It’s secure to say Final has all the time been an organization with aspirations – its very first product, a turntable cartridge unveiled in 1974, featured a cantilever minimize from a one-carat diamond. And ever since, Final has had little curiosity in compromise.
Since the flip of the 21st century, it has concentrated most of its efforts on constructing uncompromised, uncompromising (and usually fairly costly) headphones. This is the corporate that can half you from £1999 for a pair of its A8000 in-ear displays – and, to be sincere, it doesn’t matter if it’s over-ear, on-ear or in-ear designs you’re speaking about. Final has normally delivered merchandise with a flourish.
So you received’t be stunned to be taught we queried the worth of the E500 in-ears once we had been first provided the prospect to hearken to them. But no, there was no rogue decimal level – the E500s price simply £19.99 per pair.
Design and construct: Light, implausible
Everything we are saying concerning the E500s goes to be closely contextualised by way of value, and ‘design and construct’ is nearly as good a spot as any to begin qualifying the reward.
Even the costliest in-ear headphones (whether or not they’re Final or another model) are usually fairly unadventurous by way of design, so it follows that twenty quid’s-worth are unlikely to interrupt any new aesthetic floor. Mind you, the E500s look good sufficient. Their black thermoplastic polymer housing seems and feels good, and the very delicate brand punched into the again finish counts, on this occasion, as an precise design characteristic.
At simply 15g a pair they’re hardly a burden to put on, and the black cable is discreet sufficient. And regardless of that remarkably modest price ticket, the E500s really feel sturdy and long-lasting. No, they’re not the final phrase in luxurious – however, actually, is that what you had been anticipating?
Features: Get it proper in your ear
This is one other space the place in-ear headphones have a tendency to not go to city. But with the worth uppermost in thoughts, the E500s really exceed our expectations in a single key space.
Impressively, the E500s are fitted with the identical 6.4mm small aperture dynamic driver as the remainder of Final’s ‘E’-series – and that features the £219 E5000s. On paper, then, they would appear on this respect to be overspecified in relation to their value.
They use the identical ‘swing match’ design as the remainder of the ‘E’-series too – this permits the earbud to be simply and comfortably positioned within the best orientation in direction of the wearer’s ear canal.
Otherwise, there’s little or no to report. The cable is a helpful 1.2m lengthy, the field features a beneficiant number of in a different way sized ear suggestions and, um, that’s actually about it. Even so, it’s honest to say you get somewhat greater than you pay for the place the E500s’ options are involved.
Performance: Better than all white
There are getting on for 2 hundred evaluations of headphones on this web site – and the least costly of them price virtually 3 times the worth of the E500s. I don’t wish to labour some extent, however these Finals actually are ridiculously reasonably priced – and so long as you retain that thought in thoughts if you first hear the E500s do their factor, you’ll get alongside simply effective.
Because no, the E500s aren’t probably the most dynamic in-ear headphones you ever heard. They’re not probably the most three-dimensional hear round, they usually don’t management bass frequencies in addition to loads of different in-ears can.
What they’re, although, is streets forward of the headphones that got here together with your smartphone, and that’s the entire level. Compared to the white, wired in-ears bundled with an iPhone, as an example, the E500s are a far more subtle, extra full and extra satisfying hear.
Moderat’s Bad Kingdom sounds genuinely hefty by the E500s. The ragged analogue bass sounds are deep and properly textured, and whereas in final phrases they drone only a contact they’re higher managed than by some dearer rivals. The lop-sided tempo is dealt with nicely, and there’s sufficient element revealed within the midrange to make the singer sound like a person.
There’s fairly spectacular separation to the sound, too. The Finals’ soundstage is perhaps quite flat and two-dimensional, however nonetheless it’s open sufficient to permit each ingredient of the recording a little bit of respiration area. And up on the prime of the frequency vary there’s well-judged chew and assault, however not a lot that the tune threatens to get edgy or onerous.
The huge dynamic variances in Pantha Du Prince’s Lay in a Shimmer are hinted at quite than revealed in full, however the identical recording lets the E500s exhibit their means to ship transients and effective particulars in stunning amount. And anyway, this final lack of out-and-out drive is mitigated by the Finals’ lifelike tonality and good, pure method with rhythms and tempos.
Final E500 verdict
In the tip it’s fairly tough to not be impressed by the E500s. And if, like some individuals round right here, you rashly pre-judged them based mostly on value alone, nicely – it’s possible you’ll even really feel somewhat embarrassed.
Because whereas it could possibly typically be tough to make a case for spending £60 or extra upgrading your freebie smartphone headphones, dropping £20 on a pair of those is an absolute no-brainer. These are a correct, real improve for next-to no cash.