Not many posts in this subject so far so I’ll add one. I recently picked up my end game Empire Ears Legend X’s from the boys at Headphones.com. These won out over a myriad of IEM’s I tried in order to narrow it down. Here’s the list of the others that I auditioned:
Campfire Audio Solaris 2020: These were really good in almost all aspects. Great clarity, tonality, detail and comfort, but they lost me on not having enough bass for my tastes. The bass is well controlled and it’s present, but there needs to be more of it for me.
Sony IER-M9: These two were great as well. Clarity, tonality, detail and comfort were all there and it had a little more bass than the Solaris, but I still craved a little more. The main deal killer for me though was the 3.5kHz peak that made a number of songs very sibilant to me. I have sensitivity to harsh highs and this was an immediate “no-go” reaction for me. As an aside; these had probably the nicest feeling cable of all the ones I tested.
Moondrop S8: These were pretty decent overall. Fit was great. Sound was on par with the others except that the treble highs were a little too pronounced for me. Again they triggered my sensitivity to those highs and it was a little grating on my ears. Others may find the highs to be perfect so these would be a great “affordable” set for most people. Just didn’t make the grade for me.
Next up my trek through a few members of the Empire Ears lineup:
EE Nemesis: Finally, the bass I was craving was here in spades. Wow. Listening to some of my favorite EDM songs was a revelation. When the drops came…the drops hit hard. So why didn’t I go with these? Highs were a little too aggressive for me unfortunately. These have a peak around 8kHz that once again triggered my sensitivities again (seeing a theme here?). These had great sound overall with that good bass, great vocals and they would have been chosen if not for those highs. Ugh. Next.
EE Vantage: Okay, here we go now. Great bass. No aggressive highs with no sibilance. Actually, these have a really great smoothed out sound signature. Unfortunately they are a little too relaxed for me and I find the vocals get lost just a little in the velvety goo. That’s not to say these sounded bad because they sound great, but for my tastes and ears I want a bit more of that U-shaped signature. I was really close to keeping these, but thought lets go one step further to see if I can find my audio nirvana…
EE Legend X: So clearly we already know I went with these. Let’s see why. Bass? Again the boys at Empire Ears are utilizing their Weapon IX subwoofers to the fullest (2 each in all of the sets I tried from them). I get my bass itch scratched and then some with these. Sub bass, mid bass. All there. Vocals? Yeah, those are pushed forward in the mix and I never find them to be lost in the bass even on really bass-full songs. Clarity is there for sure and tonally pleasing. The highs? At last a bassier IEM that doesn’t that doesn’t push the treble so high it triggers me. Just enough to get the details in the highs and keep in controlled and rounded; not peaky. And the comfort is there when I have them in. So across the board these checked my boxes and are now going to join me on musical enjoyment journey.
Thanks for sticking with me through this longish post and hope I helped anyone who may be looking at these various IEM’s and how they might compare to the Legend X’s. Take care and stay safe all.