First appearing last fall, the Sonorous III fights an uphill battle for audiophile acceptance. But with a $399 price tag, is the sound worth the cheddar?
Final Audio Sonorous III Review
The Sonorous III comes with a user manual and a removable 5 ft (1.5 m) cable. Lacking too many extraneous gizmos, it presents itself as a decidedly simple headphone.
However, this simple appearance hides a more complex operation. Relying on a dynamic driver and titanium diaphragm, the Sonorous III boasts similar performance to the top-of-the-line Sonorous X.
Yet, despite these intricate innards, the headphone remains extremely comfortable, with deep padding on the earpads and headband. Smooth extension allows for an ideal fit, making these ‘phones perfect for longer listening sessions.
Final Audio doesn’t give specs for the frequency range or harmonic distortion, but there’s a lot of clean detail at play here. The frequency range has to be fairly wide, while distortion is low. The low nominal impedance of just 16 ohms compliments portable players as well as larger, more powerful systems. Finally, sound pressure level is decent, and helped along by the isolating design of the Sonorous III earcups.
With strong bass and ample detail, the Sonorous III offers a rich and lively low end. Good control keeps bleed to a minimum, resulting in a relatively clean sound.
In the midrange, clarity and fidelity produce an impeccable sound. With layers of detail jumping out at your ears, this midrange comes across as being precise and exacting.
Bright and strong, the high end swells with detail. While never too piercing or uncomfortable, the resultant sound may be missing some finer nuances in the highest highs. That being said, fans of a smooth and relatively relaxed high end will dig this sound.
On the Sonorous III, depth and placement can only be described as amazing. Soundstage hits hard here, sucking the listener into a maelstrom of sound. Every detail comes jumping out in minute precision, and the experience borders on religious.
The sound remains rich and balanced, with a fat midrange that bolsters lows and highs.
Cable length seems perfect, and the deep pleather earcups provide great noise isolation.
For those seeking a headphone with style and substance, the Sonorous III offers a bit of both. While not as flashy as certain models from Sennheiser or Beyerdynamic, it still delivers a mesmerizing listening experience. Critical listeners preferring more bass or treble at the expense of balance could easily consider offerings from Shure or Audio Technica.
Truthfully, though, the Sonorous III kicks some serious tail, offering a rare level of quality at an affordable price point.
The Final Audio Sonorous III costs $399, but delivers a sound worth much, much more. With ample balance and plenty of detail, these headphones are sure to wow any critical listener.