Final Sonorous Earpads are the original final audio earpads for their Sonorous headphone series. They available in 7 variations, and I tested 4 of them on my Sonorous-II and Sonorous-III models.
Final Sonorous-II and Sonorous-III are in my opinion the absolute best closed back headphones you can buy for less than 500$ (either costing much less than that actually). You can find them stuck on Audioreviews’ Wall of Excellence, and reviewed here.
Table of contents
|Significantly help finetuning Sonorous headphones presentation to one’s own preference||Not inexpensive (yet not unaffordable either)|
|Good build quality|
|Easy to swap|
Why and how
Ear pads – their internal structure, size, thickness, and external fabric – do change headphones sound even more than what eartips do to IEMs. And final Sonorous Earpads are no exceptio.
First and foremost, the distance between the actual sound transducers and the ear modulate low frequency sound pressure, which obviously significantly influences the presentation. Based on this fact, final Sonorous earpads are filled with sponges of different thickness and consistency. Their external material is synthetic leather featuring equal horizontal and vertical flexibility. Finally,
Another important aspect when it comes to closed-back earphones is avoiding sound appearing “muffled” due to lack of backside venting. Final accomodates for this by carving small apertures on the inside and the outside of the pads “donuts”, achieving superb results in terms of sound clarity.
Lastly, final Sonorous Earpads feature a quite ingenious system to facilitate swapping. By direct experience it does work. You may want to take a look at the final’s official quick tutorial video to get an idea.
As I mentioned, final Sonorous Earpads are avaialble in 7 different variations. Here are the lineup specs, directly taken from final’s website.
|Model||Surface Material||Sponge||Filter||Stock on||Picture|
|Type A||synthetic leather||thick, strong standard type sponge||single layer||SONOROUS VI, IV|
|Type B||synthetic leather||thinner/softer sponge compared to Type A||single layer||SONOROUS VI|
|Type C||synthetic leather||W-shaped sponge combining Type A and Type B types||3 layer||SONOROUS X, VIII|
|Type D||synthetic leather||thick, strong sponge||3 layer||SONOROUS III|
|Type E||synthetic leather||thick, strong sponge||single layer||SONOROUS II|
|Type F||Polyurethane||expanded foam body|
with superior breathability and special polyurethane fibers
|G||Polyurethane + Toray Ultrasuede||expanded foam body with superior breathability and special polyurethane fibers||n/d||D8000 Pro|
My direct experience
Final of course issues a number of pairing recommendation for each of such models. You can find the entire story here.
That said, I only directly tested the 4 models which are recommended for my 2 Sonorous headphone models (II and III). Here is a recap of my opinions.
|Model||Applied onto Sonorous-II||Applied onto Sonorous-III|
|Type B||Bass is faster than stock (E) and even faster then (C). Mids are similar but highmids get some adrenaline. Trebles stay vivid and sparkly. Overall sensibly brighter compared to stock, might be excessive for some users, and definitely for some genres.||Mids are more recessed than stock (D) and furtherly back compared to (C), while still very well defined and detailed. Bass is even faster. Highmids become the star of the show.|
|Type C||More bodied bass and mids compared to stock (E). More evidently polished / tamed trebles which come accross less sparkly. Definitely more balanced.||Darker than stock (C). Mids are recalled from full forward position. Some air is lacking.|
|Bass is very similar to stock (E). Mids add some body. Trebles get a bit polished. Overall more a “balanced bright” rather than “netural bright” effect. Still very good for jazz and probably overall ever more loveable than stock pads.|
*my personal preference*
|Obviously midcenteric. Fast-ish bass. Good trebles.|
|Neutral-bright. Fast detailed bass. Good mids, not a specialist for vocals. Very nice detailed and quite airy trebles. Love this.||Faster bass compared to stock (D), mids pushed a bit back and made faster and more precise, sparklier trebles.|
*my personal preference*
So the aftermath is… I could have saved the money for Type C and B, and just swap stock pads between Sonorous-II and Sonorous-III to reach my preferred configuration on both. But how could I have known it without trying? 😉
final Sonorous Earpads significantly contribute to alter and finetune Sonorous headphones.
They are not inexpensive – retailing from ¥ 5810 / € 44 to ¥ 9300 / € 70 a pair – but their build quality is ace and they are a more than solid recommendation for any Sonorous user.
All the earpads I tested are my own property, they did not come from the manufacturer or a distributor on review/loan basis.