Earwerkz Legend R: Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows

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.

 

box HFN Lieven round kader

 

Intro

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.

Earwerkz

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.

Breakdown

Just like I did with my other custom monitor reviews, I will be going over the next few things:

  1. Build quality & Comfort
  2. Personalization
  3. Cables
  4. Price & Accessories
  5. Customer Service
  6. Driveability & Sources
  7. Sound
  8. 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.

2. Personalization

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

Earwerkz Legend R: Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows
3.7 (73.33%) 9 votes

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Lieven is living in Europe and he's the leader of the gang. He's running Headfonia as a side project next to his full time day job in Digital Marketing & Consultancy. He's a big fan of tube amps and custom inear monitors and has published hundreds of product reviews over the years.

23 Comments

  • Reply April 16, 2015

    George Lai

    Perhaps Earwerkz are the first to recognize that your left ear is quite different from your right, Lieven, and that is why they don’t pop out when you move your jaw unlike your other customs. Anyway I am glad you joined the club.

    • Reply April 16, 2015

      Headfonia_L.

      Why do both of us end up talking about our ears all the time?

      The Legend R is really great!

  • Reply April 16, 2015

    Shini44

    nice review man, glad that you compared it with the harmony 8 pro, this gave me a better idea, also i see that you got Chord Hugo now, still waiting for that review before i pair mine with the HPA-01M 😀

    • Reply April 16, 2015

      Headfonia_L.

      Thank you. I appreciate it after those awesome comments on Headfi. lol.
      HUGO review should be up next week but I’ll give this away already. The Bakoon sounds really great with the Hugo but it’s not that you need a seprate amp with the Hugo. The Audezes sound great straight out of the Hugo, it just sounds different. not better or worse. Bakoon is a bit darker with more bass

      • Reply April 16, 2015

        Shini44

        what about the current output with ciems, does it sound darker than the hugo’s amp section as well?

  • Reply April 16, 2015

    Brett

    While I realize you haven’t demo’ed the newly announced Earwerkz Legend Omega, do you think that the Legend could use more bottom end? Or do you feel it would make it a bit bass heavy? I have been waiting for this review before pulling the trigger on the Legend R, but now with the addition of the Omega, I am having troubles deciding.

    • Reply April 17, 2015

      Headfonia_L.

      Thanks. I don’t think the Legend needs more bass. And like I said in the review you can easily get more bass by using a DAP like the DX90 or X1/X3SG or a good cable

      • Reply April 17, 2015

        Brett

        Thanks for the info. From your recommendation, I ended up buying a Linum BaX cable for my Noble CIEM’s and I hear that adds a bit of low a few weeks ago. I kid you not, I have been waiting on your review before pulling the trigger on this set of CIEM’s. Your all clear acrylic set sold me on the design as well.

        • Reply April 17, 2015

          Headfonia_L.

          The Bax will do just that (bass). Please do let Jack know we convinced you and enjoy the monitors!

          • Reply April 17, 2015

            Brett

            Will do! Thanks again for the excellent review!

  • Reply April 17, 2015

    Kev

    Glad you mentioned the noise floor. This would be a deal breaker for me. At 27 ohms I didn’t think it would be an issue with portable sources. I was considering the Legend R, however I can’t tolerate anything less than a black background.

    Thanks for the heads up.

    • Reply April 17, 2015

      Headfonia_L.

      Do note I am extremely sensitive to this AND it will depend on your source used. A lot of people don’t even notice it

      • Reply April 17, 2015

        Kev

        As a long time recording musician…I will definitely notice it.
        Nobody in the studio would accept anything less than a completely black background during a mix or on a final CD master…so why should any end-user consumer be expected to tolerate it during listening playback?

        To me, noise floor hiss is unacceptable.

  • Reply April 17, 2015

    Kev

    As a long time recording musician…I will definitely notice it.
    Nobody in the studio would accept anything less than a completely black background during a mix or on a final CD master…so why should any end-user consumer be expected to tolerate it during listening playback?

    To me, noise floor hiss is unacceptable.

    • Reply April 17, 2015

      Headfonia_L.

      If only the DAP makers would decently test their gear 😉

      • Reply April 25, 2015

        Max Coomer

        What particular Plussound cable would you recommend on their site and
        in particular what drop down options would you choose as I am not
        really sure, like make, braide type etc, with the Legend R. If price was
        no object only sound quality? I upgraded my cable to a BTG starlight
        with a balanced 4pin XLR termination and really noticed the increase in
        quality.

        I am currently having my legend re-made as my left piece
        did not sit in a much as to equalize the sound with the right. So was
        looking at the Omega. I listen to trance music and love movies and their
        soundtracks, classical and ambient on the side and the Legend is a
        great all rounded set, but for movies I tend to stay with my
        Beyerdynamic DT990, plus I have a Centrance Hifi M8 and without playing
        music there is a background hiss, but with music, even quite pieces I
        don’t notice any background hiss.

        great article and thanks

  • Reply April 24, 2015

    Max Coomer

    What particular Plussound cable would you recommend on their site and in particular what drop down options would you choose as I am not really sure, like make, braide type etc, with the Legend R. If price was no object only sound quality? I upgraded my cable to a BTG starlight with a balanced 4pin XLR termination and really noticed the increase in quality.

    I am currently having my legend re-made as my left piece did not sit in a much as to equalize the sound with the right. So was looking at the Omega. I listen to trance music and love movies and their soundtracks, classical and ambient on the side and the Legend is a great all rounded set, but for movies I tend to stay with my Beyerdynamic DT990, plus I have a Centrance Hifi M8 and without playing music there is a background hiss, but with music, even quite pieces I don’t notice any background hiss.

    great article and thanks

  • Reply May 2, 2015

    Jon Choivo

    Hey Lieven,

    Nice review, im wondering how do these compare to the K10 or MH335, as these 2 are the only iems i like listening to, not a fan of JH (the only other one i listened properly to).

    Thanks

    • Reply May 2, 2015

      Headfonia_L.

      I wish I knew. And thanks, but I don’t have those monitors

  • Reply January 4, 2016

    Miko Belardo

    Hi Lieven,

    Another well written and informative review!

    Regarding the sensitivity of the Legend R, I was wondering if you had any idea how it pairs with the Vorzuge Pure II+ in the context of background hiss …

    • Reply January 5, 2016

      Headfonia_L.

      Hi and Thank you. Nathan has the Vorzuge and I have the Duet, so I couldn’t tell, sorry

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