Final VR2000 – Superb Sonics, Impressive Imaging and a Spacious Soundstage
- Manufacturer: final
- Model: VR2000
- Typel: In-ear, inline mic
- Release date: November 2023
- Price: £59.99 (MSRP)
- Supported Platforms: Any compatible 3.5mm analogue devices
- Reviewed on: Mobile, Xbox Series X|S, PC
- Supplied by: final
Final VR2000 Review
The final VR2000 are in-canal wired earphones with an inline volume control and microphone. Unique angular styling, a comfortable fit, lightweight design and superior audio for the price point are highlights of these affordable and desirable buds.
Final’s VR2000 earbuds are designed to tap into the ever-growing VR, mobile gaming and ASMR market. We reviewed the final VR3000 a few years ago and were delighted with the expansive soundstage and well-balanced audio tuning. Don’t let the irregular naming convention fool you; The VR2000 are not a step down from the VR3000, as final has fitted these superb buds with their newly designed, in-house developed and custom-made 6mm f-Core DU dynamic drivers – no off-the-shelf parts here. Although the exterior may have many similarities, the VR2000 have been improved in almost every way.
When it comes to gaming, accuracy and sound separation are essential, enabling you to pinpoint the direction of audio cues, and this is even more important in VR. Specifically designed with spatial positioning and audio detail in mind, the final VR2000 produce crisp sound with exceptional clarity. I found the audio to be highly refined, with rapid responsiveness and a crisp, bright profile. This responsiveness pays dividends when it comes to the imaging and I found the positional cues to be accurate and genuinely advantageous.
Available for an MSRP of just £59.99/$69.99/€67.99 (£10 less than the VR3000), these earbuds produce audio that can compete with headphones costing many times this price.
What’s in the box
The final VR2000 are neatly presented, and although the packaging is plastic, it’s recyclable. The box contains the VR2000 wired headphones, a soft travel pouch for carrying them in, a pair of rubber hooks for comfort when you drape the wires over your ears, and five pairs of silicon final Type B ear tips ranging from SS to LL (the medium-sized tips are already attached). We appreciate the wide range of tips here – these are in-canal earbuds, so a snug fit is crucial for sound quality and comfort.
Design and build
Although the VR2000 look almost identical to the VR3000, final has made subtle tweaks to the design to improve the acoustics. They’re unique-looking earphones, with a distinctive angular shape that is rounded off to provide a comfortable fit, but the overall aesthetic is quite plain. The exterior of the VR2000 is entirely plastic, with no visible screw fittings and tight fitting joins. They have a smooth light-matte finish with a dark olive colourway, though in anything other than direct light they look almost black. The dark olive extends to the cable, inline mic/volume controls and ear tips, too, which is a nice touch.
Unusually, there’s no visible branding anywhere on the exterior of the headphones, and the overall design is very subtle. I wouldn’t have minded if they had added a small final logo somewhere on the housing or perhaps used some contrasting colours to give the VR2000 some flair. final has played it very safe (and likely kept costs down, too), but at the expense of the VR2000 lacking any real character (until you listen to them, that is).
(final makes some absolutely stunning earphones – their collaboration series have some seriously funky colourways, while the Heaven series brings the bling – when you see these earphones you’ll understand why I’m slightly disappointed with the basic styling of the VR2000)
The shell of the VR2000 is made from ABS plastic, which is lightweight and durable, though it does tend to shine up with repeated contact – this effect is exacerbated on something like a keyboard that’s constantly being handled, but for earbuds, it’s not likely to be an issue.
The VR2000 are designed to be worn inverted, with a pair of rubber hooks that surround the wires where they connect to the headphones and rest on top of your ears (once again these hooks are slightly fiddly to fit, but with my trusty tweezers in hand I had them fitted in minutes). The over-ear hooks are a very simple design solution, but it’s extremely effective at maintaining a tight seal and secure fit, as well as preventing dragging and unwanted touch noise from being transmitted through the cables. (It should be noted that the hook is not designed to be removed and could easily be damaged by repeated removal.)
Although this is subjective, I think final has got the fitment spot on, and I had no issues during my extensive testing; They are easy to slide into your ear canal, comfortable to wear for long periods, and the hooks keep the wires out of your face, as well as preventing you from accidentally yanking the tips out of your ears if you get too exuberant when playing in VR.
There is an inline volume control/microphone mounted on the right earphone cable. The inline volume control sits quite high up on the 120cm cable (roughly 15cm down from the top of my ear), dangling just alongside my chin, and a further 25cm down (40cm from my ear) to the y-split where the left and right cables connect. A sliding cable cinch can be slid up to the bottom of the inline controls, further helping to stop loose cables from obstructing your gameplay.
The inline controls are an improvement over the previous final inline unit I tested. All of the buttons are clicky and responsive, but I had some issues with the buttons not performing the expected function. I tested the VR2000 connected to my PCs, Rift S VR headset, mobile phone and Xbox Series X:
- On my mobile phone, the volume controls worked as expected, and the centre button worked as a play/pause button, with a long press bringing up the Google voice assistant. No issues there.
- On my PC, however, when using a y-splitter to connect to the front panel inputs the inline controller was unresponsive. I tried just plugging into the front headphone port but again, no response from the inline unit.
- I had the same issue connected to the Xbox controller, with no response from the inline remote, though this is consistent with other headphones that adjust system volume, in my experience.
- When connected to the Rift S, the volume controls worked as expected, but the middle button didn’t do anything.
- Finally, when connected to the combi-input on my laptop, the volume controls worked, and the middle button worked as play/pause for the currently playing media.
It should be noted that audio played correctly from each source, just that the inline controls didn’t function as expected, or at all in some cases. I tried to refer to the online manual, but there was no mention of how the inline control was supposed to operate or the expected compatibility.
Although the VR2000 only has a simple 3.5mm TRRS combo jack for connecting to your devices, they are compatible with a huge array of devices. There is the exception of some newer smartphones that have removed the 3.5mm port, but a USB-C to 3.5mm jack connector only costs a few pounds/dollars/euros.
You can’t argue with the simplicity of plug-and-play, though, as it’s as easy as plugging them in and putting them in your ears; No pairing or charging is required. You also get direct audio output without any additional latency such as that of Bluetooth and to a lesser degree wireless headsets, which can make a big difference when gaming.
I may be nonplussed about the styling of the VR2000, but like the VR3000 before, the real quality of these earphones, and why we recommend them, is the outstanding sound quality.
I’m heavily invested in VR, and I use it regularly for iRacing and playing games like Pavlov VR, Halflife 2 VR and many more. I’ve been using the VR3000 as my go-to VR headphones ever since I reviewed them, but the VR2000 will be my new headphones of choice going forward. The new drivers share a similar audio profile to the VR3000, with satisfyingly deep bass complemented by warmth across the midrange and clean treble. You still get the engagingly wide soundstage, but the responsiveness has been kicked up a notch, resulting in audio detailing that allows you to differentiate between sounds better than ever.
Many headsets and earbuds tend to be tuned to emphasise lower-end frequencies, often with a reverberant finish that admittedly sounds great for modern music but can drown out detail where it’s needed most. With the VR2000, the bass is presented with warmth and a solid punch but none of the boom, leaving space for the midrange and treble to be pushed through.
The perceived spaciousness the VR2000 creates is excellent, especially for an earphone lodged firmly in your ear canal, but it’s the imaging that impresses most. Sounds at all frequencies are superbly well-balanced, making it easy to pinpoint directional cues. Lower mids are smooth, with more emphasis placed on the upper mids and treble range. There’s no harshness to the highest frequencies, though, and the overall sound profile is relatively neutral once you pass the bass frequencies. The result is a highly detailed sound that is ideal for competitive gaming, emphasising sounds like footsteps and gunfire. Although the VR2000s profile is relatively bright, I didn’t experience any listening fatigue which can sometimes happen with audio tunes that favour higher frequencies.
Overall the VR2000 are fantastic earphones for VR gaming and competitive gaming in general. VR in particular benefits from the superb imaging, which makes a tangible improvement to the immersion. With Dolby Atmos enabled, I found myself flinching away from gunfire and instinctively ducking away from the buzzing saw blades of the Manhacks in HL2. It’s such a huge difference compared to the imprecise down-firing integrated speakers of the Rift S.
Similarly, when playing iRacing in VR I had heightened awareness of when cars were alongside me yet out of sight. I was able to complete passes and block overtake attempts far more easily than when relying on the integrated sound.
Playing flat-screen games, I decided to test them out with PUBG, where being able to identify the direction and distance of incoming footsteps is critical. Midway through looting an outbuilding, I heard the telltale crunching of boots from outside and the opening of a door. Where I may have previously circled around where the sound roughly came from and waited for a potential ambush opportunity, I instinctively knew which building to head for, and once I’d crept inside, I made a beeline straight towards my unwitting opponent whom I caught with their proverbial pants down in the kitchen. I didn’t get a chicken dinner, but I was able to play with a confidence that belied the fact I hadn’t loaded up the game in over a year.
Music and movies
Outside of gaming, the results are still very good. The under-emphasised bass doesn’t quite have enough oomph for my taste, but I still enjoyed listening to some classic trance and a bit of System of a Down with the VR2000 (the binaural effect of Serj Tankian whispering “Wake up” directly into your ear during BYOB was outstanding). Acoustic and live performances also sound wonderful, especially if the source material has been well-produced. It’s a bit of an oldie, but Eric Clapton’s Unplugged album does a fantastic job of showcasing the excellent imaging of the VR2000.
Movies and TV shows also fared quite well. Dialogue-rich content sounds clear and natural, but they are equally good when it comes to scenes like the opening beach landing of Saving Private Ryan. It starts with the gentle swish of the waves washing onto the shore encompassing you, followed by the metronomic hum of the landing craft’s engines as they approach the beach. Once the landing craft’s ramp is lowered, the bullets start whizzing past your head, and it sounds incredible. I did miss the rumbles and depth of the bass I’m used to, but that’s compared to a bespoke surround sound system with speaker cables that cost more than the VR2000 – considering the VR2000 are tuned for gaming, they put in a great performance.
The tiny microphone on the rear of the inline remote is an improvement over the VR3000, but it’s still lacklustre. Your voice comes through thin and lacks warmth, missing out on most of the lower frequencies. The pickup volume is quite good due to the proximity of the mic to your mouth, but it also picks up a lot of background noise like the clacking of a keyboard or road traffic and passers-by if you’re on a phone call.
Finally, although there’s no ANC on the VR2000, they fit very securely into your ear canal, and the soft outer silicone layer of the eartips creates a tight seal which blocks out a decent amount of background noise. They won’t win any awards for their passive noise cancellation, but they do a good enough job that you won’t need to crank your volume up to obscene levels to hear your game or media over any background noise.
With excellent sound quality and superior positional audio capabilities, the final VR2000 are excellent earphones. The styling is distinctive even if the colourway is plain, and although they are very lightweight, the solid build quality makes them feel robust.
For mobile and VR gaming, the VR2000 earphones are an easy sell, and I’d even recommend them for console gamers, though if you don’t need the portability you can get a quality over-ear headset for roughly the same price. Music and media performance is a solid step up from the VR3000, too, so these could easily become your new favourite all-around earbuds.
The VR2000 isn’t going to magically make you better at games, but it gives you an advantage in much the same way as a quality keyboard, mouse or display can, and I’ll take every advantage I can get.