A little background on me
I’ve been passionate about headphones for over the past decade, to the point where my love of music and tech intertwined and absorbed me into a black hole – and all this happening in what I’d call a booming decade for personal audio. I’d like to think I’ve developed a strong ear for nuance and analysis, and have experienced most kilobuck flagships of note – and let me tell you, the Final D8000 Pro are truly a spectacular set of headphones.
The unboxing experience is wonderful, it’s all packed like a luxury watch, double boxed, with two bubble wrap sleeves surrounding each, and finally a classy glossy faux croc skin box. Upon opening that, you have a practical carry case, with a set of silver cables with ¼” termination, and another OFC black cable with 3.5mm termination. The silver cable is HEFTY and oozes quality, more so than most aftermarket products out there even. Inside the carry case rests the headphones themselves, and once I removed them and laid my eyes on them, I immediately was struck by the exceptional craftsmanship. These are without a doubt the most beautiful headphones I’ve ever seen; the aesthetics, the machined parts, the quality of the pads and the specs of paint splashed on the Final badge and hinge make for a super classy and beautiful product. These headphones are massive, they are also on the heavier side, they feel premium, unlike some other very expensive products out there. I feel like this is a luxury item, and that despite it costing a pretty penny, it is well justified!
Right off the bat, these are one of the best headphones you can buy in 2020. I’ll be honest, there are two headphones I’d say sound better which I’ve heard, and they retail for much much more money, one which I own, but can’t always justify owning. What is extraordinary about these is that they are probably the most complete set of headphones for multi genre, and 100% would be my recommendation for an endgame single-set of cans for someone who doesn’t want to hoard gear!
Chances are if you’re reading this, you’re pretty well versed in the high end headphones game. What do these sound like? Well, tonally, they’re very similar to a HiFiMAN HE1000v2 with more treble clarity, detail and control, and with dynamics and bass slam akin to the HiFiMAN HE6 - but surpassing those even. Soundstage is somewhere between Focal Utopia and HE1000 series, and is more focused and coherent than either. It has what I would call just the right amount of stage width, and great center image crossfeed, which makes for a more engaging listen. These headphones have great speed, dynamics, slam; they’re a more authoritative and in your face presentation. A hybrid of LCD4 and Utopia in one package, and besting both is also a great example of what these are. I have not heard better bass rendition in a headphone up to now.
If you value transparency, attack and dynamics, with treble energy and good sparkle and super tight bass, all while having a very linear and unobstructed midrange, then these are a must listen.
It sounds like hyperbole, too good to be true, etc... but they really have no glaring flaws. If I have to nitpick, treble energy is north of neutral which can be a bit too much on occasion, and bass is also punchier than neutral. Think of it as a very tastefully and ever-so-slight V-shape - but I would say they sound that way in direct comparison to a Susvara for instance. They’re more of a natural listen than neutral, and that is something we should appreciate when listening to music. I actually enjoyed these with more diverse material than my Susvara, and found myself longing for more punch and upper mids/ low treble from Susvara. They might not resolve quite as much as the expensive HiFiMAN, but they are more musical and fun for most of what I listen to. One last thing to bear in mind is that despite comfort being good, you might have to adjust the headband once in a while as the headphone may get heavy over time. These are the sacrifices us audiophiles must be prepared to make to get the best sound out there!
Some Music Tested:
Donald Fagen – Morph the Cat:
As a bassist, I love using this track for testing, as the bass guitar is incredibly well recorded, and overdriven, and causes many headphones to saturate/ struggle to properly render it nicely. The D8000 Pro absolutely slam, the impact and texturing of the electric bass are superb and not too bloated as it would on say an LCD4. Donald Fagen’s voice in this track edges on sibilance, and is sometimes not the most pleasant with some headphones, but in this case it is edgy, but remains clean and controlled with great immediacy and clarity.
Trentemoller – Moan (Trentemoller Remix):
I got completely lost in this track, the layering and buildup of grooves is addictive and so effortless. This track presents a very holographic soundstage, and what’s fantastic about it with the Final is that it sounds very three-dimensional in the x,y,z axis’.
The O’Jays – Back Stabbers:
Just some old Motown soul with a lot percussions and instrumentation. Just a lot going on, with strings, punchy backing rhythm, some electric guitar licks – it’s great for testing timbre of various instruments, and D8000 Pro, again, effortlessly render this song with nice dynamic.
Ronald Jenkees – Inverted Mean:
Bells and chimes and lots of micro dynamics. Great test for speed and effortlessness. Some planar headphones have issues with rendering very clean treble à la Stax or Focal Utopia, but the Final compete easily, all while offering more with a low end foundation that the aforementioned don’t quite have.
Michael Wollny – Muhlrad:
A good friend of mind showed me this track and it’s become one of my most used test songs. The initial drum slam is gigantic with tons of energy and air, followed up with tons of intricate instrumentation and cymbal play. Eventually the bouncing piano notes fall in and you can clearly hear reverberations/ bounce of the piano hammers. Piano in this track is so well recorded, but many headphones are unable to project the notes forward with depth. The D8000 Pro really gives tactility to all the instruments, as if they have relief and texture and you feel you can touch them; it sounds very real. Instead of just throwing a wall of sound at you, you can really decipher all elements within the song being projected at you from a black background, as if it were real music.
Finally, when talking about luxury or high end products, it must be discussed that diminishing returns are in effect. Nevertheless, many people justify spending thousands of dollars on headphones because they remain more budget-friendly than many 2 channel systems, yet can attain a level of fidelity that is world class. I truly believe that if you’re to rationalise spending thousands on a headphone, but want something that really justifies its worth, the D8000 Pro are entirely priced fair. I am a headphone addict, I cannot have just one headphone as I always feel different headphones or brands will offer something unique, or their own flavor. But for the first time in a very long time, listening to these headphones, I kept telling myself how incredible of a total package these are. I don’t long for the HD800’s soundstage and treble, I don’t miss the HE6’s dynamics and slam, the midrange is organic and analog like my HE1000’s and add to all that, these are relatively easy to drive!
Hope my write-up was enlightening, and if you have a chance to hear these someday, or are shopping for a World Class headphone, you owe it to yourself to put these on your radar. Also, enjoy these sexy photos