Review: Final Sonorous III

Firstly I would like to thank HiFiHeadphones for the loan unit, as always I will try to write an honest review. These received the usual 50hrs of burn-in, no real differences were noted.

Gear Used:
Audio Opus #2 > Sonorous III

Tech Specs:

MSRP: £299

Packaging, Build Quality and Accessories:
The packaging is a nice glossy white box with a picture of the Sonorous III on the front, on the back you get info and specs. Also on the back is a exploded view of the headphones, and what technologies are used. Overall an attractive box, once you open it the headphones are held securely by a cardboard insert, and they are easy to remove from the box with minimal space wasted on packaging.

Build quality feels excellent like all other Final products, the housing is ABS, the headband is metal, the cable is detachable and very rubbery and flexible. The earpads are soft and everything feels well made. With some care I can’t see any problems with the build quality.

Accessories are minimal, all you get is a jack adaptor. I would have liked to see at least a soft carry case/bag. These are made to be semi-portable due to the short cable and they are relatively easy to drive so a bag would be useful to protect them in your bag.

Comfort and Isolation:
The cups are shallow and also the opening is quite small for circumaural headphones however I do find them comfortable for a couple of hours use. The clamping force isn’t too strong but they do feel secure, they are not the lightest of headphones but the padding on the headband, along with the width make them very comfortable. So no real complaints, only after long 2 hour+ listening sessions do these start to get a little uncomfortable.

Isolation is actually quite good, they block out the tapping of my noisy mechanical keyboard easily, and dull traffic noise when out and about. They won’t block out as much as most IEM’s but they are good for out and about use due to minimal leakage and also fairly good isolation.

Split in to the usual categories with a conclusion at the end.

Lows: The first thing that springs to mind is full bodied and smooth, the lows just fill the sound with excellent body but without sounding bloated. I would say they do have a boost in the lows, that helps when there is outside noise, but also makes these very fun to listen to. The reverberation from kick drums is felt within the cups, these can move some air but the lows are never overwhelming. Audioslave - Cochise has a very grungy bass line that cuts through the mix on these with great affect.

Mids: The mids are pushed slightly behind the lows, so vocals do not cut through the mix quite as clean as with some headphones, but they are still present and have very good positioning within the soundstage. They do fair better with softer music in the mids, it seems to be during more complex passages they get pushed slightly behind the lows. The detail is there, and they do have power, it’s is just a little farther behind in the mix. Vocals don’t suffer from sibilance, neither are they overly warm from the boost in the lows, they sound very smooth and natural, in that sense the mids are very good on these.

Highs: The highs are present but lack overall extension, they are there in quantity and prevents these from sounding dark. I like the amount of treble presence these have you can hear all the different cymbal crashes clearly with good separation. They have good detail up top, and are never boring, they just lack effortless extension.

Instrument separation is excellent and the soundstage is incredible for closed back headphones. Very impressive width and also depth, they do excel here.

Conclusion: I find these to be a very easy going headphone to listen to, they have excellent soundstage capabilities and also the timbre is very good. They are not the fastest headphones, which means they fair better with slower and well recorded music. When you feed them a good quality recording they shine giving you a real insight into the layers of the song. They may lack a little extension up top, but this is easy to overlook, the lows are not overwhelming and do not get in the way of overall enjoyment.

 As I am sat here writing this conclusion, Radiohead – Sail To The Moon has come on, and the separation, the depth and the overall euphoric sound is really something quite special on these. Technically these may be lacking in some areas, but they do have some special and unique qualities that suit some genres perfectly, making them a real treat to listen to.

Sound Perfection Rating: 8/10 (euphoric and very special with the right music)