The latest A5000 IEMs from Final Audio has finally been released. Suffice it to say, impressed many of us here at MajorHiFi, but there is also the A4000 to consider. When you have one of the best budget IEMs getting this kind of upgrade, a comparison is a no-brainer. Hopefully, this review will help you decide which one to get.
What You Get
For both A4000, and A5000
- 2-pin detachable cable
- Carrying case
- 5 pairs of ear tips
- Ear hooks
Look and Feel
There is virtually no difference between the A4000 and A5000 aside from going from dark blue to black. I did wish for more color variety with the A5000 though, as its standard black shell just doesn’t stand out as much as the A4000. They both have a great shape to them though, and I hope that Final Audio never does away with it. The housing of the A series is such an ergonomic design that always makes for a comfortable fit.
With the A4000, Final Audio introduced their f-core DU driver unit, which the A5000 also adopts. Expect the same 6mm dynamic driver and brass housing in both IEMs, and all that their characteristics bring to the sound signature. Both IEMs can be driven from any 3.5mm headphone jack, with the same impedance between the two.
When I first heard about the A4000, I was impressed by its substantial width in the stereo field. However, listening to the A5000, you can tell that it is a significant improvement on almost every level. While the A4000 is wide, it doesn’t have the scale of the A5000. On the A4000, the imaging presents a flat plain for the mix, but the A5000 deepens its display with added height and more complex layering. Individual performances are well separated and easy to localize listening to both IEMs, but the A5000 stacks the sound elements forward and backward, adding dimension to the aural environment.
This is another area where the A5000 feels the most like an enhanced version of the A4000. The bass on the A4000 harnesses some solid impact, but most of its power is relegated to the mid-bass. It is missing that extra foundation of sub-bass texture, which the A5000 delivers in a satisfying way. Both IEMs are totally clean in the lows, and never appear muddy or too bloated. They have natural transparency and resolution, but the A5000 just adds more body to the tone overall.
Depending on how you like your midrange, both A-series IEMs have something to offer. The A4000 actually has the most accuracy in its mids, providing sleeker details in a realistic manner. In comparison, the A5000 is still well-detailed, but it is prone to recession in the fundamental mid-band frequencies. It is only a slightly noticeable dip though, so instruments should still appear crisp in the mix. There’s even a bit more bite to certain notes being played. While the A4000 remains flat and even, the A5000 emphasized frequencies where it can, adding more color to vocals and instruments.
Most similarities between the A4000 and A5000 are found in the treble. They both offer a crisp extension that results in a fun, sizzling tone. Neither IEM exhibits any harshness and will have a consistently clean timbre throughout. If there were any noticeable differences between the two, it’s that I think the A5000 might have more airiness to its treble. Besides that, both the A4000 and A5000 have a detailed and controlled high-end.
You really can’t go wrong when deciding between these awesome IEMs. The A5000 is more of an upgrade to me, with its stronger bass and deeper soundstage. However, the A4000 performs great for the price, offering similar clarity and precision to its sound profile. You also don’t have to worry about which one is more comfortable since they both have the same style of housing. If it were up to me, I would say you should jump right to the A5000, but if you’re really strapped for cash, the A4000 is still a fine pick.