Final A8000 Audiophile Beryllium Driver IEM
For those of you that don’t know, Final is a Japanese audio brand with a long and impressive hi-fi history. Their products all share a similar theme – unique design and expertly tuned sound. With the A8000, Final’s latest flagship IEM sticks to their brief, while adding to it something I’ve never experienced before.
It’s clear that a lot of love and thought has gone into the A8000. The whole experience from opening the box, to putting them in your ears and getting lost in the music is an absolute joy. The earphones themselves are stunning, with polished stainless steel housings shaped in a very modern and striking way. Inside the housings, Final has developed a truly pure Beryllium driver – creating a level of dynamics and definition I’ve not heard from a dynamic driver IEM before. The supplied high purity silver plated copper cable adds to the impressive looks, which is terminated with a right angled 3.5mm jack.
The unique design of the housings are not just for good looks – they also happen to be extremely comfortable. The shape allows the earphones to sit effortlessly in my ears, and with the correct sized tips, getting a good seal is very easy to achieve. Then for added security, Final has supplied cable guides to help the cable stay behind your ears, and reduce cable noise or microphonics if you feel the need to use them.
Along with the cable and ear hooks, the A8000 comes supplied with a selection of different sized Final silicone eartips, an aluminium and silicone carry case, an easy MMCX plug removal tool and spare sound tube grill filters.
Final’s uniqueness doesn’t stop with their design, their sound is also unlike any other brand – IEMs or headphones. This is quite possibly due to the fact that Final develop a lot of their own technology, and they always keep to a certain house sound.
Bass on the A8000 has a natural and live feel to it. It has definition and depth without any of that unwanted bloatedness or distortion. It’s incredibly clean, and manages to add body and warmth where needed. Thanks to the control of the bass, mids flow through with ease and sit high enough in the mix to point out each fine detail. Vocals have a real quality to them, with layers of detail that bring out all of the intricacies and emotions you’d expect to hear only in a live setting. Then the treble manages to create endless space, with reverb trails that go on and on – the treble has a liquid quality that I’ve not heard from an IEM before.
The superb treble and overall dynamic sound helps the A8000 deliver a real-to-life soundstage, with depth and atmosphere – putting you close to the action. Imaging is also realistic. Instruments are easily defined and width is just what you’d expect it would be when recorded.
Final’s main competition at this price point comes from the likes of Dita, Campfire Audio and Hifman – and however impressive their high end models are, none have managed to achieve the purity and delicacy that the A8000 brings.
Essentially, it’s going to come down to taste. No matter how good I think they are, if you’re used to a warm or bass driven sound signature, then the A8000 could come across as too bright or harsh in the upper frequencies. For those who favour transparency and clarity, then the A8000 may be the best IEM you’ve ever heard.