Final Audio, most of us might not have heard about this brand, we are blinded by many chi-fi brands and some dazzling brands who make multi driver earphones and like to keep in the limelight. Hailing from Japan, the land of rising sun and the land of technology, Final Audio design is one of the best known brands for its premium looking single driver earphones. They don’t like to put too many drivers cramped into a small space still make fantastic utilization of that single driver.
I am reviewing 4 of their earphones, F4100, F3100, E2000 and E3000. But this review is about the E3000, their take on budget earphones with a single dynamic driver, just placed above the E2000 and priced at $60 and sometimes retails for under $50. Comes in only one color, chrome and two versions, one with MIC and other without. I have the non-MIC version with me.
In Final Audio’s words E3000 has:-
“Sound quality design based on the latest acoustic engineering and psychological research results.With high definition and flat, natural sound quality, this product could be considered a “standard”.
Now at this price, it faces competition from its own brother E2000, MEZE 11 and 12 classics, and many more. I will compare this with the E2000, meze 11, UE600 and signature acoustics C-12 V2 earphones.
Here are the specs of the E3000:-
Product code:- FI-E3DSSC
Housing:- Stainless steel mirror-finished
Driver:- 6.4mmΦ dynamic driver
Sensitivity:- 100 dB/mW
Cord length:- 1.2m
ACCESSORIES & PACKAGING:-
All of these 4 earphones have simple packaging, nothing to struggle or fight with while unboxing it. The only thing is the earpieces are placed inside a plastic pouch, which can be a slight struggle to get rid of.
You cant expect plenty from a $60 earphone, but this has plenty to keep one going. There are 4 extra pairs of tips in 5 sizes (one already on the earphone). Now, these are top quality silicone tips, not those average rubber ones. There is a pair of ear hooks if you want to go over the ear and there is a draw string pouch to keep the earphone safe from external elements.
With the E3000C you will get an additional MIC to work with your mobile device.
BUILD, FIT AND CABLES:-
If final audios is to be believed E3000 is made with highly rigid machined stainless steel housing, suppressing any unnecessary vibrations. There is a stainless steel housing mesh, helping with the low frequencies and prevents some sound leakage too.
E3000 comes with unique swing fitting ear tips mechanism, basically the ear tip can adjust to some degrees to give a better seal and fitment.
The cable is one of the best you can get with a $50 earphones, its supple, its tangle resistant and low on microphonics too. To reduce the microphonics even further you should use the cable guides out of the box. there are no stress relievers at the ear piece side but it’s okay, there is L/R marking in front of the cable.
COMFORT AND SEAL :-
E3000 to be precise is a fantastic looking earphone, the chrome on it shines like nothing else. Its comfortable, the straight barrel design is nothing one should complain about, with the right tip it seals pretty well too. Doesn’t fall our either and if it does, use the cable guides. There is no driver flex to worry about either.
The 6.4 mm dynamic driver is tuned pretty well. It’s quite natural with a slight warmth and smoothness to it. Now FYI E3000 is easier to drive, no need to map, I have used stock tips for this review and mostly used my Plenue R and Plenue D for this review. Sounds good out of my Lenovo P2 too.
E3000 has a pretty well rounded bass impact, it has the body and slam which we all like from a dynamic driver earphone. There is some sub-bass rumble, mid bass is more prominent but no upper mid bass hump to worry about. upper bass to take a back seat here. It moves good amount of air with a sizeable impact. Lower end extension is nothing to write home about, but its still better than earphones like EU600 and 11 neo
Decay is not the best for this price, it lacks behind the 11 neo but has better and bigger sub-bass and body to go with. Yes the control is not class leading either but overall its something which wont let you down. Yes it cant beat the details and precision of the 11 neo or 12 classic or the UE600, it can entertain you in a way none of these can do.
Now when compared to the Shozy Zero, E3000 has better balance, better control and feels less bloated, so E3000 is in the middle of the mix with a slightly bassy tilt. And the best thing is E3000 sounds more natural and real than any of these earphones mentioned above.
It’s where the smoothness takes over, its silky smooth, no harshness at all, no super deep notes, no shallow depth either. In other words its nicely balanced without any unreasonable elevation to the vocal region. Upper mids too are smooth and doesn’t drop deep to make it sound lacking.
Male vocals has the thickness I like, notes are deep enough to be cohesive, if it were any deeper or wider it would have sounded more sharp or blunt. Female vocals sadly lacks some depth and can sound slightly shallower than natural. Instruments too sound pretty true to nature and organic, they have the natural body which I like.
E3000 does lack the resolution ant micro details, instrument separation and layering of the UE600 or 11 neo but it has good details and airiness to go with it.
Now the best about this mid range is that it doesn’t lack energy at any point and keeps it lush and smoother throughout the spectrum, its doesn’t lack thickness either. It’s the E3000’s smoother, natural, livelier imaging and presentation which sets itself apart from the competition.
E3000 does a fantastic job of keeping the highs relevant without being sparky or energetic, in fact the energy can be slightly lower than some BA based earphones like EU600 and A151p. Now one should keep in mind that most of the budget friendly earphones try to emulate more detailed presentation by introducing some more energy or say more peakyness to the upper mids which the E3000 doesn’t try to do.
Now I have to admit E3000 one for the best treble presentation in this price range, it donest try to overdo anything with more than enough details to it. It does loses some energy as the spectrum gets deeper, hence extension and top end energy is not the best. Layering and separation are good but not as airy as others.
Yes the cymbals and pianos and strings don’t excite the way it does with A151p or 11neo butE3000 has the more natural and smoother presentation which all of these earphones fail to deliver.
STAGE AND IMAGING :-
Over all the E3000 stage is satisfyingly big with good width and height and better depth than most of the earphones in this budget. It has a bigger and wider stage compared to the MEZE twins and far better overall stage compared to the A151p.
Even though layering and separation is not the strong points of the E3000, all the instruments have good amount of air between them. Imaging is slightly lacking as it lacks the speed and sharpness.
I have to say, for this budget you will be hard pressed to find an earphone with better stage presentation than the E3000.
VS Final Audio E2000:-
E2000 is essentially the same earphone, exact design and packaging with slightly different tuning just the way we see with the MEZE twins.
E2000 is slightly faster and sharper with notes hence sounding a bit less muddy. It has smaller bass impact, slightly less sub-bass, doesn’t have that amount of air and decay is faster. Mids are similar but slightly less lush, has the same kind of approach with tuning without boosted upper mids. Highs are essentially the same with slightly better layering.
VS EU600:- (discontinued, retailed for $100)
UE600 was one of the best single driver earphone a few years ago. Its BA is a bit better than the E3000 when it comes to the amount of resolving details and clarity.
It has smaller bass impact, air movement and body, its not meaty either but has better details and decay. Mid range is better with vocals and instruments shine a bit more thanks to the slightly boosted upper mids. Highs are where the EU600 fails to deliver with down tuned lower treble and spiked mid treble it creates a mess on its own.
Stage is more flat with smaller depth.
VS MEZE 11 NEO:-
MEZE 11 is one of the biggest competition for the E3000 with similar attributes.
Its bass is smaller, with smaller body less air and impact. details is slightly better with faster decay. Mid range is sharper and sounds slightly unnatural in comparison. male vocals lack the required amount of thickness to their tone, female vocals are better. Upper mid instruments are more energetic thanks to the boosted frequencies. Highs are better here with more details and better layering.
E3000 bets the 11 Neo with its bigger stage, better timber, more natural tonality and its smoother and lush presentation.
Cables are less supple and more microphonic.
VS SIGNATURE ACOUSTICS C-12 V2:-
This one is 2nd version of the C-12, out of my own country, from pro audio.
SIGNATURE ACOUSTICS C-12 V2 (Review) has bigger bass impact, has similar sub-bass presence but the lower mid-bass takes off and brings plenty of air and impact with it. Decay slightly worse and details are more or less same. Mid rage is more hollow as the stage is bigger with instruments and vocals struggle to fill up the space properly (throwing cues further than required). Has plenty of details and sounds similarly smoother and a bit more brighter. Highs have better extension thanks to the mid treble boost.
It has similar layering and separation, imaging too is more or less similar. you can say that C-12 V2 has a more general tuning where the E3000 has a bit more mature tuning.
Of all the earphones C-12 V2 has the highest amount of microphonics.
E3000 is a fine creation from Final Audio Design. It has the finish of an maturity of a more expensive earphone. It does lack some refinement, sounds a bit more thicker than usual and a bit less detailed but it has the smoother and lush tuning with fantastically balanced upper mid and highs. Sibilance is nowhere to found.
For the price.. you won’t get an earphone with this type of tuning. Me likey!!
Grab one for yourself from here:-
Amazon US: http://amzn.to/2Be7Alu
Have a nice time guys, Cheers.
Audio gear reviewer at TechMinions.in