I have to admit, I was feeling a little left out as the bevy of energetic young things buzzed past me on my sporadic shuffles around the block.
Suddenly, I simply had to have a pair of these strange new wireless contraptions that had sprouted from their ears.
Granted, feverishly sharing one-sided conversations with passersby wasn’t really me, but they were clearly the ticket into a much more vibrant, happening world.
At the very least, maybe the ease of wireless music would motivate me to get my butt off the couch a bit more.
So, when Audiofly AFT2 sent over a pair of its latest wireless bluetooth buds for review, I refreshed my Spotify exercise playlist, laced up the Asics – and told the wife to give me a call in about 15 minutes.
Here’s what I found out.
Look and comfort
Audiofly – the cans of choice we’re told for many a discerning muso – knows how to make a damn fine looking unit. The buds themselves come housed in a stylish brushed metal charging case, which also gives you an additional 25 hours of battery life when you’re out and about. I was given the gum leaf colour but you also have a choice of sunset, sand and granite. The units themselves are lightweight, mold snuggly into the outer ear with two choices of tips for the canal, and never felt like they were going to fall out, even at a jog. I was happy enough with the supplied tip sizes, but they are interchangeable with others you might have lying around if they don’t quite give you the custom fit you’re after. Personally, I also much prefer the look of the AFT2’s over the electric toothbrush design of Apple’s new AirPods, or similar copycats.
Ease of use
It definitely would pay to spend some time getting acquainted with the functionality before heading out the door. The buds are controlled by touch-sensitive surfaces that took me a while to get used to. Both sides work with a single tap to play/pause, or answer calls. To skip music forward, you double tap the master bud, which is the first one you remove from the charging case first. That also dictates which bud you tap and hold to increase and decrease the music. Like I said, it pays to read the manual and have a play around before embarking on that run/walk or you could find have your experience ruined by frustration.
Crystal clear on the aforementioned call from the wife and when I hit play on that exercise playlist. I also didn’t get any dropout on the connection, which can be a common issue with other bluetooth devices I’ve used. If I had a knock on these, it would be on the bass levels. Bass heads may be left wanting, but in saying that, the levels you get can be dramatically improved by incorporating your phone’s equaliser system, or a third-party app. As for the in-built Audiofly Noise Cancelling Technology, it was more than adequate, although a little dependent on how good the fit with the supplied tips, and how comfortable you are in jamming them tightly into your ear canal.
For under $200, the specs, aesthetics and market-leading battery power are hard to beat. Audiophiles looking for bass-thumping sounds may be found wanting, but for videos, calls, podcasts, and anything else where staying effortlessly connected – and current – are important, the Audiofly AFT2 is our new favourite on-the-go accessory.