I have now taken a look at both the new Final Audio A3000 and A4000 earphones, and written about them individually. In the coming weeks post the launch of these IEMs, it won’t be out of the ordinary to hear which one is superior for a multitude of people who’ve listened to both. Because of their simultaneous release, these new A-series models will always be thought of together and will be constantly compared to one another. So now it’s time to finally come to a verdict on which earphone better fit my taste, and how it might fit yours in soundstage, timbre, and comfortability.
What You Get
Each set comes in the same standard packaging that you’ll be familiar with if you’ve purchased any other in-ear product from Final Audio.
- A4000 or A3000 Earphones
- 2-pin detachable cable
- Carrying case
- 5 pairs of ear tips
- Ear hooks
Look and Feel
From Final Audio’s signature shell construction to the matte finish, both the A3000 and A4000 are almost identical. Even aside from the A4000’s navy blue coloration, you can still easily mistake them for one another. It really comes down to whether or not you like complete black or slightly blue, each making minuscule differences in the overall aesthetic of the earphone. Final has designed an ideal size and body that always works, so there’s no real need to change up their style. I have enjoyed this architecture throughout their B and A-series models, always relying on their ridged housing, which provides a standard level of comfort throughout. The A3000 and A4000 continue this design philosophy, with a much more simple aesthetic to fit its affordable price point. There’s obviously no clear winner in this area, but it’s a good testament to how well structured the A-series design really is.
Much like the similarities on the outside, the A3000, and A4000 both possess the same components on the inside. I’ve talked at length about Final’s new f-core driver system in each IEMs individual reviews, pointing out their special manufacturing process and brass coating. This is also the first time that Final has opted for 2-pin connectors for its detachable cable which is a welcome addition to their earphone selection. The main idea around this internal makeup is that the brass coating will bring a faster transient response, as well as greater resistance to magnetism in comparison to standard aluminum.
Here is where the A3000 and A4000 really start to find the first major differences in both earphones. I found the A3000 to have significantly less output power than the A4000, which is strange considering they have the same impedance. It’s also strange considering the A3000 is the cheaper model in comparison, so you’d expect it to produce a better signal for laptops and smartphones. However, the A4000 ends up being the one that bolsters the amplification. This isn’t to say that the A3000 is unusable with most common devices, you just won’t have a ton of room to adjust the volume level. With the A4000 it’s easy to find that comfortable gain that leaves room for volume modification.
Final Audio has set a solid standard in terms of their soundstages go, but both the A3000 and A4000 have really impressed me. When I first heard the A3000 I didn’t think it could get any better, but the A4000 came and really muddied the waters. Both of these earphones have an equal amount of width, each expanding to about shoulder length, but the A4000 goes a lot deeper with its imaging and layering. The placement of each sound element is a lot more articulate and plays to a more immersive, holographic stereo image. Instruments and effects play over each other a lot more clearly than of the A3000, resonating with more of an exterior headspace. The A3000 still has one of the better stages for its price, but for only a little more you’ll be hearing something really special with the A4000.
With each earphone, you’re going to get a nice punchy bass that doesn’t overexcite, however in comparison the A4000 definitely feels more feeble than the A3000. They both offer good detail, but the A3000 has a meatier response. The textures are a lot more natural but avoid warmth as they start to flatten out by the midbass. Each bass has a true feel to them, the difference here is how much you hear of it.
Both the A3000 and A4000 present a big showcase for midrange. Each earphone has a crisp and full midrange with the main difference between the two being in texture. The A3000 keeps things natural like their lows, but the A4000 presents a more airy resonance, with more detailed separation in the mids. Overall the mids of the A4000 are a lot more polished and have a dash of warmth to them, while the A3000 plays its natural textures pretty straight. Whichever you choose, you’ll be hearing some of the most vivid reproduction of vocals on an earphone for this price range.
Each treble has a good amount of clarity, but if you’re not into sibilance then stick with the A3000. If you’re not as sensitive to such a response, then the A4000 has a lot of detail to offer. With the A3000, you’re going to get a very clean and balanced treble, while the A4000 really kicks it up a notch delivering sparkle and sweet textural detail. The detail on the A3000 is just as pleasant, but with a more relaxed presentation.
It’s hard to choose a favorite here because both models bring such high quality for their price point. However, the soundstage reproduction brings the A4000 to such a high level that it’s hard to beat. The A3000 still has a lot to offer, especially in its superior bass, but I’m definitely more willing to spend the little bit of cash for that upgrade in the soundstage. This makes the A4000 my personal preference, but if you prefer bass, and hate sibilance, then the A3000 is your guy. No matter which one you choose you’ll get a listening experience that satisfies well beyond its price range.
|Housing||ABS Thermoplastic||ABS Thermoplastic|
|Driver||6mm dynamic driver f-CORE DU||6mm dynamic driver f-CORE DU|
|Cable||3.5mm/1.2m Oxygen-Free Copper cable||3.5mm/1.2m Oxygen-Free Copper cable|
|Sensitivity||98dB/mW @ 1kHz||100dB/mW @ 1kHz|
|Impedance||18 Ohms||18 Ohms|
The Final Audio A3000 and A4000 are available at Audio 46.
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