofly are an audio company from my hometown down in Australia. Over the years, I’ve sampled many of their models, all of which have impressed with their unique ergonomic designs and sound profiles suiting a variety of listeners. There was one model I never experienced, the original AFTW1. The TWS market is a strange one and, at the time, the options I had tested didn’t inspire much confidence. Since, my mind has changed so I was curious to see Audiofly’s approach, being a dedicated audiophile-orientated company, with the release of the new AFT2. It’s a subtle update from the original, adopting Qualcomm’s new BT5.0 chipset that enables a dramatic boost in battery life, range and potentially, as seen on M&D’s earphones, sound quality too.
- Driver: 6mm dynamic driver
- Frequency range: 20hZ – 20kHz
- Sensitivity: 99dB
- Impedance: 16 ohms
- BT and codec support: 5.0, SBC, AAC, aptX
- Range: 20m
- Total play time: 10hrs (+25hrs case)
- Water resistance: IPX5
The AFT2 has a nice unboxing experience that feels professional. Inside lies the earphones and charging case within dense protective foam. There’s a brief instruction card and pull tab to remove the inlet, revealing a type-C cable and additional pair of small silicone tips below. Medium ear tips are pre-installed to the earphones. It would have been nice to see a larger variety of tips included as I did personally struggle with both of the stock sizes. At the very least, the nozzle design is orthodox so third-party tips work well.
Those familiar with the original model will note many similarities here. In fact, the AFT2 appears to offer an almost identical experience, only with option of different colours. Audiofly’s universal in-ears demonstrated a mastery of ergonomics and the very sculpted AFT2 clearly comes from the same lineage. What we observe is a compendium of smooth, rounded edges and anti-helix fin for fit stability. The construction quality is good but not exemplary, though one could argue that a lightweight design is desirable over premium materials in this form factor. Regardless, the AFT2 is entirely plastic and sports a 2-piece construction. The faceplates are glossy while the housings employ a matte finish that resists oil marks especially well.
Faceplate matching is good with no sharp edges that may cause discomfort. Subtle additions such as the raised Audiofly logos on the faceplates, the metal wax filters, and bottom-facing vent promote a good user experience. The logos provide orientation for tap gestures while the vent placement minimises wind noise when listening outdoors. There’s a rear-facing status LED that denotes connection and power status. One thing that may irk is the nozzle design as there is no lip to help retain tips. Though I didn’t have issues during my testing, those with oilier ears may have to clean the tips and nozzles so they don’t slide off during use.
Fit & Isolation –
This is clearly a well-shaped earphone that adapts features of Audiofly’s ergonomic wired earphones for the true wireless form factor. The tall profile fills the outer ear and permits the prominent anti-helix fin to lock into the ear to some degree. Similarly, the crescent shaping and narrow front angle avoid hotspot formation in these areas. Though not the most compact TWS in-ear, the AFT2 provided a comfortable experience in my ears. Conversely, as it lacks silicone wings or other means of stabilisation, I did find them to work themselves loose when skipping and running. They remained perfectly stable during commute and weight training that said, though this is a lesser aspect of their design in my experience.
Seal was also not the best out of the box and I suspect this is due to a combination of the shorter nozzles and larger design that limits fit depth and angulation. That said, the tips are of a fairly standard design and size, so 3rd party tips easily remedy this. I personally found best results with the Spinfit CP360. Once fit with my preferred tips, the AFT2 provided good passive noise isolation, certainly above average for a dynamic driver TWS in-ear. They don’t feature ANC, but the warm tuning helps to retain a rich sound in the presence of ambient noise. If you have especially small ears, I would point you elsewhere, however, for the majority, the AFT2 will provide a comfortable and well-isolating experience.
As a chronic fidgeter, the Audiofly charging case receives high marks. It is, however, a very large and awkwardly shaped case so take this into account if you like to pocket your earphones. Nonetheless, construction quality rewards with a tactile sand-blasted aluminium exterior and it assumes a cylindrical design that fits well in the hand. The earphones charge within a magnetic internal tray that slides in and out with very satisfying action, popping into place with a satisfying “thock”. The edge of the aluminium is somewhat sharp when the case is slid open but presents no issues when closed. The front of the tray houses a smart power meter denoting remaining charge in 25% increments, just above the Type-C charging port. Though novel, Audiofly could have drastically shrunk this case considering that it provides 2.5 additional charges, on the lower side.
Pairing and Connectivity
The experience here is quite orthodox and I had no difficulties pairing the AFT2 throughout testing. Once removed from the case, they power on and auto-reconnect to the last paired device. If no device is found after a few seconds, they re-enter pairing mode and more devices can be added. Once connected, audio was stable both between each earpiece and to the source device, even in the crowded CBD and on public transport where there is greater interference. Range was good, above average as well, stretching through 2 rooms with double brick walls before becoming intermittent. Range will be substantially higher with line of sight, of course.
With the latest Qualcomm chipset and BT5.0, they also support independent operation, useful for extending battery life with mono calls per say. They connected to my Pixel 4 using aptX but also support AAC for Apple devices and aptX HD for supported Android devices and DAPs too which is not so common. Latency was also good, with noticeable but never irksome lip-sync when watching videos as is common over aptX. They will do in a pinch for mobile gaming and media consumption in addition to music as a result.
Charging and Battery Life
The earphones are rated at 10hrs runtime with an addition 2 and a half charges provided by the carrying case. In real world use I was seeing around 9 hours consistently at around ¼ volume which is a great result. The case also powers off the earphones if it is out of charge that many do not. Unfortunately, the earphones do not have any quick charge unlike competitors, a full charge takes around 90 minutes.
These have been very hit and miss on TWS earphones for me, only a handful being good enough not to bother during daily use. Unfortunately, the AFT2 falls into the broad category of mediocre, serviceable but not ideal. I found them to be pretty unresponsive and aggravating to use. They are useable once you figure out the right cadence, but the sensitivity is quite poor so they are far from ideal when exercising and walking which is the intended use case for a true wireless earphone.
The call quality is above average in the TWS space if not outstanding. It implements Qualcomm cVc noise cancellation to good effect, recipients noted that wind noise wasn’t too obtrusive, similarly, my voice was discernible in loud environments. In quieter areas, it was noted that I sounded relatively loud and present but not especially clear. Better call quality can be had if that’s your main interest, however, the AFT2 is a good performer here especially relative to other audio-focused models; most of which, have no noise cancellation whatsoever.