Noise cancelling, equalisers and an app are not always required, all you need is laid-back music enjoyment. Final meets this requirement profile quite convincingly with the ZE3000 true-wireless model: providing good sound at a fair price.
The Final ZE3000 are straightforward true-wireless headphones with a focus on sound quality and no-frills operation. There is neither noise-cancelling nor an app. In exchange, listeners to music can enjoy a sound quality that nowadays often takes a back seat to ever more numerous extras.
The ZE3000, which are available in black and white and were developed in Japan, have a sleek but tasteful design. The headphones and case are made of synthetic resin with a lightly textured coating, of a type which will be familiar from the camera sector. The IPX4 waterproof and sweat-resistant construction is light but robust. The product does not forego touch control: for this purpose, there is a slightly angled area on the outside that functions as a touch-sensitive zone, while a second, larger area contains a blue status LED. The ZE3000 are compatible with the audio codecs SBC, AAX, aptX and aptX Adaptive. However, higher-resolution variants such as aptX HD and LDAC are omitted.
The Final ZE3000’s wearing comfort is good despite the somewhat angular housing. According to the manufacturer, a conscious decision was made to use three points of contact instead of a larger contact surface in order to reduce possible feelings of pressure. And indeed, even during longer listening sessions and movement, the ZE3000 fit securely and are comparatively pressure-free in the ear, with good passive ambient noise attenuation at the same time. The fitting pieces are particularly important, and these are supplied in five sizes.
Final claim a volume-dependent runtime of seven hours of uninterrupted music playback, and I can confirm this in practice. With the additional capacity of the compact charging case, you get a respectable 35 hours, which should cope with any journey. The charging time is one and a half hours for the earpieces and two hours for the case.
Pairing takes place separately and automatically when the earpieces are removed from the case. Conversely, one earpiece switches off when the lid is closed. The headphones are switched on and off individually and can thus be used independently – for example, for telephone calls – and no one I spoke to complained about voice quality. There is also stereo-to-mono conversion for SBC and AAC. The wireless link was stable and had a reasonable range.
The touch-sensitive outer area is slightly angled. Accidental triggers are thus minimised. Due to the design, you have to put up with the kind of popping that can be typical of in-ears during clicks. Single, double and triple clicks and a longer touch are all supported. This makes it possible to start and pause music playback, handle phone calls, skip tracks, control the volume and call up a smartphone voice assistant.
Final deliberately based the name on the popular wired E3000. The ZE3000 is supposed to emulate and even surpass its neutral sound. According to the manufacturer, the dynamic, low-distortion 6 mm drivers (called “f-Core”) and the housing acoustics were optimised for this purpose instead of relying on compensating electronics – a sensible approach. In fact, this is important in a true-wireless system, where the battery and electronics take up a lot of space. Since the drivers work in a closed housing, a specially developed damping system called “f-LINK” is used to compensate for the typical disadvantages of such designs. On this basis, according to the manufacturer, the electronics are only used for narrow-band, small corrections of remaining irregularities.
My listening impression was indeed good: The Final ZE3000 sounds pleasantly balanced and avoids annoying accentuations – for example, in the bass. The latter sounds tight but nevertheless reaches deep down. At the same time, it sounded open, punchy – and, if required – had the necessary volume. In general, at least for me, the ZE3000 needed a certain minimum level to sound convincing. Then, however, an unusual amount of detail opened up, considering the price range of these in-ears. Yello’s “Arthur Spark”, for example, revealed a remarkable three-dimensionality that went into depth and not only reliably reproduced the stereo panorama but also traced movements or width expansions well.
Voices in the midrange had a natural timbre. In general, all instruments, acoustic and electronic, had good resolution. Slight modulations of the timbre were complementarily well comprehensible, and details were brought out. This also applied to the treble, to which no harshness was added.
Once again, I noticed a remarkable resolution of detail in relation to the price range. As expected, however, the ZE3000 don’t measure up to significantly pricier designs and open over-ears – but they don’t have to. Finally, even with classical music, the ZE3000 didn’t fail to deliver dynamics and fine nuances – from both small and large instrument sections – with a lifelike timbre reaching the listener’s ear (and not the person sitting next to you). It goes without saying that delicate genres in particular benefit from a quiet ambient level.
Congratulations: The Final ZE3000 know how to deliver true-wireless sound. For 139 euros, you get an in-ear headphone for mobile use that does without bells and whistles and concentrates on music reproduction. They are not an audiophile miracle, but they are a good-sounding accessory for everyday use.
- Ear couplingIn-ear
- Transducer principledynamic
- Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
What's in the box
- 5 pairs of ear tips (XS, S, M, L, LL)
- USB-C charging cable
- Charging case
- Available in black and white
- BT codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive
- BT version: 5.2
- BT profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP