Seated at the very top of Empire’s new X-line and tuned in conjunction with the seven times Grammy award winning producer and engineer Jeremiah Atkins, my expectations for the Legend X were quite high. When I first received the Legend X, I was overwhelmed by the forward and big bass, though I was told that they would require a significant amount of burn-in time to settle. For the first three weeks, I have had them basically playing non-stop, with a maximum break per day of one hour. I still used them every day for my commute to and from work. Bass was noticeably tamed after around 100 hours, but settled further in after an additional 100 hours on top.
I have always been a big fan of the bass of well tuned balanced armatures, yet the dual Weapon IX dynamic drivers have caught my attention right after I heard about them. Designed from scratch after two years of Research and Development, they utilize a common design from the HiFi speaker industry.
The nine millimeter dynamic drivers do a fantastic job at reproducing a visceral, immersive and powerful deep bass with superior control. Overall bass is quite prominently placed within the signature. If you’re not a fan of that, you might find the Legend X too bass-heavy. Though I want to make clear, that the Legend’s bass is not only about quantity, but more important, puts quality first. You will get a high resolution, well textured and dynamic bass with organic presentation. There are good amounts of air in each low-end note. The Legend goes deep into sub-bass regions and creates a solid foundation with outstanding drive and authority. They have more emphasis on mid- and upper bass for a slightly warmer overall tone. While sub-bass gives the sound a great foot-tapping factor.
The midrange is well resolved with a touch of analogue warmth in the lower registers. Mids sport a full and lush sound that can become emotional when the track needs it to be. Instruments have decent weight and body in them, they stand out from a very dark black background. They have a good sense for richness for a pleasing quality. The Legend X sounds organic and natural, with a wonderful deep stage that also stretches in good dimensions in width. The stage is not the tallest around, but makes up for it with impressive imaging abilities. The sound stage is not overly airy, yet all instruments are very well separated from each other. With the deep staging there also comes high quality layering to the picture. Vocals, both male and female, sound dense and soul-full. The Legend X has the great ability to portray the music right in front of you, with almost holographic staging and imaging. Upper mids are wonderfully glowing rich.
Treble is energetic with a rich tonality and a softer approach to sound. It doesn’t pierce your ears with clarity or sharpness, but rather comes in with a more rounded, slightly laid back tuning. There is a good amount of air in the high notes. The Legend’s treble is safe from fatigue and sibilance. It brings out an excellent amount of details.
The entire picture to me is clean with precise imaging, a wide and deep stage with very coherent sound. There is great power in the bass, which is a bit more forward than mids or treble. It breathes in a good amount of warmth into the overall tuning. To me the Legend X is pretty balanced sounding, with emphasis on mid- and upper bass. It has top notch end to end extension with a consistent signature.
Thankfully it is also a rather forgiving monitor that goes well with any Genre and song I throw at it. Bass intense tracks of the likes of Mr Oizo, complex constructions of Frank Zappa, Classical pieces of Beethoven or Jazz/Fusion from Weather Report – the Legend handles them all.
Sound-tweaking with Aftermarket cables on the next page