Final VR3000 review: immersive earbuds that are great for gaming and VR

Final VR3000 review: immersive earbuds that are great for gaming and VR

Final VR3000: Two-minute review

The latest model of gaming earbuds from boutique Japanese audio brand Final, the Final VR3000 are designed to deliver some seriously immersive sound. Made with a focus on binaural recording, they are nothing short of a massive success. It’s hard not to be blown away by the large and highly detailed soundstage that has been crammed into these tiny buds.

From a gaming perspective, this means that audio has a clear sense of direction. Footsteps in competitive shooters such as Counter-Strike 2 and Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 are easy to track, giving you a distinct advantage in online matches, while cinematic hits like Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 and Red Dead Redemption 2 sound exceptionally rich and life-like than ever. There was even a moment during my testing when an unseen door was opened behind my character in Hitman 3 and I instinctively turned around in real life, thoroughly convinced that the sound was really coming from behind me.

This high level of immersion makes them a great fit for virtual reality (VR) play too, where the earbuds do an excellent job of staying put thanks to their comfortable and secure design. They’re also very light, coming in at just 0.7oz / 20g in total which helps prevent fatigue over lengthy gaming sessions. A generous selection of five pairs of ear tips is included in the box, alongside some removable ear hooks, making it easy to find the perfect fit.

As impressive as this all is, there is still some room for improvement. The earbuds feature an in-line microphone, which is built into a small controller with two volume buttons and a pause button. The microphone itself is okay, offering slightly muffled recording that is just about good enough if you’re chatting with friends in an online match but nothing to write home about, though the volume controls and pause button only seem to work on mobile devices. This isn’t a huge dealbreaker, but it does sting given the more premium price point of the Final VR3000 compared to alternatives.

(Image credit: Future)

Final VR3000: Price and availability

  • $79.99 / £69.99 / around AU$120
  • Available via Amazon
  • First released in December 2020 

The Final VR3000 earbuds retail for $79.99 / £69.99 / around AU$120 and are readily available at Amazon in the US, UK, and Australia. This price tag puts them towards the higher end of the wired gaming earbuds market, where they begin to compete with some wireless options and even full-size wireless gaming headsets. Still, this seems like a fair price to pay given the high audio quality on offer here and the fact that Final is a more premium specialist brand. 

Final VR3000: Specs

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Price $79.99 / £69.99 / around AU$120
Weight 0.7oz / 20g
Compatibility PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Meta Quest, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, mobile
Connection type Wired (3.5mm)
Battery life N/A
Features Audio controller with in-line microphone
Software N/A

Final VR3000: Design and features

The Final VR3000 are compact and comfortable to wear, with an overall design that shares a lot in common with many professional in-ear monitor (IEM) earbuds. They have a modern, angular shape that allows each bud to slot neatly into your ear with the cable pointing upwards. Like a pair of IEMs, you then hook the cable around the top of your ear which adds some extra support. Because of this, it takes a few seconds to get the earbuds into place but the fit feels extremely secure. I moved around a lot throughout my testing period, particularly when I was playing more intensive VR titles like Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice and Beat Arena, and the buds never became loose or came close to falling out.

A total of five pairs of alternate ear tips are included in the box, ranging from extra small to extra large in size, so you have lots of options to tweak the fit if the default configuration doesn’t work for you. Each set of ear tips is color-coded, with one side sporting a bright red or pink band on its underside. Final states that this is designed to allow you to more easily tell the left and right earbuds apart in low light conditions, which is a great touch and shows some real attention to detail. A pair of small ear hooks are also bundled in, though I found that these were fragile and awkward to install.

The alternate ear tips of the Final VR3000.

(Image credit: Future)

The inside of each earbud is clearly labeled with a small printed left or right indicator, in addition to the Final logo and the model name. They are constructed from a hard matt plastic and connected to a 4ft / 1.2m long cable. Some basic audio controls in the form of a clicky volume up, volume down, and pause button are built into the cable connected to the right earbud, as is a tiny in-line microphone. The materials of the Final VR3000 all feel uniformly premium and the earbuds come with a small black fabric carrying pouch for easy transport.

Final VR3000: Performance

The performance of the Final VR3000 is incredibly impressive in almost every respect. In a game with well-implemented binaural sound, like Escape from Tarkov or Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, they are nothing short of perfect. Environmental sounds are clean and crisp, further elevated by an eerily life-like sense of direction and depth. The overall tuning is on the bass-heavy side, which might cause you to lower the volume a little in titles with lots of punchy sound effects like gunfire or explosions, but it gives in-game soundtracks a really satisfying weight. Moments of emotional climax in The Last of Us Part 2 and Alan Wake 2 were just sublime.

The earbuds are also perfect for VR gaming. Paired with the Meta Quest 2 VR headset and my PC, the intricately detailed city of Half Life: Alyx came through with impressive clarity, and everything from the distant hum of vehicles to the chatter of nearby civilians was recreated beautifully. The same was true when it came to a range of native Meta Quest 2 games and I was pleasantly surprised that the earbuds didn’t cause any noticeable fatigue during my sessions. If you’re looking for a pair of earbuds to use specifically with a VR headset, then the Final VR3000 are very easy to recommend.

Given this excellent performance, I was a little disappointed to discover that the microphone here is just average. Friends reported that I sounded slightly muffled but still intelligible, and on work calls the buds let in a lot of background noise. It’s also a shame that the onboard controls only work with mobile devices. Having to navigate to a menu on your console or PC in order to adjust the volume isn’t the end of the world but is still pretty inconvenient.

The Final VR3000 gaming earbuds placed on a wooden surface.

(Image credit: Future)

Should I buy the Final VR3000?

Buy it if…

Don’t buy it if…

Also consider…

If you’re not fully satisfied with what the Final VR3000 has to offer, these two cheaper alternatives are well worth your consideration. 

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Row 0 – Cell 0 Final VR3000 Final VR500 SteelSeries Tusq
Price $79.99 / £69.99 / around AU$120 $34.99 / £29.99 / AU$49.99 $39.99 / £44.99 / around AU$74.99
Weight 0.7oz / 20g 0.5oz / 15g 0.7oz / 20g
Compatibility PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Meta Quest, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, mobile PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Meta Quest, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, mobile PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Nintendo Switch, Meta Quest, Xbox Series X, Xbox Series S, Xbox One, PC, mobile
Connection type Wired (3.5mm) Wired (3.5mm) Wired (3.5mm)
Battery life N/A N/A N/A
Features Audio controller with in-line microphone In-line microphone Detachable boom microphone, in-built microphone,
Software N/A N/A N/A

The Final VR3000 earbuds plugged into an Xbox Wireless Controller.

(Image credit: Future)

How I tested the Final VR3000

  • Used for more than two weeks
  • Tested with a wide range of platforms 
  • Evaluated against other gaming earbuds 

I used the Final VR3000 as my primary gaming earbuds for more than two weeks, using them almost daily. During that time I tested them with a wide variety of platforms including PS5, Xbox Series S, Nintendo Switch, PC, and Steam Deck OLED. I played a wide variety of games in order to assess their performance, including Counter-Strike 2, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3, Escape from Tarkov, Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice, Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, Luigi’s Mansion 2, The Crew Motorfest, The Caligula Effect 2, and more.

I also tried plenty of VR games using my PC and a Meta Quest 2 headset, such as Gun Club VR, Half-Life: Alyx, Vampire: The Masquerade – Justice, and Beat Arena. I chatted with friends and recorded a selection of audio files in a variety of settings using two separate PCs in order to assess the performance of the microphone. Throughout the testing period, I compared my experience with my hands-on testing of other gaming earbuds such as the Final VR500, SteelSeries Tusq, Turtle Beach Battle Buds, and more.

Read more about how we test

First reviewed June 2024