Earwerkz Legend R: Sunshine, Lollipops And Rainbows

3. Cables

The Legend R comes with a grey generic quad cable. While it is perfectly fine you do also have an option to order one of the Linum cables together with your monitors. I have a lot of different after market IEM cables and I found the LR’s sound to be really susceptible to the cable and source used.

The original cable first got swapped for one of the Linum BaX cables and I was quite happy with the added bass and body in the mids. It really got interesting when I received the PlusSound’s Apollonian+ Series cable together with the Cloud Nine amplifier. That cable added evenly distributed body to the bass and mids and made the mids even more musical than they already are. I love this combination. It might not be the most comfortable cable (listen to the latest Ohm Air Podcast) but it sounds superb.

Two other cables I tried were the ALO Tinsel and SXC24 silver plated copper cables. The Tinsel actually looks a bit like the Linum cable and is very comfortable as well, the only issue I have with it is that the cable isn’t the best with friction noise. Sound wise you get a clearer and very tight sound with more sparkling highs. The SXC24 cable is less comfortable and thicker but doesn’t suffer from friction noise like the Tinsel. Sound wise this cable focusses on bass, mids and treble but especially the mids were very detailed and smooth. There was more bass body than with the Tinsel while the highs were about the same. The BaX and PlusSound cable have the most bass and produce the fullest body.

In the end the cable I stuck with is the PlusSound one as it suits my personal preference most. Again, the stock cable is perfectly fine as well and if you don’t already have any after market cables or you only want to spend little money on them, I would advise to get the Linum BaX for the Legend R.

4. Price and Accessories

Basic price is $1129 USD and the LR comes with the Earwerkz quad cable, an acoustic bore cleaning tool, a microfiber cloth for cleaning, an Earwerkz branded zipper pouch and a black Pelican 1010 case. That’s a lot of “free” accessories and personally I find it only very normal for a TOTL monitor in this price range. Some companies don’t even deliver the basic accessories but Earwerkz sends it all. I’ve been using the Pelican case to transport the Legend R but I can see why some people would prefer the zipper pouch.

Price wise I think Earwerkz has a correct price, a lot of the other 8 driver monitors cost quite a lot more. A few months ago the Euro was still strong and that meant the LR (and all other US gear for that matter) was an incredible bargain, now with the almost 1€ for $1 it’s gotten a little more expensive for us Europeans, but the price is still very correct.

5. Customer Service

A lot of people, especially my girlfriend, tell me I’m on my phone way too much replying to emails. Works never stops and I know what it’s like to have contacts in all time zones, it’s tough. Earwerkz, well Jack, takes customer service to another level and I often got an immediate reply at times when he really should have been sleeping. And that actually was at the time of a very busy Kickstarter project. I wonder if the man ever sleeps.

Jack was always very helpful and polite and I can’t complain about their service at all. The order process on their website is pretty straightforward and should you have any questions, Jacks seems to always be there to answer them. He gave me the feeling I could ask anything and he was there if I needed anything. A very personal approach I appreciate a lot and I’m sure the Earwerkz owners will recognize and confirm this.

One of the strongest point of Earwerkz is their turn around time. Where most CIEM companies nowadays make you wait 6 to 8 weeks to get your monitors, Earwerkz’s turn around time is 10 to 15 days. That’s very impressive. There’s even a 5 day rush option. Call me amazed.

6. Driveability & Sources

The Legend R is extremely easy to drive, and you do not need an amplifier at all. When you do use one there of course will be an improvement in sound quality but power wise the LR is very easy to drive. Maybe even a bit too easy. Let me explain.

The LR is the most sensitive of my monitors and it picks up floor noise or hiss immediately. Hugo Chord? AK240? AK120ii? Fiio X3SG? Yep, all noisy. It even picks up noise from the otherwise extremely silent iBasso DX90. When you listen at very low volumes that might be an issue when there are quieter passages in your music. I tend to listen at very low volume and on some DAPs I just couldn’t use the headphone out because of the annoying hiss and I used the line out to an (IEM) amplifier.

I did talk to Jack about the hissing and here’s what he replied: “The hissing issue it just a matter of sensitivity. Previously many of our clients used Iphones and they needed to keep cranking it up but now that we’re catering to hardcore audiophiles we’ll need to turn it down a notch in the near future“. I do hope Earwerkz gets to that soon. Then again, a lot of people won’t even notice it and as most people listen at a higher volume then me, it won’t even be audible when music is playing. But it had to be said.

Just like after market cables, the Legend R’s sound will adapt according to the source you are using. The DX90 in example will give you a more full bodied sound with a bit more bass. The AKs will give you more detail and more sparkling treble, and so on. I especially liked the LR straight out of the DX90 as it the DAP with the least hiss (see Ohm) and also the full Cypherlabs stack was pretty awesome with plenty of detail, clarity and good bass. With all the other DAPs I used an external amp, most used were the new ALO Rx, the Picollo and the Cloud Nine. On the Chord Hugo, the Legend R sounded very clear and precise, tight and fast. A high end sound.

Sound on Page 3, after the click

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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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