Final Audio E2000 & E3000 – Essentials

Review by Cass

About the company

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S’NEXT is a company that sells high-end audio earphones and headphones under its own brand final as well as conducting component technology development, product planning, design, planning, manufacturing and sales of other companies’ brands. The company was established in 2007. It began as a subsidiary of the major American connector manufacturer Molex; in 2014, it went independent through an MBO by the current management team. Now is what you would call its second formation. Since beginning sales of our own final brand earphones in 2009, our way of thinking regarding good sound quality and designs that differ to those of other major electronics manufacturers has garnered attention, and we have built our own unique place both in Japan and abroad.

Prelude

I would like to thank Final Audio for sending us the E1000, E2000, E3000 for review. Rest assured that this review is written as honestly and objectively as possible. Our review of the E1000 can be found here.

Sources

Chord Hugo

Burson Swing with V6 Vivid + JDS Labs O2

Samsung Galaxy S9

Recording

Nobuo Uematsu – Final Fantasy: Distant Worlds

Dave Matthews Band – Under the Table and Dreaming (Expanded Version)

The Beatles – Love

Maroon 5 – 1.22.03 Acoustic

Reese Lansangan – Arigato Internet

Hale – This is Hale

Apartel – Full Flood

Packaging

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The Final Audio E2000 and E3000 is neatly packed in a minimalist, no-frills packaging. Included  is a soft faux leather bag, manuals, and tips with various sizes, that’s it.. I’d like to note that Final tips are actually well-regarded for its comfort and pleasing tonal effect. I used it with my other IEMs and it worked well.

Specification

E2000

Housing: Aluminum black alumite finish(MATT BLACK) / Aluminum silver alumite finish(MATT SILVER)

Driver: 6.4mmΦ dynamic driver

Cable: OFC Cable

Impedance: 102 dB/mW

Sensitivity: 16Ω

Weight: 12g

Cord Length: 1.2m

E3000

Housing: Stainless steel mirror-finished

Driver: 6.4mmΦ dynamic driver

Cable: OFC Cable

Impedance: 100 dB/mW

Sensitivity: 16Ω

Weight: 15g

Cord Length: 1.2m

Build Quality and Design

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One word to describe this aspect is “essentialist”. It doesn’t offer the flashiest and the catchiest design out there. But the philosophy here I believe, is to give consumer what “works”. The E2000 and E3000 are housed in an aluminum and stainless steel body, respectively. Design is very identical apart from the housing.

The bullet shell is light but still inspires durability. Both of the cables are non-removable, with very minimal microphonics, and it resists tangling unless you purposely try to. Though the cables are quite thin. But I think what Final is aiming for is a light and comfortable design. Hence the tradeoff,  and a fair one at that. It certainly isn’t “built like a tank”, but it does not feel fragile and should last long when properly cared for.

Comfort and Isolation 

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These are easily one the most comfortable that I’ve tried. I can wear it for extended periods of time without any pain or discomfort, and this is where the design makes sense. The bullet shell is delightfully light. In fact, you can almost forget that you are wearing it. Tips are soft and supple, plus fitting is a breeze; it sits securely in my ears with the appropriate tips, and it never slipped off while I’m walking. A caveat is that passive noise isolation is not its strongest point, ambient noise can still be heard, particularly when out and about on the street. But it can be an advantage for those who want more awareness of what’s going around.

Sound

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The character of the E2000 and the E3000 share the same philosophy: starting from the design, up to the sound. The signature is polite and inoffensive. I can see that it will be pleasing for most listeners. 

Both of the IEMs has a smooth and laidback tonality, the E2000 is going for neutrality while there is an added warmth on the E3000. The E2000 and E3000 are one the smoothest and most refined sound signature that I’ve heard in it’s price range. Now let’s get into detail on how these two sounds.

Bass

The bass on the E2000 has a soft, organic decay. It is well textured and mid bass has ample body. It is neutral and complimentary in manner. Albeit sub bass doesn’t extend deep but it’s not really that bothering. What is, however, is that the bass can get a touch loose and it could use a little more tightness. The E3000 addresses this, offering fuller and tighter bass.

Mids

The vocals on the E2000 is a touch forward with added shine in the upper midrange, in comparison with the E3000, which is warmer, laidback, and smoother. Both exhibit a natural timbre but I prefer the E2000’s forwardness and luster. It renders vocals and instruments with a sweet and natural tone. The E3000 is a bit of a double-edged sword, the warmer tonality helps with male vocals, presenting it with very suave smoothness. But female vocals and instruments could sound too laid back for my taste. The E2000 just has more energy than the relaxed E3000.

Treble

Treble is smooth, mellow, and inoffensive. There is slightly more shine on the E2000 but it is still polite overall. In contrast, the E3000 is even smoother. Both IEMs doesn’t sound fatiguing and even with the mellowed treble, it doesn’t feel like I’m missing much. It’s simply enjoyable and it works well, it sounds complimentary with the whole signature. The treble sounds organic and it is radically different compared to the competition – which are often tuned brightly and excessively, so this is a breath of fresh air.

Soundstage and Imaging

B4750497-5682-4DD2-9DCD-BE06F53A20C3Now, this is what I found to be exceptional for these IEMs. The wideness of the soundstage is mind-boggling for the price. These two are the one of the best that I’ve heard on this price category and it would be tough to beat in this aspect. The E3000 has more depth, is more diffused and it is a touch wider than the E2000, which is still amazingly wide. The imaging is presented well and every instrument is well-defined with a lot of room to it. The height however, doesn’t extend much, though it’s not bothering considering that the width has greatly compensated for it.

Comparison

KZ AS10

Right off the bat, the treble is brighter compared to the two Final IEMs. Treble has a tendency to be edgy and sibilant. Soundstage is also noticeably smaller. The bass of the AS10 extends deeper, but the mids has less body and texture. Overall, the sound is less balanced and refined compared to the E2000 and E3000.

KZ BA10

The bass is tight and the mids has slightly less body, but a touch cleaner. It is brighter but more controlled over the AS10. Soundstage is also less wider than the two Final IEMs, thought it takes the edge for soundstage height. Imaging is also slightly better, albeit it is not as smooth as the Final IEMs. Though, the BA10 has equally good merits so I’ll leave this as a matter of preference.

TFZ Galaxy T2

The midrange is scooped compared to E2000/3000. Treble is brighter and less smoother. Soundstage width is condensed, but there is slightly more height. Bass is tighter and deeper, but the Final IEMs has a more coherent signature overall.

Final Audio E1000

The little sibling of the family. The bass and the mids sounds thin compared to the more refined e2000/e3000. But it’s no slouch in quality. Mids are a slightly forward and it’s very clean. It still has the wide soundstage of the higher priced model, and I find it to have a touch more air than the other two, although timbre is a bit thin. It is also lighter probably because of the plastic build.

Comfort (Greatest to least)

Final Audio E1000/E2000/E3000

TFZ Galaxy T2

KS AS10

KZ BA10

Conclusion

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Final Audio has hit a home run with the E2000 and E3000, featuring a signature that is hard not to like. Despite the entry market being saturated by “chi-fi”, the Japanese company has set itself apart by offering products that are radically different: it places sound and comfort above all else, there are no gimmicks, it simply gets the job done in a graceful manner. Don’t let the understated looks deceive you, these IEMs are rockers in the most straightforward way.

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