The E5000 has a very low 93dB sensitivity paired to a lower 14ohm impedance while the E4000 is more sensitive at 97dB with a 15ohm impedance. Both require a lot of power to reach high or even moderate listening volumes. As such, a dedicated source is recommended and, from my testing, the higher end E-earphones thrive with power in terms of driver control too. For instance, from my Google Pixel 4 dongle, though a single driver and impervious to both output impedance and hiss, both sounded pretty muddy and ill-defined. This changed very quickly when listening from the Earmen TR-AMP where lows were quickly reined in much to the benefit of balance and separation, creating a more involving soundstage. The E4000 and E5000 will sound okay from a smartphone but definitely benefit from a bit more power such as a dedicated source or, at the very least, one of the higher-end BT receivers.
Final E5000 vs Final E4000: The E4000 represents a more balanced but less technical sound while the E5000 is bassier, smoother and more refined. Both have terrific sub-bass extension, the E5000 has more mid and sub-bass, granting it a fuller albeit slightly boomier presentation. The E5000 has superior driver control retrieving more fine detail where the E4000 is a touch cleaner and more separated. The E4000 has more vocal presence and clarity while the E5000 is smoother and more accurately articulated. The E5000, therefore, boasts the more natural timbre while the E4000 is more balanced. The E4000 has a more forward lower-treble being crisper with more forward treble instrumentation. Meanwhile, the E5000 is smoother and more controlled with better extension. It has more background detail retrieval and a larger soundstage with better positioning.
Final E4000 vs Shozy CP ($165): The CP is a bit more balanced with less bass in particular. It has less bass extension by a fair margin in addition to less bass. Bass is more linear on the CP and fuller on the E4000. The CP has quicker decay and more bass definition while the E4000 has more depth and is more dynamic. Through the midrange, the E4000 is more natural, with more accurate body and a smoother top-end. It also has more natural vocal extension due to its more linear upper-midrange tuning where the CP has a touch more vocal presence but is also slightly truncated. Still, both are very natural and have accurate timbres but the E4000 sounds a bit more refined at the cost of separation and layering. The CP has a crisper lower-treble while the E4000 is smoother with more instrument body and texture. The E4000 has more background detail retrieval and sounds more natural here. The E4000 has a larger soundstage while the CP has better separation and layering.
Final E4000 vs Dunu Falcon-C ($200): The Falcon-C is a more U-shaped earphone with a cleaner tone throughout and more forward lower-treble. The Falcon-C has a cleaner low-end with just a touch less extension but greater balance and linearity. The E4000 is warmer through the mid-bass and less separated. Both have similarly excellent driver control with the main differences being in presentation. The Falcon-C has slightly more vocal presence with greater centre midrange emphasis while the E4000 sounds more natural with a more progressive climb and upper-midrange focus. The Falcon-C’s forward lower-treble makes it sound quite raspy and over-articulated where the E4000 is smoother and more refined. Otherwise, the Falcon-C is quite a natural sounding earphone and some may enjoy the extra glossiness. The Falcon-C has a much sharper and more aggressive lower-treble. The E4000 has a lot more instrument body and texture. The Falcon-C extends slightly better with more resolution and micro-detail. The E4000 has a larger soundstage with more accurate positioning due to its greater linearity.
Final E5000 vs Periodic Be – Mod ($299): Two similarly priced dynamic earphones with excellent driver quality. The modded Be is more balanced with less bass and it has a crisper but not excessively sharp treble, it is an option for those that worry the E5000 may be too bassy or relaxed. The E5000 has slightly better sub-bass extension as the mod takes off some slam. Both have similarly high driver control, the E5000 has a more boldly defined mid-bass and greater dynamics where the Be is smoother, cleaner in the mid-bass and slightly quicker decaying with higher separation. Both are also natural through the midrange, full-bodied and lightly warm. The modded Be is more balanced while the E5000 is more laid-back. The E5000 is warmer while the Be is similarly full-bodied but has a more accurate tone. The Be has a touch more clarity while the E5000 is smoother, both have accurate articulation and timbre. The Be has a noticeably crisper lower-treble. As the 6Khz region is smooth, it isn’t sharp in the slightest but brings more detail presence and energy without thinning out body too much. Meanwhile, the E5000 is more relaxed with greater texture and a blacker background. The E5000 has more extension and a larger soundstage with more precise direction cues. Meanwhile, the Be has better separation and more air. These are two very fine options that punch above their weight.
Final E5000 vs Hyla CE-5 ($940): Regarded as one of the highest quality DD implementations, the Hyla has a tremendously enjoyable low-end and a more complex driver setup at a more complex price. The Hyla is more V-shaped with a noticeably more potent high-end. The E5000 has more prominent bass and it is a lot warmer with more mid-bass focus. The Hyla is more sub-bass focussed, neutrally toned and more controlled. Both have natural decay and excellent extension, the Hyla is a lot cleaner and noticeably tighter. Through the midrange, the E5000 is more relaxed and laid-back where the Hyla is brighter and clearer. It has much thinner body and little warmth as opposed to the full and euphonic E5000. With more upper-midrange bias, the Hyla has better extension but is more intense and can sound a bit dry and thin, especially with male vocals. Through the highs, the Hyla is a lot more aggressive, however, it also has a big lead in technical ability. Lower-treble is a lot crisper and more energetic with less instrument body but great texture and substantially higher detail retrieval. Extension is a lot better on the Hyla with more background detail retrieval and a lot more sparkle. It isn’t more natural but is certainly more technically proficient. This can also be felt in the soundstage where the Hyla is similarly expansive soundstage but with sharper directional cues. Its background isn’t as immaculate, but separation is higher with cleaner transients.
Naturally, with such bold claims on Final Audio’s behalf, some scepticism is due. And yet, what I discovered with their higher-end E-earphones was a sound that was sophisticated and mature. The E5000 best exemplifies Final Audio’s mantra that less is more. For at their centre, these are basic earphones; in design and in structure with a single-dynamic doing all the heavy lifting bottom to top. Don’t let that fool you, whether you opt for the slightly more balanced E4000 or the richer E5000, these earphones present coherent notes, wicked smooth vocals and a highly immersive soundstage. With these earphones, we can finally lay the driver count war to rest and witness the rise of the mighty yet humble single DD. These are terrifically well-realised earphones, showcasing how implementation trumps specification every time. 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.
The Final Audio E4000 and E5000 can be purchased from Hifiheadphones for £119 and £219 respectively at the time of review. I am not affiliated with Hifiheadphones or Final Audio and receive no earnings from purchases through this link.
Track List –
AKMU – SAILING
Billy Joel – The Stranger
Cream – Wheels of Fire
Crush – Digital Lover
Daryl Hall & John Oates – Voices
Dire Straits – Communique
Dirty Loops – Next To You
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
H.E.R – I Used To Know Her
Joji – Sanctuary
Kanye West – Ye
Radiohead – OK Computer
TALA – ain’t leavin` without you
The Beatles – Abbey Road
The weeknd – After Hours