Disclaimer: The Final Audio E2000 E3000 were sent to us by the US based representative after Lieven met them at the High End show in Munich. The samples don’t have to be returned.
This is a review of the Final Audio E2000 and E3000 IEMs. Final Audio is a company located in Japan where the official company name is S’NEXT. S’NEXT doesn’t want to be just another headphone company and they see things a little different:
Products such as earphones and headphones belong to a category known as current electrical appliances whose value is the greatest when they are brand new. We, however, would like to create earphones and headphones that people have an affinity for and continue to use in much the same way they have with a mechanical wristwatch, the kind that will be valued as an antique in the future.
More information on S’NEXT and Final Audio can be found here. Nathan also did a review of their F7200 back in September of last year. So, let’s get to the review. (No, I am not in a hurry to get this review out. Why would you think that?)
E2000 / E3000
The E2000 and E3000 comprise Final Audio’s “E” series of in-ear monitors. This is their entry level series, and should retail for $45 (E2000) and 65$ (E3000).
You can find the full data on both IEMs here:
Both the E2000 and the E3000 come with the same accessories package: a small travel pouch, five different sets of silicone ear tips, and a pair of ear hooks. The small travel pouch is just that, a small pouch which can be used to transport your IEMs when going from place to place. While it seems a might currish to berate budget IEMs for not coming with an actual case, for reasons I will get to shortly, I do wish Final Audio could have put some sort of case together for their “E” series. The ear tips come in sizes: SS/S/M/L/LL, so one shouldn’t have too much trouble finding a good fit. Now, I think the ear hooks that ship with the E series are rather nifty. Some IEM cables have hooks built into them (perhaps out of memory wire) that help the cable loop over your ear, and stay there, while you are moving around. Some people like these, whereas others don’t. Final Audio’s ear hooks are little rubber hooks that can easily be attached and removed to the cable. This allows those that like the feature to use them, but anyone who doesn’t can just pop them right off. That’s a feature I can get behind.
The build on the E2000 and E3000 are very similar, but they are easy to tell apart. The main body of the E2000 is made out of aluminum and giving a black finish, while the body of the E3000 is made out of stainless steel. Both feel well built and are very light, however, the E3000 is slightly heavier at 14g while the E2000 weighs in at 12g. Both of the E models are extremely comfortable, as I could easily forget that I had them in. It should be said that I don’t have the same issues with universal IEM comfort that some people do, but at this size and weight, I doubt many people would have comfort issues with them. The cable, however, is a Tale of Two Cities. On one hand, I had no issues with microphonics whatsoever, and the cable never turned into a tangled mess for me. Those are the best of times. The worst of times comes from the fact that the cable does feel really flimsy. Now, it obviously hasn’t broken for me in the week and a half I have had it, but I can’t help but be concerned about it. This is why I wish some sort of case had been included, because without that protection, I worry the cable to get damaged while in a suitcase, backpack, purse or what have you. So, that is something to take into account.
|6.4 mm φ Dynamic type
|6.4 mm φ Dynamic type
|100 dB / mW
|102 dB / mW
As you can see, they are both quite easy to drive, although the E2000 is technically, ever so slightly, more sensitive.
As it is the first one I listened to, I am going to start with the E3000. How does it sound? Warm. It sounds very pleasantly warm. Why is it warm? Well, let’s start with the bass. The E3000 has a slightly greater than neutral bass. It isn’t huge, or all encompassing (like the Base audio g8). There is just a little something extra. Bass impact is good. The detail level is solid, especially for an IEM at this price. It doesn’t rock the sub-bass very hard, but no big issue there. The Achilles heel of the bass, though, is its tightness, or lack thereof. It’s on the loose side of things. That, and a slower decay, definitely put the bass on the slower side. This is nowhere close to being a deal breaker, with the warmer sound overall, it isn’t much of a problem, but it is there.
The lower mids also have a little bit more going on than would be neutral. It levels out a bit after that, but it is never less than full-bodied. No part of the sound ever comes off as thin or unpleasant. Bass through the mids is just a warm, wonderful experience. I often like to lie in bed to listen some classical (well, romantic actually) music before I go to sleep, and despite having other good IEMs and the Sine and Sine DX at my disposal, this has become my go to.
You may notice that I described the E3000 has warm, but not dark, and I think that is a distinction worth making. While smooth and rolled off, the treble still has enough life in it to keep the sun from going down on the E3000. While it won’t be the IEM of choice for treble heads, to those with an allergy to bright treble, this should be one to check out. It is simply a very easy IEM to enjoy.
Now, there are two facets left of the E3000 to address: one is a homerun, while the other is a strike out. The sound stage on the E3000 is nothing short of astonishing, especially for the price. The width is very good. I am not quite sure it becomes an “outside of my head” experience, but it is certainly pounding on the sides of my head. The depth is even better. There is truly a 3D experience going on here, and for what a price! Final Audio really figured something out here. They describe it on their website as sounding like “being in a concert hall”, and on that front, they really delivered. Instrument separation is good for the price, but it is the 3d sound stage that is the star here.
Click HERE to jump to the rest of the E3000 review and the full part on the E2000, or use the jump below