Final Audio has gathered a great collection of Bluetooth products. The ZE2000 and ZE30000 are both solid true wireless earbuds for the price, and Final Audio looks to build this series up even more with the new ZE8000. This is their new set of truly wireless earbuds that Final Audio is touting as their flagship Bluetooth product. There are a lot of features that are introduced with the ZE8000, so let’s see if they can make these earbuds worthy of their $349 price tag.
What You Get
- Final Audio ZE8000 Earphones
- Charging Case
- ZE8000 Exclusive Type Q Ear Tips (5 Sizes)
- USB Type-C Charging Cable
- Dust Filters
- Acoustic Tool (used for dust filters)
- Instruction Manual
Look and Feel
The ZE8000 has a strange look for a true wireless earbud. It’s a stemmed design that extends past the main body of the housing. It almost seems like a warped version of your standard AirPod-inspired earbuds, and I was very surprised by it. The way it fits in your ear feels like any pair of stemmed earphones, but don’t reach as deep. Its nozzle is quite small and requires an ear tip specifically designed for the ZE8000. Overall, I have no real quarrel with this build. They fit great and have a look that you won’t see anywhere else.
Design and Functionality
With the ZE8000, Final Audio is introducing 8K sound to Bluetooth. They’ve brought their f-core technology over to Bluetooth in hopes of really enhancing the sonic performance of these earbuds. The aluminum-magnesium dome is surrounded by silicone, making the driver unit flexible and making the diaphragm more lightweight. This produces better THD and more precision in the Bluetooth signal. In effect, the earbuds are definitely louder than most, and even have a volume optimizer that tunes the loudness of the ZE8000 specifically to your ears. The app is also where you activate this 8K feature, along with many other extra options like noise-canceling, wind reduction, and transparency mode. The strength of the ANC is moderate, and very obviously not the focus of the ZE8000. There are better options for ANC even below this price point. You also have touch controls on each stem of the earbud, and they’re very sensitive. I had multiple instances where ambient mode and wind reduction would activate on accident when I’m just taking the earbuds in and out of my ear.
The ZE8000 uses Bluetooth version 5.2 and offers Qualcomm aptX and aptX Adaptive CODECs in addition to standard formats. I never had any problems connecting the ZE8000, and they remind perfectly stable throughout my long listening sessions with the earbuds.
There’s a five-hour battery life for the ZE8000 from only a single, complete charge. With the charging case, you’ll get an additional fifteen hours. Using ANC and 8K mode will make the battery drain faster, but they also have fast charging. I think this battery could be better for the price, but it didn’t hinder the experience.
Final Audio really knows how to handle soundstage and imaging over wireless transmission. The ZE8000 is yet another example of its excellence, as it contains some of the best non-linear spatial imaging that I’ve heard over Bluetooth earbuds. You might not find the width goes as long from left to right, but the spaciousness is mainly showcased with inward depth and stereo positioning. Performances are spatially distinct from one another, layering over each other with transparency and precision. The space between each element is personified in its own right, giving the sound field more dimension. Most true wireless earbuds have a hard time showing this level of holographic imaging, and the ZE8000 makes it seems easy and seamless. The overall headspace of the soundstage is still tight but feels more like a dome than a linear left/right stereo presentation.
Most of the excitement with the ZE8000 is in the lows. You’ll get some fulfilling bass that satisfies the appetite of anyone looking for an energetic tone. While its timbre goes through a lot of coloration and textural flourish, it keeps to a primarily even representation of frequency. The ZE8000 tries to form a coherent body of bass that is strong and impactful without venturing outside realism. However, the mid-bass gets a little bloated, but that is easily fixable with EQ. It clears up some cloudiness and maintains the clarity that makes a lot of the timbre texturally engaging.
There is an acquired taste here, and I’m not exactly sure it’s mine. I tend to dislike darker tones, and the ZE8000 is very dark. You get some nice warmth, but the rest of the timbre feels hazy as a result. Then I start to hear vocals and the transparency is some of the best you’ll hear over true wireless. Suffice it to say, the midrange of the ZE8000 is quite an enigma to me. There’s enough room here for some instruments to show defined notes, but the emphasis of those notes leans toward the low mids. No matter what tone you prefer, the mids show a consistent gain that is hard to deny. You’ll always hear something interesting going on in the midrange, which is more than what you can say for a lot of true wireless earbuds.
I might prefer more treble in my sound profile, but I can also appreciate it when the highs are reasonably reserved. With EQ, I can get close to the response I usually like, but the effect is more subtle. You’ll mostly get a smooth treble that has some impressive detail for a truly wireless earphone. Bright elements respond naturally in the mix, and they roll off at the right point for a controlled tail that sticks out just enough to be noticeable. Many elements shoot through the sound signature clearly and are treated with a soft but accented presentation that gives the timbre more flavor.
I’m liking these new Final Audio earbuds a lot, and the ZE series looks like a top dog in terms of sound performance. Its design is strange but fits well, and the customizable sound brings a lot of different ways you can listen. The battery life won’t wow you though, and I think the 8K functionality has a long way to go before it starts making a stark difference for most consumers. Looking at the price point could also influence your decision, and whether or not you think something like the ZE8000 is worth it. I think Final Audio makes great earphones, and the ZE8000 successfully brings that experience to wireless.
The Final Audio ZE8000 is available for pre-order here.