It's been a while since I last visit ThieAudio. Even within the Chifi sphere of the land of the rising sun, they seem to be... non-existent. And here I thought only a few Vietnamese in my homeland managed to notice their existence.

That said, I have a lukewarm impression of their lineup. While the ThieAudio Monarch remains highly regarded in my list, their budget range is... just plain mediocre. But oh well! It has been a year. By chance, I got approached by Linsoul for a review of the ThieAudio Legacy 2.

Not to hide anything, during the 1-year span, I have seen some improvement over their work, this review by chance is what I would consider as a redemption arc from them. Let's hope you don't fail me this time Thie.

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The ThieAudio Legacy 2 was provided by Linsoul in exchange for an honest review.

Build and Accessories:

ThieAudio Legacy 2 packaging
  • 3 pairs of black silicone tips (S/M/L)
  • 3 pairs of white tips (S/M/L)
  • Unbalanced 3.5mm 2-pin cable
  • Semi-hard case
  • Company card & Warranty info
  • The IEM itself
Just pretend there are 3 pairs of white tips there... I accidentally lost the two other pair.

As far as I can tell, aside from the fact that you got one more set of tips and different case and cable, the package layout doesn't change aside since the Legacy 3 days. The included 2-pin cable ain't exceptional but it isn't bad either: occasionally I still have some trouble untangling it but it is stiff enough so dealing with this isn't a big issue; I dig the smooth texture and the white aesthetic on it on the other hand.

The case is made of fake leather and it's quite durable. It's good to hold and was able to not only keep my Legacy 2 in place, but also leave some spare room for other accessories like tips as well.

The ThieAudio Legacy 2 is decent on its pseudo-custom form factor otherwise. An Acrylic resins shell might pose a problem regarding durability, but it's fine. The major concern is the 2-pin connection which is more prone to be bent if you accidentally sit on the IEM.
For someone who has small ears like me, the Legacy 2 is quite comfortable. The shell is small enough for my ears while maintaining good isolation, it's really light and I can see myself wearing this for several hours in a day without a problem.


Standalone analysis:

Note: Yes, since I recently got the MOTU M2, I also tested the ThieAudio Legacy 2 with it alongside with the iBasso DX160


"Well, this is a 100$ IEM"

Literary my thought after listening to the ThieAudio Legacy 2 for the first time. It's not an IEM that I was amazed though it isn't bad either. I guess you can consider it average for its pricing but I would place it above that a little bit due to its decent tuning and driver implementation.

Signature wise, the Legacy 2 follows a neutral warm route, it is quite tame to my ears thanks to the upper-mid following along with the subdued treble response.

ThieAudio Legacy 2 Frequency response - Can be seen from the Frequency Response Index

In fact, it does lack some sparkle in the last octave to the point I would consider that the Legacy 2 is veiled but nowhere near to the point of dark. The bass range isn't that engaging either, with its notable flaw of lacking sub-bass extension; bass transient are decent anyway, so if you are fond of snappy bass response this isn't a bad choice.
Either way though, I would consider the Legacy 2 to be a tamed set of IEM and a decent tuned one at that.

Yes, except for the aforementioned issues, not much I can fault this IEM for its price. Its pinna gain is... ok, the Legacy 2 is one tamed set not only due to its treble response but also the slight warmth benefited from the bass shelf.

Again, nothing exceptional, nothing horrendous, writing something that is decent to good is always tedious because of how uninteresting it is.


I probably had said a few times on online communities about my opposition of hybrid in the budget price range and there are a few reasons for it, though mainly it boils down to the fact that most implementations I found are way out of proportion in terms of coherency. But, credit when it's due; the Legacy 2 is quite decent on this front.

That said, don't get me wrong, the timbre contrast between the bass and midrange response of the Legacy 2 is still quite noticeable here. Aside from that remark, the Legacy 2 plasticky midrange does stick out on some occasions during my listening test, especially with plucked instruments like acoustic guitars.
But then again, compared to a lot of similarly priced hybrids on the market, this is way better. Overall, this is an improvement of ThieAudio budget lineup which I find myself quite pleased with the brand.

Though in case my verdict of "a bit above average" isn't clear to you yet, my praise ends here: The ThieAudio Legacy 2 is simply as technical as a 100$ IEM. The Legacy 2 has some sense of "haziness" that affects its resolution though it is not outright blunt. Nothing new in the staging/imaging department either - just plain average in both width and depth.
I would take the Legacy 2 if I am only listening to Vocal - Acoustic tracks, but it just doesn't convey that "grandness" feeling if Orchestral or even Instrumental genres are considered.

Choice comparison:

vs ThieAudio Legacy 3:

ThieAudio Legacy 2 vs ThieAudio Legacy 3 (00 Setting) - Comparison graph was generated from the Graph Comparison Tool

This comparison is where I can see that ThieAudio budget lineup has been improved since the last time I checked them. Aside from the Legacy 2 improvement in its treble response, I share the same preference when it comes to both in terms of tuning. Technicalities wise though...

Just to not waste anyone's time, let's quote what I have said above about the Legacy 2:

But then again, compared to a lot of similarly priced hybrid on the market, this is way better.

A way better timbre and driver implementation is all I ask from ThieAudio. It's not going to be anything groundbreaking for sure, but it's an improvement. The slightly tighter bass response here also deserves an honorable mention also, though the only thing I can see with the Legacy 2 is the lack of bass impact due to its leaner bass implementation.

vs Tin Hifi T4:

ThieAudio Legacy 2 vs Tin Hifi T4 - Comparison graph was generated from the Graph Comparison Tool

Even to this day, I am still using the Tin Hifi T4 as a comparison point for IEMs around 100$ price. The ThieAudio Legacy 2 if anything, is considered as good as the T4 regarding its performance to price ratio to me.

For most of the points, this comparison counters each other pretty well. I don't favor either any IEM and would pick both interchangeably: the T4 due to its better timbre though I would pick the Legacy 2 since it has less tonal problem to my ears.

It is way less honky for me when it comes to female vocal tracks at least. The Tin Hifi T4 has slightly more "oomph" when it comes to male vocal presentation though.
The Legacy 2 also have a smoother response on the upper octave however if you are sensitive to that range.

That said, I have one specific gripe with the Tin Hifi T4 in this comparison: it is slightly grainy compared to the ThieAudio Legacy 2 when I tried to crank up the volume a bit. This, however, isn't a big deal in itself but figuring I have never mentioned this during my original Tin Hifi T4 review, I will include this here.

Hence, pay attention to your listening volume if you happened to consider both in your wishlist.

vs Moondrop Aria:

ThieAudio Legacy 2 vs Moondrop Aria - Comparison graph was generated from the Graph Comparison Tool

Ah yes, one of the hits from Moondrop on the sub-100$ range in recent days. Set aside the fact that I still prefer the Moondrop Starfield, this is still a really great IEM for its price.

Hence, it's no wonder that it would blast the Legacy 2 out of the water. Considering I have given the praise of Aria's staging width, I am not surprised when that it surpassed Legacy 2 on this front. The more obvious front would be the timbre and coherency advantage that the Aria has thanks to its DD nature.

That aside though, the difference in its sound presentation is where you would want to pick the Legacy 2 over the Aria: after all, I would have no qualm recommending the Legacy 2 as a neutral tuned IEM. The Aria, however, is slightly more exciting to me due to its bass performance. Its treble extension is also one up notches also despite the noticeable upper treble peak which I managed to pick out and confirm with sine sweep later on.

So what does this mean for the ThieAudio Legacy 2 in my recommendation list then? I tend to recommend the DUNU DK-3001 Pro as an alternative for people who don't like the Moondrop Blessing 2/Dusk and I will treat it the same way in this comparison. Yes, it's similar tuning, though if you are fond of a decent hybrid set with cheaper price then this is not a bad choice.


Despite I don't see the ThieAudio Legacy 2 standing out if you plot it against the current top choice like the Etymotic ER2XR/SE, Moondrop Aria..., it's at least shows to me that the guys at ThieAudio finally got a grip on what to provide this time around.

That and, considering their high-end stuff seem to be the current hype right now, I think this range is much less of their concern.

And hey, it's not just the sound that matters this time, I probably would consider the Legacy 2 as some of the few options that will give you a comfortable fit with decent sound quality to boot. Not a bad deal for a beater pair after all.

Recommendation ratings: Recommended/Niches

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