Weapons of Power and Myth – A Review of the Empire Ears Legend X

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Thanks to the adroit tuning Legend X sports, you shan’t easily find a bad source with which to pair this IEM. LX is neither overly warm nor overly bright, and therefore a source is unlikely to push it too far in either direction. Furthermore, it is already endowed with phenomenal bass, and equally phenomenal resolution. So your source doesn’t need to help it where it’s weak. As I said early on, Legend X has no weaknesses; it’s the strongest all-arounder I’ve come upon.

So? F**king don’t worry about tuning. Just feed these buggers the best juice you can, and bask in the moisture-inducing audio.

To that end, I use the DX200 with AMP4 module by iBasso ($899 + $199, Review HERE). It’s my current reference player. Unreasonable levels of detail, and raw, resolving power. The enormous soundstage is intensely real in depth and spatial reproduction. Transparency is off the charts. Simply put, it’s the best I own. And Legend X deserves the best. It scales like a champ and will thank you for every ounce of performance you can muster. For an IEM which does everything well, a DAP with these sorts of abilities makes a truly magical pairing.

My previous reference DAP, the Opus#2 ($999, Review HERE) is nearly as fulfilling for LX. It has the peculiar trait of being unrelentingly natural of tone. It just sounds true. Note weight, dynamics, bass, mids, and treble… all feels absolutely correct. And real. The soundstage is quite large, in the most effortless way possible. Detailing and resolution are among the best you’ll ever find, yet it conveys its virtues humbly, without conceit. This makes for a lovely counterpoint to LX, who is rife with ego and showmanship. Opus gives these IEMs a grounded platform upon which Legend X can dazzle and confound.

The Cayin N5ii ($369, Review HERE) is perhaps the greatest bang for your buck player out today. It’s feature-rich and sounds tremendous. Performance-wise, it is not far off from the TOTL DAPs I’ve mentioned. Soundstage is huge, and it renders dimensionality better than most. It is so good, in fact, when I connect Legend X, I sense no mediocrity or lack. Cayin sounds refined, and complete, and so does Legend X.

How about a warmer, thicker sound, with a crap-ton of features, excellent build, and proper mid-tier price and performance? The iBasso DX150 ($499) fits that bill to a T. It takes the fun musicality of Legend X and adds mescaline. This setup is wild. Smooth and robust, rich, and dripping with gooey goodness. Might be too warm, or lacking detail for some. But if you desire less of a reference player and more of a rockbox, this is my recommendation.

Cables. Cables? Cables! What’s to be said about them? Well, finding the right cable is less about spending the most, and more about spending the wisest. Depending on what you want to do to the monitor—and all cables do something—you may get away with a fairly simple copper, and still achieve an upgrade.

However, that’s not likely to occur in this case, because LX already ships with a truly wonderful cable which would amount to a noteworthy upgrade in any normal situation. If you want better than Ares II, get out your f**king wallet!

Effect Audio Thor Silver II Bespoke 8-Wire: Right now, of the cables I have on-hand, this is my favorite with LX. And it just came in yesterday! It unchains the beast in terms of power, dynamics, and bass impact, widens the soundstage, blackens the background, and increases clarity. All this without brightening the highs, so it remains silky to the very end. But oh my, treble is given extra headroom. The extension and air is fabulous.

plusSound Exo Tri-Copper: This was my favorite until last night. Tri-Copper beefs up all of Legend X’s most incorrigible habits. Sub-bass and mid-bass get boosted, vocals thicken, treble warms, and the whole tone gains weight and aggression. It’s a joyous experience, but not especially refined.

Effect Audio Leonidas: Now this is refined. So mature, and well-mannered. Leo brings a thoroughly controlled, liquid quality, where clarity and transparency are at an all-time high and dimensionality expands to new territories. Treble is extended, and air is increased. But honestly, I think Thor II 8-wire may have it beat even in this.

Effect Audio Thor II 4-Wire: If you want the Leonidas sound, but for half the price, Thor II gets you most of the way there. It is liquid-y. It is refined. Clear as a bell, with tight, controlled lows. Treble is better extended than Ares II, but not quite as free and airy as Leo, and certainly not on the level of 8-Wire Thor. Yet both 4 and 8-wire share that unique treble warmth which defies tradition for silver cables.

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About Author

Pinky is an artsy twat. Illustration, graphic design, writing. Yet music escapes him, and always has. He builds his own cables, and likes to explore the craftsmanship of others. He's a stabby one, also. At the first hint of annoyance, out comes the blade. I say he's compensating for something... in a big bad way. If we all try really hard as a collective, maybe we can have him put down.

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