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Final D8000 Pro Review – Zen

Unboxing –

Final Audio provide a quality accessory set for the D8000 Pro though I would say I might be a little disappointed as a paying customer by the unboxing experience. Where many competitors provide hulking hard cases with a plush satin interior, the D8000 Pro comes in a leather-textured cardboard box with card inserts holding the contents in place. It’s not a very elegant system but functional nonetheless. The accessories do impress, however. Inside is a hard carrying case with hard-wearing outer and soft fabric inner lining alongside water resistant zippers. An elastic strap keeps the headphones secured and a soft pouch attaches using velcro below the headband, offering space for the cable. Included are two cables, a 1.5m OFC black cable with 3.5mm termination and a 3m silver-plated copper cable with 6.3mm connector. While a balanced cable would have been preferred, both are of exceptional quality and well considered for the headphones intended uses. It’s also great to have the flexibility of longer and shorter cables.

Design & Build –

The D8000 Pro exemplifies every positive connotation one imagines when reading the words “made in Japan” and its design showcases OCD-like attention to detail as one would expect from a statement product. From the outset, this is a visually arresting headphone that always leaves you wanting a second glance. While this sentiment may apply to many high-end headphones, this is not for its quirks; whether that be outlandish dimensions or proportions necessitated in the pursuit of sonic brilliance. No, the D8000 Pro suffers from none of this, being constituted of only clean, visually satisfying lines and smoothly sweeping, ergonomic curves. I am especially fond of the silver unit I have here which really flaunts the precision machine work on the magnesium alloy cups, and provides awesome contrast to the micro-fenestrated hyper-black vents just behind the circular planar driver.

One could even mistake the D8000 Pro for a closed-back headphone given that the vents are so small and the upside to this approach is that headphones leak far less sound than competing open-back designs whilst upholding a similarly open wearing experience. The impression of all-around quality is reinforced by the stiff alloy rails and a super smooth, perfectly weighted step-less adjustment slider. Every joint glides with even, perfectly weighted tension and its essentially all-metal construction provides unyielding solidity at all points with zero creaks or points of perceived weakness. The finish is perfectly even, the tolerances so tight that seams are visible but cannot be felt. Every edge is perfectly machined to avoid sharpness or anything else that would mire the careful consideration applied to each and every component. In addition, though it isn’t a light headphone at just over 500g, the alloy blend does mean the D8000 Pro is lighter than most competitors while feeling just as premium if not more so.

The cables reinforce this impression. They attach via dual-entry mono 3.5mm plugs with a bayonet twist lock. To my understanding, this is a proprietary system so third party cables will have to have a longer protrusion to clear the locking mechanism. This isn’t necessary, however, as the included cables are of exceptional quality. The black OFC cable is shorter and ideal for a desk setup at 1.5m. It has a non-protruding 3.5mm plug and ultra-supple wires with an internal braid. This cable is excellent to live with day to day. The SPC cable is longer and terminated in a 6.3mm plug. It has a transparent jacket showcasing a similar internally braided wire configuration. This cable is a little stiffer and springier but similarly resists tangles and is easy to coil. It is longer at 3m and suitable for those with a larger desk or even running it the headphones off of an electric instrument. Subjectively, the silver colour scheme more readily complements the silver D8000 Pro, it’s a stunning combo and I never felt any deficiency required upgrading on the stock cables.

Fit & Comfort

Weight & Comfort

At just over 500g, the D800 Pro isn’t a light headphone but is markedly lighter than a lot of its competitors, many of which coming in closer to the 600-700g mark. It is also well-proportioned headphone and its fit is remarkably ordinary with a standard headband design and relatively low profile cups too. It does exude a sort of cyberpunk aesthetic with its metal construction and ball-joint mounted ear cups. However, overall, the D8000 Pro manages its weight with aplomb and I was able to wear them all day without discomfort in any regard. That said, as it doesn’t use a suspension headband, much of this comfort will come down to individual head shape. And where I found the band to be perfectly suited for mine, some listeners may not have the same impression so it is best to demo them in person if possible before purchase.

Headband & Earpads

While it doesn’t have a suspension headband, you do get a well-designed wide and super soft lambskin leather band that satisfies in all regards. It has slow-rebound foam padding that conforms to the shape of the head and helps to disperse the headphone’s weight. The newly developed Toray ultra-suede earpads feel very nice indeed and contribute greatly to the D8000 Pro’s all-day comfort. They are superbly breathable even over long listening sessions and feel ultra-soft and supple during wear. The internal padding is a bouncy foam reminiscent of pressure care cushions used in a medical setting. Similar to memory foam, they conform nicely to individual head shape but I am confident it will age better over time due to its more rebounding nature. They also help to spread force over a larger surface area, aided by a large surface on the inner face of the pads themselves. So, though the D8000 Pro does have slightly higher clamp force, I didn’t experience even an iota of discomfort here. One thing to note is that the perimeter of the pads is made from a soft, elastic material. I did notice a little pilling on my unit after 2 months of almost daily use, which means this will be susceptible to wear over time. Care should always be taken when using and storing instruments of precision but do be especially careful here.

Sliders & Earcup Adjustment

The step less slider mechanisms offer heaps of headband adjustment and I found myself comfortably in the middle leaving heaps of leeway in either direction. The cups rotate on ball joints, offering around 20 degrees of rotation and 15 degrees of pivot in all directions. This means the headband is always positioned for optimal wearing comfort during stationary listening. However, due to the large amount of articulation, fit stability is not the best; understandable given these are not designed for portable listening in the slightest. I experienced zero issues with paint or surface chipping, discolouration or general wear and tear during my months of testing besides the earpads. I would summarise that these headphones will age immensely well.

Next Page: Sound Breakdown

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