Final Audio A5000 vs. E5000 Comparison Review
With the recent release of the Final Audio A5000, it seems only right to put it head-to-head against the E5000 for a comparison review. With the new A5000 going for $279, a lot of listeners are likely curious to hear how it stacks up against the E5000, which normally retails at the same price. Let’s get into it, starting with their design and accessories, before we go over what sonic differences they have to offer.
What’s In The Box?
Final Audio A5000
Final Audio E5000
Final Audio A5000 IEM
2 pin detchable cable with 3.5mm Jack
Ear tips and case
Final Audio E5000 Earphone
MMCX detachable cable with 3.5mm Jack
Ear tips and Case
Look and Feel
The A5000 and E5000 have fundamentally different fits and physical designs. Rather than attempting the impossible and (in this case) entirely subjective task of deciding which provides “better” comfort, I’ll instead just use this section to highlight their differences.
Both the Final Audio A5000 and E5000 fundamentally follow the same physical designs as their predecessors in their respective series. The A5000 has a more typical fit for an IEM: an acoustic nozzle protrudes from its small ABS resin housing, which rests comfortably in the ear by filling up a listener’s concha. The E5000 is far smaller with a more narrow “L” shaped stainless steel housing, and finds support simply by sticking into a listener’s ear canal. Take a look at the pictures and you’ll likely get a clearer sense of what I’m describing.
One fit feature that I can appropriately compare is the wire: the one included with the A5000 is softer and more flexible, while the wire for the E5000 is a bit stiff and was a little more difficult to keep tucked behind the back of my ear.s Generally speaking, both units were very ergonomic and lightweight, and felt very comfortable in my ears. Both come with ear hooks, and while I didn’t necessarily need them for either, it was a welcome option to have available, particularly for the tiny E5000.
Technical Design and Specifications
Final Audio A5000
Final Audio E5000
6mm Dynamic F-core Du
Final Audio is usually given their fair due of credit with both their A and E series in-ear releases for providing exceptional stages and images at affordable prices. Unsurprisingly, the width and depth I got out of both the A5000 and the E5000 alike was very impressive. Both units have spatial capabilities that easily set them apart from other in-ear units in their price range. With the E5000, I heard a bit more width; the A5000 still provided more-than-adequate width, and competes with the E5000 by providing a moderate amount of height in its image.
At the end of the day, listeners are going to be similarly impressed with the size, accuracy, and separation of the image present in both the A5000 and E5000. If you really want to see where these two Final Audio in-ears find their major differences, we’ll have to jump into their balances.
To put it concisely, the Final Audio E5000 derives its overall character from it’s low end, while the A5000 derives a few key characteristics from its lows while finding most of its personality in its airy highs. Boosted low end warmth that extends liberally into the high bass and low mids was the first quality I noticed about the E5000. I’m very suspicious about sound profiles that put significant stock into high bass and low mids as I frequently find them muddy sounding, but I have to admit, the E5000 pulls off its broadly boosted lows with a lot of couth. Rather than imprecise muddiness, I found a pleasant softness that was complimented by well defined transients that were peppered in from the E5000’s relaxing high mids. Heavy distorted guitars stood out to me as an instrument that sounded great on the E5000, which brought out their heavier, meatier fundamentals without sacrificing their toothy high mid and low-treble presence. While I personally think the E5000 could benefit with a little more extension and volume in its treble, that may not be the E5000’s mission. Rather, it seems far more concerned with dark coloration and soft relaxation, avoiding the potentially harsh risks of high frequency detail in favor of ensuring a pleasant and lush listening experience.
The Final Audio A5000 takes quite a different approach to its balance, and seems to set it sights for detail and clarity rather than density and warmth. The bass boost in the A5000 is fairly dramatic, but seems by-and-large concentrated on its mid bass and subs, leaving high bass and low mids fairly flat and balanced. A small scoop is present in the center mids before volume ramps back up for high mids and highs. Overall, the A5000’s spatial separation is enhanced by a similarly stark balance separation. While the E5000’s low end has a persistent quality heard throughout nearly every part of a track, the A5000’s narrower low end shelf seems to jump into action in instances of heavy kick drums or deep bass lines, and leaves high bass and low mids present in guitars and vocals largely untouched and natural sounding. The most persistent quality the A5000 imparts upon tracks can be found in its airy and pleasant high end, which handles vocal air, cymbals and reverb with a revealing smoothness. Unlike the E5000’s penchant for applying a dense, warm glue across its balance, the A5000 keeps its crisp highs separate from its tight and detailed lows with a surgical precision. If my criticism for the E5000 is that I wish I heard more lift from its high end, the minor criticism I have for the A5000 is that I wish I heard just a little more presence from its center mids, which could at times strip some energy away from male vocals.
While my personal preferences lie with Final Audio’s A5000, I don’t think I can fairly say that it’s any “better” than the E5000 – just very different. The A5000 is the one for me as I usually prefer balances that are light on the low mids and heavy on the treble; those who prefer bright and revealing sound signatures will likely share my opinion when comparing these two units. However, the E5000 has undeniable appeal for those who prefer more coloration, density, and bass in their sound signatures. I honestly try my best to avoid these sort of metaphors, but I can’t help myself this time, so bare with me: the E5000 is a warm blanket for when it’s snowing outside, while the A5000 is like stepping outside on spring day. Regardless, both earphones prove themselves to hold extremely high value at $279, and outdo the vase majority of competition at this price point. Both have extraordinary imaging capabilities, so if you’re making up your mind between the two, find your answer by asking yourself whether you prefer warm and dense or crisp and airy.
The Final Audio A5000 and Final Audio E5000 are available for purchase from Audio46.
Final Audio E5000
Final Audio A5000