Our Verdict 
Despite the work that has gone into their BAM mechanism, the Adagio III feel a little austere and lifeless
For 
Good bass
Fair amount of detail
Distinctive design
Against 
Rounded-off treble
Lack of energy
Sparing on accessories
Reviewed on

There is a reason the Adagio IIIs look like a pair of tiny zeppelins have flown into your ears.

Final Audio says it’s all about air flow; they say BAM (Balancing Air Movement) technology “produces powerful bass and a deep 3D spatial expression”.

Performance

They’re not entirely wrong. The drum kit and bass guitar in Fugazi’s Turnover are well-anchored and precise, the crunching guitar has its earthy grit and you can hear the space in the room – it sounds like a live recording.

Yet the overall feel is lifeless. There’s something missing here; the false start doesn’t leave you anticipating the burst that’s follows, and the subsequent call and answer between guitar and vocal sounds more nagging Mum than seething political indictment.

Changing direction with Faithless’s Miss U Less, See U More produces similar results. The keys driving the song have warmth and reasonable depth, but lack the bounce and sparkle.

It feels a smidgen lazy. A rounding off in the treble also cages the vocal; even with a voice as deep as Maxi Jazz’s, there’s a lack of headroom.

MORE: Best in-ear headphones 2015

More after the break

Verdict

The overall feeling you get from the Adagio III is rather cold. Even from the less-than-generous three options of bud contained in the box, there is little to suggest these earphones are here to entertain.

They are probably only a couple of tweaks away from an enjoyable listen, but, until then, you’ll likely have more fun with rivals such as the Klipsch Reference R6is and SoundMagic E10Ss.

Read all our headphone reviews

Where to buy View all »

Final Audio Adagio III
£40.79
Free delivery on all orders over £20
£59
New, used, refurbished and collectable products at great prices, safely and securely from third parties, at Amazon.co.uk.
The Competition 

Klipsch Reference R6i

Our Rating 
100%
Price from £52.29

SoundMagic E10S

Our Rating 
0%
Price from £39.99