Final Audio has introduced its B Series line-up, which includes the B1, B2 and B3. And the model numbers are a little misleading; unlike the name suggests, the B2 employs a single balanced armature driver, and it’s the most affordable model in the B Series. At $299, what can we expect from these unique looking buds? Let’s take a closer look in this Final Audio B2 Review.
Final Audio B2 Review
IN the BOX
No problems in this area. Though the B2 feels super solid and has some weight to it, there’s a logic behind all of the B2’s hard angles. Final has designed the B2 to “liberate the user from the sensation of oppression with regard to fit of insertion.” Final’s intention is to give the listener the feel of a customized fit. In short, it’s designed to fit perfectly between the ear pocket, tragus and external auditory canal…I don’t know, I’m not an anatomy professor. It fits, it’s comfortable and the sound isolation is effective.
It’s not often that I get to meet a single balanced armature IEM. The Westone W10 comes to mind, but I can’t think of any others off the top of my head because of the horse tranquilizer I took this morning. So, we’ll get back to you.
Though the detachable cable and 3.5mm termination may not be anything to write home about, the MMCX connectors look undeniably sturdy, and they’re relatively easy to detach, which my lady fingers much appreciate.
To be honest, there’s little information on the B Series so far. But these models are based on the “Make Series” IEMs, which allow you to customize the sound signatures with interchangeable filters. They were never available in the U.S. , and personally, I hate fiddling with filters. But the shells and drivers on the B Series are the same as the Make Series, and they bring a fresh sound to Final’s inventory. (No interchangeable filters on the B Series).
Some folks say that Final IEMs can be a little difficult to drive, but even my buddies with tinnitus should be able to reach dangerously loud volumes from these IEMs. As for other specs, Final doesn’t reveal the frequency range on these buds. So let’s stop frequen’ around and talk sound…
The first thing that stands out is the fantastic speed of these things. Combine this fast response with a little bass oomph, and you’ve got a super lively pop track. At the same time, the B2 is far from a bass-head’s IEM, and the low-end has just enough presence to nicely balance out the higher frequencies. Still, hip-hop fans should also get a decent sub fix when listening to Drake. Don’t expect too much warmth in the low end on rock and pop-rock tracks. But with respect to clarity, the bass remains nice and clean without any bleeding into the higher frequencies.
There’s presence in the mids, with the upper mids favored over the lower frequencies. But even though the mids aren’t particularly even, rock and pop-rock tracks still sound meaty and expansive. Now, I usually don’t like vocals that sound too present in the mix. But the B2 is one of the few exceptions. Vocals, especially in the higher frequencies, convey a close and intimate sound that has both warmth and a kind of rawness. So, it’s highly emotive in this sense. And again, the B2 presents a ridiculously fast response. Snares are super tight, bringing ample impact and energy to rock and pop tracks. In terms of clarity, you can expect more smoothness than detail. Cellos, while enjoyably fluid, were lacking the texture and nuance that I’m used to hearing from an IEM in this price range. Still, separation in this range is decent, even if the layering of instruments lacks that meticulous feel.
Again, listening to strings in the highs, while the transparency isn’t bad, the instruments display more of a refined quality rather than a substantive or highly detailed sound. I also tested out some pop tracks, and though there was some great snap in this range, percussion felt a little tinny at times. Luckily it’s not too in your face. Finally, a little Miles Davis to finish things off. And while, you can’t call the trumpet at it highest peaks delicate or nuanced, it avoided piercing my ears out. So, although it’s not the most forgiving sound signature, those with extra sensitivity to high frequencies should still be able to handle it for the most part.
Although the soundstage may not be immense (though it is impressively spacious at this price point), the imaging has a pretty colorful sense of dimension. You’ll hear a good amount of height, with varying degrees along the vertical axis well defined. The depth could be a little more expansive. But I did appreciate that even distant instruments remained rich and clearly delineated.
Fast and coherent with beautifully highlighted vocals, the B2 presents a unique sound signature that’s pleasing to the ears across all genres. The slightly metallic feel in the higher frequencies might bother some folks. And it may not be the ideal choice for budding audiophiles in the market for their first IEM who need something thoroughly versatile. But for audio nerds who already have a plethora of IEMs, the B2 will be a fun addition to their arsenal.
You can buy the B2 for the best price here: