General Information

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Final E500

The new model in the E-series which delivers the most neutral sound among the series.

The perfect neutral sound signature of the E500 is not only suitable for music lovers who enjoy relaxing neutral sounding, the extreme accuracy in sound localization is also working seamlessly with games that need high requirement of sound source positioning such as FPS and VR games.

General Information
Brand:
final
Country: Japan
Series: E series
Model Name: E500
Price: Around USD25
Official Website: To be added
Intro / Q&A thread in Head-Fi: To be added
Purchase Link: [Hifiheadphones] [Drop] [Amazon UK]

Specification
Drivers:
6.4mm dynamic driver x1
Housing Material: ABS
Cable: OFC 3.5mm/1.2m
Sensitivity: 98 dB/mW
Impedance: 16 Ohm
Weight: 15g (Both side including cable)

Accessories
Final Type E Black Ear tips (5 sizes)

Review
English

Stuff - [Review]

Latest reviews

jwbrent

Headphoneus Supremus
Pros: Really nice performance for the low cost, supremely comfortable fit, the inclusion of a full set of final E series tips makes this a huge bargain
Cons: For $21, none
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Introduction

In 1994, Grado Labs introduced the SR-60 headphone for $69 thereby changing the public's perception of headphone sound at a modest price. It was a huge success (I should know, my store sold many hundreds of them). Customers were amazed by the clear sound, and it didn't take any salesmanship to encourage them to make a purchase.

Fast forward 26 years and I predict final's introduction of the E500 will accomplish a similar fate. I'm getting ahead of myself, but this modest looking IEM is a paradigm shift: I was completely surprised at the quality of its music reproduction, a neutral tonality throughout the entire frequency range with a soundstage that impresses given the $21 price on Drop.

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Performance

I purchased the E500 for this review, and I primarily used my iPhone SE as my source playing lossless music. Following final's guidance, I burned in the E500 for 100 hours before I did any critical listening. No EQ was used in my sessions.

The E500 uses a 6.4mm dynamic driver housed in an ABS casing. Final's intent with this new model was to address the growing VR and gaming industry's need for earphones that are designed specifically to reproduce the spatial elements innate in the play experience. Additionally, binaural recordings are gaining popularity on YouTube and elsewhere, so the E500 with its relatively flat response is well suited to show off how engaging these recordings can be.

Although the emphasis in design is for enhanced spatial reproduction, the E500 does a fabulous job in reproducing music, and other than listening to it while playing on my Nintendo Switch, my focus, as always, was listening to music.

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This is an earphone that works well with most music genres due to its neutral reproduction, there are no extremes in its response that I can hear. The mid-bass performance is surprisingly good although I don't hear much in the sub-bass (<60Hz) spectrum, but I have often found myself smiling on the E500's overall low frequency fullness.

The midrange is very clean with no bass bleed to detract from vocalists and instrument fundamentals. The upper-mids/lower-trebles have no hint of sibilance, so the E500 is very good for long listening sessions which I like a lot. The trebles are a tad soft, to my ears, but given the extremely affordable price, easily forgiven. Still, there is some sparkle to the upper frequencies in recordings that emphasize this range.

Now we get to the noteworthy part, spatial reproduction. For this I listened to a hi-res binaural recording by Lenny White, Explorations in Space and Time, purchased from HDtracks. No question the E500 is adept in showing off a holographic soundstage. Well done!

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Summary

The E500 is an enjoyable listen, and continues to be after the wow factor has worn off. Due to its modest sensitivity (98dB), a phone can easily handle the job, but the E500 scales with better gear and higher power. I tried my iFi nano iDSD Black Label, and the E500 played with greater dynamics and speed, so definitely use better gear for the full experience. In its day, the SR-60 was a harbinger for better sound at a modest cost, the final E500 now takes the baton in affordable excellence.
Last edited:
jwbrent
jwbrent
Well, many love the E5000, but it’s way more expensive than the E3000 and it’s not known for neutrality. Since you’d like sub-bass performance, the E3000 will get you there. Good luck!
srink
srink
thanks a lot brother
twiceboss
twiceboss
Just ordered this. Man the frequency response looks so good for r&b listening!

Comments

earmonger

100+ Head-Fier
OK, folks here's a Q for anyone who has tried both: Final Audio E500 vs. Etymotic ER2SE?

Final is $25 on Amazon, Ety is $50 with an Adorama deal.

Both are called neutral, both are affordable.

Anyone have a real-life comparison?
 

Mimic

New Head-Fier
OK, folks here's a Q for anyone who has tried both: Final Audio E500 vs. Etymotic ER2SE?

Final is $25 on Amazon, Ety is $50 with an Adorama deal.

Both are called neutral, both are affordable.

Anyone have a real-life comparison?
OK, folks here's a Q for anyone who has tried both: Final Audio E500 vs. Etymotic ER2SE?

Final is $25 on Amazon, Ety is $50 with an Adorama deal.

Both are called neutral, both are affordable.

Anyone have a real-life comparison?
I have an Ety ER3SE on the way. FA E500 seems interesting, but is it really the best for what it does at the $20 price point?
 

Mimic

New Head-Fier
OK, folks here's a Q for anyone who has tried both: Final Audio E500 vs. Etymotic ER2SE?

Final is $25 on Amazon, Ety is $50 with an Adorama deal.

Both are called neutral, both are affordable.

Anyone have a real-life comparison?
I would say the Ety is definitely worth the blind for the price point, especially if you can get a sale on it. Tips definitely alter the isolation amount to some varying extent. Using the ety double flange vs Comply tips for example. Small Comply tips were comfortable, but definitely not providing a good seal. Medium size sealed incredibly, but were borderline too uncomfortable to wear depending on the insertion depth. After a couple weeks of consistent use, my ears have gotten somewhat used to the tight fit for the seal I'm looking for. It would be perfect if they made a tween size of the comply series.

Ety double flange tips provided decent isolation, comfort is neutral, and sound is also decent. I would say for those with smaller ears/medium ears, standard flange is good size without getting uncomfortable. The only issue is if your ear is shallow in depth, then the Ety's would be uncomfortable all around.

Sound is good for long non-fatiguing sessions
 
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