Recently, Final Audio released the A3000 and A4000 at the same time. These are their brand new earphones off the flagship A-series. I’ve taken a look at the A3000 already in a review, and now it’s time to focus on the slightly upscaled version, the A4000. Other than the naming convention that makes this earphone out to be the one with the higher standard of quality, it also receives a price increase of $159.99. How different is the A4000 compared to the A3000? That question will come up a few times in this review, but we’ll focus on that more in the full comparison. For now, we’re going to look at how the A4000 stands on its own among other earphones of its like, in soundstage, timbre, design, and fit.
What You Get
- A4000 Earphones
- 2-pin detachable cable
- Carrying case
- 5 pairs of ear tips
- Ear hooks
Look and Feel
If you’ve read my previous review on the A3000, or have seen any of the promotional images, you’ll know that the A4000 has almost the exact same construction as both the A3000 and A8000 of which this is a more consumer-friendly version. The difference here is the navy blue coloring of the outer shell. However, the coloration is more like a tint with the matte material of the housing, and funnily enough, it isn’t the furthest away from black. This makes the A4000 pretty identical to not only the A3000 but the recent VR3000 as well.
It might be unoriginal, but if the fit wasn’t so perfect, I might have been a bit harsher to it. Like most of Final’s other selection of earphones of this construction, the A4000 features a smooth insertion and comfortable fit. The way these IEMs are designed, almost make the body feel custom to your ear. This is one of my favorite shell designs, as they fit just feels so much more natural than other earphones.
Like the A3000, the A4000 holds a new f-core DU driver unit that’s built from the ground up and uses a special manufacturing process. It integrates a 6mm dynamic driver made with an assortment of different components such as voice coils, magnets, magnetic circuits, adhesives, all within a thermoplastic housing. These materials complete a unique diaphragm that looks to bring a new type of sound signature to the A4000, with a 30μ ultrathin CCAW that increases transient response. Completely coated in brass, the housing features greater resistance to magnetism far superior to that of aluminum.
Unlike the A3000, the A4000 has a much louder signal when using standard 3.5mm headphone jacks. The sensitivity on the A4000 is a little increased, featuring 100dB/mW at 1kHz. This makes it more friendly to use with your laptop or smartphone, giving you a generous amount of headroom for loudness adjustments.
I didn’t think an IEM soundstage could get better at this price range than the one presented on the A3000, but somehow the A4000 is even better here. It not only matches the A3000’s width but provides superior layering and depth. You can hear this when listening to tracks with drum fills, as they bounce around all over your headspace with great detail. Fans of Phill Collins or Neil Pert will be pleased here. Then there’s the separation, which is also more apparent than ever, with natural spacing and imaging. The height here is also much more defined, with midrange elements like vocals really finding their stride. They find the perfect balance between forwardness and clarity.
As far as I’m concerned, the f-core driver system is really doing its job here. The A4000 delivers a quick, hard-hitting bass with some nice punch. Although some of the responses if feeble in comparison, it still offers a level of detail that’s fitting to the sound signature and balances well with the rest of the ranges of frequency. It never really goes for that sharp textural quality, but if one thing is for sure, you’ll always be able to feel it in some capacity.
For the price, some of the detail here is absolutely breathtaking. It presents a crisp and airy presentation with articulate transparency and a dash of warmth. Certain elements like strings and acoustic guitars appear polished and clean, while vocals exude the best qualities of the entire timbre. Every vocal I listened to felt like it always sat in the right place, floating well above the rest of the sounds with an almost extreme level of clarity.
With some slight sibilance, the A4000 reproduces treble with sweet textural detail. Parts of the highs have a steady sizzle and resonate well. Some elements include that sparkle I always like to hear but without the air present in the mids. Overall, the treble lifts the highs and makes a great impression on most tracks. Listeners that aren’t fans of sibilance might be out of luck here, but none of the tonality is ever harsh or too bright.
I can already predict that this is going to be one of the harder future comparison reviews. My review of the A3000 was already pretty glowing, and I honestly couldn’t think how it could get any better, but somehow it has with the A4000. There are plenty of affordable IEMs that are worth checking out, but the A4000 should definitely be at the top of your list.
Pros and Cons
Pros: Soundstage, crisp mids, sweet treble, fit
The Final Audio A4000 is available at Audio 46.
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