My review desk has been inundated with Final Audio products as of late. Today the F3100 calls to me from the top of the pile. But with a balanced driver and an aluminum housing, how does it sound? And does it live up to the $189 price tag?
Final Audio F3100 Review
The Final Audio F3100 appears relatively simple, with a minimalist black aluminum housing. The lightweight 4 ft (1.2 m) cable seems a bit frail, but it easily survives my repeated attempts to destroy it via door nobs.
As an in-ear, canal-type design, the earphones are decidedly comfortable, while also blocking out a great deal of ambient noise.
Included with the F3100, you will discover eight pairs of eartips, cotton swaps, safe fit rings, ear hooks, and a carrying case.
Frequency Range: NA
Impedance: 42 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 106 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): NA
Final Audio doesn’t offer up a frequency range for the F3100, but if I had to guess, I’d place it somewhere close to 20-20,000 Hz. Impedance is a fairly standard 42 ohms – not ideal for portable devices, but still usable. Sound Pressure Level is about what I would expect, and it should deliver decent volume. Finally, THD isn’t offered by Final Audio, either, but it seems low – somewhere around <0.2% or even <0.1%.
This low end entertains a decent bass, as well as some noticeable detail. While some bleeding is present, the sound isn’t completely horrible. To the contrary, despite this one blemish, the sound in the low end is actually pretty decent.
Relatively accurate, the midrange sports ample clarity and detail. There’s a lot going on here – and it has further cemented my opinion that Final Audio can really deliver some amazing mids. This is a very good midrange for the price, and may be reason enough to consider owning these earphones.
With a somewhat relaxed high end, the Final Audio F3100 offers some detailed highs but may skimp on the highest notes. Indeed, this is a comfortable sound that will pair well with pop, acoustic, and rock jams, but may fall short where classical music is concerned.
There’s depth and some placement at play here. The resulting sound remains emotive and immersive, even if it falls short of fully enveloping you. Not the best soundstage by any sense of the imagination, but an impressive experience, nonetheless.
Mids, mids, mids! Final Audio really nails this part of the frequency range.
The slightly-relaxed lows and highs actually work quite well in tandem with the mids, resulting in a very even-keeled, balanced sound. These seem like an ideal choice for cheap critical listening ‘phones (if budget constraints prevent you from buying a higher-end model).
If you need more bass and treble with your earphones, feel free to consider offerings from Shure or Klipsch. For those seeking raw detail, though, you will be challenged to find a more comprehensive sound at $189.
Of course, options from Shure would allow for more bass detail, and Klipsch models might offer a more robust high end. However, both of these models will skimp on the rest of the frequency range – especially the mids.
For those seeking a backup balanced earphone, or for those who are interested in cheap critical listening, the Final F3100 is a shoe-in. Forget all the other market-speak out there and pop them in your ear for a minute or two. You’ll hear the difference.
With a strong and resilient design, the Final Audio F3100 takes its share of abuse. The rich and detailed sound offers balance and detail in spades, making this one headphone that I highly recommend.