Finally as promised, I’m able to squeeze out some time for the first impression on Final Audio Design Heaven IV. The model is fairy new to the market, it shouldn’t be more than 4 months if I’m not wrong with the time period between announcement and launch.
This time it will be a model with their special tuned “BAM” driver technology instead of dynamic in adagio II and V, and it is the second cheapest model for BAM driver beside Adagio III.(Correction, it is actually a sound tuning mechanism, the BAM tuning actually is to reduce the unwanted air resonance inside the housing, and provide the most live sounding induced into the earphone.) I will give an explanation why I love this brand a lot, and willingly to do full range review for all their products in Conclusion.
All right, to cut long story short, let’s go straight to our standard review procedure.
Packaging & Accessories
it has the standard package resemble their higher end model (Heaven S, Heaven C), black color box without any glossy, and special laser treatment or embossed. Design is simple and not complex to figure out how to open the box.
3 Sizes of sleeve provided, no big deal ….. BUT….. I MEAN BUT…. Take a look at their earphone case….
WAHAHA, I always love how final audio design presents their “Case”, it looks….. Gorgeous!!! Slot in cigarettes.. No problem, keep your cosmetic jewels… No problem!!
I believe this is the best earphone case I saw before in my life, Kudos to final audio design!! However, beware on the death of finger print. (When you lost interest on earphone packaging, you will start to obsess with Earphone Case)
Long vessel design suspected for their customize BAM driver, tangle free flat cable feature creates for user friendly design, guess there are tons of brand following this idea in current market.
Ear fitting is fine, don’t expect a clean over the ear EG Shure, Westone series. Despite the housing length, the earphone still fit perfectly inside my ear canals, I do recommend over the ear for more solid wearing experience.
Sound ImpressionI always have a perception on Final Audio Design earphone only suitable for Female vocal, especially their BAM driver or higher end versions, they did splendid job on the presentation, able to reflect the sweetness, musical yet no tonal dry for overall performance, I like them, I seriously like them a lot. Lucky me, I had a tried on their Piano Forte VIII ear bud from a friend, before that I always kept a doubt on their product “do they worth that much?”, that’s the time I had a total change on my point of view towards this brand. If I have the money for PFVIII, would I buy it? I will answer you in my conclusion section.
Ok let’s stop blabbering…
The songs I used:
Taylor Swift – back to December
Emi Fujita – Fields of Gold
Norah Jones – Don’t know why
Il Divo – Ave Maria
I picked vocal oriented songs, and most of them are females (Well I’m not a pervert, just that I like FAD sounds with female vocal.)
Final Audio Heaven IV main signature:*Smooth, sweet vocal
*Average sound stage
*Decent amount of bass
*Forward and Fast pace
Treble – If directly compare with Adagio V, I will prefer on Adagio V. The treble of Heaven IV doesn’t present smooth enough transition in my taste, there’s a slope on mid high, and the transition is not going in a natural flow, there’s an immediate sparkly treble in certain songs. In songs such as Taylor swift or Emi Fujita, I can spot harsh high notes straight to my ears. Is it sharp and pierce to my ear? Well I’m still able to tolerate without problem, just I will recommend Adagio V for smooth, control and natural treble compare with Heaven IV. They are fun, dynamic and outstanding, whether the brightness in treble suitable you or not, have a try will be my advice.
Mid – It is marvelous my friend, they are not categorize in either thick nor thin, musical is what I will describe them. There is slight veil in Mid high region, which don’t generate clear enough dynamic to some extent. However, the perfection of texture/body on mid frequency really does enhance the greatness in musicality for Heaven IV.
First try it doesn’t offer immediate “WOW” effect, when it stays longer in your ears, you will tend to forget everything beside Mid vocal. They are smooth and tender, I love how it makes Taylor Swift music more lively despite most of my earphone collection don’t, mainly due to “Crispy, Clear, Detail” earphone makes Taylor Swift sounded dry and horrible (Usually TS will be last of my playlist, so sorry!).
Bass – To be more precise, it’s kind of similar with Adagio V, tight and adequate, but not enough for certain degree, I’m no bass head myself, so I can’t conclude or measure it, and show you how much “Quantity” they have. They just sound nice in that frequency range, but a quick roll off with not much attention on decay & extension. You get the speed and quantity but less impact and texture, but overall presentation of the bass still towards a clear cut and easy listening. Do not expect boomy and shake your head on the night type.
Conclusion :I always mention about Final Audio being “Untraditional”, especially their Heaven and high end series such as Piano forte, FI-BASS and discontinued 1601DC. What do I mean by untraditional? People do mention about final audio design sounded “weird” compare with others (E.G westone, shure, etymotic etc etc). Yes they are weird, because our ears are suited earphone with “tradition” sound, in another word; we are experiencing too many earphones with very close characteristic. We use high ends for reference, usually it falls into Shure 535, Westone UM2/3x, Westone 4/3, Ultimate Ears Triple Fi 10, Earsonic Sm3v2 and MORE, but don’t you think they are having very close characteristic/signature. In some extent, I feel they are same earphone with bits of here and there different.
They definitely sound great, however I prefer more “Think out of box” type of earphone in current stage, beside main stream audiophile brand, there are more brands following the same path of sound tuning, making our listening habit straight curve to one side. Music is always colorful; each earphone can create unique taste to different type of music, enjoy without reference is easy for life. I’m not picking fight here, just that when you demo final audio design products, I urge you try to forget using your initial set of reference guide to analyze this earphone, accept it with a total new fresh mind, I believe it can surprises you a lot.