Final Audio A8000

A Knight in Shining Armor!

PROS: durable build with a stainless-steel finish and elegant shell design, pure Beryllium dynamic driver, vivid micro-detailed sound tuning with a focus on speed, transparency, and clarity, holographic soundstage, quality cable and removal assist tool, nice selection of accessories.

CONS: tuning is on a brighter/colder side, not very forgiving with poorly recorded tracks, shells have some heft.

The product was provided to me free of charge for the review purpose in exchange for my honest opinion.

Manufacturer website:  Final Audio.  Available for sale from Audio46 and other on-line retailers.


Intro.

Pure beryllium driver IEMs were definitely a buzzword of CanJam NYC 2020 show which I recently attended.  We often don’t realize that some manufacturers put more emphasis on “beryllium” than “coated” when referring to beryllium-coated drivers.  Pure beryllium drivers are rarer, so when Final Audio announced their new flagship A8000 (A8k) IEM with Truly Pure Beryllium Diaphragm, it got attention of many audiophiles.

Since my recent review of Final Audio B-series IEMs, I was curious to spend more time with their new A-series flagship because 10-min audition at the show in a crowded environment was just not enough, and also it has been awhile since I reviewed a single DD monitor.  After spending the last few weeks testing, comparing, and pairing A8k, here is what I found.  Enjoy the read!

Unboxing and Accessories.

Final A8k (A-series) IEMs arrived in a compact white box, with a very similar packaging as in B-series.  The unboxing experience is very “layered” with outer sleeve that has Final logo on the front and a detailed spec on the back.  Then, a soft cardboard box with A-series label on top, and another cloth wrapping inside once you lift the cover, followed by more wrapping to unveil the travel case and eartips case.  While I enjoyed the unboxing experience of A-series, I personally felt it should have been more premium to differentiate this flagship model from B-series.

Inside you will find a silicone/aluminum carrying case, a pair of small clear transparent earhooks with a lock mechanism, dust filter stickers, 5 pairs of Final E-Type silicone eartips (SS/S/M/L/LL) inside of a small travel box, and a clever mmcx assist removal tool.  Eartips have a firm cap which makes a good seal with earcanal and comes with a ribbed color coded (Pink – right, Grey – left) inner stem with a tight grip around the nozzle and a smaller size bore opening.

Silicone/aluminum travel case is similar to the one included with B-series, except with an addition of aluminum protective top cover.  It has a clever design with a top part of the case (silicone layer with aluminum shell) being roomy/deep enough to fit IEMs w/cables.  And the bottom flexible silicone half of the case covering up IEM/cable when closed to keep it secure inside, preventing the content from sliding around.

Cable.

A8k comes with a quality silver plated copper (SPC) cable which I find to be non-microphonic, pliable, lightweight, and comfortable to wear while on the go.  Though you do get removable earhooks, I personally found it to be more comfortable to wear the cable with these IEMs without it.  And of course, since we are talking about the removable cable with universal mmcx connectors, you can use any of your favorite cables with it.  I will cover various pair up examples with aftermarket cables after Sound analysis section.

And speaking of removable cable, Final Audio came up with something very simple yet brilliant – MMCX removal assist tool.  While the cable is easy to attach, the removal requires a bit of force and the housing of the connectors is slippery.  This little “yellow” plastic tool makes it very easy to disconnect mmcx connector, and it works not only with Final IEMs but other brands (tested and verified with Campfire audio, Westone, and iBasso).

final_a8000-21

SPC cable itself has 4 conductors, 2 on each side, twisted and in a clear flexible jacket, with each side twisted again after the y-split going down to a right angled 3.5mm plug.  The plug has a nice clear strain relief, 2/3 of the housing is metal and the rest is clear transparent so you can see the connection of the wires.  Y-split has a matching slim metal finish, and chin-slider is a clear small silicone piece.  The earpiece connector housing with mmcx also has a matching finish and red/black color-coded rings to indicate Right/Left sides.

Design.

While A-series A8k uses a similar housing concept as Final MAKE and B-series models, the actual design of the shell is more elegant with a flat faceplate instead of busier multi-facet surface.  The stainless-steel finish is a little shinier than B3 finish, but in general they are similar.

final_a8000-20

The inner part of the shell is rounded, fitting comfortably inside of my ear concha area, while the outer part has more angled edges, though still “soft” and comfortable, not as sharp as B-series.  I noticed one pinhole vent at the bottom of the shell and another vent (with something like a mesh cover?) on the inside of the shell.  The shells itself are average size, each one about 41g which is a bit hefty, have shorter nozzle with a lip for eartips grip, and 4-bore nozzle tip with a slightly recessed area to apply a screen filter.

In the heart of A8k design you will find a Pure Beryllium diaphragm made from ultra-thin Beryllium foil.  This material is known to be super lightweight and to have properties of high sound propagation velocity.  To optimize the operation of this Beryllium dynamic driver, Final came up with a stainless-steel chassis internally divided into 4 chambers, called Tetra-Chamber construction.  Those were precisely calculated since the volume and the shape of these chambers and their placement around the driver will have a significant impact on the sound tuning because we are dealing with an ultra-thin beryllium dynamic driver.

final_a8000-37

The fit.

final_a8000-36

Page 2 – Sound Analysis and Comparison.
Page 3 – Source pair up, Cable pairing, and Conclusion.

16 thoughts on “Final Audio A8000

    1. Final was very specific in their product page, if you check it. They said Beryllium drivers require around 200hrs for a burn in/break in. Tbh, the changes I heard (and keep in mind, could be subjective) were within first 50-75hrs. But hey, I just followed their suggestion 🙂 So, I would think the same applies to Luna.

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    1. I’m getting way too many requests to compare it to U12t, Solaris, Andro, etc. 🙂 A8k is totally different from all those other smoother, warmer, less revealing, more balanced or fun v-shaped iems. All these iems are more colored and less transparent, they have slower and less articulate bass. U12t in particular has smoother mids and smoother treble with less airiness.

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  1. I got the a8000 earlier and still waiting for it to arrive. Didn’t get a chance to try it since is not easy to find anyone that carries it from where i live. Anyways, I have the A&K sp2000 ss and i guess is probably not a good pairing as well right?

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    1. hard to tell since SP2k has a higher output voltage and different amplifier design. Pair up synergy will play a big part in how A8k will sound. Don’t get discouraged yet, wait and hear when you get them. BUT please, don’t just straight out of the box. Let it burn in.

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  2. Hey twister, hope you are well. I’m considering getting either u12t, u18t or even jomo flamenco. I own several top tier daps, lpgt, n8 sp2000 and wm1z but want a top tier iems to go with them. I like lots of different genres of music. Which or what would you recommend?

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    1. Out of these 3 iems, U18t. Just a personal preference, U12t doesn’t have as good separation of instruments as U18t and in general sounds smoother and not as resolving (which some might like over U18t if you want more organic sound), and all JOMO iems sounds too bright to my ears (peaky lower treble tuning).

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      1. Thanks twister. I really enjoy your reviews as you do lot of comparisons and talk about which iems pair best with certain daps. It’s very useful. Matter of interest what dap, iems, headphones do you use when your not reviewing stuff?

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      2. Iems, U18t – as many as I have tested in the past, I always come back to these. Dap, I go between LPGT (my reference), N6ii w/E01 (though, E02 card is incoming and I have high hopes for it), and DX160 which I love to use for Qobuz streaming.

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  3. Hi Twister,

    Thanks for all the great reviews that you have put up over the years. They have been a great in helping me to decide what gear to buy. At the moment I am running with a DX22o via amp 3 or amp 8, prefer more amp 3 at the moment. My go to iem is the Sony ier-zr1 and I am looking for something new to add to my collection. Narrowed it down to the BGVP ES12 or the Final Audio A8000. Apart from the price diference, I know that they are quite different iems , both sporting new technologies that I am fascinated to try – Electrostatic Drivers n custom hardare peq switches(that’s not new) in the BGVP, and the Beryllium driver inside the A8000. I am thinking that the BGVP will have more sound signature overlap with zr1 which can be offset by the hardware switches, and the A8000 will a have such a unique signature that can hopefully compliment the zr1? I am quite open to the really open, extended, ultra detailed unforgiving sound of the A8000. And if I were to get the A8000, I will probably also get the Tubed Amp9 to offset some of its take no prisoners nature. So I’d really appreciatie what might have to say about which of these 2 is the more meaningful buy, especially how they may differ from the Zr1. I noted that in your A8000 review you stated that the A8000 is addictive, so that I am leaning more in that direction…

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    1. Unfortunately, I’m more familiar with A8k, never heard BGVP (it was reviewed by Animagus), and I never heard sony ZR1 headphone (assume we talking about their headphones, not iems). Regarding dx220 and amp9, it is not a desktop tube type of sound. I just tried it, and indeed it makes the sound a little more natural at the top. But you also have to keep in mind, amp9 is underpowered, and you really need to crank up the volume. Just tried it with a8k. If you are into EDM and pop/rock with busy instrument arrangement, it sounds good. But if you are listening to classical or instrumental with quieter passages were you have a few instruments at a time, the hissing will be loud, even in low gain with amp9.

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  4. Thanks Twister for that heads up on Amp 9. My Amp 3 and 8 are able to drive everything that I have thrown at it with no hissing. I was referring to the iem version of the zr1 which is very similar to the full size zr1 which I also use.

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    1. That was a great review you did. It is funny how people are comparing this with the 64audio. I think they are more neutral and warmer. I do think a8000 is unique of its high notes and for this reason, I am interested in it to listen to my opera music. The orchestra are so beautiful played that I do believe A8000 will being that out musically! What do you think?

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      1. Yes, I do agree. With EDM tracks and some synthesized instruments it could sound harsh, but with opera music genre and natural organic orchestra instruments it will sound fantastic.

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