Today we review the new $149 USD Final Audio ZE3000 True Wireless Stereo In-Ear Monitors.
Disclaimer: KS Distribution sent us the Final ZE3000 TWS in-ear monitors for this review. I only covered the import taxes and fees. All thoughts and experiences with the product are naturally my own. You can find out more about the IEMs here.
Final Audio was founded in 1974 by Kanemori Takai. This passionate story that started with a cartridge designed by Yoshihisa Mori continues today in many different product ranges. Final is an interesting company with fans all over the world, especially in Japan. If you have noticed, all products are designed with a similar design language and they look quite elegant. The company attaches great importance to both aesthetics and the technology behind aesthetics. The earphone adventure that started in 2009 has paved the way for introducing many good products to the industry.
Today we will review Final’s first wireless TWS in-ears, the ZE3000. Final entered the wireless industry with two different lineups. ZE and UX series. The ZE series will focus on earbuds, while the UX series will focus on headphones. Along with the ZE3000, the company also introduced a wireless over-the-ear headphone called the UX3000. Let’s see how the ZE3000 sounds and evaluate its performance together, without further ado.
The ZE3000 takes its name from the E3000, its wired headset that has sold hundreds of thousands of units since its launch in 2017. The finale seems to have given such a naming as a homage to the proven success of the E3000. Final also states that the process of designing and developing the ZE3000 took quite a long time. The product was launched with impressive technologies after a long R&D process. Let’s briefly talk about some of them. First of all, Final states that because they want the earphone to be waterproof, the drivers cannot have a ventilation port, and this will negatively affect the sound quality.
To overcome this problem, they developed a technology called “f-LINK Damping System”. This technology optimizes the pressure of the acoustic field without the need for external ventilation within the acceptance. Additionally, Final says driver distortion is also a big problem for wireless headphones, and they have developed a solution for that as well. The new driver unit they call “f-Core for Wireless” has much lower distortion. You can find out all about these technologies, here. I am including the highlights & specs of the ZE3000 below.
Specifications & Highlights
Configuration: 6mm “f-Core for Wireless” Dynamic Driver with “f-LINK Damping System”
Bluetooth Chipset: Qualcomm QCC3040 Bluetooth 5.2
Supported Codecs: aptX, aptX Adaptive, AAC & SBC
Playback Time: Earphone: 7hrs / Case: 35hrs
Charging Time: Earphone: 1.5hrs / Case: 2hrs
Material: Premium SHIBO Coating – Black or White
Features: Embedded Touch Sensor, IPX4, Single Ear Monaural Mode, Final’s Type-E Tips
Packaging & Accessories
The ZE3000 comes in a white, square box. The box is simple and elegant in design. It can be seen from the box that a simpler design approach is adopted rather than a flashy presentation. The company has listed the detailed features of the device on the back of the box. There is also a QR code on the back that contains the serial number of the earphones.
As for accessories, the ZE3000 comes with Final’s Type-E eartips specially modified for TWS earphones. Available in pairs of 5 sizes in total. The quality of the eartips is very good, they grip the nozzle very well and do not itch the ear during use. The box also includes a few documents and a short USB-A to USB-C cable.
Design, Fit & Build Quality
Final is a company that pays attention to the aesthetics of the headphones at least as much as the sound quality. It is very important for the company that the designed earphones and headphones are different from what the industry offers, and that they look different and aesthetic. You can easily understand this by taking a look at the products that Final has designed in the past. The ZE3000 is an earphone, developed with this principle. You know, we’ve reviewed many TWS earphones together. Celebrating my 2nd year at Headfonia, looking back, I see very few options that really impressed me in terms of design and were different from the others. Yes, for us audiophiles, the sound quality always outweighs the other features, but when good performance is combined with a good design language, the real magic happens.
After a small glance, you start to get to know the ZE3000’s design cues. First of all, the outer part of the earphone has a sharp and angled design, while the part in contact with your ear has softer edges. I think the biggest reason why Final took this design decision was comfort. It doesn’t make much sense to look pretty if it’s going to cause discomfort every 2 hours, right?
Secondly, the shell of the product is in the medium-large size category and cannot be said to be very compact, so if you are among small-eared Headfonians, I must say that you should consider the fit issue. Apart from that, the nozzle of the earphone is not very long. Final has designed the earphone not to fully enter the canal, but to sit comfortably at the entrance. Frankly, I did not encounter any comfort problems even though I listened to it non-stop until the battery was completely dead. During my time with it, I also had the chance to go to the gym with the ZE3000 a few times, even during intense cardio it managed to stay firmly and comfortably in my ear. In general, the tips that come with it are a little small compared to the JVC Spiral Dots that I normally use, so I preferred the largest size ear tip.
Let’s go back to the design elements of the earphone. The ZE3000 comes with an interesting finish. Final named this coating “Shibo”. “Shibo” means crease on paper or leather in Japanese. Sony’s mirrorless cameras have a similar finish and look quite stylish. I see the same texture on the charging case as well and overall, the product feels unique and sets itself apart from other earphones in this price range.
Build quality is great, as expected from Final. The hinges of the case and the USB-C connector feels rigid and durable. It is also possible to open and close the lid singlehandedly. The case is quite compact and easy to carry. It fits everywhere and it is very light to carry around. The battery case holds a 300 mAh battery inside and while it stays behind of industry’s bests, it does an adequate job for its form and factor.
We can say that the Final did a pretty good job with the ZE3000. It is obvious that it is a product that is ahead of its price in terms of design, size, and design.
The review continues on Page Two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.
Page 1: Final Audio, ZE3000, Packaging & Accessories, Design, Fit & Build Quality
Page 2: Connection Stability, Controls & Layout, Call Quality, Battery Life
Page 3: Sound Signature, Low, Mid, High, Technical Performance, Comparisons, Berkhan’s Impressions, Conclusion