final E4000

Review – S’NEXT Final Audio E4000




Website: S’NEXT Final Audio (English)





Overview

Final Audio E4000, one of the recent additions to the new E series from the very well known S’NEXT Japanese audio company, and their final brand (or more famous as Final Audio Design). Using a single dynamic driver with metal shells and a very compact design, adding a detachable cable MMCX connection, and priced at $150. With a bit of unique sound presentation, pleasant, engaging and detailed, this is a very solid option to this price range.


Technical Specifications

(Taken from the S’NEXT Final site)
  • Driver: 6.4mmΦ dynamic driver
  • Connector: MMCX
  • Cable: OFC cable
  • Sensitivity: 97dB
  • Impedance: 15Ω
  • Weight: 18g
  • Cord length: 1.2m


Price (msrp): U$D 149.




The included accessory pack is rather limited with only the new Final Audio set of tips that arrive in 5 different sizes from SS to XL, a unique round carry case with a carabiner (or karabiner) to attach to it and a pair of short earguides. Nothing unusual from the Final Audio models or from other Japanese companies, unlike various Chinese manufactures that tend to pack their products with a wide array of eartips selection, cases, cables and whatever more.



Design & Build Quality

The E4000 takes a very compact design with the small dynamic driver of just 6.4mm inside. The small cylindrical shaped earpieces are made of aluminum in a smooth matte black color that give them a nice, elegant and discreet look. On the rear part there is the Final Audio Design logo. At the bottom the R and L sides marking, while the inner and outer sides have the ‘final’ and ‘E4000’ writings on them, respectively. And finally, on the frontal part the nozzle has a thin mesh material to act as filter (and might have a damping purpose too).



The material is very lightweight and with very smooth surface they are very easy to fit for practically any ear size. There’re no vents to be spotted on the housings, and yet there is no driver flex issue on the E4000. The nozzle width is of the standard ~5mm which should match several of the common aftermarket ear tips options. The included ear tips are of good silicone quality; similar to the Sony ‘hybrid’ tips but of a thicker/stiffer material, and do provide a very easy seal. The bore on the included tips is likewise narrow and has its effect on the overall sound presentation. Moreover, bi-flanges, SpinFit, Spiral Dot, and many others can be used to tweak the sound a bit.



The earpieces are really comfortable and can be used with cable either down or up. The earguides are recommended to get a more secure fit, though the length of the included guides is kind of short to surround the whole ear. Isolation is around average though; the seal is good with any ear tips, just that the E4000 won’t block much of the outer ear with its thin and compact straight design.



The connection is of the standard MMCX type. Haven’t tried to detach and reattach them as the connection seems solid enough. The cable may look a bit plain but is of good quality, nonetheless. Very soft with practically no noise when moving around. Supposedly it has OFC wire material inside, which cannot be confirmed with the solid black coating. It mainly consists of two separated cables attached together from the plug up to the split. The plug is made of strong aluminum material too and seems very durable. The y-split is not as tough, made simply of a plastic or rubbery material, but it also means no extra weight. The MMCX plugs are well covered, though there is no real strain relief around them; not much of an issue as the cable is soft enough and there’s always the possibility to replace the whole cable.




Sound Impressions

The E4000 is one of the new additions to the Final Audio E series, all currently using a single dynamic driver of 6.4mm diameter. Arguably, this size of driver might be considered as a micro-dynamic driver when used as an only driver for an in-ear option, while it is also used as tweeter on multi-dynamic driver setups. Nevertheless, regardless the driver technical details, the E4000 is not something to be considered as small in sound quality and its presentation.
While being among the less effective IEM sets I’ve tried in years, extra power is not essential to bring the E4000 to its best performance, but just requires a higher volume step to achieve a proper listening volume. Overall, the E4000 has a slightly warm, yet full and rich presentation that keeps a very enjoyable balance from bass to treble without over boosting a specific region, and still it manages not to miss in any particular part. It is definitely not a signature that should classify as ‘neutral’ or too flat; the E4000 does carry a certain coloration to the sound, however it is presented in such a very natural and musical way.

The bass is full, well defined and rich. There is a small lift on the mid-bass area that is not too offensive but yet present when called forth. The control is excellent and the speed while not the fastest it fails to be slow. Attack and decay feel very natural and coherent. Layering is surprisingly very good with nice detail and separation. Sub-bass too, is of very good quality, and while not with best extension the depth and rumble are very enjoyable and the E4000 is capable of giving a thunderous yet controlled bass response if the track has it.
In comparison, the E4000 has much a stronger and defined bass than the Vsonic GR07 and higher control too. The iBasso IT01 is darker and together with the Lear Kaleido are closer to the heavy-bass category than the E4000 could be. On the other hand, Dunu Falcon-C or the new Advanced GT3 while not smaller in quantities, are faster and tighter than the E4000 which has a smoother flow.

The midrange is a strength of the E4000. It is slightly forward, warm and very rich. Balance from low to upper mids is great, though there is a noticeable emphasis on the upper mid region that gives a higher priority to female singers and upper instruments as well. Brass and strings instruments on this upper region simply shine with the E4000, though they tend to take some more attention from the listener, but the texture is really nice and sound very engaging. Foam tips if used, may take down the emphasis a little if more neutrality is wanted. Male voices also sound detailed and textured, though the E4000 is better with Japanese male singers on J-rock/pop genres (not much of a surprise being a Japan made earphone). There is no noticeable bloat from the upper bass region, just some fullness and warmer tonality that merges into the whole mids.

Apart from the very specific emphasis on the lower treble, the whole treble is smooth but still carries enough energy and sparkle. The extension is more than competent for a below $200 in-ear set and didn’t show any peak even with brighter tracks. Micro detail is easy to discern without having a very upfront and aggressive treble.

Stage is not very wide, but the presentation doesn’t sound closed or congested. The E4000 can handle complex music without much effort, but of course, not in the way as more analytical tuned earphones.
On the other hand, transparency is not where the E4000 stands out, and wouldn’t fill under a very ‘liquid’ description. It is airy, accurate and has very good separation, and it is more about being dynamic and very coherent instead of trying to show strong technical characteristics. Immersive, easy to listen and simply musical in the Final Audio type of tuning.



Value

With the E4000 we can see quite an affordable earphone from final audio that deserves a high value rating. It offers not only an uncompromising discreet and compact design which is really comfortable and solidly built with the detachable cable option (even though it’s MMCX standard), but most importantly sounds really good. It is a good example that mixes quantity and quality all together, with a strong sense of musicality, good control, accuracy and not good overall detail. The slightly colored sound may not fit everyone tastes but it is a very enjoyable in-ear set.

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