Thank you Kenneth from Project Perfection for sending the new Final Audio B series prior the launch event in exchange of my honest feedback and review. I am not affiliated with Project Perfection and there is no monetary reward for this impression.
Final Audio Brand Concept:
"Our brand concept is simple and has not changed since the company’s inception… “the comprehensive pursuit of things that are fundamentally right”. In our pursuit of this, we have actively adopted cutting edge technology such as 3D printers. We believe that such a pursuit is what creates a brand."
During CanJam Singapore 2019, Final Audio surprised the community with their new series of In-Ear Monitor (IEM) – Final Audio B Series. This series consists of three models currently - B1, B2 and B3. We will explore this series in this impression article.
Similar to other Final Audio Series, B series adopted to a very minimalist packaging which includes everything you need.
In the box:
A black rubber compact carrying case
Final Audio Type E ear tips ( XS, S, M, L, and XL )
Final Audio uses stainless steel housing for B series. From the housing, they remind me of Final Audio Make series. They look similar or I can say exactly the same. There are two small screws on both side of the shell. After clarifying with the distributor, unlike Make series, the screws are not meant for users to open the shell but more technicians to do servicing if there is fault internally.
On top of the shell, there is a MMCX connector. This is a good news for audiophiles who like to perform cable rolling, I am one of them. For B1 and B3, OFC silver coated cable which can be found in F7200 is used. I always like this cable because it is sturdy, rigid and eye-catching. For B2, OFC black cable which can be found in E4000 is used. Although it does not look as great as OFC silver coated cable, it does perform well and durable - based on my experience with E4000.
Fitting and Isolation
The fitting for B series is pretty amazing. I have no issue with putting them into my ears canal and let them sit comfortably in my ears. No force, no strain, everything is just nice. With the provided Final Audio Type E silicone ear tips, the isolation is above average. I can use them during my daily commuting routine. With the correct volume adjusted, I am allowed to immerse into the sea of musicality.
Final Audio B1
Being the top of the line (TOTL) in this series, B1 utilizes 1 dynamic driver and 1 balanced armature driver for its impressive performance. This IEMs can be considered as one of the more power hungry IEMs. With my Opus #3, I need to toggle the gain to mid and boost the volume to 95/150 for my normal listening volume. This is high for an IEMs.
The speed for this IEMs is fast - faster than most of the hybrid IEMs in the market. However, due to the limitations of dynamic driver, it still have some warmth in the lows - making the overall presentation not too technical and analytical.
The mids of B1 is a little shy as compared to mids and highs, making this IEMs exhibit a bright “V” shape (slightly). Although mids is staged slightly behind lows and highs, it still sounds breathy and airy. The highs is well extended and the decay is well controlled, no disturbances and distortions. For those who has lower treble tolerance might find some sibilant in the highs.
For soundstage wise, B1 has an above average width and average depth. My ears are recently pampered by Campfire Audio Polaris and the depth for Polaris is crazy. This could cause me to be a little bias here. Nonetheless, the overall staging for B1 is excellent - great fidelity with good separation.
Final Audio B3
I am always confused by this model and B2. Supposed B1 is the top of the line then B2 should be one step lower from the TOTL. However, B2 is the entry level while B3 is the one between entry and TOTL. The models are named based on their developed sequence. B1 is the first to be developed while B3 is the last. Odd naming convention but anywhere performance is the most important parameter.
Utilizing two balanced armature driver, B3 has more emphasis at the highs as compared to B1. This could be the shift of focus because the amount of lows in B3 is less than B1. So there is more focus at the highs. B3 is slightly easier to drive as compared to B1. Toggling to mid gain, I need 75/150 to give me a normal listening volume.
The overall fidelity is close to B1 - some might find B3 has the best fidelity due to the lack of warmth in the lows. Personally, I prefer B1 slightly more because of its neutrality contributed by the lows. Removing the warmth also making the vocals to sound a little cold.
Soundstage is as wide as B1. However, the depth is lacking, making it a little two dimension. This could be a more balanced model which do not have the emphasis in the lows like B1. For highs wise, it is still bright. As mentioned earlier, for those who has less treble tolerance might find a little sibilant in the highs.
Final Audio B2
B2 is the entry level for B series. Utilizing single balanced armature driver, the transition between frequency is the most neutral among the lineup. Beside this, it is the warmest and the most relaxing model among the lineup.
B2 is a mid-centric IEMs. There is more emphasis in the mids and the injected warmth will bring emotions to the vocals. However, the fidelity is an issue for B2. My initial impression towards this model - muffled. I find the vocals sound a little “masky”.
The soundstage for B2 is slightly narrower and shallower as compared to the elder brothers. This could be one of the reason why the fidelity is lower. After analyzing, another reason could be due to the cable. However, after a series of experiment, the cable does not help to mitigate this problem.
The Final Audio B series indeed is a interesting new member to Final Audio line-up. These models cater the craves of fellow audiophiles from different backgrounds and categories. Project Perfection, distributor in Singapore is holding a launch event on 20th July (Saturday) together with the launch of Lotoo Paw 6000 at KOMYUNITI@YOTEL Singapore. If you are interested, feel free to register and drop by to audition the B series. For more details, you can check the event on their Facebook page!
I will be there, remember to say hi to me if you can recognize me! Cheers!