In-Ear Fidelity

[Crinnotes] Final Audio A3000 and A4000: Budget-isation

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Final Audio Design (typically referred to as simply “Final Audio” or even more simply as “Final”) is a bit of a weird brand in the context of the current IEM market. I’d consider them as your standard-fare “quirky Japanese company” making some oddball IEMs, but they’re also pretty much the only Japanese brand that have managed to retain some form of relevancy in the modern mainstream-ish market.

Most would be familiar with Final due to their immensely popular E-series of IEMs, dynamic-driver IEMs with rather pleasant tunings that have captured the hearts of many budget-level audiophiles. Less would be familiar with their B-series, even less with the Heaven series, and only the hardcore would recognise the extremely strange Piano Forte series, Sonorous series (formally “Pandora Hope”) and the “prototype” to the E-series, the Adagio.

With the release of the A8000 kickstarting the A-series, Final Audio now releases the much cheaper A3000 and the A4000. With shells borrowed from the B-series like the A8000 the A-series are shaping up to be the sister models of the E-series, with the A3000 and A4000 sliding right in-between the E3000 and E4000 in terms of pricing hierarchy.

But enough yammering, you’re here to get that one question answered. How good are the new Final IEMs?

Final Audio A3000

Product page:

MSRP: $130

Driver configuration: single dynamic

The A3000 is… alright.

Nothing much I can really say. It’s a V-shaped sound, perhaps leaning towards the treble very slightly, and isn’t completely terrible. But, and if I may be straightforward here, I don’t think it’s any better tuned than the E-series. Sure, it’s cheaper than the E4000 and E5000 (going for $180 and $280 respectively), but it’s a tough fight against E3000, E2000, E1000… and let’s not even mention the E500.

But given that this is Final Audio’s A-series of IEMs, how does it stack up against its big brother (technically father)?

Data has been uploaded to the Graph Comparison Tool

For those hoping for a “mini-A8000”, look elsewhere. The only things that the A3000 shares with the A8000 are its aesthetics and the A-series suffix. The A8000 are simply on a different league altogether, both in tuning and in technical performance. Though at a price of $2,000 it better well be.

Would I recommend the A3000? Under IEF metrics it’s a hard sell, and even if one desires a Final Audio IEM I’d probably point them to the direction of an E-series IEM instead. Competition ~$100 price bracket has been on the uptrend in terms of fierceness and sheer quantity of competitors, and I just don’t see the A3000 keeping up.

Overall Grade: C+

Tone Grade: C+, Technical grade: C+

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM Ranking List.

Final Audio A4000

Product page:

MSRP: $160

Driver configuration: single dynamic

This is Final Audio so I was very well expecting the A4000 to be just mildly different from the A3000, as is the case with the E-series of IEMs.

Thankfully (or perhaps the opposite of that), the A4000 was not so. The A4000 has a much more traditional V-shaped signature, this time leaning even further into brightness. Categorising the A4000 as a “bright V-shape” would be apt here.

In terms of tonal balance… I think I’ll give the edge to the A3000 here. Nicely put, the A4000 is one that is forward in the upper frequencies, though if I may be blunt the A4000 has the dreaded combo of being both shouty and strident. It’s a spicy IEM in that you better make sure that you’re someone truly looking for said spiciness, else you’re going to have a bad time.

And of course, the comparison to the A8000:

Data has been uploaded to the Graph Comparison Tool

Now I felt like the A8000 was already rather peaky to begin with, but the A4000 takes it to a different level. Now the A4000 isn’t peaky per se but it is certainly quite a bit brighter than the A8000. And of course the technical performance are worlds apart, so just like with the A3000 one shouldn’t expect the A4000 to be the mythical “mini-A8000”. Though in this case, “A8000/2” seems like a more appropriate epiphet. 

Again, hard sell for the A4000. But fret not, the E-series (specifically the lower-end ones) are still amazing IEMs that one can look into as alternatives.

Overall Grade: C

Tone Grade: C, Technical grade: C+

All awarded grades are in reference to the IEM Ranking List.

Support me on Patreon to get access to tentative ranks, the exclusive “Clubhouse” Discord server and/or access to the Premium Graph Comparison Tool! With current efforts to measure more headphones, those in the exclusive Patreon Discord server get to see those measurements first before anybody else.

My usual thanks to all my current supporters and shoutouts to my big money boys:

Man Ho

8 thoughts on “[Crinnotes] Final Audio A3000 and A4000: Budget-isation”

  1. Considering that in this country both of these items will compete with the likes of FH5, Tanchjim Oxygen, Legacy 4-5.. Because when they arrive here they will cost double if not close to triple of their price.

    It’s just laughable. Skip.

  2. “…pretty much the only Japanese brand that have managed to retain some form of relevancy in the modern mainstream-ish market.”
    How about Sony my dude

  3. I don’t find A8000 bright at all on Hugo 2 + 2Go combo. It really needs proper source to be listenable.

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