We’ve covered many Bluetooth earbuds and headphones on the site over the years, with Bluetooth products becoming the norm, but there are still many that prefer to drive their wired earbuds/headphones via a DAC/AMP, and as such the market for quality wired products still exists and is a large one. The final E4000 is such a product and the detail is incredible.
- Great design & detail
- Tight bass
- Good value
- Good accessories
- High amount of sound leakage
Let’s look at who Final are shall we? Formerly known as Final Audio Design, the company’s Japanese roots go as deep as 1974 when the first products were designed. Fast forwarding to 2007 and final’s owner Kanemori Takai, together with the President of Daiichi Tsushin Kogyo Ltd, established S’Next, who now distribute the final audio products.
Specifications – final E4000
- Housing: Aluminum black alumite finish
- Driver: 6.4mm dynamic driver
- Connector: MMCX
- Cable: OFC cable
- Sensitivity: 97dB
- Impedance: 15Ω
- Weight: 18g
- Cord length: 1.2m
Design & Comfort – final E4000
It’s worth noting straight off the bat that the final E4000 is a lovely package to unbox due to the attention to detail. The earbuds themselves are all neatly wrapped up with a velcro band, there are additional tips and hooks, as well as a silicone carry case which just feels lovely to roll around in the hand whilst you’re listening to music! Or, you know, you can curl up your final E4000 earbuds and carry them safely in it – your choice.
The aluminium construction of the buds means not only are they lightweight but relatively durable. I haven’t had any issues with them as yet during my two weeks review period in terms of scratches or dents. The diminutive size of the buds contribute to that lightweight feel too, and in hand, construction materials notwithstanding, you would be forgiven for thinking that they contain absolutely nothing internally. That’s obviously far from the truth with the final E4000 sporting 6.4mm dynamic drivers with a swivel or swing-fit design that allows more purchase in the ear canal to really capture the sound.
As soon as I read that I was starting to worry about my soft, tender ears. I’m not known as somebody who can take IEMs for long periods of time, and prefer over-ear style devices, but these felt comfortable from day one and didn’t ever cause me any fatigue.
If you’re the sporty type too, the ear hooks will help keep these tiny tips in situ, but I certainly haven’t had any issues relating to movement as yet either.
They just look the part too – matte black, slight, aluminium, subtle, tasteful branding, and detachable heads. They look great! The detachable MMCX connection type is very robust too, having not experienced it too many times in my travels.
Performance & Use – final E4000
The first device I connected these up to happened to be my smartphone, the Huawei Mate 20 Pro, via the USB Type-C to 3.5mm adapter. I started a number of songs that I’d usually listen to and then waited for the utopian musical experience to play out in my newly stuffed ear canals. I have to be honest and suggest that whilst they sounded good, I couldn’t really discern any real differences over using an older pair of Honor AM12 earbuds. That might well be a limitation of the connection type I was using.
Luckily, I switched across to my xDuoo XP-2 DAC/AMP and connected it up via Bluetooth. “Okay”, I thought. I felt an immediately different experience. Driving the final E4000 that bit harder opened up a whole different soundstage.
Bass immediately hit me as a staple of the final E4000. It’s not overpowering, but warm and rumbling with a lot of depth. To get this much depth and transition between that depth through the drivers in these tiny IEMs is an impressive feat, for sure.
The mids are well represented in my test tunes, and provide a lovely join to the polar ends of the spectrum here. Light and breezy when called upon to be so, and strict and beefy when leading to the lows. Really impressive.
The highs are, to my untrained ears, smooth, yet not quite as airy as the bass is rumbling. There is definitely less definition in the treble end, but that actually provides a very interesting and crisp listening experience. This will cause audiophiles with an ear for the more technical aspects to frown a little perhaps though.
Overall the breadth that the final E4000 can deliver is very impressive given the drivers, and the experience is warm and enticing, which, not being an audiophile, leads me to ignore the less technical and nuanced sound others might well be looking for.
Finally, it’s worth noting that volume isn’t going to be an issue with these IEMs, as they get plenty loud without any distortion. That is both a blessing and a curse, as the isolation of the audio is something I was a little disappointed with. In a normal sized room with the TV on, and listening to these, my Wife did mention she could hear the music above the gentle musings of “Wives with Knives”. Those looking to keep their music to themselves might struggle at playable volumes on the final E4000s.
Conclusion – final E4000
The final E4000 provides a warm, rich and enticing listening experience from an incredibly tiny set of IEMs. The highs might lack some of the technicality and nuance that more proficient audiophiles might demand, but even they might have to concede that the experience isn’t hindered by the lack of these subtleties.
At £119 currently from Amazon these, are, what I would consider, good value for a pair of IEMs of this quality. Obviously those looking for cheaper, Bluetooth alternatives are going to have a different selection methodology, but for wired IEMs that you might well look to use in conjunction with a portable AMP of some description, they’re a great option. I did note that the final E4000 really did benefit from such a device in tow, bear this in mind.