The Final Audio D8000 is a staple ultra-high end headphone that has gone through a few iterations over the years. Their latest is the new limited edition pro made for collectors, and features a new design and tuning characteristics. Let’s see just how different it is, and if it is worth its $4,799 asking price.
What You Get
- D8000 Pro Limited Edition headphones
- XLR 4-Pin Silver-Coated Cable 3.0m
- 4.4mm TRRRS OFC Cable 1.5m
- Attache Case-Type New Carrying Case with TSA Lock
Look and Feel
Most of makes the look of the D8000 special remians intact. The earcups, and earpad materials are carried over from the standard and pro edition. However, the headband is now a Alumite-black hanger headband. The housing is switched to a matte-black finish too, giving this version of the D8000 a cosmetic change from its previous iterations. I am not sure these aesthetic changes warrent a totally new headphone, but for collectors, it might be all you are looking for.
The same AFDS driver is carried over here, but the collectors edition brings in a gold plated inner meshed plate. This plate is what has the potential to change some of the sonic charateristics of this new D8000 Pro, but the impedance and sensitivity of the driver should be the same. Its most notable design aspect though is its additional cables. The collectors edition comes with a 4.4mm TRRRS OFC cable and an XLR 4-Pin Silver-Coated cable. Most of my listening was done with the XLR cable, which gave me a great representation of what exactley the differences in sound are.
If you’re expecting anything less than magnificent, you might not be familiar with what the D8000 is all about. Whether it is the standard, pro, or this new limited version, the D8000 goes beyond what a semi-open back soundstage can be like. On the limited version, the D8000 is more naturally wide and extends its layering into a more dome-like structure. Each performance is its own sphere of sound, appearing with dimension in a holographic stereo field. Separation ability makes the D8000 Limited Edition an inch deeper as well. Everything sounds even more concise, with positioning patterns seeming more nailed down to the surface. This sacrifices some airiness, but with the level of spaciousness already on display, it is hardly missed.
This low-end might not be what you expect when considering the price of these headphones. While its timbre is always clean and well-articulated, the tone is a lot softer. The bass on the D8000 limited edition doesn’t feature a ton of heft or great impact. Rather, the bass here is set in a more neutral response. If you’re not into a leaner bass, this version of the D8000 might disappoint you. There are still highlights to the bass though, including its fair balance and uncompromised clarity. The sub-bass gives the sound signature some depth, but don’t expect textured vibrations.
Most of the real meat of the D8000 limited edition is going to reside in the midrange. I felt more warmth here than on other versions of the D8000. That is mostly in part to the further extension of lower-midrange frequencies, which feature a fuller tone than other regions. Instruments have a bit more weight to them here, and they feel enriched by their detail throughout. Acoustic instruments and vocals are super crisp, as well as orchestral strings and horns. They feel completely accurate to the mix while underlining performances with layers of texture that enlighten the mids with even more musicality.
There are slight bursts of peakiness here and there, but for the most part, the treble is well-controlled. They have a natural response to them and keep the timbre clean and unfiltered. You won’t hear any extra coloration like sparkle to the tone, but the highs are detailed enough to showcase great height and fullness that gives tracks enough room to tail off accurately.
If this is your first impression of ther D8000, it is definitley going to be a great one. With both versions of the D8000 already being on the market though, I am not sure if it has much value outside of being a collectors item. The silver cable it comes with is its best addition, and the sound is changed enough to warrent interest. However, the D8000 and D8000 Pro are already great in my mind, and I wouldn’t call the collectors edition a substantial upgrade.
The Final Audio D8000 Pro Limited Collectors Edition is available at Audio46.