Final has released a new and improved version of its flagship ZE8000 wireless earbuds. The ZE8000 MK2 promise a comfier fit, more features and more detailed '8K Sound'.
This 8K Sound also featured in the original ZE8000 (which were only released in February 2023), and uses digital signal processing to calibrate every element of the audio. Final claims it gives the buds the "fullest possible portrayal of sound texture and detail." This version has an improved signal-to-noise ratio to give a clearer sound with more detail and nuance, while reproducing musical instruments more faithfully.
While the design remains similar, the fit has been improved too. New 'Shield Fin' eartips aim to keep the buds more securely in your ears, which in turn should improve the sound isolation by 32 per cent, claims Final, by keeping your earholes plugged. These eartips come in five different sizes. Coupled with improvements to the active noise-cancelling (ANC) algorithm, they should mean less outside sound impinging on your listening, making the music sound clearer.
Like their predecessors, the MK2 come with four listening modes, but they have added the ability to deactivate the ANC. Final says this was based on feedback from the original pair, and that deactivating ANC "provides users with an unfiltered experience of the Final ZE8000 MK2 and '8K Sound'". Yet with the original ZE8000, Final said that ANC "does not degrade the audio in any way." We're not sure how those two claims stack up, but we'll compare the two once we get review samples of the new model in.
ANC does usually affect the sound quality a little – we would always advise turning it off if you're somewhere quiet.
The ZE8000 MK2 are up to 5dB louder than the originals, and they have finer volume adjustments thanks to a tweak within the mobile app. Like their predecessors, they support Qualcomm's Snapdragon Sound platform, along with aptX and aptX Adaptive codec support – the latter brings 'hi-res' audio with low latency over Bluetooth. Battery life has gone up to five hours on a single charge, with a total of 15 hours available from the charging case.
The Final ZE8000 MK2 are on sale now and cost £289 / $399 / €329 (around AU$550). That's more than the Award-winning Sony WF-1000XM5, so they'll certainly have their work cut out.
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