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Integrity to the Last – A Review of the Final Audio E5000

Final Audio provided the E-Series IEMs free of charge for the purpose of my honest review, for good or ill.

The E5000 sells for $279
The E4000 sells for $149
The E3000 sells for $54.90
The E2000 sells for $44.90

I shot Final Audio an email, expressing interest in one of their strange-yet-cool headphones and the E5000 IEM, as I’d heard from a reviewer friend how great the E3000 was. The next thing I know, the entire e-series was on my doorstep. But no Sonorous… oh well. Maybe next time.

This will be a review primarily of the E5000. I’m sure as hell not doing a full one for each of them. But I’ll mark the differences I hear in the comparison section.

The E5000 is the flagship in this line, and rightly so. Final went the extra mile in every area. It’s the only one housed in stainless steel, and, along with E4000, one of two designed for a detachable cable. Not just any cable, either. A really nice one. Check out the website for all the details. It’s a good step up from whatever their using for the other entries in this series.

I use the earhooks, because I really don’t like straight-hanging cables. I find them all so terribly microphonic, and the IEMs fall out easier. A serious danger with the E5000, since it’s kinda big and kinda heavy. Furthermore, this cable is rather stiff, and not particularly light. The earhooks are the only things that make the wrap-around possible. But you can discard the hooks and wear them in whichever fashion you choose.

Wearing them wrapped behind my ear, and fitted with the stock tips, the E5000 has excellent ergonomics. I mean, it’s just a f**king barrel, housing a tiny driver. The design is so simple there’s no room to fail. They are among the most comfortable earphones I’ve tried.

Something you should be warned about is how difficult these things are to drive. They will test your mobile gear like few IEMs can. Think Sennheiser HD650 and you’ll get an idea. My DAPs get them loud enough, but it’s a struggle. Most smartphones will weep under this load.



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Pinky Powers

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.


19 Responses

  1. You should check out the Moondrop Kanas Pro and the AKG N5005. The Kanas Pro goes head on against the Final E5000 and the AKG is a good TOTL IEM with 4BAs and 1 DD. If you get a good seal with the AKG, it is amazing. Both of them are tuned according to the Harman Curve.

  2. Hi Pinky,

    Thanks to your E5000 review – and an audition of the E3000 – I have been thoroughly enjoying my own E5000 pair. There’s such a balance and refinement in the sound signature that I love. Nothing is unnecessarily exaggerated (that gorgeous sub bass is definitely not unnecessary) but neither is anything under-represented. Everything just sounds right.

    I agree with you on its merits against IEMs up to $500. In comparison, my A&K/JHA Billie Jean sounds forced and my ATH-E70 needs more coherence – not that they’re terrible, just that given the choice I do prefer the E5000s.

    In your opinion, what are universal IEMs in the $500 to $1000 range that sound the closest to its sound signature yet push the transparency and refinement even more?

    My only lengthy auditions with more expensive IEMs so far has been with the Campfire Andromeda and JHAudio 13v2. I understand their ability to resolve and also produce kickass dynamics but they both have forward presentations that I’m not sure I could live with in the long run.

    Thanks again!

  3. I think I read a revision of flc 8 of your authorship, right now it’s cheaper than e5000 on ebay. Having soundstage and detail as a priority, what is my best option, my friend?

  4. Yes, that’s a fair comparison. They do share a lot in common. If you’re a fan of NightOwl, you may really love the E5000.

  5. From the way you describe it I can only conjure comparisons to the NightOwl, albiet in an iem packaging. By Skylar’s own admission he specifically traded artificial detail for an organic tuning, and it’s this that made it my favourite full-size regardless of price. Am I right in thinking they share some similarities tuning wise?

  6. Hi pinky, which one should I choose between the e5000 and the ue900 if I want to get more details and a broader and more accurate soundstage?

  7. Thanks for the review Pinky!
    Does E5000 sound better for you than Periodic Audio Be, since they’re in the same price more or less?

  8. Thanks for the review Pinky!
    Do you like e5000 more than Periodic BE? They are almost the same price and I can’t decide between these two.

  9. Great review, I concur on all counts, you sold me on them and I don’t regret getting those little gems 🙂 Thanks!

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