The Final Audio ZE8000 is the latest and priciest model to come from the Company’s wireless ZE line. But unlike the other ZE models, such as the ZE3000, it shows quite a different flavor with respect to tuning and overall sound signature. What can you expect in terms of character and performance? Let’s take a look in this Final Audio ZE8000 Review.
In the Box
- Final Audio ZE8000 Earphones
- Charging Case
- USB Type-C Charging Cable
- 5 pairs of ZE8000 Ear Tips
- Dust Filters
- Dust Filter Tool
- User Manual
Look and Feel
The ZE8000 has quite a large build, sporting long white exterior stems along with multi-level ear tips. (IEMs are also available in black) But despite its size, Final Audio is able to pull off an elegant design, giving the stems and charging case a classy textured finished. Much like a sport’s earbud, a round silicone part in addition to the ear tip creates a very snug seal around the entire ear interior. As a result, the natural sound isolation is very effective, and seems to make an ANC function redundant. For most people, comfort will be no issue, but for those who have smaller ears, as I do, the edges may start to cause a little pain after prolonged use. It’s also important to note that this more complicated ear tip is unique to the ZE8000, and the usual replaceable Final Audio silicone tips won’t work on this model.
In addition to Final Audio’s famous F-Core Du dynamic driver, which is designed to minimize distortion, the Company also boasts improved separation and definition thanks to their new 8K Audio technology. This element can be switched on and off via the accompanying app.
The battery life may be shorter than one would expect for true wireless earphone, offering only 5 hours of single use playback with another 15 hour of charge in the case.
The ZE8000 does have ANC capability, but again, I found it unnecessary, given the highly effective natural sound isolation. In fact, I had a difficult time discerning the difference between Transparency mode and ANC. But personally, I buy Final Audio IEMs for their sound performance more than I do for any accompanying bells and whistles.
One important accessory to this model is the included app, which, amongst other things, allows you to have comprehensive control over your equalizer settings. And I will explain why this is important in the Sound Impressions portion of the review below.
The fantastic soundstage may be the first thing you’ll notice about the ZE8000. Certainly, it’s one of the most impressive attributes of this IEM. And you’ll be hard pressed to find a more holographic soundscape on a wireless IEM at this price point. You’ll hear tons of depth (both in front and behind) and subtle, well-defined gradations of instrument placement across the stereo field. Although instruments didn’t reach remarkable heights, there was some fun placement going on from below the head. And all in all, the ZE8000 presents a very entertaining sense of dimension and color on almost any track you play.
Unlike the rest of the ZE Series, the ZE8000 presents a thicker, rounder sounding bass. For some, the lower end of the frequency spectrum may require some tinkering through the equalizer in the accompanying app. Listening to pop tracks with heavy basses and kick drums, for example, there is a slight veil over the upper bass and low mids that improved once I played around with the lower frequencies on the equalizer. You may also find the same for string instruments that become more enhanced in texture once the levels are adjusted. At the same time, the default setting on the equalizer gave acoustic instruments like double basses a majestic quality with almost exaggerated resolve, which I personally loved.
Ignoring the slightly slushy feel in the lowest part of the midrange (which again, can be easily adjusted), I was thrilled to find an IEM that gives the low mids so much love relative to the higher midrange. It’s a unique tuning and definitely geared to those who love a very full-bodied and lush sound. At the same time, instruments in the higher mids are well separated. Still, the overall profile is more gentle in its delivery than the tighter and snapper ZE models that have come before it. That’s not to say that the the ZE8000 is not sufficiently detailed in this range. In fact, it avoids any compression, taking its time to reveal subtleties in timbre and breath. Still, there is more smoothness than grip on these IEMs, giving a more fluid feel overall.
Listening to strings the highs, I was impressed by the nuances in tonality that were revealed throughout this range. Vibratos and other articulations came through clearly making for highly analytical listen for a wireless IEM. At the same time, the ZE8000 avoids any uncomfortable extension in this range, perhaps sometimes at the expense if sparkle and snap. But the smoothness gave a velvety quality to vocals and brass instruments, while still revealing plenty breath and modulation.
If you’re willing to play around with the equalizer to achieve your ideal balance, the ZE8000 is certainly an IEM worthy of the Final Audio brand. Do not look at the ZE8000 as a step up form the more affordable ZE3000. It doesn’t have the liveliness or shine of rest of the ZE series. Rather, this model takes a more “toned down” and more detailed approach, choosing to focus on bringing out tonal subtleties and variations that you would usually only expect from a wired IEM at this price point.
|Battery Life||5 Hours + 15 with charging case|
|Charge Time||2 Hours fully charges case|
|Supported Codecs||AAC, SBC, Qualcomm aptX, aptX Adaptive|
|Frequency Range||20 Hz – 44 kHz|
You can buy the Final Audio ZE8000 at Audio 46.