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