We quite liked the E2000 and E3000 and now Final is back with the Final Audio E4000 & E5000. Find out now in this review just how much we like them. Or not?
Disclaimer : The Final Audio E4000 & E5000 was sent to us by Final Audio directly, in exchange of our honest review.
About Final Audio
Final Audio was launched in 1974 by Kanemori Takai, an engineer known to be as visionary as picky sometimes. The brand began with turntable cartridges and steadily expanded to pre-amps, power amps and speakers. In 2007, an new company “S’Next” was launched to produce OEM and ODM products with Molex, with big success.
Now, Final Audio is also known for its wide range of headphones and earphones : Sonorous, Piano Forte, Adagio and of course Heaven. If you were in the audio game the past few years, you must have heard these names or at least saw news talking about the infamous price of the Sonorous X.
But, today we are not reviewing some hyper-priced IEM or headphone. No, we are listening to the newcomers : the E4000 and the E5000 available for respectively 129€ and 249€. A new hidden gem or just a dull stone? Let’s find out!
The Final Audio Series
Previously known as the Pandora Hope Series, the Final Audio Sonorous are full-size headphones dedicated to audiophiles. They all share the same design, which can be seen as clunky or classy – your choice – and the same driver size : 50mm. Of course, from the cheap Sonorous II to the ostentatious Sonorous X, there is more than can meet the eyes.
The Sonorous II and Sonorous III keep the same 50mm dynamic driver but the latter gets a flat frequency chart, while the first one offers a bit more V-Shaped response. Also, the whole headphone is made of ABS.
The Sonorous IV and Sonorous VI also wear a 50mm driver but Final added a balanced driver for the highs. A strange combination but somehow it worked and customers really liked it. The Sonorous VI (known as the Pandora hope VI) is still the best-seller of the brand, must be the steel covered earpads.
The Sonorous VIII and X form the top to the line with exquisite craftsmanship, premium components and, of course, refined sound. The Sonorous X is roughly 35% heavier than the others, you really feel the difference when you wear it, or feel it, like a premium car. The drivers still measure 50mm but are supposed to blow.our.mind.
Adagio / Piano Forte / EX000
The Adagio and Piano Forte range consists of dynamic IEMs only. Adagio are entry-level products, all available under 50€ and unfortunately I didn’t have the chance to listen any of them. The Piano Forte is the exact opposite, high-end to ultra high-end IEM in full metal housing and really strange shape. As the name states, they are supposed to offer a wide dynamic as a real Piano should do.
The ultimate dynamic IEM from Final are the LAB II, a very specific model, fully 3D printed and… open back. The driver is also one of the widest : 15mm, which explain the strange shape. Last but not least, the EX000 are the latest iteration of the brand, entry level yet premium dynamic earphones.
This range is made of balanced armature IEMs only, from the entry level F3100 to their best seller, the Heaven. Strangely, if the shell is always made of high quality metal (brass, stainless steel, aluminium) none of them wear a replaceable cable, so if you wear them out … you have to replace everything !
The Balancing Air Movement, for sound optimisation is standard on all of them, even if none of them use multiple drivers.
The Fi-BA-SS are supposed to offer the same signature as the dynamic models, with a balanced armature. A nice alternative to the Piano Forte but again, no replaceable cable, even if a 2.5mm version is available you have to choose at checkout.
Design & Build Quality
The shell of the E4000 and E5000 are nearly identical, both are made in metal for sturdiness and acoustic properties. The black E4000 is made of aluminium whereas the chrome coloured E5000 is made of stainless steel. It’s a thin tubular shell with a mmxc socket pointing downside, like the Klipsch X4S but L-Shaped. The nozzle is standard and should fit standard silicone/foam tips, even if Final provides “moving tips” for better comfort. The design is simple and the brand clearly aimed for simplicity, which is not a bad thing when I see how sketchy the Sonorous can look like. Special touch ? Everything is made in Japan.
Simple yet sturdy. The build quality of the shell is clearly top-notch, everything looks solid and even the weight makes the E4000/E5000 feel premium. Since it’s a detachable cable IEM, I’m always anxious to see how the socket will last with 2-pin systems. Good news, Final used the MMCX platform on its IEMs which are not only sturdier on the long term, but also easier to secure once fitted.
Overall, it’s a well-made IEM with a low number of part, which is a good thing. Sadly, the cable is really thin and would leave me worried all day if they were not replaceable. It’s my main concern with these IEMs, and if you don’t own a pouch or anything to protect the units, I strongly advise you to think twice.
Bundle and Comfort
Inside the box
Nothing fancy inside the box, you have :
- the IEM. Final Audio E4000 / E5000
- a carrying case with a karabiner
- a set of eartips and earhooks
Only one set of cable is provided so prepare some in advance. Kudos for the pouch, it’s made of rubber and you can house the karabiner on a secret compartment under, I really like it !
Strangely, Final isn’t offering a big range of accessories for the Final Audio E4000 & E5000. If you want a better cable for instance, you’ll have to check aftermarket companies like Forza or Effect Audio or PlusSound or…. Even pouches and cases aren’t available from the brand directly ! Of course that isn’t shocking if you take in to account that none of the others IEMs have detachable cables.
Size matters and I won’t argue with Final on that, the E4000 and E5000 are one of the most comfortable IEMs I’ve tried. The small form factor combined with the swinging silicon tips, get you a firm, tight seal. You can push them way too much inside your ears though, so be careful.
The swinging tips are a gimmick for me, it works and seals but I don’t think it’s such an improvement from the standard tips. Maybe my ears aren’t convoluted enough, or maybe too much, I don’t know but all in all it’s just standard tips for me.
The review continues on Page two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.