ThieAudio Legacy 2 - Fascinating!?
Updated: Aug 9, 2021
Every now and then an IEM comes to the review desk that peaks my interest but then fizzles out. Then there are some that are fascinating and keep me coming back. Is theThieAudio Legacy 2 one of those fascinating IEM or just another one that peaked my interest and fizzled away?
Disclaimer: Linsoul provided the ThieAudio Legacy 2 for review and only asked for an honest review. I wasn't influenced, directed or paid for this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
ThieAudio Legacy 2:
ePro Regular EP01 tips: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08SWHBSBX/ref=cm_sw_em_r_mt_dp_XC4JX84H5Y00YP9FW5EQ
Unboxing: The unboxing of the ThieAudio Legacy 2 is visually appealing and adequately stocked. You start with a black outer sleeve with the name ThieAudio in silver on the front and website information on the back.
Removing the sleeve you find a matching black box that also has ThieAudio in silver and a barcode sticker on the back.
Removing the lid the Legacy 2 are revealed in a foam block and a small black envelope with more ThieAudio silver branding contains the paperwork.
Underneath the envelope you find a small cutout that contains the blue carry case.
Inside the carry case you will locate two versions of silicone tips, black (cone shape) and clear (olive shape).
Overall, the Legacy 2 unboxing makes you feel like you are getting a quality IEM for the price.
The ThieAudio Legacy 2 is a custom universal that is the ever popular norm with IEM builds. ThieAudio offers one faceplate and shell color scheme, blue. I really enjoy the look of the Legacy 2 finding it to be visually pleasing. I like the faceplates glossy blue wave design. The shell is a darker but transparent blue that matches very well. Even though the shells are lightweight they don't feel cheap. The nozzle is a little short and could be an issue for some. The wing also could cause some fit issues as well.
The cable is exceptional and I love it. The cable connects with 2 pin and terminates in 3.5mm. The cable is well controlled as there isn't any tangling or twisting. The ear hooks have enough tension to form around the ear and hold the Legacy 2 in place. The cable is lightweight but not cheap feeling. No need to swap cables, good job ThieAudio.
On a side note, the carry case is a lovely blue faux leather. It is well built and seems durable. There is a magnet holding the flap shut tightly and there is plenty of room inside to hold the Legacy 2 with the cable attached.
Overall, I find the build and design to be on par for the price and I am content with the Legacy 2.
Fit/Comfort: The Legacy 2 fit my ears just fine. I have no complaints about comfort and can wear them for hours. I did find it somewhat interesting that I had to use the small stock tips as the medium was just a touch too large. I don't think too many will have an issue with fit and comfort with the Legacy 2 unless the short nozzle and wing don't mesh with your ear design, which is always a possibility.
Tip Selection: So yeah tip selection does make a difference with the ThieAudio Legacy 2. I don't have any major complaints with the stock tips as I find them sound adequate. But there is a slight difference between the black and the clear silicone tips. The black cone shaped tips introduce a touch of sibilance and harshness in the upper mids and treble. The clear olive shape tips with their slightly wider bore smooth out the sibilance and harshness a touch and introduce a little more air and extension. I found swapping to the ePro Regular EP01 wide bore tips that there was a more balanced and cohesive sound throughout the upper mids and treble with additional air and space in the soundstage, all the while maintaining bass and mids presence.
Sound Impressions: (All sound impressions were done with the ePro Regular EP01 tips.)
Bass: The ThieAudio Legacy 2 has what I consider a fun bass. There is a good amount of slam and impact but not a lot of refinement. This is not to say that details aren't resolved good but it kinda is saying that. The Legacy 2 focuses more on the quantity rather then the quality. There is good extension into the sub bass region and the mid bass has a nice amount as well even though it is sloped behind the sub bass. The upper bass is somewhat thinner but not hollowed out. There is a solid amount of detail retrieval and the resolution is adequate. With the Legacy 2 you won't be missing anything important in the mix. I actually rather enjoy the Legacy 2 bass to be completely honest.
Mids: The mids of the Legacy 2 from ThieAudio are better then I anticipated. I thought that they would be recessed and hollow but they aren't. Now that doesn't mean that they are forward and present. Instead they are mostly even and cohesive. Vocals present with good presence whether it be a male or female. Instruments have balance when playing the entire octave range. Instruments are placed a little ahead of vocals but not in an annoying way that overpower the vocalists. The Legacy 2 is one of the better V-shaped IEM in this price range. There is a good amount of details that are retrieved and like the bass they aren't resolved the best but for sure are not the worst. One minor complaint is the tendency to show off some sibilance and harshness at times. Overall, I find the mids of the Legacy 2 to be pleasant.
Treble: Non-fatiguing but still energetic enough is how I would describe the Legacy 2. There is early roll-off with the treble and that helps the Legacy 2 to have a laid-back leaning treble. Extension is adequate and air is okay but I do wish that the roll-off wasn't as steep so that just a little more was added into the presentation. Just like the mids and bass, the detail retrieval is good but resolution isn't the best for the price.
One small complaint is the tendency to show off some sibilance and harshness at times. I do enjoy the treble of the Legacy 2 even if it is a touch too nonchalant for my preference.
Soundstage/Imaging: ThieAudio Legacy 2 has a smaller soundstage then most but it isn't intimate. There isn't a lot of space for movement and placement but the Legacy 2 does an okay job working within the space. On busier tracks or heavy, thick tracks it will become congested and confused. For the most part it is an alright imaging IEM but not the best at the price. If there is one area of the Legacy 2 that I don't enjoy as much but I can live with; that would be the soundstage and imaging.
Detail Retrieval/Resolution: As mentioned throughout randomly, detail retrieval is good, you won't miss any major details but the small, minute stuff maybe overlooked. Resolution is adequate but not stellar, especially when it comes to percussion instruments. I find that cymbals can be very splashy and have a sheen a lot of times. This is another area that I can tolerate on the Legacy 2 but am not fully content.
Tone/Timbre: Having the Balanced Armature driver for the mids and treble can introduce some metallic timbre for sure but it was more noticeable on the stock tips then with the ePro EP01 tips. After swapping tips I found that for the most part the BA timbre disappeared. ThieAudio Legacy 2 isn't a tonally accurate IEM but it isn't an offensive sounding IEM either. I am content with the tone and timbre of the Legacy 2 even if it isn't the most natural or accurate.
SoundBlasterX G6: This is an interesting pairing that I quite enjoy. The G6 and L2 present a fun, engaging, non-fatiguing sound that has enough details to keep me happy and my toes tapping. Is it the most resolving pairing no but it isn't offending or ear bleed inducing so I can recommend it.
Sony NW-A105: The slight warm approach that the NW-A105 provides adds a nice body to the vocals and the BA timbre is not even noticeable. I really like this pairing and recommend it.
NextDrive Spectra X: Similar to the sound of the NW-A105 but with a tad more overall body and the slight increase of stage width, depth and layering; the Spectra X is my favorite pairing for the Legacy 2.
Veclan Eletronics Odyssey HD: The Odyssey HD and Legacy pairing is like a mini Spectra X but with a little less body and a touch more airiness. Yeah I like this pairing a lot as well.
The SeeAudio Yume is more tonally accurate and realistic in tone and timbre. The SeeAudio Yume has a slight advantage in detail retrieval but is significantly better at resolving. Soundstage is wider, deeper and more layered on the Yume. Overall, the Yume is a step-up in every regard but the Legacy 2 is a mini version that tries really hard to be an accurate copy cat but falls slightly short.
The Moondrop Aria is significantly brighter and more airy. The Aria has hollowed out upper mids and lower treble region that gives a glare and sheen on some tracks. The Aria has an advantage with detail resolution but detail retrieval is similar to Legacy 2. The stage width is wider on the Aria but depth and layer are similar to the Legacy 2.
Tin Hifi T5:
The Tin Hifi T5 has a little added mid bass presence, more forward mids and better extended treble. The T5 has significantly better detail retrieval and resolution, the treble is more controlled and airy, the soundstage has more width, depth and layering. This isn't a close comparison as the Tin Hifi T5 is better in all aspects except being laid-back like the Legacy 2.
Blon A8 Prometheus:
The Blon A8 Prometheus has a significant boost in mid bass presence, shouty upper mids and brighter treble. Detail retrieval and resolution goes to the A8 but it is so close to call that the differences are subtle at best and non-existent at most. The A8 has a wider, deeper stage with slightly better layering. The Legacy 2 is more natural and accurate with tone and timbre.
Conclusion: The ThieAudio Legacy 2 is fascinating to me because I like it but I don't like it. There is something about the Legacy 2 that keeps me listening but at the same it makes me want to listen to a different IEM. There is nothing wrong with the sound or the technical abilities of the Legacy 2 but at the same time it just doesn't move me. The inability of the Legacy 2 to engage the listener is what is holding it back for me. The ThieAudio Legacy 2 is like the student in school that has all the talent and knowledge but no social skills; the Legacy 2 can do it well but doesn't do anything to make you notice that it did it well. I'll take the SeeAudio Yume, Tin Hifi T5,T3,T2, Moondrop SSR or Jade Audio EA1 instead. BUT if those aren't available I will take the Legacy 2. The Legacy 2 is a solid IEM that I can recommend but I really don't want to recommend as there are other IEM available that give a more enjoyable sonic presentation.
YouTube reviews: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCgMj7xJ1SDxGqqxZ5l3g_jg
Twitter: https://twitter.com/TalkDbs @TalkDbs
DBS Tech Talk research and review process: https://youtu.be/UkSnoZZNyYc
Audio Terms and Definitions: https://www.stereophile.com/reference/50/index.html
Meze Empyrean: https://mezeaudio.com/products/meze-empyrean
Hifiman Ananda: https://hifiman.com/products/detail/290
Sennheiser HD660s: https://en-us.sennheiser.com/hd-660-s
MrSpeakers Ether C (non flow version) https://danclarkaudio.com/
Meze Rai Penta: https://mezeaudio.com/collections/all/products/rai-penta
Meze Rai Solo: https://mezeaudio.com/products/rai-solo
Moondrop SSR: https://www.moondroplab.com/ssr
Monoprice Monolith THX AAA 788: https://www.monoprice.com/product?p_id=24459
Mytek Liberty: https://mytekdigital.com/hifi/products/liberty-dac/
Soekris DAC1421: https://soekris.modhouseaudio.com/soekris-audiophile-line/dac-1421
Tor Audio Roger: https://toraudio.com/main.html#
Massdrop THX AAA 789:
Grace Design SDAC-B: https://drop.com/buy/drop-grace-design-standard-dac-balanced?utm_source=linkshare&referer=FTSS2S
Geshelli Labs Enog 2 Pro: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/enog2-pro-dac-metal-case
Geshelli Labs J2: https://geshelli.com/jnog
Geshelli Labs Erish: https://geshelli.com/shop/ols/products/erish-balanced
https://tidal.com/browse/playlist/5bbf80ce-33f3-4222-a1fc-6539a95415d6 (in order of playlist)
Tingvall Trio “Beat” - piano tonality
Sinne Eeg “We’ve Just Begun” - multiple layer soundstage
Molly Johnson “What a Little Moonlight Can Do” - female vocal tone
Leslie Odom Jr. “Under Pressure” - male vocal tone
Eric Clapton “Change the World” - soundstage, layering and placement
Yo Yo Ma “Ecstasy of Gold” - acoustic instrument timbre
Adam Baldych “Spem in Alium” - acoustic instrument timbre
Pain of Salvation “Stress” - percussion balance
Michael Buble “When I Fall in Love” - orchestral dynamics
Patricia Barber “Code Cool” - sibilance check
Christian Scott “New New Orleans” - shouty upper mids
Tool “Chocolate Chip Trip” - imaging
Hans Zimmer “Why So Serious” - sub bass extension
Marcus Miller “No Limit” - bass control
Dave Holland Quartet “Conference Of The Birds”- bass check
Ilhan Eshkeri “47 Ronin”- orchestra and bass dynamics
Hans Zimmer :2049” - sub bass extension
Cher: Believe - sibilance
Stanley Clarke - Passenger 57 main title - percussion, bass, separation and placement
Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra - The Pine of the Appian Way - soundstage, imaging and separation
Houston Person - You are my Sunshine - tone and timbre
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