Like the Ultimate Ears Fits, the Final ZE8000 has one long stem with a “dedicated ear-fitting division” that slips into the ear. It’s probably ergonomic, but the protrusion is clunky and doesn’t work well.
I’ve having trouble fitting my ear. Final has numerous ear-tips from extra tiny to extra-large to cover all ear sizes, but medium and small sizes were irritating to wear due to the harsh surface around the tips, creating an ache after 20 minutes.
Extra small was better, but not enough to block outside noise. After some trial and error, the large ear-tip provided the best fit and comfort, however the seal wasn’t tight enough. The ZE8000’s passive noise isolation is restricted because their fit has never felt snug.
Touch controls work well but might be simpler. These sophisticated earphones require a guidebook to operate.
Chargers aren’t portable. The lengthy stem makes the earphones big, so they are. It opens like a tray, confusing if you expect it to flip up. It’s too big for tight pockets.
Its rough Shibo finish matches the earphones. When opened, its four LEDs display the case’s charge. Black and white IPX4 models resist perspiration and water.
- Poor battery life
- Average call quality
- Good wireless connection
Final’s five-hour continuous use and 15-hour overall use are low. That’s less than the Bowers & Wilkins Pi7 S2 or Apple AirPods Pro 2, two truly wireless headphones in the same price range.
An hour of Spotify streaming dropped the earphones 28%. That was with noise-cancelling and 8K Sound on, and another attempt without 8K Sound yielded the same result. Given that cheaper true wireless like the Onesonic MXS-HD1 outperform the Final ZE8000, four hours per charge at 50% volume is underwhelming. Five minutes of fast charging gives 45 more, which seems low again.
Final ZE8000 Bluetooth is superior. It’s held up during many walks through London Waterloo, Blackfriars, and Victoria train stations. The wireless connection has been so good that I scarcely notice it. SBC to aptX Adaptive are supported, but only Android devices have aptX.
These earphones are average for calls. Louder or windier surroundings might cause issues on both ends since they let lots of outside noise in. Voice clarity was fine, but the other person struggled to hear me above the background noise. These real wireless buds work well in quiet environments but not in noisy ones.
At £299, the noise-cancelling should compete with cheaper models like the Sony WF-1000XM4, Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II, and Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 3. Noise-cancellation is poor.
- Music neutrality
- Clear and detailed.
- Lacking low-frequency weight.
The Final ZE3000 is smoother and weightier, while the ZE8000 defines voices and instruments better. The ZE8000 are clearer and more accurate than its cheaper brothers.
The Final ZE8000 is bright and sharp with Gogo Penguin’s Atomised, and low frequencies are snappy, but the Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II have more bass weight and strength.
The Final seems to want low frequencies to be tight and balanced rather than dominant. The ZE8000’s version of Thundercat’s Them Changes lacks the Bose’s depth and extension.
Robert Glasper’s Why We Speak makes the Final ZE8000 sound flatter. Esperanza Spalding’s voice is clear and dominates the soundscape, like Regina Spektor’s version of While My Guitar Gently Weeps or Thom Yorke’s in Radiohead’s Everything In Its Right Place.
The Final’s sharper, sparser, more defined midrange avoids the Sony WF-1000XM4’s vocal richness and smoothness. The Final describes the fast-paced percussion rhythms in Childish Gambino’s Boogieman and Curtis Mayfield’s Move On Up with energy and rhythm.
Playing with the Volume Step Optimizer can expand the soundstage even more. With it on, the Final ZE8000 picks up more fine detail, its dynamism is well-judged, and it clarifies all styles of music, from classical to electronic to soul.
However, the earphone fit is a slight issue. I wonder if the Final ZE8000’s good seal accounts for the sound’s sparsity and leanness. The Final’s neutral tone is what it’s after, but the Bose, Sennheiser, and Sony do better.
After some adjustments, it’s a great true wireless earphone for neutrality and fidelity.
The Final ZE8000 true wireless performs well with music, but its noise-cancelling, battery life, and comfort are lacking.