Linsoul hardcore buyers probably wouldn't need any introduction about ThieAudio at this point. They are sub-brand of Linsoul themselves, catering their tuning works based on popular high-end IEM entry (Like the Campfire Andromeda, 64 Audio U12t,..) from what I heard of while keeping the price down low for people running on a budget.
Quickly from the release of ThieAudio Voyager 14, Voyager 3..., they have acquired a solid fanbase, hooking for each of their release every months. The Legacy 3 is one of their latest entry (probably behind their newest High end model as of the writing of this review), targeted to the ~100$ price range which has some decent contenders appearing in the market as of late. Let's see how it fairs off in the current competition.
Before going into the post, if you are new, please read this before having any comments regarding my writing or point of view.
- Price: 130$ (Universal), >=190$ (Custom)
- Drivers: 2BA, 1DD
- Purchase link: https://www.linsoul.com/products/thieaudio-legacy3
This ThieAudio Legacy 3 unit was a loan unit from Nova, who is from the VozForum community.
Build and Accessories:
- 3 pairs of silicon tips (S/M/L)
- Unbalanced 3.5mm 2-pin cable
- Semi-hard case
"Sim card tray eject tool""Switch flicker"
- The IEM itself
Now, pardon me for the missing of the
"Sim card tray eject tool" "Switch flicker" on the image since I have lost it somewhere, but such things are probably common if you have ever bought a smartphone these days so you can just use it instead if you ever lost the one that comes with the L3.
The Legacy 3 comes with a fairly simple package. The storage case seems to go for that fake leather design which is brown and pretty durable although it is quite big (bigger than the Blessing 2 ones if you want some comparison) which is over the limit of my pocket size. For better portability, I would recommend getting smaller cases than just using the Legacy 3 one.
The cable seems to be an 8-core braided one. It is black with metal straight jack for the plug and plastic covering for the 2-pin on the other end and y-splitter in the middle, there is also a metal chin slider. It is decent except that there is always a rubbery feeling (and looking) to it for some reason.
While the design of the Legacy 3 varies but this universal Legacy 3 that I got for this review has transparent resin blue shell with clockwork design at the back with one side printing the word "ThieAudio" at the bottom. There is two switches at the side of the shell if you want to change the signature of the IEM. The Legacy 3 also has a pesudo-custom design but the fit was a little bit big for me, isolation was great and I can find myself comfortably using this for long hours session despite its size.
Measurements are done on a calibrated IEC-711 clone. Expect a resonance peak at 8kHz.
My measurements are also raw and uncompensated, hence flat in graph is not flat in real life.
Note: Switches are presented using bits.
- 00 = 2 switches off
- 10 = 1 switch on
Despite having 4 switches, the Legacy 3 to my ears (and graphed) sounded like it only has 2 signatures which are mild U-Shaped. The 00/10 Settings basically has more a little bit more bass and upper-mid elevation than the other two.
I tend to find myself listening to the 00 setting which gives bass the most punch and the upper-mid elevation is also closer to my preference so most of this review will be based on this setting.
Q: Why does it only have 2 signatures despite 2 switches though?
A: Beats me, I also want to know
Personally, I think I can summarize the Legacy 3 as a decent tuned IEM only to be tanked by its technicalities.
To begin with, the Legacy 3 overall doesn't seem to strike any alarm to my ear that I would call as offensive, it has an acceptable bass response that can provide some punch and rumble. The pinna gain to my ears is also appropriate, with no sign of shoutiness or harsh minus a slight honkyness that sometimes occurs during my listening times. This inoffensiveness is further enhanced by its treble response, which is the only thing that I would consider as a dealbreaker due to how lacking it is. This treble affects a lot of percussion instruments where you would find them lack sparkles or even sounds dead on the Legacy 3.
Overall though, nothing much to complain about the L3 tuning for its price.
Problems start to arise when it comes to the Legacy 3's technicalities. Firstly, the least problematic thing to mention is the Legacy 3's staging which is average but not really something I would nitpick much since a lot of IEM "suffers" from this problem.
The issue becomes clearer when its comes to the Legacy 3's timbre where there are some clear signs of plasticky BA artifacts starting from the midrange. Now, I can get that similar hybrid models or even BA sets will eventually have this problem, but for some reason, the Legacy 3 timbre issue is apparent to me even during my casual listening sessions (which, usually doesn't happen with other hybrid sets I have listened to unless we are talking about the Tin Hifi T3 here for example). The Legacy 3 also sounds a bit fuzzy, and the fact that the treble is missing here does somewhat explains for its incapabilities to reproduce microdetails when comparing it to similar priced IEMs.
Bass performance on the Legacy 3 is also somewhat at faults here, while the impact and rumble are there but the lack of speed which doesn't satisfy some of my Speedcore tracks did threw me off a bit but this might be me overly nitpicky considering how many people would even "endure" this type of music (trust me, I recommended these for some times in the past). It also bleeds a little bit but I think that is negligible for this price
In all honesty, I think the Legacy 3 is not that bad. It proves itself to have decent tuning that can appeals to some people despite the lack of technicalities. There is also another niches point of the L3 - The CIEM option which is probably one of the cheapest you can find on the market right now.
Accounting all of the above, I think the Legacy 3 will have the Niches verdict. As a grim reminder that while this IEM have some potentials, ThieAudio would need to step up their game if they want to have a better position in the market. Their work just need some more love for the intangibles
Recommendation ratings: Niches
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