Final B Series In-Ear Monitor Review
S’NEXT is a company that sells high-end audio earphones and headphones under its own brand “final” as well as conducting component technology development, product planning, design, planning, manufacturing and sales of other companies’ brands.
The company was established in 2007 in Japan.
The B series is a new engineer driven product series that productizes each of the latest research results. Series concept and retail price are not bound in a hierarchy, productization is by order of development, so product name and numbers reflect the order of development.
The B1 is currently the most expensive model among the 3, while B2 is the cheapest and B3 at the center. The naming of B series is not following any pattern but simply the development sequence.
The Final B2 is an In-Ear Monitor with a full range single Balanced Armature driver, while the Final B3 has 2 (dual) Balanced Armature drivers, one for high frequency band, and one for mid and bass.
Now I will compare the final B2 with the B3, which have a quite different sound tuning.
PS: The Final B1 will be send to me with a short delay because of a production shortage. I will update the review and will add the B1 once I have compared it with the B2 & B3.
Product Link: https://snext-final.com/en/products/bseries/
The Final B2 and Final B3 was provided to me by S’NEXT free of charge for review purposes. I am not affiliated with S’NEXT or any third person beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about these products.
The final B2 is sold for $299,00 while the Final B3 is $499,00.
S’NEXT doesn’t sell its products directly. You can find the list of the dealers for the international market bellow;
Package and Accessories:
Both the Final B2 and the Final B3 came in a pretty plain rectangular cardboard box in white color with product and Company brandings in gold color.
The box of each model is containing the following items/accessories;
- 1 pair x of Final B2 or Final B3 In-Ear Monitor
- 1 pcs x Detachable cable with MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) connectors
- 5 pairs x Final E type silicone ear tips (SS, S, M, L & LL sizes)
- 1 pair x of Ear hook (black color for the B2 and transparent for the B3)
- 1 piece x of Silicone Carry Case
The package of both IEM’s is including 5 pairs (comes in 5 sizes – SS/S/M/L/LL) E type silicon ear tips which are very comfortable to insert in to my ear channels. If you look on the back of each pair, you can see that it differs in colors. The gray indicates left and red is for the right ear pieces.
The carry case that is included in the box of both IEM’s is made of silicon and the cables can be rolled up and stored easily in it. The earphones themselves are gently secured using thin dome-shaped silicon covers.
Design and Build Quality:
Both the Final B2 and the Final B3 sharing the same design language with a prism like/prismatic shape that reminds to an origami, while the main difference is the color and surface appearance of the monitor shell.
The monitor shell of the Final B2 is in gun metal color while the Final B3 is in frost silver color.
Both the B2 and the B3 are made of a special Metal Injection Molded (MIM) stainless steel material, which is processed by powdered metal that is mixed with a binder to form a resin in the desired shape and applying high-temperature sintering to achieve the desired form.
The reason why Final used this material is the high degree of freedom in molding the resin into the same shape as the cast, making it possible to achieve a complex internal design even with metal.
On the front surface of both IEM’s is a fixing screw in gold color.
At the inner surface of both In-Ear Monitor shell is a screw, a small vent, the sound nozzle, product brandings and L & R markings.
The sound nozzle of those IEM’s is slightly angled and has a relative short elevation with a fine filter on the top to prevent the insertion for dust, ear-wax, etc.
At the backside of both monitor models is the product article number.
On the top of the Monitor shells are the MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) female connectors. The connectors are quite robust and offer a tight and save connection.
The overall build quality of both In-Ear Monitors is rock solid!
Both, the Final B2 and Final B3 have detachable cables with MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) connectors which are developed in-company. The main difference is in the wire material, look and feel.
The cable of the Final B2 is made of a high purity OFC (Oxygen Free Copper) wire and has a soft and flexible black PVC coating.
The cable of the Final B3 is made of a high purity SPC (Silver Plated Cooper), while the other insulation film is made from PFA which was also developed by Junkosha who used their extensive know-how through the JUNFLON® brand to create the ultimate in low-permittivity material. The outer tube on the other hand is made from PVC for maximum flexibility.
The MMCX connector housing of the Final B2 is made of plastic and has right (R) and left (L) markings. The right connector sports a red ring for an easier identification.
The Y-splitter and chin slider of the Final B2 is made of plastic in black color.
The MMCX connector housing of the Final B3 on the other hand is made of metal (aluminum) and has also Left and Right markings and a red ring for the right and black for the left channel.
The chin slider of the Final B3 is made of transparent platsic material, while the Y splitter is made of metal in silver color.
The 3.5mm (TRS) single ended headphone jack of the Final B2 has an L profiled black metal housing, while the Final B3 has the same design, but with a mirror like finish.
Comfort and Isolation:
The Final B2 and Final B3 offers a pretty comfortable wearing experience for my medium sized ears and I didn’t faced any discomfort in my ear concha.
The noise isolation of both the Final B2 and the Final B3 is on an average level, while it is quite acceptable for the use in relative noisy environments like metro, bus or train.
Both the Final B2 and the Final B3 are showing a relative low sensitivity of 109db @ 48ohm for the B2 and 102dB @ 19 ohm for the B3. They do sound quite good with sources like phones or tablets at higher volume level, but to hear the true potential of those IEM’s, especially the B2, I would advice you to use them with a small portable amplifier or a Digital Audio Player (DAP) with good amplification.
- In-Ear Monitors : Final B2, Final B3, FiiO FH7, CA FIBAE Black, FiiO FA7, Sennheiser IE400 Pro
- DAP/DAC’s : iBasso DX220, iBasso DX160, QLS QA360, Cayin N5II, FiiO Q5s
Albums & Tracks used for this review:
- Rush’s – Leave That Thing Alone (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Photek – Hidden Camera (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
- Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Wav 24bit/88kHz)
- Chopin – Nocturn No. 20 In C-Sharp Minor (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Fazıl Say – Nazım Oratoryosu (Live) (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Spotify)
- Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
- Tom Player – Resonace Theory (16bit/44.1kHz)
- Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- Portishead – The Hidden Camera (MP3 320kbps)
- Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Opeth – Damnation (Wav 16bit/44kHz)
- Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Slayer – Angel of Death (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Elton John – Your Song (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
- David Bowie – Black Star (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- Dave Gahan – Kingdom (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Eric Clapton – Unplugged Album (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- B.B. King – Riding With The King (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
- First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
- London Grammar – Interlude (Live) (Flac 24bit/88kHz)
- Aretha Franklin – I Say a Little Prayer (Wav 16bit/44.1kHz)
- Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
- Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Wav 16bit/44.1kHz)
Sound Analysis and Comparisons:
This review is written after a burn-in of approx 95-100 hours. I have used the stock silicone ear tips for both IEM’s, which were included to the package.
Sound Signature and Tonality:
The Final B2 and B3 are similar when it comes to the design, while the sound signatures and the driver configurations are quite different. Btw, I do think that the design of the B series is much more esthetic compared to the E series.
The Final B3 has a bright, neutral and sharp tonality with focus to the upper midrange and treble region. The Final B2 on the other hand shows a warmer, fuller and smoother character with focus to the lows and midrange. The overall sound signature of the B3 is neutral and bright, while the B2 is warmer, darker and softer.
The Final B3 has also a more neutral presentation compared to the E4000 which has the most neutral sound signature of the E series. Although the B2 is similar in some ways to the E5000 due to its high impedance, it doesn’t sound as detailed and balanced as the e5000 due to the configuration and driver limitations that shows impact to the treble frequencies.
The Final B2 shows an average subbass depth, extension and quantity. The rumble is not very high, while it is fairly controlled and soft in its presentation. It will satisfy most listeners with exception of bass-heads.
The subbass of the Final B3 has slightly better depth and extension while they are pretty similar in terms of subbass control. The Final B3 shows slightly more intensity and rumble compared to those of the Final B2.
The midbass region of the Final B2 shows more emphasis and has more intensity compared to its subbass. The midbass have a strong slam effect and impact, while instruments like drums/snare drums are pronounced and bass guitars are full bodied and thick in tonality. There are no situations like the midbass hump or mixings.
The Final B3 on the other hand has a more neutral midbass character with less intensity compared to the B2, while it has the upper hand in terms midbass speed and transparency. Instruments like drums/snare drums have moderate intensity and are pretty fast. The Final B3 has the upper hand in terms of midbass speed and tightness.
The bass of the Final B2 shows in general an average speed and tightness compared to the Final B3 which is faster, tighter and more detailed. The bass of the B2 is a bit loose, but has the upper hand in terms of overall bass quantity due to the more pronounced midbass character.
The Final B2 has a mildly warm, moderately transparent and musical midrange presentation, while the Final B3 shows a more neutral, highly transparent and livelier presentation. The midrange of the B2 is soft and emotional, while the B3 offers a more neutral, transparent and vivid midrange character. The midrange of the B2 is more upfront and intimate compared to those of the B3.
The midrange is the focal point of the Final B2 and sounds quite enjoyable especially with slow songs and vocals. The Final B3 on the other hand, has a high price to performance ratio in terms of midrange clarity, detail and speed.
The lower midrange of the B2 has slightly more body and depth compared to the B3 that shows a more neutral and thinner character. The male vocal presentation of the B2 is more musical compared to the B3, while the Final B3 has a more neutral, vivid and transparent male vocal presentation.
The upper midrange of the Final B2 and Final B3 has a strong emphasis and good extension, which is the reason why both IEM’s are pretty successful in terms of female vocal detail and extension. The main difference is that the female vocal tonality of the B2 is warmer and than the B3. The Final B3 sounds more balanced and controlled when I do listen to female vocals, while the B2 can do sound a bit uncontrolled and harsh depending to the record quality.
Upper Midrenge & Treble:
The upper midrange of both IEM’s shows a strong intensity and extension. The upper midrange of the Final B3 is more controlled and balanced compared to those of the Final B2 that sounds especially with tracks that have fast passages a bit harsh and sibilant. The balanced tuning is the main reason why the upper midrange transitions of the B3 are more controlled.
The treble range of the Final B3 is more pronounced and shows higher intensity compared to the rest of the sound spectrum. The treble range of the B3 is pretty airy and spacious, while the Final B2 shows a softer, warmer and recessed treble presentation. The treble range of the B2 is not as pronounced like the upper midrange area and shows a slightly unnatural tonality, without to have any remarkable peaks. The treble range of the Final B2 has a soft and forgiving character, while the detail retrieval is not very high.
The Final B3 is superior to the Final B2 in terms of treble quantity, extension and brightness. The treble extension of the B2 is a bit short. Instruments like Hi-Hats and crash cymbals are more pronounced and have better intensity with the B3. The Final B3 shows a treble performance (extension, detail, etc.) that is well above its price point.
The soundstage of both IEM’s is suitable for a fairly precise separation and placement of instruments and vocals. The soundstage of the Final B3 shows more width and is superior in terms of separation and placement of vocals and instruments. The soundstage of the Final B2 is not as airy like those of the B3, but the performance in terms of soundstage depth is slightly better than the B3.
PS: I am not a EQ fan and don’t like to play with the stock sound of any gear, but the Final B Series, especially the B2 is very responsive to Equalizing and has shown some wonders with “HiBy Music’s MSEB” application.
Final Audio B3 versus FiiO FH7:
The overall tonality of the FiiO FH7 is brighter than those of the Final B3. The subbass of the Final B3 is not as deep like those of the FiiO FH7, which has the upper hand in terms of depth and extension. The midbass region of the B3 is more balanced and linear than the FH7, which shows more intensity, while the Final B3 has the upper hand in terms of bass speed layering.
The midrange of both IEM’s is pretty transparent and detailed. Both are more successful with female vocals than male voices. The upper midrange and treble region of both B3 and FH7 is pronounced and detailed. The Final B3 has the upper hand in terms of upper midrange/treble extension and intensity.
The soundstage of the both IEM’s shows better width than depth, while the B3 shows a little bit more depth.
Final Audio B3 versus Custom Art FIBAE Black:
The Custom Art Fibae Black has a softer, warmer and more musical tonality than the Final B3. The Fibae Black shows more subbass and midbass depth, while the B3 is superior in terms of bass speed and tightness. The midrange of the Final B3 is more transparent and detailed than those of the Custom Art Fibae Black. The Fibae Black has the upper hand in terms of male vocals, while the B3 is more successful with female voices. The Final B3 is superior to the Custom Art Fibae Black in terms of upper midrange and treble extension. The treble range of the Fibae Black is a bit recessed and softer compared to the Final B3.
The soundstage of the Final B3 shows better wideness and airiness, while the Custom Art Fibae Black has the upper hand in terms of depth.
Final Audio B2 versus FiiO FA7:
The FiiO FA7 has a pretty U shaped sound signature where the midrange is behind the strong bass and sharp treble range. The subbass region of both IEM’s shows a good level of depth, while the midbass are more pronounced than the subbass area. The FiiO FA7 has a slightly midbass hump, while the bass of both IEM’s are a little loose and have a moderate speed.
The midrange of the Final B2 is more in the foreground compared to the FiiO FA7 with its U shaped sound signature. The lower midrange of the Final B2 shows slightly more depth. The B2 is more successful with male vocals, while the FA7 is more suitable for female vocals. The FiiO FA7 has the upper hand in terms of upper midrange transition and control. The treble range of the FA7 is brighter, more airy and has better extension than the Final B2.
The soundstage of the FiiO FA7 has more width, while the Final B2 shows better depth.
Final Audio B2 versus Sennheiser IE400 Pro:
The Sennheiser IE400 Pro has a brighter and more neutral tonality than the Final B2. The Final B2 on the other hand offers a softer and more musical presentation. The subbass of the IE400 Pro has less depth and a more linear midbass presentation than those of the Final B2. The midbass region of the B2 has more intensity, while the IE400 Pro has the upper hand in terms of bass speed and tightness.
The midrange of the Final B2 sounds musical and emotional, while the Sennheiser IE400 Pro shows a more transparent and lively midrange character. Both the B2 and the IE400 Pro are more successful with female vocals. The treble range of the IE400 Pro is more pronounced and detailed, while the B2 sounds a bit veiled and muddy compared to the IE400 Pro.
The Sennheiser IE400 Pro has he upper hand in terms of soundstage width and airiness, while Final B2 shows slightly better depth.
The company Final follows a new way with the design and functionality of its new B series In-Ear Monitors, while the B1, B2 and B3 reflects the company’s new understanding. This series features also for the first time (except the LAB II) multiple and hybrid driver configurations.
The Final B2 stands out with its entertaining tuning and mid-focused sound, while B3 has won my admiration with its neutral tonality and highly detailed sound. Both IEM impress moreover with their high craftsmanship, robust connections, fit, comfort and a wide range of accessories.
Pros and Cons:
- + Bass Control (Final B3)
- + Midrange Clarity Control (Final B3)
- + Musicality (Final B2)
- + Treble extension and Detail (Final B3)
- + Very Responsive to Equalizing (especially B2)
- + Design and Build Quality (both Final B2 & Final B3)
- + Nice accessory’s package (both Final B2 & Final B3)
- – Upper midrange Control (Final B2)
- – Treble Roll-off (Final B2)
- – Soundstage Width (Final B2)