I believe I will be getting review units of those, but I don’t have any shipping confirmation of it.
For anyone who doesn’t use EQ but wants to take the edge off the Legacy 4, I can recommend 3M transpore surgical tape. It smoothes out the sound and takes away a bit of the shout. Plus it provides some protection for those open sound bores.
The Thieaudio L2 has superb tonality and is a great option at the $100 price point, especially for IEM newcomers.
My full review is available on my blog:
Thieaudio Legacy 2 (L2) Review
I’ve been listening to it, thanks to a loan from @precogvision. For my tastes, I find it to be somewhat lean in the upper base and lower mids. I’d say if you are looking for something less V-shaped or Harman-esque, it might make you happy. I’m actually finding the CCA CSN more enjoyable, personally. They sure are pretty, though.
Throwing my hat into the Thieaudio Legacy 2 review ring. This was actually published a week ago but haven’t gotten around to putting it here on the forum
Thieaudio Legacy 2 Review - The Bare Minimum
Review unit provided by Linsoul
Thieaudio is an IEM company that made its splash on the IEM scene a year ago with the release of their flagship Monarch and Clairvoyance tribrid IEMs. But before their claim to fame, Thieaudio did have a few other IEMs in their lineup. In particular, their entry-class Legacy 3 had its short time in the sun before fading into obscurity as many flavours of the months do. This time, armed with their experience with the tribrid twins, they’re back with the Thieaudio Legacy 2 . Coming in at $100 and boasting a 10 mm Be DD and single Knowles BA, can Thieaudio cement their presence the hypercompetitive budget landscape as well?
What’s in the Box?
The box of the Legacy 2 is a simple black box stating its logo. Inside is the IEMs attached to their 2-pin cable and a small carrying case containing 6 pairs of silicon S, M, L tips. It’s a clean, no-frills unboxing experience. I really like the carrying case. It has a deep blue faux leather exterior with a simple magnetic flap that opens up so you can slide your IEMs inside the velvet lined case. It’s similar to previous Thieaudio cases except that it’s slightly less than half the size length wise. I find it to be the perfect size for being big enough to comfortably store the IEMs while being small enough to put in your pocket or hold in your hand. Oh, and the cable is nice too. It’s light, pliable, and has little cable memory or noise.
The IEMs themselves have an unfilled resin shell and are quite light. Pretty standard stuff. I’m pleased that the nozzle has a bit of a lip molded into it so tips don’t slip off. However the nozzle length is very short and for some that might be a problem. I personally find it quite comfortable. I get a good seal and it isolates well enough. It’s about as basic of a setup as you’re going to get.
Unfortunately, I’m not impressed with the L2. It’s a variant of the increasingly common safe tuning combination of a bass boost, good upper mids pinna gain, and tamed treble. However, it has disappointing technical performance. It takes a formulaic approach to “good sound” that undoubtedly clears the tuning bar but doesn’t do anything beyond that. To me, it sounds like it was made as an afterthought just to have a product in the budget space with no identify of its own. To use an analogy, it’s like a physics student who answers all questions correctly but doesn’t show their work or give units. The L2 “objectively” gets good marks but frustratingly refuses to go for great.
Frequency response of the Thieaudio Legacy 2. Measurement taken with an IEC-711 clone microphone. Comparisons can only be made to other measurements taken by this specific microphone. The peak at about 8-9 kHz is an artifact of the microphone. It likely does not actually exist as depicted here.
Looking at the frequency response graph, you’d think the L2 is a bassy IEM. But it doesn’t really come across that way. While it doesn’t lack quantity, the L2’s bass sounds unsure of itself. It doesn’t portray a strong, confident slam in the subbass. Though isn’t particularly boomy, it lacks the necessary note definition to have clean midbass drum notes. Instead, they sound soft and rounded out. On the upside, it doesn’t struggle with more complex tracks and there’s the occasional glimpse of nuance in tricky segments. It’s an awkward in-between feeling that leaves me wanting for some sense of direction. I generally don’t expect too much from marketing terms like “Beryllium DD”, but I am still a little disappointed. It isn’t bad but it’s certainly not what I’d classify as good. It just is.
From a tonal balance perspective, the mids of the L2 falls short of the finish line in comparison to other really well tuned IEMs. The balance between the lower mids and upper mids cause vocals to sound a tad veiled and hazy. The culprit is the low mids elevation around the 200 – 300 Hz mark. While I don’t necessarily consider it to be bass bleed, the end result is that it masks some clarity in the upper mids. Now, some of you might be asking this point: “Why not just call it a warm tuning?”. And that would be a completely valid question. Feel free to disagree but personally, I don’t feel like the L2’s tuning goes for that warm, lush, laid back, etc. tone. Instead, it seems to try for a natural, neutral sound but doesn’t quite make it. To get there, it either needs a minor recession in the lower mids around the aforementioned 200 – 300 Hz region or a couple dB of gain in the upper mids at 2.5 – 4 kHz. Or both. All this being said, in the grand scheme of things, the L2’s are admittedly quite well tuned. Unless you’ve had the chance to hear some of the best tuned IEMs out there, its mids will likely sound pleasant to you.
Tonal quibbles aside, instruments generally sound fine. Timbre is good though clearer note definition would be appreciated. I’d say that electric guitars would benefit from more bite to their sound. Vocals, as mentioned before, could use more clarity to help them really cut through the mix. The L2 isn’t the most interesting IEM to listen to but its mids don’t sound harsh or sibilant in any way.
The treble of the L2 is rather subdued but does blend in well to the sound of the L2s. There’s just enough sharpness to breathe life in the initial touch of the cymbals and hats. However it does have a dip in the mid treble that softens the note’s decay. This has the effect of making the L2 a fatigue free listen though it does sometimes cause cymbal crashes in the background to sound masked and blurred together. Overall, I’m fine with the treble response. It doesn’t have upper treble extension like many IEMs but it doesn’t sound suffocated or anything.
The sound presentation of this IEM is practically the textbook definition of average. Soundstage and imaging are alright. Dynamics face their standard limitations. Note definition and resolution is middling though at times it shows flashes of brilliance on the resolution front. Honestly, it’s hard to put words to the presentation of the Legacy 2 beyond “it’s OK”. I find that sometimes the more I listen to an IEM the more I uncover and appreciate its technical performance. But with the L2, it didn’t get any better after the first day.
Comparison to the SeeAudio Yume
The L2 reminds me quite a bit of the recent $170 SeeAudio Yume that I reviewed. Solid tuning, middling technical performance. In fact, when I first learned that Thieaudio was releasing the L2, I thought that maybe we would get a Yume for almost half the cost. But alas, that was not so. For my tastes, the Yume perfects the L2’s tuning. It essentially does everything I wished was improved: clean up the bloat in the midbass/low mids transition, add a dash of upper mids clarity, and fill in the treble dip for a more realistic treble experience.
So is the Yume worth the extra $70? Personally, I would say so. That said, you could probably EQ the L2 to the Yume or your personal tastes with minimal effort and put the money towards something like the Qudelix 5k for wireless freedom. On a technical level, they’re essentially on par with each other except for the bass where I’d say the Yume edges out the L2 in terms of impact and note definition.
Should You Buy It?
A hesitant yes. To be honest, I’m not a big fan of the Thieaudio Legacy 2. Clearly Thieaudio knows how to tune and recent ChiFi brands has made great tuning ever more accessible for beginners. This is inarguably great news for the growth of this hobby. However I can’t shake the feeling that Thieaudio, with their tuning know-how, simply slapped the L2 together to fill a product gap and called it a day. A few years ago, I would’ve been impressed with the L2. But for today’s hypercompetitive market filled with other notable IEMs, the Legacy 2’s seeming lack of effort sours my attitude towards it.
So yes, for $100 it’s still worth a purchase. But I’d suggest looking around the budget space for something that will suit your needs more closely than the L2. In my eyes, just like it covers a hole in Thieaudio’s lineup, the L2 should fill a gap in your shortlist. A default option that will work perfectly fine for everyone but not necessarily the best option for someone. And to be completely fair, I’m sure there are some out there who would prefer the sound of the L2 over the other similarly tuned IEMs out there right now. Those just aren’t my ears.
Great review @Fc-Construct. Some great photography too.
I fear that one day I’ll have to find set pieces other than random shrub leaves in my backyard.
THIEAUDIO Monarch MKII:
“One of the controversial sound aspects of the original Monarch was its super defined and emphasized sub-bass. While some enjoyed the clean separation between the sub-bass and the low-mid frequencies, others voiced concern of the sheer quantity of sub-bass. To bring about a resolution, we have slightly decreased the volume of the sub-bass to more appropriate levels, while pushing the low-pass crossover from 150Hz to 200Hz. This change still maintains the clean and punchy subwoofer-like characteristic of the lows that doesn’t muddy the mids, but introduces an ever-slightly warm texture to fundamental low-frequency instruments such as the bass guitar. The mid-frequencies between 200Hz and 1kHz are still kept at a ruler-flat neutral that makes the Monarch MKII an impeccable professional monitoring device. The mid-treble transition between 1 and 2kHz has been pushed back to 3kHz, which reduces any nasal or harsh vocal textures, while still emphasizing the bite and crispness of instruments.”
As a former Monarch owner these are the exact changes I would have advocated for. I ultimately moved on precisely because the ruler-flat mid-bass sat too far below the elevated sub-bass and made everything sound a bit thin. Gotta hand it to these ChiFi brands - they take feedback very seriously. If Thieaudio nails Monarch mkii like UM nailed MEST mkii it’s going to be a huge win.
I’ve seen the prototype graph of Monarch 2 and I think it comes closer to probably what you like if you like MEST MK2. I havent heard Monarch 2, of course, but graph wise looks like it has just a slightly less midbass, but less upper midsand similar treble extension.
I know I have said this already but… this is also available in Spanish on my blog and YouTube, links at the end of the post.
Thieaudio Legacy 2
The Thieaudio Legacy 2 have been kindly donated by Linsoul in exchange for this review. They have not requested anything specific, however, as I always point out, even though my review will be as sincere and unbiased as possible, it is always good to consider the fact that these IEMs have not cost me anything.
As usual, I will refrain from posting purchasing links on external websites, even though they are non-affiliate, but please feel free to visit the version published on my blog for the link to the Legacy 2 via Linsoul.
To be honest, I hadn’t really been keeping up with the Thieaudio product line. I mean, I know Thieaudio, as it is a brand that is mentioned quite a lot in the IEM world and has uite a fame for some of their higher end models, but I really didn’t know much about their price models or price points. I remember the Legacy 3 interesting me at one point but I never actually got to hear it.
After spending time with the Legacy 2 to form my opinion on it, without even knowing its price, I decided to check it out on Linsoul. I was surprised to find that there are also various other models, such as the Legacy 3 I mentioned, along with the 4, 5 and even 9. I thought that maybe the Legacy 2 was an older model but some quick investigation showed that it is actually newer than the other models in the series, so I was somewhat confused by the naming scheme. However, after a bit more reading, I realized that the model number matches the driver count, which now makes sense to me.
The Legacy 2, as I just mentioned, has 2 drivers in each side, a proprietary 10mm beryllium dynamic driver along with a Knowles ED29689 balanced armature, a driver that has been used on some other very well regarded IEMs.
I must say that I was actually surprised to find that the Legacy 2 sells for $89 (less than 80€), as I actually thought the price would be higher. It is slightly above the sub 50€ bracket that I mention in many of my reviews, IEMs that I consider very budget orientated, but at its price it is still a very economical IEM in the scheme of things.
The Legacy 2 arrives in a largish black box covered by a black cardboard sleeve. The sleeve is all black and simply says Thieaudio on the front. Sliding the box out from inside the sleeve surprisingly reveals a box that is identical to the sleeve, simply black with Thieaudio on the lid.
Inside the box we find the IEMs with their 2 Pin cable attached, along with a selection of silicone tips, a rather nice blue (imitation) leather case with magnetic closure and the usual QC card, warranty card and even an instruction manual.
I have absolutely no complaints about the contents included for the price, it is much more than is included with many other models at similar (or more expensive) price points and there is nothing really missing.
Build and aesthetics…
Thieaudio uses a semi transparent blue shell for the Legacy 2, with a faceplate that has a kind of resin marble effect. I must say that I actually like the look. It is colorful enough to be different from so many other brands but at the same time is not overpowering nor does it stand out too much.
The IEMs themselves are very lightweight and are shaped in a way that I find very comfortable. I have been using the stock tips with them and I have been able to listen for hours without any issues in regards to comfort. There is no filter on the outside of the end of the nozzle, which actually has two smaller openings, to which the drivers are routed via their tubes.
The included cable is also pretty nice. It is a 4 core braided cable, with silver coloured connectors and split, which does have a few loose weaves here and there but nothing to complain about. The chin slider is transparent plastic rather than matching metal but it works as it is supposed to and does not seem out of place.
As far as build and aesthetics, I find that they are a nice set of IEMs that seem well built and are certainly comfortable for long sessions, even if this is something that is obviously a very personal thing.
Now, where to start with the sound… My quick description of the sound would be pleasant, not overpowering, just generally a comfortable tuning. There is really nothing that jumps out at me in a bad way from the Legacy 2, although there is nothing that really jumps out at me in a great way either.
I suppose the word mediocre would come to mind but I think that mediocre is more negative than positive and I really don’t think that there is anything really negative about the Legacy 2, it is just not exciting. I have been using these IEMs daily for a week and at no moment did I ever feel that they were doing anything wrong, but I didn’t get any “wow!” moments either.
In the subbass regions, there is quite a bit of extension down to the lower regions, without the lowest notes seeming to roll off but there isn’t any boost either. I didn’t find that songs with deep sub bass came across as powerful in those regions, but they didn’t really come across as lacking either. The usual “Chameleon” work out proved to have enough sound to appreciate the subbass but didn’t really rumble like it does on other sets.
Moving into the mid and higher bass areas, again, presence is correct and bass is as present as it needs to be without being overdone. As you all know (unless this is the first review of mine you read), I am not a bass head, so take that as you will, but I found the bass to be nicely balanced as far as tuning. When I looked at a graph after listening for a few days, I was surprised to find that the bass actually shows to be more elevated than I would have guessed. It is higher than my usual preference in the bass region but it did not give me that impression.
I think that the main reason for it not giving me that impression is that the bass is rather smooth, without really standing out. Listening to “Black Muse” by Prince, I can’t really say that there is any lack of bass presence but once again, it doesn’t really stand out like it does on sets with more exciting bass response (even sets that actually have less bass as far as tuning). As a bass player, I automatically pay attention to bass lines even when I don’t want to, but the Legacy 2 doesn’t make me do that. The bass just doesn’t seem to stand out, but when I actually make an effort to listen to it, there really isn’t anything wrong, it just forms part of the overall music (which is what it should do, but usually doesn’t in my case because I am always unconsciously paying attention to it).
Moving into the mids, I feel I am going to start being repetitive. I listen to a lot of acoustic and vocal music and the mids sound fine but again, not exciting. Listening to “Strange Fruit” by Dominique Fils-Aimé, again her vocals were fine, no harshness, nothing particularly missing or added, but it did not come across as it does on so many IEMs with particularly good mids. Again, I need to stress that it does not do a bad job of the mids at all, in fact it doesn’t make a bad job of any of the frequencies, it just doesn’t excel at them.
Up in the higher regions, this is the area that I usually find most faults on economic IEMs and again, I can’t really fault them. They are clean, they are not harsh, there is no sibilance, there are no weird boosts. Yes, they could extend a little further but I really can’t complain that they roll off too early, or lack air, or any of that. Again, they just don’t stand out.
As far as soundstage and placement of images in that stage, well, the width is typical for an IEM. It is again not bad but is nothing out of the ordinary. The placement of images is decent although not amazing, but I think that this is more due to the fact that everything is sort of coherently balanced, there are no real background details that stand out. It does not give the impression of being a very detailed set of IEMs but if you actually look for a specific detail that you know should be there, it usually is, it just doesn’t amaze with details.
I may have given the impression that the Legacy 2 are not good IEMs but that is a long way from being true. They are good IEMs, there really isn’t anything bad about them, but they are just an overall safe and coherent presentation of music.
I really don’t think anyone could say that they hate the Legacy 2 (well, this is the internet, I’m sure plenty of people can) because there really isn’t anything to hate about them. I think that they are a set of IEMs that you could literally buy for anyone without knowing their preferences and they would be a safe bet.
My conclusion is that the Legacy 2 is a good set of IEMs that is a safe bet, something that doesn’t really excel in anything particular but doesn’t really fall behind in anything particular either. If there is something specific you want from a set of IEMs, then I think that there will always be an option that will be better at that specific task but the Legacy 2 is an all rounder that will just do its job without complaint.
Did you possibly mean “can’t really say”?
If I misread it, please remove this post.
Yes, thanks for pointing it out, I have fixed it!