Its par for the course that audiophiles tend to opt for wired headphones when listening to music, but Japanese brand Final Audio is looking to convince discerning types that the best true wireless earbuds could be the way forward with its latest release.
Its new ZE8000 earbuds come with a calling card new '8K Audio' feature, which is obviously pushing the limits of decency as a name for a sound feature, but appears to be a tuning and calibration algorithm that the company claims improves the perceived resolution of the audio delivered as well as enhancing separation.
The 8K function works in tandem with the headphone’s all-new ‘f-CORE for 8K Sound’ ultra-low distortion driver which boasts a very large (for true wireless earbuds) 13mm diaphragm.
Probably of most interest to audiophiles, however, will be the ZE8000’s onboard Class-AB amplifiers – most of the best wireless earbuds utilize Class-D amplifiers that are more prone to distortion.
The new buds are Bluetooth 5.2 compliant, and also support Qualcomm aptX and aptX Adaptive codecs for wireless listening at up to 24bit/96Hz.
Final’s dedicated Connect app meanwhile allows the 8K audio mode, noise cancelling and ambient sound modes to be toggled on or off.
The app also includes control over the ZE8000’s Wind-Cut Mode – which aims to reduce noise created when wearing the buds in breezy conditions outdoors – while its Volume Step Optimizer feature allows for finer volume controls for those who want their levels just so.
Battery life is a claimed five hours from the buds, with a further 15 hours provided by the USB-C charge case.
The Final Audio ZE8000 is set to be available in either white or black from 23rd February 2023 in the UK & US for £299 / $349 (around AU$520).
Analysis: New Final buds could be the last word in true wireless sound quality
Having been purveyors of mighty fine quality headphones for years, Final was somewhat late to the party with wireless audio gear. Nevertheless, last year’s Final Audio UX3000 over-ear Bluetooth cans made a significant impression on us thanks to their solid design and confident, articulate sound, and we’re expecting a similar showing from these in-ears.
While we’re going to choose to ignore the daft “8K sound” marketing nonsense being used to describe their sound enhancement feature, the ZE8000’s appear to be bona fide contenders to be some of the best earbuds around for audiophiles – as long as you can deal with the large and unusual design.
It’s very rare to find headphones with this form factor boasting Class-D amplifiers, and its rarer still to have buds featuring 13mm drivers – if Final can successfully combine both these features we could be looking at one of the most detailed pair of wireless buds out there.