This week we tested the Final Sonorous II circumaural hi-fi headphones. Despite its impressive build, which is a common trait of hi-fi headphones, this model doesn’t feature the drawbacks inherent to its category, in other words moderate sensibility and sky high impedance. It is therefore designed to be powered by a simple smartphone. A much better listening experience is of course to be expected with an audiophile source and it is exactly what we wanted to test with this set of Final headphones.
Final Sonorous II: comfort
The Final Sonorous II headphones are rather heavy but do not feel bulky once placed on the head. The weight is well distributed and, although noticeable, wouldn’t prevent the user from enjoying this set of headphones for hours at a time. The headband is well padded, the earpieces are stuffed with soft foam and we did not notice any troublesome pressure during our test. Although it is possible to move around while wearing the Sonorous II, it is strongly recommended not to run with it, as the headphones will fall or at the very least not stay in place, resulting in a negative impact on the sound. The best way to listen to the Final Sonorous II is sitting comfortably.
Final Sonorous II: manufacturing quality
The Final Sonorous II carries the same DNA as the Sonorous X but, due to its price, uses different materials. Imitation leather and plastic are the main components, yet the headband is made up of steel and the earpad is connected to the earpiece by an aluminium ring. This set of headphones benefit from a solid build and seem particularly sturdy. The earpieces are articulated and connected to the headband via a greased spherical head rod. They can therefore move silently and follow the listener?s head movement very smoothly.
The cable is 1.5 m long and can be disconnected. It features quality gold plated metal connectors as well as a sheath which prevents any interweaving and permanent warp.
Final Sonorous II: transducers
The Final Sonorous II headphones are fitted with two 50 mm wideband dynamic transducers. Each transducer is made up of a titanium membrane with a central dome. The Japanese brand does not specify the frequency response but announces a 16 Ohms impedance and a sound volume of 105 dB at 1 kHz for 1 mW power. The Sonorous II can thus be used with any type of headphone amplifier, even the less powerful ones.
Final Sonorous II: test conditions
We listened to the Final Sonorous II headphones with a HiFiMAN EF2C DAC amplifier (used along with the Micromega MyDAC) and Sony PHA-1EU. We used a Raspberry Pi2 computer (Volumio) and an Android smartphone (USB audio output) with CD quality and Hi Res Audio (24/96 – 192) FLAC files.
Final Sonorous II: listening impressions
The Final Sonorous II headphones have a very bright sound signature, with an emphasis on the high-mediums which brings a lot of clarity to the listening experience. After a few hours of listening, this part of the sound spectrum (a bit rough at first) becomes smoother, which leaves more room for the transducers to explore higher frequencies. The lows are swift and extended, yet globally discreet, which prevents the music from benefiting from truly solid foundations. Those who are looking for a rounder sound will have to pair the Final Sonorous II with an amplifier which has the ability to reach very low frequencies or hold back in the mediums. Another option is to use a DAC with a warm sound, such as the Micromega myDAC or to use the source?s graphic equalizer if there is one (smartphone, tablet or computer for example).
In spite of its closed structure, the Sonorous II manages to offer a wide and clear sound stage, which is its main quality.
Final Sonorous II: conclusion
We liked the overall aspect and comfort of the Final Sonorous II headphones. Its musical performances require a well thought out pairing with a well balanced source or a source featuring an equalizer in order to keep the high-mediums under control. In these conditions, the beautiful energy of this set of headphones will seduce the listener.