Final UX3000 Review: Excellent ANC, Trademark Sound
The UX3000 is final’s first attempt at wireless Bluetooth ANC headphones, and they’ve done a superb job. The headphones are lightweight and comfortable, they sound excellent across a broad stroke of genres, and most importantly, the ANC works well, especially considering the price.
- Brand: final
- Battery Life: Up to 35 hours
- Bluetooth: 5.0
- Noise Cancellation: Yes
- Microphones: Two
- Weight: 260g (9.17oz)
- Colors: Black
- Audio codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX LL
- Excellent, clear sound
- Lightweight, comfortable design
- Great ANC for first effort
- Useful for travel
- Decent battery life
- Shibo coating won’t appeal to everyone
- Mid-range dip won’t suit some listeners
The final UX3000 is an exciting first-time product for a well-respected and long-time player in audio hardware, becoming the company’s first wireless ANC headphones with hybrid active noise-canceling tech.
These lightweight ANC headphones look great, but that’s only half of the battle. If you want to find out how the UX3000 sound and if final’s ANC is any good, keep reading for our full final UX3000 review.
Final UX3000 Style and Features
The first thing you notice about the final UX3000 is the visual style. The Shibo coating gives the UX3000 a unique, textured appearance; the word Shibo is an old Japanese word meaning “wrinkle on the surface of paper or leather,” and the appearance of the UX3000 is fitting. It’s also handy for preventing fingerprints and other dirt buildup, and in a world of sleek, polished headphones, the coating helps the final UX3000 stand out from the masses.
Not that this is surprising. Final’s hardware has always gone the extra step to create a unique identity, and given the UX3000 is the company’s first wireless ANC headphones, the attention to detail adds to the premium feel. Although the headphones are predominately plastic, they don’t feel like your average headphones.
Aside from the Shibo coating, the UX3000 headphones deliver premium quality throughout the entire build. The faux-leather earpads cover wonderfully soft foam that sits nicely on your ears. The headband, covered in the same faux leather and padding, adjusts easily to your head size and has plenty of give. Although I don’t have a “large” head, I can imagine that the UX3000 will adjust to your head size with ease and won’t put too much pressure on your ears, although of course, your mileage will vary.
They’re lightweight, too, weighing 260g (9.17oz), which makes them an excellent option for long listening sessions. Again, your experience will vary, but during testing, the final UX3000 were comfortable for hours at a time. They’re also built for travel, with the UX3000 folding down to make it easier to pop into a bag, while in the box, you’ll find a handy travel bag to protect the headphones when you’re on the move.
You’ll find controls for the UX3000 situated around the bottom of each earcup, with easy control for the headphone’s ANC mode plus volume controls. You should note that there is no companion app for the final UX3000 headphones, so you’ll be switching ANC on and off using the little button. All the headphone controls are responsive and there were no issues switching between modes during testing.
Final UX3000 Bluetooth and Codecs
Connectivity comes from Bluetooth 5.0, which connects to your devices fairly instantaneously. Once the connection is made, the UX3000 maintains its connection well, rarely suffering any dropouts or other issues. There is also zero noticeable audio lag between your media source and headphones. The UX3000 headphones also support multipoint connections, meaning you can connect to more than one device at a time.
The final UX3000 supports Qualcomm’s aptX and aptX Low Latency alongside the standard AAC and SBC codecs. The inclusion of aptX Low Latency is handy for those moments when your devices aren’t quite playing ball, as the codec uses compression to deliver better stability.
Final UX3000 Battery Life
Final has done a solid job with the UX3000 battery life, too, with the headphones delivering up to 35 hours of playback on a full charge. Playback drops to around 25 hours with ANC switched on.
Accounting for variables, both of these figures are relatively accurate, falling short of the documented figure but still delivering a full day of playback. Given on most occasions you’ll use the headphones for a few hours at a time, you’re unlikely to encounter a moment where you actually completely run out of charge, especially as the headphone’s low battery reminder comes with plenty of battery to spare.
One thing to note is that the ANC function can remain on even after you think you’ve turned the headphones off. So, you turn the UX3000 off as you would do with other headphones, but the green display light remains on, indicating that ANC is still active, draining the battery. It’s a small yet irritating quirk to the UX3000 that’s worth mentioning.
Final UX3000 Sound Quality
The final UX3000 ANC headphones come with a very gentle level of tuning, final leaving the headphones to do the talk. Well, mostly. You gain a sense that there is some very light elevation in the bass and a little bit of an adjustment towards the top-end, the EQ looking like a gentle wave-shaped curve rather than something more drastic. (I’ve heard others call this a “V” sound, but that overstates what final have gone for with the UX3000.) But overall, the final UX3000 sound quality is superb, and the tuning will feel welcomingly familiar to those coming to final for the first time from “better known” alternatives.
One thing you might find is that the mids do get a little lost from time to time, not overwhelmed by other frequencies, but perhaps needing a slight boost alongside the other adjustments. But even in that, the UX3000 never lacks quality and indeed, the overall clarity and accuracy of the headphones are good, both with or without using ANC. When you listen to music that has a lot of rapid frequency changes, like certain types of dance music, you’ll really notice how tight and punchy the bass can be, adding some nice texture to the mixture. Similarly, the top-end extends well and never becomes tinny, the full dynamic range of the UX3000 working well to help any music you throw at these wireless headphones sound good.
The UX3000 doesn’t have the widest soundstage, especially compared to some of final’s other outstanding audio products. However, in terms of the overall quality of sound, you won’t go wrong with the UX3000. As far as Bluetooth wireless over-ear headphones go, these are right up there.
UX3000 Active Noise Cancelation
As with most headphones and earbuds offering noise cancelation, switching the final UX3000 ANC on changes the sound profile you experience.
You’ll find that with ANC enabled, the UX3000 sounds like it has more room at each end of the scale, the bass and treble frequencies remaining clear as they are without ANC, but definitely extending without interference. The change in sound is overall positive, and you won’t begrudge switching between modes when you need to.
As for the ANC itself, for the price the final UX3000 retails, the hybrid ANC works well, blocking out the vast majority of low-level noise and making a good impression on noisier environments. Given that these are final’s first Bluetooth over-ear ANC headphones, they’ve done an impressive job. On multiple occasions, my wife walked into my office and scared me half to death by tapping me on the shoulder without my realizing she was even there.
How the UX3000 fits your ears and head will also make a difference to your ANC experience. Ideally, you want a relatively snug fit to ensure the earpads are working in harmony with the noise-blocking exterior microphones. Adjusting the headband and earphone connectors do deliver some leeway, while the earcups also allow for some rotation to find the optimum listening angle.
Should You Buy the Final UX3000 Wireless Headphones?
Now, down to the vital question: is the final UX3000 worth the money?
Given the final UX3000 wireless headphones retail for $149, these represent real value for money. Although final presents the UX3000 as headphones for audiophiles, they’re not quite at that level of outright audio quality, final’s tasteful tuning becoming abundantly clear when you switch the ANC function on.
Not that final’s UX3000 EQ tuning is an issue. The UX3000 sound great across a wide range of genres and switching the active noise cancelation on certainly adds to the depth and width of the soundstage. You won’t be disappointed with either setting, that’s for sure. Another big plus point for the UX3000 is the aforementioned ANC, the hybrid noise cancelation tech working well to block a significant amount of noise in various situations. The UX3000’s ANC certainly competes alongside other, more expensive wireless headphones, and in many cases, performs better.
As far as Bluetooth wireless ANC headphones go, the UX3000 are a great option that will bring listening joy to anyone who gives them a go.
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