final Audio's reputation has been on the rise, especially with the release of the E Series making big sound quality available to all us music lovers on little budgets. With the release of the B Series, those with slightly fatter purses can look forward to even better sound quality and more tuning options. (You can read a review of their newest flasghip, the B1 here.)
final Audio's lineup truly has something for most everyone.
As far as deviations from their line of classics go, final took time to dust off the cool collaborations they have worked on in the past few years, putting them together at the Hong Kong AV Show in a showcase of their special projects in and around Japan.
If you missed HKAV, you're likely getting first dibs on a thorough rundown here!
1) final x Momoiro Clover 10th Anniversary Commemorative Edition Earphones
We're starting off the list of collaborations strong with final x Momoiro Clover's 10th Anniversary Commemorative Edition Earphones. Momoclo may be a name some of our readers are well acquainted with, but did you know that Ariyasu Momoka, a former member of Momoiro Clover Z, is also quite the fervent music enthusiast? A bit of digging into the recesses of the internet yields videos of her going earphone shopping.
The video we've embedded below, though is a little different, it shows Momoka seated at final Audio's Shinagawa facility, being involved in the thick of the sound tuning herself, breaking down the E3000's existing sound and giving suggestions to final Audio's tuning team.
2) ANT20 Collaboration: Countdown Friday TOP 20 Anime Songs
Limited to just 300 pieces. this special edition was crafted for Ms. Riho Iida, host of Countdown Friday TOP20 for All Anime Songs (ANT20).
If that's not a name that rings a bell, Iida san is also happens to be the voice actor of Hoshizora Rin from LoveLive! School Idol Project.
This project was carried out in collaboration with i-dio, with Iida san herself tweaking the earphone's sound tuning.
Instead of the yellow you might expect from Hoshizora Rin's LoveLive! image, the set comes packaged with turquoise blue earpieces, ear hooks and a silicon case in the same colour, a homage to Ms. Riho Iida's own image colour in real life.
3) E1000SE Green Collaboration Edition
The Headphone Book is a Japanese audio magazine considered locally to be the definitive audio bible.
Due the E-series's recent rise in popularity, the publisher of the Headphone Book published a special edition featuring the final E1000 with half of the magazine's contents dedicated to introducing final's product lineup. To increase the issue's exclusivity, the E1000SE GREEN is attached to book as a little extra for its readers.
4) LAB I 3D Printed Parts
Forms in audio gear reminiscent of alien architecture isn't just the domain of companies like Devialet, the final Audio LAB series has also produced its fair share of curious but functional forms.
The LAB Series was conceived as a safe space to allow final Audio to experiment and conceive never-before-seen kinds of items.
The LAB I's distinctive shape is formed from Titanium using a cutting-edge 3D metal printer requiring "a very particular set of skills".
The Lab I was born through a process that combined this specialised knowledge with a craftsman's intuition and numerous rounds of prototype testing. The 3D printer irradiates metal powder over an extremely small area with a laser, melting it and then hardening it over and over, crafting the earphone's form. The surface of the shape is pocked with the marks left by the laser's irradiation, giving the lab I it's signature appearance.
5) LAB II 3D Printed Parts
To achieve a never before seen vast soundstage, the LAB II is designed to be a unique structure that can only be created using a 3D printer. With a 3D metal layering printer and a level layer of 30μ, metal powder is irradiated using a laser and fused together to create a form.
A drawback to this was that the formed metal was susceptible to warping, owing to the heat created during the molding process. This was a huge challenge that final Audio managed to overcome through their collaboration with NTT Data Engineering Systems (NDES) to handle a large amount of data calculation. Products that have been created with a 3D Metal layering printer can be few and far between: Such a process is only possible when you have engineers who are also craftsmen in the realm of 3D shaping.