In this article we check out the brand new Empire Ears Legend EVO IEM, selling for $ 3,099 USD.
Disclaimer: Empire Ears kindly supplied the Legend Evo for this review. The Legend Evo stays Empire Ears’ sole property.
In this short chapter we will take a quick look at the company, their past and their current products.
I am sure most people here have heard about the brand Empire Ears before. But nonetheless, we should take a brief look at who they are and what they are doing.
Empire Ears is a renowned manufacturer of custom and universal IEMs. They are located in Georgia, USA. Their first products were still under the brand of EarWerkz. One of their IEMs back then was the Legend Omega. Which has been reviewed on this very site in April of 2015. Since then the company has been re-branded to what we know them today – Empire Ears.
The main people behind Empire Ears is the Vang family. Most folks probably know Jack Vang, Vice President and co-founder of the company. Jack is an ever optimistic and friendly person who goes above and beyond to make sure his customers are happy with their purchase. He’s the always watching eye of Empire Ears in online forums and social media. During the process of this review, Jack has helped me greatly, and I want to use this opportunity to give a quick shout-out to this man.
Since their launch in 2015, Empire Ears has turned their focus on two fields of the market. The audiophile and the pro-audio scene. Both of which have very different needs. I am sure the professionals are a lot easier to handle than us audio nerds. Their demands and standards are probably lower when it comes to certain things about sound. Correct me if I’m wrong though.
One thing I appreciate about Empire Ears is how they try to push the envelope. They came up with a lot of different technologies to make sure their products meet their own standards, which appear to be very high. They developed their own dynamic and bone conduction drivers. On top EE also developed a special crossover design, which synchronizes time and frequencies. In my book that really shows how far they go to make products with which they are satisfied with. It’s not just some fancy looks and drivers stuffed into some shells, no, they put their own tech in it.
Let’s take a quick look at what Empire Ears currently offers their customers.
Their products are divided into two different lines. The EP and X lines. In the EP line we find two models. The ESR MKII and the Wraith. In the X line there are currently five models on their website – the Bravado MKII, the Hero, Valkyrie MKII, Legend X and Odin.
Price-wise these range between 799 USD (Bravado MKII) to 3,499 USD (Wraith).
Most of these have been reviewed here on Headfonia, so if you want to check out their lineup you can do so right here.
The only monitor currently missing on Empire Ears’ website is the Legend Evo. Their latest release. Thankfully some information still can be found on the internet. So let’s check them out from an on-paper-perspective.
What’s to know?
The Legend Evo is a triple hybrid design, which comes with a total of eight drivers.
A bit above in this text I mentioned the Legend Omega. You’d be surprised, but I did this on purpose. The reason is, that the Legend Evo is the evolution of the Legend Omega in some sort. Although there is one model that sits between those two. Correct! The Legend X. Which was also covered here. I’d suggest you check this review out as well.
It uses two of Empire’s own Weapon IX+ dynamic drivers for lows. Five proprietary balanced armatures for mids and highs and their all new Weapon X bone conduction driver. Now, bone conduction drivers are definitely not a new thing in the audio world. And when you take a look at the background of the company (hearing aids) it only makes total sense that at one point Empire Ears would implement this technology into their products.
Traditionally bone conduction driver transport audio waves via the human bones, as the name already spoils, to the eardrums. But that’s not how the Weapon X drivers work. The Weapon X drivers transport the vibrations not directly to the bone, but through a filled nozzle on the IEM to the ear-tips. And this aspect is, why it is incredibly important that you have a perfect fit with the Legend Evo. So play around with the supplied tips and find the ones that fit you like a glove. The Weapon X drivers cover the whole frequency band from 5Hz up to 35kHz.
Alright, now that you know a bit more about the Legend Evo, let’s go over the technical specifications real quick.
The Legend Evo has an impedance of 4.5 Ohms (measured at 1kHz), which is insanely low for regular standards, but almost all of Empire Ears’ products feature this impedance levels. So not unusual for them. It has a sensitivity of 103dB (measured at 1kHz, per mW).
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