- TECH SPECS
- First impressions. Design
- Control. Sound quality
- As a conclusion
I don’t know about you, but here in Taganrog this summer turned out to be hot and moderately rainy. This season, nature has created just ideal conditions for daily walks and cycling, which, in fact, I actively try to do several times a week. And to make it more fun to ride, I take my favorite music with me on the road.
Honestly, I don’t like it when someone tries to impose their own taste, and in the same way I try to keep silent about my own musical preferences. That is why, being in public places, I have an extremely negative attitude towards people with Bluetooth speakers, powerfully spewing out a “fashionable rap” or something like that. Fortunately, such characters are much less common than those who prefer personal “silent” audio in the form of headphones.
While driving around the city, I try to pay attention to people’s preferences. Less and less often I see music lovers with wires sticking out of their ears, and more and more compact “plugs” or “mugs” are striking. The explanation is simple – a huge assortment and price tags that have fallen to critical levels leave no other choice. The main advantages of True Wireless Stereo headphones are their practicality and convenience. This is an indisputable fact: you don’t have to nervously untangle the wires every time, tie yourself to the phone and limit yourself in every possible way. When you try Bluetooth headphones one day, the final choice becomes obvious. Those who shout about the unsurpassed quality of wired “ears” can calmly adhere to their opinion. They are right one hundred percent, because I treat the owners of push-button telephones in exactly the same way. This is their deliberate choice, and the opinion of such people should be taken into account. At the same time, I definitely do not exclude the fact that many wired headphones play really well, because it is extremely difficult to lose sound over a high-quality wire and PRO-stuffing. Now I’m talking about the segment that the majority chooses – consumer goods in a good sense of the word.
This year, Japan’s Final, a company with nearly half a century of history in creating quality audio equipment, has collaborated with the acclaimed Japanese anime brand Evangelion. The result is the EVA2020 x final themed wireless Bluetooth headphones. The Japanese often liaise with each other to attract a specific group of buyers, united by two specific themes. In this case, the choice fell on audiophiles who are fans of one of the most famous Japanese anime series. In my opinion, this cartoon style is absolute taste. The heroic twitching of the pop-eyed characters is alien to me, where often the only action in the frame can be only a moving mouth and occasionally blinking eyes. For an amateur.
The novelty is made in three corporate colors: EVA Unit 01 (purple-green), EVA Unit 02 (red-yellow) and EVA Mark 06 (dark blue). Each color combination is dedicated to the corresponding anime hero: EVA Unit 01 – Ikari Shinji, EVA Unit 02 – Asuka Langley Soryu, EVA Mark 06 – Kaworu Nagisa. If you are far from the Evangelion theme, abstract from this connection and perceive each color as something unique, different from what any other manufacturer offers. I got headphones in the EVA Unit 01 color for tests. It is he who is primarily associated with the Evangelion series among anime fans.
Most modern TWS headphones have plus or minus similar functionality and characteristics. However, each company tries to focus on something of its own. Most of the “non-names”, in many ways cutting off the functionality, rest on low cost. In quantitative terms, there are more such headphones. Some go out in their own name, flaunting “unsurpassed elitism.” Someone, not really bothering with design and size, stuffs their “ears” with technology. Each attracts a buyer in its own way. It’s easy to guess what exactly the EVA2020 x final attracts attention with.
From a technical point of view, this is a strong mid-range, equipped with a 6.4 mm driver with a double layer membrane. EVA2020 x final are powered by Qualcomm QCC3020 processor with Bluetooth 5.0 support and the ability to work each headphone separately. The device supports aptX, SBC and AAC codecs. Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP. Frequency response 20Hz-20kHz. Play time is 6 hours (aptX) and 9 hours (SBC / AAC), respectively. Together with the charging case, the earbuds can deliver 63 hours of continuous audio. The battery capacity of the charging case is 950 mAh. The battery capacity of the earphone is 50 mAh. It takes approximately 2 hours to fully charge the earbuds. Playback is controlled by a single multifunctional button on each of the headphones. Each piece is equipped with a separate microphone.
Unfortunately, there is no support for wireless charging, no water resistance, or the possibility of listening through, but there are also undeniable advantages, which I will talk about in the course of the review.
- 6.4mm dynamic driver with double-layer membrane
- Bluetooth 5.0
- AptX, AAC, SBC codecs
- Profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
- Range 20 Hz – 20 kHz
- Frequency response 5 Hz – 40 kHz
- Max. Play time: aptX – 6 hours, SBC / AAC – 9 hours, 63 hours from base
- Max. talk time: 4h
- Headphone charging time 2 h (50 mAh x 2)
- Base battery capacity: 950mAh
- Base weight 87 g
- Charging time 2 h
- Headphone hardware control buttons
A set that is standard for most similar gadgets fits in a bright compact box:
- charging case
- 4 pairs of additional ear pads
- USB Type-C cable
- instruction (in Japanese)
EVA2020 x final is officially sold only in Japan. This is an exclusively local product, despite the fact that they are assembled in China. This, incidentally, explains the presence of the operating instructions only in Japanese. Headphones can only leave the homeland in a gray way. The declared value is 19 yen.
First impressions. Design
The unusual appearance of the charging case is the first thing you notice when you open the box with the new EVA2020 x final headphones. The multi-level relief surface resembles the skin of a spaceship. And thanks to the matte finish, the palm has a pleasant tactile sensation.
In fact, the color palette of the charging case, as well as the headphones, has not two, but three colors: the predominant purple, green and black. It can be seen that the designers tried to pay attention to each element, harmoniously distributing all three colors on the outer and inner parts of the box body. If you are not a fan of classic black and love to once again decorate your life with all the colors of the rainbow, the exterior of the EVA2020 will definitely not seem boring to you, let alone gypsy.
The two halves of the case are connected with one loop. To open the case, you will definitely need a second hand. The magnet that attracts the top and bottom is powerful enough to do this with the fingers of one hand. Thanks to the impressive 950 mAh battery, the dimensions of the charging case turned out to be no less impressive. It almost completely fits in the palm of your hand. I would definitely not recommend carrying it in a shirt or trouser pocket.
When opened, the “shell” resembles a miniature children’s laptop. My eldest daughter had one. A lot of free space is reserved for color indexing in the form of the number “01” between the headphone seats and a brief technical description on the inside of the top cover.
As usual, while in the charging case, the earbuds are automatically charged. The LED neatly integrated into one of the edges of the hexagonal hardware button signals this in orange. You will not be able to swap the headphones and try to install the left one into the right jack. Yes, they are somehow inserted there, but the lid will not close anymore. In order not to confuse the left with the right, the manufacturer has marked the corresponding copies with the letters L and R.
In conjunction with the phone, the indicator color changes to light blue.
The base station’s charge level can be seen by the number of LEDs lit.
The case has one bad design feature. If in the closed position he stands firmly rooted to the spot on the surface of the table, then in the open position he starts to fall back. The two high front legs are formed by hollows from the headphone seats, while the third, the back, is clearly not mature enough.
The earphones are held in the grooves thanks to the built-in magnets. Pull out easily and naturally. Each weighs about 6 grams, considering that it fits a 50 mAh battery. The surface of the “plugs” is the same as that of the charging case – matte. During the entire period of operation, there was not even a single accidental attempt to slip out of hands. The main body of the earphone, like the charging case, is painted black and has a rough texture. Thanks to it, the miniature plugs are even more securely held by the pads of the fingers.
We were surprised by the miniature dimensions of the headphones themselves. Until I received the first copy in my hands, their sizes seemed to me obscenely large. I don’t like it when Bluetooth earbuds stick out and put pressure on the ears with their entire mass. Those who are used to walking in a tight hat in winter or riding a bike in a balaclava will understand me.
For comparison, I’ll put them next to my current Jabra Elite Active 65t.
It would seem that you can come up with the appearance of this kind of gadget: decorate with flowers, offer removable colored panels, add more illumination, make it transparent. Does EVA2020 x final look attractive? The question is subjective. Someone likes strict forms, classic black or white, icicles like AirPods. You can’t please everyone. Japanese designers have found their way by playing with the form in the appropriate technogenic style and painting it with cheerful colors.
Would I go with these? More likely no than yes. As a last resort, my color would be a dark blue EVA Mark 06. Violet-greens and red-yellows are daunting in their bold contrast. Although over time, perhaps, I would change my mind, because I already go with red Jabras.
As for the daily use of the headphones for their intended purpose, I was always intimidated by plugs without any fasteners for a more secure fixation in the auricle. Until the moment they were installed in the ear, it seemed to me that they would be guaranteed to fall out when driving at high speed or running. Nevertheless, almost every time manufacturers convince me otherwise.
EVA2020 x final fits discreetly in the ear, tightly but neatly plugging the ear canal. The 100-kilometer bike ride, which lasted almost 5 hours, was carried by my ears without the slightest hint of discomfort. I had to free my ears only a few times to enjoy the sounds of nature while drinking water.
The earplugs fit perfectly in the ears and do not even think to move. Of course, it would not be superfluous to have protection against sweat and rain. It is surprising that the manufacturer did not add this option, because today it actually belongs to the “must have” category. As expected, the EVA2020s gracefully sink into my ear, almost completely hiding behind my cheeks.
As usual, both earbuds turn on automatically as soon as you take them out of the case. The first pairing with the phone was coming. Having already had some experience of using such toys, I went to the Bluetooth settings menu. Considering that all the information in the box, including the electronic versions of the manuals, is in Japanese, I did not immediately understand which of the two headphones was the main one. Remembering that in Japan there is left-hand traffic, I pressed the button on the left earpiece for 3 seconds. A Japanese voice announced a successful connection. By the way, this is another feature of EVA2020 x final. Since the headphones are officially released only for sale in Japan, sound alerts are also Japanese, like the instructions. For those who do not know the language, but are also a fan of Evangelion, such annotations will be a great bonus.
With the subsequent connection, the headphones were connected to the phone as soon as the Bluetooth signal appeared. Both instances can work separately from each other.
Control. Sound quality
All manipulations with the player and the voice assistant are carried out using the hardware button on the left and right headphones:
- Play and pause – one press of any of the buttons
- Volume up – two presses on the right button during playback
- Volume down – two presses on the left button during playback
- Next track – long press on the right button during playback
- Previous track – long press on the left button during playback
- Answer / reject an incoming call – short / double press on the right button
- Calling the voice assistant – long press on the left button in pause mode
I managed to fully understand the entire set of functions literally within a few minutes, going through different combinations in turn. So the principle “if nothing works, read the instructions” did not work. At first, you may get confused, but then your fingers will remember the necessary movements by themselves.
The first time I saw EVA2020 x final on promo pictures, and then on other people’s photos, I did not even think about what sound quality such a “Christmas garland” can broadcast. I never had to use the Final technique, so I didn’t know exactly what to prepare for. To be honest, I did not even consider this model as a contender for the title of headphones with more or less sane sound. It seemed to me that most of the money here comes from a kind of kawaii design and fan emotions. In my opinion, the sound here is the last thing the developer paid attention to. These were my feelings until I began to delve into the history of Final, and only then there was a little hope …
As you know, everything is learned in comparison, and I compared them with my Jabra Elite Active 65t. About the latter, I will probably tell you my impressions in a separate review.
Final touches literally from the first sounds. The perfect combination of moderately pumped bass, moderate mids and crystal-clear highs. The sound reminded me of the Japan Tuned from AVIOT TE-BD21f, which to this day is my benchmark for Japanese compact Bluetooth audio. It would be interesting to compare these two models at the same time.
I traditionally started to test the sound quality with Lick It Up from Deep Purple. This is one of my favorite tracks, and when I listen to it offline, with the right sound, goosebumps start to run all over my body. Exactly the same sensations I experience when I am in the fanzone at a live concert of this legendary band. Surely each of you experiences similar feelings from listening to your idols.
If, using Jabra, every now and then I have to tune certain frequencies (most often the bass), then in the case of the EVA2020 everything is already set by default. You just need to remember to turn off the equalizer, so as not to spoil what already sounds good. It’s clear that sooner or later you forget that you have a relatively high-quality sound. This is exactly what I did with the “gill”, simply scoring on any settings. But to include something new and hear the quality that you were striving for before, overcoming the obstacles of frequency sinusoids, it is worth a lot.
As a conclusion
EVA2020 x final is an example of how a product experience can turn upside down in just a couple of days. At first, you perceive them as a child’s toy, with a smile, a little embarrassed, you show it to your friends and acquaintances, and they, absolutely not taking them seriously, even mockingly laugh at their Chinese appearance. Yes, to wear them, most likely, you have to be an avid anime lover, or at least a fan of something Japanese. Although, I think it’s not even enough just to cry from the movie “Hachiko”.
The target audience of EVA2020 x final is primarily young people, cosplayers, geeks and similar informals. Alternatively, you need to be mentally prepared to insert such beauty into your ears, and it is best to be able to completely ignore the opinion of the “gray mass” around you. I don’t know how exactly such a target audience will appreciate the sufficiently high sound quality of the EVA2020, but the Japanese have once again managed to attract, at least, my attention, even considering the fact that the novelty is devoid of many pleasant buns such as support for wireless charging and water resistance.
Agree, for 20 thousand yen (~ 14 tr), excluding shipping and other taxes, you could buy a lot of interesting things here. It is clear that for that kind of money it would be possible to buy two Chinese counterparts for 1 rubles each, which would play no worse, or even several times better than these non-Japanese rattles. I am sure that EVA000 x final, like a lot of other Japanese things, can cause an ambiguous reaction from most readers, especially in the current unstable economic situation. What do you think, are such headphones worth their money and would you buy yourself one? Write in the comments.
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