Final Audio has quite a bit of depth and breadth to their headphone offerings. With IEMs ranging from $29 to $1999 and headphones from $179 to $4299, they offer products to the whole spectrum of mainstream consumers and more discerning audiophiles. While brands like Sony offer some HiFi gems along with items to line the shelves of the local Walmart, that aren’t made to the same standards, products like the UX3000 show that Final keeps their audiophile DNA in the whole product line, from top to bottom.
Build, Design and Features
UX3000 is pretty minimal right out of the gate, sporting a plasticy black finish coupled with a simple faux-leather headband and pads. The build is practical – even if the looks aren’t exceptional – with a durable feel and fold up design. There is one nice touch in particular that lets you know that Final still cares: the Shibo finish (a slightly leathery, marbled texture that is fingerprint resistant) on the earcups adds a nice texture and a touch of class. The Shibo also provides an aesthetic connection between the UX3000 and Final’s flagship D8000 series.
The package gives you the basics that you need: a USB-A to USB-C charging cable, a cloth carrying bag, and a cable for wired use (a double-ended stereo single-ended 3.5mm that connects to the right earcup). The bag is simple and black with an almost fleecy feel and the Final logo embossed onto it.
In terms of fit, they’re an over-ear headphone bordering on on-ear with an earcup design that just barely comes all the way around my ears. UX3000 is lightweight, and I had no issues wearing it sitting, walking, or completing basic tasks. It’s stable enough to exercise in, but the earcup material and ventilation might make your ears a bit sweaty. I had no issues with the clamp or headband in any of my listening time, and found them comfortable for multi-hour sessions.
Now with wireless headphones there’s a bit more to the design than just the look and feel, as key elements like active noise cancelling or battery life are just as important as fit and comfort. So in terms of those multi-hour sessions I just mentioned, I was able to listen to the headphones throughout my work day multiple days in a row, on one charge – and still haven’t had them back on the charger almost a week later – so Final’s claim of 35 hours of playback time (with ANC off) seems to be accurate. The ANC works quite well, and did noticeably block out ambient noise (like the office heater) without having much noticeable impact on sound quality or playback, though the soundstage felt just slightly compressed with ANC on.
Now here comes the important part. Final delivered something that has all the key qualities of mainstream wireless headphones: comfort, good battery life, and a solid ANC implementation. But how does it sound?
UX3000 has a soft-v type tuning combined with a soundstage that would be considered very good in any closed-back under $200, but is made even more impressive by this sort of performance in a wireless headphone. The overall timbre of the headphones is slightly dark, but the detail in general is strong.
The bass is well extended with a little bit of punch in the midbass. It’s not an exaggerated sound at all, and could maybe even do with a little more physicality. The bass texture is good, and the lower mids are strong and coherent. The midrange in general is pulled back slightly, but most upper range vocals – tenor male and more female vocals have strong presence and good placement in the mix.
The upper registers are smooth and very non-fatiguing, but could use a little more extension. The reserved treble is why, despite not having overly emphasized bass, the timbre still comes off as slightly dark. One solid aspect of the treble is that percussion and cymbals feel tight and resolving, making the headphones feel fast and responsive.
The soundstage is very wide for a closed-back at this level, with a good amount of three dimensionality. That same feeling of tightness and speed in percussion also comes with a sense of depth and positioning. Overall the presentation of the 3D image is a highlight of UX3000’s performance.
On Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong’s “Can’t We Be Friends?” UX3000 delivers the playfulness of the staccato piano intro just as deftly as Ella’s rich, velvety tones. Armstrong’s vocal parts are more gravel than velvet, and UX3000 likewise puts his unique vocal textures front and center. The trumpet parts have a good balance that pierce through the mix, with just the right amount of smoothness up top.
The layers and rhythms on the verse “Message in the Bottle” by the Police always have a tendency to feel a little bit cacophonous. UX3000’s reserved impact, helps center the song around the persistent beat and bass guitar. The bass is nicely textured, while the guitar has a liquidy warble at some points but some bite to it at others. Sting’s lead vocal remains the prominent focus throughout.
On The Beatles’ “Across the Universe,” the opening guitar is crisp, and John Lennon’s voice intimate and just a touch of twang. The backing voices feel far out in space away from the listener. The additional layers of things like strings, sitar, and light percussion are nicely layered, with good separation. The lead vocal remains centered and personal as the rest of the song builds around it.
“Sunflower” by Post Malone was the ticket to really opening up the bass on the UX3000. While it had been tastefully hiding through a selection of classic rock, jazz, and alternative, as soon the bass hits, it was clear that UX3000 can deliver depth and impact in the low end. There’s a good width in the presentation of the layers of synths and instruments, and strong coherence throughout, with nothing getting lost in the mix.
Your experience of all these characteristics will be shaped by exactly how you listen to them. My description was largely based on listening with aptX Bluetooth from my iBasso DX160. In wired mode, with a competent portable DAC/Amp like the hip-dac2, everything is enhanced: the bass is punchier, the dynamics stronger, and the soundstage wider. On the other hand, I felt the AAC Bluetooth with my iPhone delivered everything just a touch more dull. AAC left the highs more veiled and the soundstage feeling a little more closed in.
The Bottom Line
Often when boutique hi-fi brands make a more mainstream product – like bluetooth headphones or TWS earphones – they end up delivering a product that’s somewhat of a mixed bag. Maybe it sounds amazing, but lacks important features, or it gets the features right, but loses sight of the brand’s identity. With the UX3000, Final Audio avoids both of those traps, and delivers a product that nails the everyday life and convenience features that the average consumer craves, and has a sound that – wires or no wires – delivers the detail and performance that audiophiles need.