Final has delivered a splendid pair of affordable ANC headphones in the UX3000. Their rich, musical performance is easily one of the best at this price point, and noise cancellation is effective to keep everyday sounds out to hear your music without interruption. They’re short of smarts and features; but if all you want is a simple, unfussy pair of great-sounding headphones, then these come highly recommended.
- Good comfort
- Effective ANC
- Rich, warm sound
- Solid battery life
- Simple operation
- Stripped-down feature set
- Minimalist looks may be interpreted as bland
- UKRRP: £119
- USARRP: $149
- EuropeRRP: €139
Hybrid noise cancellationFeatures two mics on each earcup to block out noise from before
aptX Low LatencyAims to deliver high quality with minimal latency
Final Audio is probably best known for its extravagant and pricey wired headphones, so the UX3000 are pretty much the antithesis of that.
For one, they’re wireless – Final’s first ever ANC wireless headphone. Number two, they’re affordable, priced below the likes of options from Cleer and Urbanista.
With a stripped-down aesthetic and feature set, the Final UX3000 aim to provide hi-fi quality sound on your commute. It isn’t often we bet against Final delivering on the promises, and we’re not about to start with the UX3000 ANC headphones.
- Minimalist appearance
- Simple operation
- Fine comfort levels
Simple is the word that best describes the UX3000, and they’re simple in the best sense. One button to turn them on and the same button for playback. Volume and track skipping are handled by the same controls on the right ear cup, while on the left there’s a button for noise cancellation. No touch controls, no control scheme to try to remember – just press and play.
Appearance-wise, these headphones that don’t stray far from the template. The adjustable headband is super-comfortable to put on and the headphones are light, too, which helps with long periods of wear. As do the oval-shaped earcups (with enough space inside for my larger ears) and “low-resilience” earpads that provide a plush point of contact with your head. I don’t remember encountering much in the way of discomfort wearing the UX3000 – the fit and clamping force are the right side of tight, without making their presence felt in an onerous manner.
The black finish is stark in appearance, with the white lettering and logos providing a minimalist aesthetic that amplifies the Final’s sense of not wanting to attract much attention. Look closer and the headphones are coated in a “premium Shibo” finish – Shibo an old Japanese word for wrinkle on the surface of paper or leather. It looks distinctive, as if a graffiti artist has added their own subtle touch – and, according to Final, it counters against dirt and fingerprints. I like it.
The Final UX3000 can be rotated to fold flat and there’s a little more rotation possible to help the best fit. They’re collapsible, too, which allows them to be stowed in the accompanying pouch in lieu of a hard carry case. There’s an elegance that isn’t always evident at headphones around the lower price points – the plastic and creaky-sounding Cleer Enduro ANC are a case in the point, which these headphones easily trump in the design and comfort stakes.
- 25 hours with ANC
- aptX Bluetooth support
- Effective noise-cancellation performance
- Good call quality
Final has decided to keep things simple on the feature front, a minimalist rather than a maximalist approach to doing things. Battery life is 25 hours with noise cancelling on, but switch it off and the UX3000 can deliver close to 35 hours before needing a charge. There’s no fast-charging support to get a quick boost, though, with charging from a dead battery taking 2.5 hours.
Bluetooth support is v5.0, and in terms of signal strength, these puts on a good show by keeping music playing without any inconveniencing stutters. Codec support on the spec sheets says the UX3000 will go all the way to aptX Low Latency, but I’ve only seen these Final headphones register up to aptX.
As a result of Bluetooth 5.0 there’s multipoint support as well, so the UX3000 can be connected to two devices at once – and, as Final explains it, you could be listening to music on one device before talking a call on another, which is pretty nifty for multi-tasking types. A wired connection brings the option of plugging the headphones into a computer or portable music player, although with a 20Hz to 20kHz frequency range, you won’t get any High-Res Audio support by doing so.
And onto the noise-cancelling performance, which is respectable. At this price point it would be much to ask for the performance of the Sony WH-1000XM5, which are thrice the price of the UX3000. Nevertheless, the ANC performance is astute, good at clearing away persistent sounds. With noise cancelling on, it becomes much easier to hear music than with it off.
So most but not all ambient sounds are diminished, with the general sound of the commute on the train quietened and the sounds of vehicles and voices making less of an impression. In that sense, the UX3000 hit the target and should make a good companion for everyday use and the commute. You can also take advantage of noise cancelling without powering on the headphones, if you need some peace and quiet.
Call quality is solid, so you could conceivably try these as a work-from-home headset. When used outside, the headphones’ microphones did pick some up wind and the traffic going past, but not enough to distract from the quality or clarity of my voice.
There is mention of an official app – the “my Final” app – but it’s simply a means of registering the product. There isn’t an English version available, either.
- Captivating sound for price
- Warm, music performance
- Excellent vocal quality
One aspect of the Final UX3000’s audio performance to note is that the headphones sound better with ANC on than they do without. It’s similar to the Ausounds AU-XT ANC I tested towards the beginning of 2022, with noise cancelling bringing a tighter focus and definition to music.
The UX3000 are also one of the best-sounding ANC models at this price. Final’s pedigree with music has been calibrated in a truly impressive way at this more “budget” price. Right from the get-go, the Final exhibit a very confident approach and feel for music, producing a rich, flowing and musical performance that’s one of the best up to the £200 price.
Norah Jones’ voice in Don’t Know Why is tremendously expressive in tone, given lots of space, capturing the changes in the cadence of her voice with an acute sense of dynamism. The rich and warmth the Final offer makes for a smooth performance, instruments described in a natural tone, brightness of higher frequencies expressed brightly and with weightiness to the bass. The Final UX3000 show themselves to be a sparkling, nuanced performer at this price.
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