FINAL AUDIO E5000: An Haiku for the ears that can contemplate nature of sounds

FINAL AUDIO E5000 REVIEW :

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SOUND: 9.5/10
CONSTRUCTION: 10/10
ACCESSORIES: 10/10
VALUE: 9/10

 

THE PLUS:

  • Lush, rich sound with bassy but balanced tuning
  • Thick timbre with natural tone
  • Innoffensive treble
  • Wide soundstage
  • Excellent contruction with tigh mmcx connection
  • Lot of accessories

The SO-SO:

  • If imaging was even better, E5000 would be end game earphones.

 

INTRO :

Sometime, writing a review isn’t much fun to do and feel like being obligate to breath toxic air and explain how it taste and feel, so its plain suffocating and you wanna rush it as fast as you can.

Other time, you do not see the time pass and can work for hours and hours because you really are fascinate by what you listen to and how the sound is rendered within a singular musicality. Up to date, all E serie from Final Audio Design mystify me in some way or another and I never listen as long to audio products with any other earphones company I review.

Today i’m glad to finally review the Final Audio Design E5000, the glorious flagship iem of E serie,

It make about 2 months I listen to it daily and I can already confirm it sound even better than first day I listen to it due to long burn in period.

I’m not the type of audiophile that put on burnin sessions every iem he have, but when change occur in sound I hear it as i’m very sensible to timbre of instruments and separation in imaging. I love how the E5000 sound the very first day, but it was way warmer and gain in clarity, imaging and bass control with about 100H of use.

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The E5000 have the house sound of all E serie wich is balanced and clear with a smoothed upper treble and warm lush timbre. I consider it as the big brother of E3000 that is a little more bassier than E2000 and E4000 wich are more mid fowards. If you love the E3000, next logical step is the E5000, as its way more refined in timbre and have better attack and lushier mid range.

Priced at 280$, they are mid range high end earphones thinked for audiophile that search a natural, laid back musicality with thick timbre and juicy bass.

At this price, I will be more severe than with E1000, E2000 and E3000 in term of price value, but I consider the E5000 still fairly well priced and accessible to anybody that wanna invest in serious iem. With its sturdy construction, i’m not afraid about durability of those and this aspect is a most when you make a big purchase.

You can find the E5000 on Amazon, Ebay, Audio46 and other seller. For more info about this Final Audio (S’NEXT co.) company, please give a look to their very interesting (and educative) WEBSITE.

Disclaimer: I wanna thank Final Audio Design as well as my friend Kyo for giving me the opportunity to review another of their products. I’m sincerly a big fan of Final Audio tuning and its always fascinating to test their earphones whatever the price range. I try my best to stay objective in my subjectivity, but I most confess i’m very addict to audio philosophy of this great company that translate in the way they tune their refined drivers.

SPECS:

  • Housing: Stainless steel mirror-finished
  • Driver: 6.4mmΦ dynamic driver
  • Sensitivity: 93dB
  • Impedance: 14Ω
  • Weight: 24g
  • Cable: 1.2m; MMCX Connector; OFC silver plated coated wire

ACCESSORIES, CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN :

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UNBOXING is a ceremonial one with the E5000, every details of presentation was thinked meticulously by Final Audio designer and you feel respected has a consumer. You will be very happy to own one of the most unique earphone protective case too, wich is included with plenty of accessories like the famous high quality proprietary Final eartips, memory foam tips, and ear hook.
The E5000 are wrapped like precious jewelery and seriously look precious.

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CONSTRUCTION is utterly impressive. Begining with an high end 4 cores silver plated cable that fit the mirror stainless steel finish of housing, the E5000 sure look high end and most of all extremely sutrdy and durable. The use of higly rigid machined stainless steel isn’t just for the look, unlike alumimium that is prompt to shock damage as well as unwanted sound vibration, the thick ultra solid housing of E5000 is thinked to minimize any unwanted distortion form housing material and keep the driver safe and steal in its body. In hand, you feel that it have some weight for such a minuscule housing and crafmanship is perfection. The mmcx connection is extremely tigh and will never disconnect whatever you pull the cable by mistake, unlike cheaper earphones using mmcx that often feel having too loose connectors.

DESIGN is a work of minimalist art to me, and Japanese are know for minimalist perfection that is both about practicality and calm contemplativity. Yes, the E5000 are the more eye catching E serie earphones, but they have same simple small cylinder shape than E4000. The difference is in the stainless steel quality of housing wich have a sumptuous mirror finish. E5000 have a back vented housing too just under the beautifull Final Audio logo at the side of mmcx connector. I wish I have serious macro lens to show you how fascinating the E5000 can look with different light.

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COMFORT is supremely enjoyable and versatile, it will fit any type of ears and can be wear deeply inserted or the common way. If you use small eartips, you can insert the E5000 further for extra sealing and isolation as well as a more treble emphased soundsignature, the common way will expend soundstage and bass and this is how I wear it.

ISOLATION from outside noise is sure better than E2000 that have back vented grill housing, but still average if we compate to universal customs earphones. For people like me that listen to music loud, i do not ears lot of outside noise, but people that listen to very low volume will perhaps find the E5000 isolation not enough. Anyway, what is more notable its the sound leakage, due to the littke venting space in the back housing sound do leak and I would not suggest the E5000 in very silent space, still, there no problem wearing it in public space as its not like using open back headphones like Grado that are really too generous about sound leakage.

SOUND:

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Yes, I was expecting alot from the E5000. Sure, I have a little idea of house sound of E serie and was’nt waiting for a more analytical sound approach or something bright or vivid, but yes, I wish I can heard audible improvment and refinement in timbre as well as pristine natural clarity.

First impressions was very positive, it remind me of E3000 warm thick sound with improved clarity, more weighty and define attack and bigger more holographic soundstage. More and more I listen to the E5000, more and more I do not want to stop using them, the lush, sirupy lively but laid back sound they produce deliver such rich musicality it was as sweetly addictive than honey for bees.

The Bass dig so deep, is juicy and so well rounded in timbre, it will sure please bass lover and is among the best one I ever heard. Until now It have this little silky something in timbre thickness with just the right amount of texture that give it a palpable roundness. Punch is smooth yet energic and spot on, again, all about weight. It just warm lower mid range a little without veiling it due to how whole frequencies range is cover in a smoothly sculpted curve. Until 15khz drop that happen with all E serie earphones, level of details and richness is just mind blowing in a mature epicurian way, wich mean, being able to elegantly enjoy pleasure of sound without the need of excess that is translate with over coloration or sharpness with other fun targeted earphones.

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First of all, let talk about AMPING, these have low sensitivity as well as a micro driver that need more amping juice even if not having a high impendance. Every E5000 fan will confirm that these are hard to drive properly and that you haven’t heard them fully until you find their sweet amping spot. For me, portable amp will do, but they shine particularly with my powerfull Xduoo T-10 hybrid tube amp. With proper amping, soundstage improve as well as clarity and bass control.

SOUNDSTAGE of E5000 is the biggest, deepest and more holographic of all E serie. Its very very wide and around your head, even have an airy spaciality without decay or hall like sensation it imply. Unlike subpar single dynamic driver iem, sens of deepnest is circular and super realist.

IMAGING too is a strong point of E5000, and again in a natural well balanced way. Unlike sharp and vivid instrument separation that we can find with multi drivers earphones, nothing sound forced or having too much or not enough space between instrument. As an amateur music producer and big fan of music concert, it remind me the best audio calibration condition that permit to heard specific instrument placement without having one insturment too proeminent that stole imaging attention and balance.

LOWER END sure dig deep very very deep and perhaps even under hearable 20hz, I would say its the most elevated frequencies range and beging a slow drop around 200hz so the slam and rumble keep control and do not drown drastically mid bass definition. Still, it move lot of air for such a tiny driver, this is surely due to double back housing chamber because there really something unique with the juicy lush thick timbre of sub. Its the opposite of bright or dry sub bass and give extra body to toms, cello, piano, male vocal. For synth bass, acoustic bass it really is excellent, and only die hard fan of fast slap bass will perhaps find it lack sharp details in timbre and wish for brighter presentation.

MID BASS is weighty with just enough attack speed that keep its control even in fast jazz percussions, its a little warmer than more rounded sub end so definition is smoothed and punchiness is more about weight than attack timbre. The kick are very well rounded up and have impressive body and definition for such a smooth approach. I don’t think fan of fast rock or metal will find the kick enough fowards because it isn’t an agressive mid bass and timbre is more about thickness and tonality than grain and texture. Bass embrace lower mid range in natural transition that give extra warmness to male vocal, it isn’t an analytical bass presentation with supreme separation from mid range, more a layered one that mix with whole sound with thick transparence. The bass is very versatile and will perform well with electronic, jazz, classical, pop and some rock, less so with ultra fast punchy music tracks.

MID RANGE is so luscious yet not in an artificialy fowarded way. Even if Final Audio stated they do not emphase any particular frequencies range, I feel it have a slighly U shape soundsignature that tend to gently warm the vocal when the bass is very present in a track, but the mid range is so lush and fully extended that it never sound veiled or too dark, still, to enjoy it fully I would listen to bass light music and enjoy thick, lush, full bodied vocal with rich color in tonality. Vocal presence is wonderfull and very immersive, it have a buttery thick timbre that give a natural full sounding tone to the voice, separation is well done with other mid range instrument wich is a masterclass of tuning work. No harsh peak or upper mids sibilance, its thick, trasparent, wide and full bodied with pleasant texture and very accurate timbre that give extra subtelities to voice and instrument and permit better attack grip to violin and piano, wich sound fabulous with E5000.

TREBLE is polished on top as if it was to add upper highs ‘’sfumato effec’’t that permit to see light and shadow better in lower and mid treble. Extremely refined the treble extract natural texture of every instrument it have, it have some sparkle too but decay is more present in lower range. Definition is extremely clear and accurate, and what impress the most is how full sounding timbre is rendered it really have a palpable approach and a holographic sens of rendering that is hard to explain. Violin sound extremely lively and have fast attack and grip but never sound too harsh, just natural and energic. To my ears, only Final Audio can render this type of treble that inject life to all instruments musicality. Its rare that I say this, but here we are very very near perfection in term of instrument timbre that have multiple subtle textures layers. SO, saying the treble is roll off isnt giving enough respect to incredible tuning work of E5000, the diamond is polished and shiny, or more likely round as an magnificent opale with complex luminosity patterns.

SUB BASS : 9/10
MID BASS:8/10
MID RANGE:9/10
TREBLE : 9.5/10
TIMBRE : 9.5/10
IMAGING:8.5/10
SOUNDSTAGE : 8.5/10
ATTACK-DECAY : 8/10

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PAIRING the E5000 can be a little tricky because of their amping need, I can listen to them with the Xduoo X3 but the soundstage and bass will not be at their best. My favorite pairing is with ultra clear sounding and quite powerfull Ibasso DX90 DAP, these 2 are meant to be togheter and deliver more clarity and micro details even if a more bassy soundsignature due to DX90 coloring in lower bass. The perfect DAP will be a powerfull one with a slighlty mid centric and analytical sound and supreme black background. I do not suggest using the E5000 with a phone unless you have a portable DAC-AMP pluged to it.

COMPARAISONS :

VS FINAL AUDIO E4000 (150$) :

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Soundsignature of E4000 is similar to E2000 while E5000 is more similar to E3000, or the perfect mix between this 2 entry levels model.

It mean that E5000 have an overall thicker fuller bassier presentation with more present lower mids and a slightly less detailed sound in upper mid range.

BASS is more bodied in low end while the E4000 have a mid bass centric approach and sound less muscular sub bass. As well, bass tone is a little dryier with E4000.

MID RANGE is more full bodied and natural sounding with E5000, instrument are more natural sounding while E4000 sound thinner in timbre. As well, vocal sound little dryier with E4000 and more intimate and centered.

TREBLE is dryier with E4000 but have more transparence and little more upper treble emphasis that give airier presentation but slightly darker lower and mid treble.

All in all, E5000 clearly sound as the flagship of E serie and justify the big price jump over E4000 if you are craving for richest sound with thick natural timbre and weighty immersive musicality. No doubt here : they are from another league than all other E earphones even if it follow the law of diminushing return in term of price value.

VS BRAINWAVZ B400 (200$) :

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B400 have 4 balanced armature drivers wich are tuned in a smooth way and make them very interesting to compare with single micro driver of E5000.

SOUNDSTAGE of E5000 is notably wider and more around your head than B400 but have less deepnest to it.

IMAGING is about the same with both but benifit extra clarity of layering with the B400 due to more layered and transparent sound so i would say B400 win in this department.

BASS dig way deeper with the E5000 and offer full bodied lower end while the B400 have bass roll off begining around 80hz. Mid bass is very similar due to smooth punch, but E5000 have more weight and sens of impact. Overall bass sound thinner and dryier with B400.

MID RANGE only feel more recessed in term of vocal for E5000, but vocal sound thinner and more intimate with the B400 making the more mid centric approach less appealing and natural than thicker more meaty mid range of E5000. As well, due to bass warming lower mid range, B400 sound a little brighter and have slightly more emphasis in upper mid wich make vocal and instrument sound less natural than E5000.

TREBLE of both these earphones is rather relaxed on top, wich give hint of extra darkness to B400 while it tend to extract more overall texture details with E5000 while B400 extract more micro details with its multi drivers. Overall clarity is more analytical with B400 even if timbre is less rich.

All in all, these aren’t that similar in term of sound signature finally. B400 have a more mid centric approach while E5000 is more bassy and have a more balanced mid range even if warmer in tone.

VS FLC8P (280$):
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Well, even if these 8P have more than 35 sound tweaking option, I will try to compare overall sound with the E5000 but no I will not make the 35 sound tweaking so its to take with grain of salt.

SOUNDSTAGE is again wider with E5000 while FLC8P have a deeper more intimate soundstage that still have an around your head feel.

IMAGING is more accurate with E5000 but have a less airy presentation than 8P.

BASS have more sub emphasis and an overall more juicy and weighty presentation with the E5000 while the 8P is more mid bass fowards and punchy. Sub bass sound a little anemic with 8P.

MID RANGE is brighter and more fowarded with the 8P, its more detailed in upper mids region and vocal stole the show to other mid range instrument that can feel far in the back compared to more balanced mid range of E5000 that have thicker timbre and more bodied presentation but a less mid centric and coloured approach that would only highlight vocal as 8P do.

TREBLE extend further with 8P and sure extract more micro details than more relaxed E5000, its delicate and sharp and very fast sounding compared to thicker more refined E5000 treble. There an upper high emphasis that give beautifull sparkle and decay with 8P and lack with E5000, but at the same time, it can sound too analytical with some tracks and confirm the statement about Final Audio saying highs can distract from mid range as unlike E5000, its not the bass the will shadow vocal but the upper percussions with their agressive approach.

CONSTRUCTION is way better with E5000 and feel kind of underwhelming for the price with the FLC8P wich have a cheap plastic housing and cheap cable too. With E5000, you feel more confident about durability but about seriousness of material used for construction. They seriously look like high end earphones, not so much for the FLC.

All in all, if you wanna enjoy a laid back but full bodied and lush sound, E5000 are the one to choose, and for more analytical earphones I guess FLC are interesting for those wanting to play with sound filters, but in term of price value I think E5000 win easily due to better construction and more refined balanced sound even if bassier and warmer.

CONCLUSION :

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‘’Let the sand sings,

Under the cuddling wave.

Sea see sound.’’

I decide to write my first Haiku as an hommage to Final Audio Design E5000 (even if i’m no Basho).

Sometime only poem can translate wonder of abstraction, and universe of sound sure is very abstract to describe with words. Here are some hint to understand the poem : sand is timbre, wave is weight and thickness of soundwaves, sea is musicality, imaging and treble.

A piece of art is what I would call the E5000 and this is why I use haiku japanese art here to translate more abstract impressions. This earphones are work of passionate and dedicated craftmanship and deliver a unique type of sound that have no compromise in tuning perfectionism. Strangely, I think about impressionism painting too with the E5000, the one with numerous small thicks paints stroke like Monet or Van Gogh. Its colorful yet contemplative, physical yet calming, harmonious yet full of different layers of textures, but most of all, it have a special way to touch your soul with grandeur.

Final Audio E5000, as any piece of art, will not please everybody, some would have prefer ultra realism that show every micro details, other would have prefer cubic art that have a cold mathematical frequencies response rendering, other would have prefer immesne fresco that offer hall like soundstage, but anybody that listen closely and respectefully to these wonderfull earphones cannot be insensible to the life it inject in bass line, voice or instruments. Their no doubt E5000 are something special and precious.

If you are on the search of the best natural sounding dynamic earphones that deliver a balanced lively silky musicality. lush thick bass, flat and revealing mid range and extremely refined treble that never offend the ears, the Final Audio E5000 might not be the cheapest earphones around here but sure are the only one I would choose as the perfect all arounder if I have to go live alone on an island. These are inoffensively addictive, and they will pass test of time in all sens of the term (durability, look and soundsignature).

2 Comments

  1. This is a very interesting review, thanks! I have a question related to the E5000 low efficiency. Does this mean that even using an adequate amp one have to listen at high volume to bring the best out of them? I usually listen at low to moderate volume and I’m wondering if this could ruin their performance.

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    1. No, this is exactly what good amping can avoid, the need to push volume higher to compensate lack of dynamic sound pressure. E5000 benifit from clear powerfull amping, sure clearer it is better the clarity will be, but for all the rest, just a good standard amp that can drive 300ohm gear will do. Its always better to have too much power than not enough. This will improve bass, soundstage, imaging, dynamic and attack, will sound less warm as well. No DAP do it justice, even the DX90 at high gain, but my 500mW Xduoo XD-05 drive them properly, as well as my Ibasso BOA DT2+ or cheap Walnut V2S with Burson V5i (but it have some background hiss thast affect clarity). Its easier to drive than 160ohm headphones etc.

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