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Around this time last year, I came across the sensational Zero Audio Carbo Tenore earphones, which cost $38 but sound an order of magnitude better. I still consider them outstanding, however today I can add a new pair of earbuds that may rank as their equal: the Final E2000. Like the Carbo Tenore, these are made by a relatively obscure Japanese company and have a price ($45) that’s hard to beat.

The similarities are more than skin-deep. The E2000s are structured around a single tiny dynamic sound driver, measuring just 6.4mm in diameter. This makes for a minimal tubular design, which could be easily confused for that of the Carbo Tenores. Both sets of earphones consistently surprise with the depth and impact of the bass they produce from…

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