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Final Audio Pandora Hope VI - Review

"From the retro-future 'Metropolis' looks of the Hope VI to the weight and the way they feel in the hand, we knew that these headphones weren't just designed, they were born."

Final Audio Pandora Hope VI Review

Final Audio Design Pandora Hope VI

Summary

The Final Audio Pandora Hope VI may not be able to deal with all the world's evils, but it can certainly make them appear more approachable and cuddly. 50mm dynamic drivers are coupled with balanced armatures within the Hope VI, so the listener can benefit from a warm and toe-tapping presentation, but needn't sacrifice detail or presence. The result is as crisp as any IEM working on the balanced armature principal, with similar detail perceived all the way down the frequency spectrum.

Here at HifiHeadphones we're no strangers to the type of quality products the portable audio industry can put out; however the Pandora Hope VI has surprised us all. From the retro-future 'Metropolis' looks of the Hope VI to the weight and the way they feel in the hand, we knew that these headphones weren't just designed, they were born.

Pros

  • Unique and gorgeous looks
  • Lovely to touch
  • Comfortable and relatively light
  • That sound!

Cons

  • Will need running in to be at their best

Key Features

As mentioned, the driver principal is the Pandora's most notable feature; the balanced armatures working alongside the dynamic drivers. There is no sense that two drivers are operating on each side; the presentation is as smooth and even as it would be with any high-quality wide bandwidth dynamic driver, once worn in.

Final Audio Design Pandora Hope VI

First Impressions

The Hope VI can't fail to please with its Buck Rogers looks. Something feels as if it is being wasted once they are worn on the head as they cannot be seen any more! However, the soft comfort of the padding and solid feel of the design keeps the wearer happy enough until a mirror is within reach.

Sound Quality

The Pandoras are consistently referred to as being among the best-sounding headphones around; this by people who are in the know and have tried many headphones and set-ups. My own experience involves gorgeous silky bass which sits just where it's supposed to be, mids which surround and demand attention, and highs which pierce and shock, but in the most gentle way possible. My ears are sensitive to high frequencies and fatigue is never far away with some headphone/genre combinations, but the Hope VI never strays into that area; it knows exactly when enough is enough, preserving a smoothness which has no right being there but is staying nonetheless.

As mentioned above, there may be a brief period of 'running in' required as the two drivers meld together but this will be limited to a weekend.

HifiHeadphones Verdict

Dr Who's Tardis is famous for being bigger on the inside than the outside. My guess is that Final Audio have been watching from behind the sofa whilst taking notes, as for a closed back headphone (a fact I have to keep reminding myself of) the sound is all-encompassing. Watch out Fostex, your closed-back crown may be about to slip!

HifiHeadphones Rating - 10/10

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About Shaun Gostelow

Shaun is co-founder of hifiheadphones.co.uk and spends most of his time dealing with the business side of running the store, but still loves listening to music with headphones just the same as ever.
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