Disclaimer : Earwerkz sent me their Legend R free of charge. I just had to cover the costs of my ear impressions and paid for shipping the box all the way to Georgia, USA.
My friend George – who’s living in Singapore – and I are often chatting on Whatsapp about audio gear and Liverpool. One day he was raving about his latest custom monitor, the Earwerkz Legend R. I probably didn’t pay too much attention to it as we all rave about new stuff when it has only just arrived but he however week after week kept coming back to the Legend R and that convinced me to get in touch with Jack, Earwerkz’s boss. George made the intro and well, here we are.
There are so many custom IEM companies on the market today, I have lost count and am still discovering more and more. It’s exciting and frustrating at the same time. I’m pretty sure a lot of readers have never heard of Earwerkz before, they have stayed under the radar for a (too) long time. Earwerkz’s increasing popularity on Head-fi and their participation in Kickstarter projects however have put them on the map very quickly.
Earwerkz is located in Georgia USA and besides the Legend R we are reviewing this time, they offer 7 other models: Supra 2, EW3, EW4, EW5, Penta, EW6 and the latest addition, the Legend Omega. With 8 different models in their line-up, Earwerkz can hardly be called a small company anymore.
The Legend R
But first: What is the Legend R (LR)?
The LR is a Revised version of the original Legend. It’s an 8 driver/balanced armature custom inear monitor with triple highs, triple mids and dual lows with a seven way, six crossover points network. It’s impedance is 28Ohm@1kHz with a sensitivity of 118dB@1kHz and it uses 3 bores.
Just last week Earwerkz announced a new revision of the Legend R, called the Omega. The Omega basically is the R version with a bass chamber for those who crave even more bass from the Legend R. You can also send back your Legend R to get this update, at a cost of course).
The Legend R itself is available starting from $1129 which puts it right in between what all the other companies in general are asking for an 8 driver custom.
Just like I did with my other custom monitor reviews, I will be going over the next few things:
- Build quality & Comfort
- Price & Accessories
- Customer Service
- Driveability & Sources
- Competitors & Comparisons
1. Build Quality and Comfort
Earwerkz pays attention to build quality and is very proud of it. On their website we find this: if the driver meets our criteria it is then electrically insulated by our unique conformal coating that permanently shields it from moisture, contaminants, and corroding. Obsessed with attention to details we then organize them individually by tunneling each one through clear electromagnetic interference shield tubing to maximize consistency and performance. Afterwards everything is hand soldered in perfect symmetry. Crossover networks were designed and engineered carefully to be sealed away in a discrete location, leaving only the elegance of the balanced armature drivers to be exposed. Each wire is measured accurately then cut precisely based on your unique mold. The Legend R is wired internally with blue and gold 7 strand Estron ESW Litz wires.
George always says the LR and his Fitear 335 have the best build quality, so I really wanted to have a look at the internals and I asked Jack if I could get full clear monitors. Because of the clear acrylic shell you can see the craftsmanship and the individual tubing does look impressive. You however, also see the acrylic and tubes in the canal part and that doesn’t look as pretty as I’d hoped. This isn’t unique to Earwerkz though, that should be said. Something that did surprise me is that the serial number isn’t printed or “lasered” in the shell but it actually is a sticker on the inside of the monitor. Maybe this is only the case on their clear monitors though. The tiny sticker also has the blue/left & red/right dot on them for those who need it.
Both these issues are minor though and I only have one real remark on the build quality. My left monitor for no apparent reason is slightly bigger on the outside and as a result it sticks out of my ear more than the right one. This is the only monitor I have this with, and I can’t find any good reason why it is bigger. Comfort wise however this has no impact and like my other customs they fit great and isolate perfectly. In contrast to some of my other ciems, breaking the seal by putting on weird faces isn’t happening. Great job!
Overall I am quite pleased with the build quality and especially the comfort and fit. Just too bad they aren’t identical size wise.
As I just mentioned I asked for clear shells and we didn’t even talk about personalizing the monitors. They came with the basic red logo on the Faceplate and I’m more than happy with that. For the monitors themselves you can choose out of over 10 different colors but the face plates’ color is always either gloss black, gloss white or clear.
You like it or you don’t, and I could have mentioned it in the first part as well but Earwerkz doesn’t use the classic two pin connector setup like most other companies do. They, as you can see in the pictures, prefer to put the connector on the outside of the monitor, on the faceplate. And because of that, the personalization options of the faceplate are somehow limited. The monitors can also be ordered with a straight down cable but I doubt a lot of buyers opt for that.
Earwerkz is quite active on Instagram and you can check out their profile page for more personalization examples. Most of my customs are pretty basic and I actually prefer simple designs so for me these options are sufficient. On the other hand I have to say a lot of other companies offer more personalization options at an extra cost.
It continues after the click