Highly natural and coherent tuning from both models, Excellent wearing comfort and isolation, Outstanding accessories
High-end may be too smooth and relaxed for some
The Final Audio E4000 suits those wanting a natural, balanced earphone with good technical performance while the E5000 suits those wanting life-like timbre and a grand soundstage propagated by meaty notes.
Final Audio are a legendary name in audio, a Japanese manufacturer founded in 1974 with a knack for the innovative and experimental. Their new E-series earphones may appear to be their most mainstream offerings to date, with very reasonable pricing and single dynamic driver designs, however, these earphones represent the latest acoustic engineering and psychological research. The E5000 is currently the most expensive E-series earphone at $270 USD. It represents an immediate step up from the lower E-earphones with a sealed design and removable cable. With the recent release of the B-series and A-series earphones, it can be easy to forget about the old. However, after extensive testing, the E-series earphones have stood the test of time, continuing to represent outstanding value.
I would like to thank Final Audio very much for their quick communication and for providing me with the E4000 and E5000 for the purpose of review. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.
Tech Specs –
Housing: Aluminum black alumite finish
Driver: 6.4mmΦ dynamic driver
Cable: OFC cable
Cord length: 1.2ｍ
Housing: Stainless steel mirror-finished
Driver: 6.4mmΦ dynamic driver
Cable: OFC silver coated cable
Cord length: 1.2ｍ
The Pitch –
“To heighten the resolution across all ranges, acoustic pressure has been lowered. When you listen, the sound appears laid-back; turning the volume up gradually while assimilating this subtlety affords the user a comfortable listening experience. This product is one whose merits become more apparent the longer you use it.”
Final Audio combine acoustic engineering and psychological research to provide the highest resolution through the entire frequency band. With the E4000 and E5000, they’ve aimed for a smooth frequency response with seamless transitions though each core frequency band. By creating a balanced sound, Final ensure no fine details are overshadowed by large peaks or troughs attempting to artificially enhance sound quality.
A single dynamic driver design requires some acoustic wizardry to extract both high and low-frequency extension in addition to a desirable frequency response. Final have tuned the E4000 and E5000 using raw acoustics; an acoustic resistor behind the diaphragm feeding into an L-shaped chamber controlling back pressure behind the driver. It is known to me that most manufacturers implement a pressuriser in front of the driver to give sub-bass more solidity, however, the added resistance can overly attenuate high-frequencies which are most easily attenuated – though not directly comparable, think the range difference between a 5GHz WiFi network and a 2.4GHz network. As such, Final have effectively balanced bass and treble performance to achieve their desired characteristics. This works in culmination with high-rigidity metal housings that mitigate unwanted resonances.
The E5000 comes with a removable MMCX cable from JUNFLON the same, in fact, as used in the Kei supercomputer. Junkosha also make fast-transmission cables for Japanese marine, aerospace, healthcare and power generation facilities. The cable’s jacket is designed to shield from EMI interference, be flexible and also mitigate microphonic noise. Cables must pass a 50,000 bend test, 10x the industry average. Cable believer or not, the build quality and level of consideration that went into this unit is very welcome.
Both earphones have a similarly clean and professional unboxing experience. The earphones and accessories are well protected within a foam inlet. I am also a huge fan of the accessories themselves, with special mention going to Final Audio’s E-tips which are possible some of the best on the market. They have flexible stems that contour better to each listener’s ear canal. However, unlike Spinfits, the sound tube is unimpeded and, therefore, the sound has higher fidelity without taking personal preference for sound and into account, of course. The case is also excellent and unique. It has a silicone construction with flexible lid that snugly presses into the earphones and nestles them firmly into the case. This stops the metal housings from colliding and scratching each other during transit. Furthermore, the round shape permits the earphones to be coiled which promotes longevity for the cable.
Both earphones resemble the lower E-series earphones that came before bolstered with superior build quality and the addition of a removable cable. Once again, I find myself admiring the beauty in their simplicity, with long, bullet-style housings that accommodate cable up and down wear equally well. The cleanliness of the anodized aluminium E4000 and chrome stainless steel E5000 are fascinating to the eye. Both earphones are no longer so obviously open with sealed backs and just a small port on the bottom of the rears.
The cables are also much improved over their predecessors, now removable with a standard MMCX interface. The E4000 implements a standard plastic cable, it has a smooth sating texture and excellent suppleness in the hand. The channels are divided beneath the Y-split which may split over time, my unit did not have this issue. The E5000 has a substantially nicer cable with smoother texture and a braided construction. It has silver-plated conductors and is noticeably more sophisticated. This cable too is quite compliant if a little springier than the E4000’s cable. The E5000 also flaunts its premium status with matching chrome terminations while the E4000 makes do with rubber and plastic. Nonetheless, both have excellent strain relief on their right-angle jacks and are low-profile elsewhere.
Fit & Isolation –
By Virtue of their minuscule dimensions, the Final E-series earphones produce perfect wearing comfort no matter how long the listening session. Worn over-ear or cable down, microphonic noise is mitigated by the elongated housings that distance the cable from the face. As the earphones don’t contact the outer ear, no hotspots are formed, they simply disappear in the ear.
Isolation is also very good for a vented dynamic driver earphone. I can only presume this is due to the resistive nature of their vent which likely works to block some external noise too. As such, these earphones isolate almost as well as sealed earphones making them an excellent choice for commute and travel especially alongside foam tips. That said, as none are included, these will have to be sourced separately.
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