Final Audio Design are no strangers to the audio scene and have consistently launched beautiful yet sonically pleasurable audio gear time and time again. Key to their success is the employment of innovative engineering which has seen the company launch products with a natural yet vivid sound signature. An example of just this is the Heaven VIII, one of the latest in the Final Audio line of IEMs, and certainly a highly anticipated addition to the Heaven series.
The Heaven VIII is the result of ‘Metal Injection Molding’, a manufacturing method where fine powder is mixed with a binder material and a resin and consequently heated to extremely high temperatures. The nature of this form of construction enable the housings to be created with high levels of precision and hence sound acoustics can be optimised which Final Audio claim is not possible through standard machining. Utilising a single balanced armature driver with special ‘Balancing Air Movement’ technology, Final Audio boast enhanced bass levels and stereo imaging which would again be hard to achieve conventionally.
Some may question the use of a single BA driver at the price of £499, but Final Audio Design have not failed to implement the rightful technologies and produce a technically proficient sound capable of competing with earphones of 3 times as many drivers. So without further ado, let the review commence.
What you get
The Heaven VIII come in a faux glossy reptile-skin box which includes a furry type platform in which the IEMs rest. Compact and beautifully designed, the packaging pays homage to the brand of Final Audio and its current line-up.
Final Audio have kept it short and sweet by offering only necessary pieces of accessories to accompany the Heaven VIII. Included are 5 different sizes of silicone eartips and a deluxe metal storage case. As well as this, Final Audio Design have provided a warranty card and an instruction manual.
From the gold stainless steel casing to the elegant mosaic backing, the Heaven VIII are stunning in design. They offer a rich brown flat cable which reduce microphonic noise distortions as well as eliminating any tangling to be expected from standard cables. Put next to other IEMs, the VIII stands out and exudes a level of quality which transcends many of its competitors.
The looks of the Heaven VIII are certainly deceiving in the sense that the level of insertion into the auditory canal is not as deep as one might expect. This is due to the side traction of the stock ear tips which prevent the housing from progressing any further and consequently create a vacuum-like seal. This was something which felt different from the start of using the Heaven VIII but progressively got more and more comfortable to use. Of course, if the stock tips do not satisfy your tastes there are still a wide plethora of aftermarket tips available to suit any audiophile’s needs and desires. One area which Final Audio Design could strive to improve upon is the weight of each earpiece which weighs a relatively heavy 29g. By using lighter construction materials, a lighter version could be more practical and comfortable for longer listening sessions.
Owing to Final Audio’s ‘Balanced Air Movement’, the Heaven VIII accomplishes a quantity of bass hard to find in other balanced-armature IEMs, especially those with single drivers. Lows are full and articulate with a great sense of dynamism and realistic decay which contribute nicely to instrumental music. Though not as impactful as the lows of the DN-2000 or even the Titan 1 for that matter, bass is never lacking in body and offers a pleasurable timbre free of distortion. I am particularly impressed with the natural sounding lows which stays true to the source and offer an engaging listening experience.
The midrange of the Heaven VIII is slightly forward in nature and offers tremendous levels of clarity and resolve. This is not surprising though as this is one area in particular which Final Audio have made their mark on with their strong collection of IEMs. In contrast to the crystal clear mids of the Rockit Sounds R-50, mids of the Heaven VIII have greater body and sound more airy in delivery. They are also lean to the brighter sound signature with mids quite prominent in the overall soundstage. It is worth noting, however, that the Heaven VIII can be prone to some degree of sibilance which is very much dependent on the source, music track and the volume levels.
The treble of the Heaven VIII renders very well and typically has the great levels of extension and detail a balanced-armature driver provides. In drum and bass tracks, high hats decay fast and efficiently without being laidback in nature. In this sense, there is no spatial disconnect from the upper mids to the lower trebles which both share a sense of brightness in character. The sparkly clear highs make for an engaging presentation and truly satisfy those seeking extended highs without the compromise of rolled-off frequencies.
Soundstage & Imaging
Whilst not the largest I’ve heard, the soundstage of the Heaven VIII is still well above average. Again, owing to the “Balancing Air Movement” mechanism, the presentation of the Heaven VIII is simply airy and fully 3 dimensional with a great sense of width, depth and height. Instrumental separation is also stellar with plenty of space and air between vocals and different instruments.
Final Audio Design has succeeded yet again in delivering a competent IEM in all aspects of the range of frequencies. The Heaven VIII offers a clear detailed sound which is bright and engaging but could present a bit of fatigue in long listening sessions. The Heaven VIII seems to shine best when paired with higher bitrate files but that is not to say that they disregard music tracks of lower quality. All in all, these balanced sounding IEMs are simply incredible and when paired correctly offer a great and resolving sonic experience.
Final Heaven VIII Technical Specifications
|Brand||Final Audio Design|
|Feature Keyword||Ear Canal, In Ear, Noise Isolation, Portable|
|Recommended Use||Digital audio player, Portable audio system|
|Manufacturer Warranty||2 Years|
|Included Accessories||Eartips in five different sizes, Deluxe metal storage case|
|Part Number||Heaven VIII|
|Headphones Type||Headphones – binaural|
|Headphone Fit Type||In-Ear|
|Connector Type||Headphones (3.5 mm stereo jack)|
|Driver Type||Balanced Armature|
|Headphones Form Factor||In-Ear|
|Headphones Technology||Balanced Armature|
|Number of Drivers||Single Driver|