Usually, when MajorHifi catches the attention of a high-end audio company, we’re flooded with expensive headphones to review. And while it’s fun to play around with these high-tech gizmos, there’s still a wealth of inexpensive and very good headphones out there. Case in point: Final Audio’s Heaven IV, a stainless steel earphone retailing for $169.
Final Audio Heaven IV Review
The Heaven IV comes in a swanky clamshell case that I first mistook for a hip flask. A small, spring-loaded clasp opens the case to reveal the earphones. Inside the box, you’ll also come across some eartips.
Utilizing a stainless steel housing, the earpieces remain lightweight while still imparting an air of durability. Rest assured, these are not the kind of earphones to fall apart on you.
The flat 4 ft (1.2 m) cable won’t tangle, and the cable ends in a right-angle 3.5mm plug.
Comfort is superb with the Heaven IV. Once you’ve found the right eartip to fit your ear, you could wear these for hours on end without suffering fatigue.
The Heaven IV is available in black, white, and violet color schemes.
Frequency Range: NA
Impedance: 16 ohms
Sound Pressure Level (SPL): 112 dB
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): NA
As usual, Final Audio doesn’t offer specs for Frequency Range or Total Harmonic Distortion. However, I’d guess the former to be 12-20,000 Hz and the latter to be <0.2%. While there’s plenty of detail across the spectrum, the high end does seem to be missing something. However, these babies still remain refreshing clean. A low impedance of just 16 ohms will compliment any portable listening device, like an smartphone or an mp3 player. Likewise, volume will be more than adequate, even with low-output devices.
The low end of the Heaven IV hosts plenty of detail and a strong sense of control – you won’t hear any bleed here, but you might notice a fairly understated bass. While nowhere near as driving or as bombastic as the bass on some other earphones, the sound is accurate and lifelike, just a bit more refined.
With a fairly accurate and detailed sound, the Heaven IV displays just a shade of distortion in the upper mids. However, this is perhaps the only shortcoming in this part of the frequency range. By and large, the sound remains analytical enough for most critical listening.
Despite missing some very-high high-notes, the sound here still strikes me as impressive. Never bordering on piercing or uncomfortable, the slightly-relaxed high end delivers plenty of detail and a rich listening experience without going overboard.
Good depth and good placement offer a decent sense of soundstage. Sure, the Heaven IV is no open-back over-ear headphone. But, even with its in-ear design, it still oozes a realistic sound that does justice to the wealth of detail present in the frequency range.
Even an hour after popping the Heaven IV into my ear, I still can’t feel a thing.
The relaxed lows and mids lead to a very mid-centric sound. For fans of vocal heavy music, this earphone is a godsend. Still, it offers enough detail to still handle most genres with ease.
If you need an earphone with tons of bass or more high-end detail, you could opt for the Audio Technica ATH-CKR90iS. Offering a more dynamic sound, this earphone may lack the mid-heavy chops that we’ve seen in the Heaven IV.
Of course, for critical listeners or anyone needing a richer midrange, there is simply no alternative to the Heaven IV. Usually, though, you have to spend twice as much to get such succinct and accurate mids.
Personally, I prefer a sound with more emphasis on balance than dynamic sound. Following that recipe, the Heaven IV is the most affordable earphone I’ve ever auditioned.
At $169, the Final Audio Heaven IV earphone may not seem that impressive. However, a short listening session will soon reveal a rich and detailed midrange complimented by a realistic sense of soundstage. For critical listening needs on a budget, the Heaven IV is nothing short of nirvana.