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

The Final Audio E5000 is a paragon of naturalness. Extremely smooth rendering and beautiful warmth define its signature. The tonality is creamy, breathtaking, and gorgeous. Wonderful extension gives depth and air to a complete and captivating soundscape. Robust notes bear upon them a full complement of harmonic overtones. In short, the E5000 is honest and pure and lacks nothing.

However, this IEM will not be to everyone’s taste. The treble will not wow the immature audiophile, for it is not bright and does not aim to exaggerate micro dynamics. It has a very relaxed, smooth presentation, with outstanding upper-treble reach. It is warm and full-bodied, as opposed to the popular thin and sharp of so many other products. This, as we call it here at THL, is “natural” tuning: tonal accuracy over the flash of aggressive detail retrieval. The result will only impress a mature ear. While I won’t go so far as to claim maturity of any stripe, these highs dazzled me right away. They sounded so utterly right.

Oh, that mid-range is luscious! Big, weighty notes proclaim instrumental authority. There’s nothing wispy or diminutive here. The mids have a fullness about them which envelops you in rich, warm waves. The leading edge of the notes is gentle, so pop and vibrancy is sacrificed for musicality. Again, this lessens the emergence of details, while providing a more natural timbre.

Vocals sit fat and forward on the stage, behind only a wealth of low-end bloom. A velvety, romantic quality imbues them. Texturing and articulation are decent, but clearly not a prime concern. Coherency is. The artists meld into the presentation as a whole, feeling fundamentally integrated. I don’t mean to say separation is muddy, only that it’s not razor sharp. Melody weaves about the voice, creating a sonic ecosystem where all the elements support each other in perfect balance.

The lows feature a good size mid-bass hump, for a full, warm sound. This is not tight and quick bass, but rather organic and resonant. There’s a deliciously realistic tone, with superb reach. Bass attack comes hard and physical, demanding to be acknowledged. Its scale seems much grander than a 6.4mm driver ought to be capable of. Yet I am easily swept up in the energy and boom, every listen. The E5000’s low-end is emphasized above the rest of the frequencies. Perhaps it goes a little too far in this for perfect neutrality, but not by much. Not if we’re talking natural-neutral, where the tuning is trying to reproduce how acoustics work in a room. One thing’s for sure, no one will hear this and say, “Meh. Kinda hollow sounding.”

Soundstage is big. Very big. Slightly wider than it is tall, and showcases good depth. It has a concert hall feel to it. Imaging is more than adequate, but not mind-blowing. There isn’t an especially holographic presentation, nor does the separation or resolution achieve any remarkable heights. In fact, apart from the soundstage, none of the technicalities of the E5000 surpass mere sufficiency. And yet the presentation is so enriching, I just don’t care.



Pinky Powers

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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