Finally, as you might expect, the D8000s are masters of three-dimensional soundstaging at levels few other headphones can match. An interesting old-school example would be the track ‘Midsummer Nights Dream’ from guitarist Pat Metheny’s Bright Size Life[ECM/Tower Japan SACD PROZ, DSD64], which features the incomparable Jaco Pastorius on bass. Through most of the six-minute track Metheny and percussionist Bob Moses are mixed primarily to the right channel, while Pastorius is mixed mostly to the left channel. The trick, though, is that the acoustics of the right and left halves of the soundstage are not quite the same—something the D8000s make abundantly clear. However, at about the four-minute mark Pastorius introduces a soaring bass solo above his own lower-pitched bass lines and that is mixed toward the centre of the stage, acting as a spatial ‘bridge’ that ties the disparate halves of the soundstage—and thus entire song—together as a cohesive whole. Most headphones have a hard enough time reproducing just one soundstage, let alone three at once, but the D8000 makes the feat look easy.
To be candid, few headphones have captured my attention and musical imagination in the way that Final’s D8000 has. My opinion is that it is a breakthrough design that has an uncanny ability to capture the essence of the music while pushing the usual sonic obstructions aside. For this reason, the D8000 has become a go-to reference for me, whether listening critically or purely for pleasure. Heartily recommended.
Type: Planar magnetic headphone with air film damping system
Driver complement: Full range AFDS planar magnetic driver
Maximum SPL: 98dB
Impedance: 60 Ohms
Frequency response: Not specified
Warranty: 2 years
Price: £2,999 (VAT included), or $3,799 in the US
3-12-7 Kitakase, Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki-city, Kanagawa 212-0057, Japan
Tel: +81 44 789 5795
Distributor: KS Distribution