The Thieaudio Legacy 2 is a $99 hybrid dual driver IEM. It has 1 Beryllium dynamic driver and one Knowles ED29689 balanced armature. Legacy 2 joins a growing number of earphones in the Legacy collection and joins the mix as the current entry-level and most affordable model yet.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Linsoul for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
Ergonomics and fit
Thin upper bass
Thieaudio Legacy 2
Frequency range: 20Hz-20KHz
Impedance (1KHz) : 32Ω
Driver: Knowles 29689 + 10mm Beryllium
Noise Isolation: 26dB
Earphone connection: 0.78 2pin
Packaging & Accessories
Legacy 2’s packaging is a lot less flashy than the excessive Legacy 4 bundle but is much more practical (in my opinion). It starts with a plain black box in a plain black cardboard sleeve, both sporting Thieaudio branding on the top in silver print. Inside, the IEMs are secured and displayed in a black foam insert. Here’s the full list of what’s in the box:
Thieaudio Legacy 2 IEM
Detachable 2-pin 3.5mm cable
Faux leather carrying case
3 pairs of white silicone eartips (S, M, L)
3 pairs of black silicone eartips (S, M, L)
User manual & warranty
For the exterior design of the Legacy 2, we see the familiar 3-D printed pseudo-custom style resin shells similar to the other Legacy models. The main part of the shells is translucent blue, giving you a view of the drivers and internals within.
Under the faceplates is a swirling blue and white in metallic paint that shimmers subtly under the light. The left faceplate also has some subtle Thieaudio branding in silver text. There are 2 tiny vents just in front of the 2-pin sockets: presumably one for the dynamic driver and one to relieve air pressure in the ears.
Legacy 2 has a dual-bore nozzle that works in conjunction with dual sound tubes that lead to each separate driver. The end result is an attractive, IEM with the same excellent build quality I’ve come to expect from Thieaudio’s earphones.
Just like the previous models, Legacy 2 is extremely comfortable for my ears. They fit very much like a custom IEM so I can wear them for hours at a time. Due to their low profile, these are also good for lying down or sleeping. Noise isolation is above average, making the L2 suitable as a stage monitor for live performances or ideal for catching up on some work in a busy Starbucks.
The included 2-pin braided, silver-plated copper cable is really nice. It has matching polished aluminium connector housings, Y-split and straight plug. There’s also a transparent plastic chin slider present.
In terms of handling, this cable performs exceptionally. It’s soft, supple and lightweight. Furthermore, it drapes very nicely and has no memory or kinks anywhere. You won’t find a better stock cable at this price point.
The Thieaudio Legacy 2 has a near-neutral midrange with a lift in the sub-bass and upper midrange. It’s a rather laid back, lean sound and although the tuning is solid, it is slightly lacking in engagement. While it doesn’t require a lot of power, it’s more demanding than other IEMs such as the Moondrop Starfield and Hidizs MS2. Therefore, L2 benefits from a more robust source and in my opinion works better with warmer sources.
Legacy 2’s proprietary closed-back 10mm beryllium dynamic driver performs admirably. It embodies the famed speed that makes beryllium drivers so popular among IEM enthusiasts. L2’s bass puts more emphasis on the sub-bass than the mid-bass. As a result, it has good extension and can deliver some satisfying, visceral rumble.
But I’d like to see more linearity between the sub-bass and mid-bass for a bit more punch and drive. The mid-bass lacks fullness and would benefit from better separation with the lower midrange. When it’s fed more power, the dynamic driver really comes to life. However, the lower treble ramps up at the same time and the sound starts to get bright and fatiguing at a higher volume.
The thumpy kick drums in The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensembles “Embers” are handled beautifully by the beryllium driver. But the bass guitar sounds distant and underpowered in comparison due to the rolled off mid-bass.
The L2 midrange is slightly laid back and sits just behind the sub-bass in the mix. Vocals and instruments have a neutral note size and natural tone. On its own, the midrange is pleasant enough albeit limited in forwardness and engagement.
With a lot of the music I listened to, the mids struggled to gain a foothold under the shadow of the powerful sub-bass. However, female vocals and upper midrange sounds fared somewhat better in this regard.
Listening to Leprous’ “The Price”, the chorus sounds a little too bright and thin and a stronger upper bass would improve the overall tonal balance here. There is a sense of compression here with the sound lacking dynamics and coming across a little flat.
Legacy 2’s treble has good definition despite the slightly softened, rounded notes. It’s a non-fatiguing treble that’s not harsh but still resolving and full of detail. It’s not an airy or sparkling treble though, which I think is due to the heavily elevated sub-bass that blankets the upper treble harmonics.
The Legacy 2 has good soundstage width but is fairly intimate in terms of depth. Spacing between instruments is average, as is the overall resolution. As a result, L2’s imaging is pretty ordinary and although it’s not terrible, instrument placement is a little vague.
Moondrop Starfield ($109)
The Moondrop Starfield is a single dynamic driver IEM. It has a very similar frequency curve to the L2 except for some differences in the lower bass and the treble. Starfield has a slightly warmer tonality. Starfield’s sub and mid-bass are more linear. This gives the mid-bass more room to breathe and come more forward compared to the L2.
The midrange is thicker on the Starfield, making it more inviting, especially at a higher volume. In comparison, the L2’s midrange sounds cleaner but less emotive. While the Moondrop has a more subdued lower treble, it has more upper treble presence. As a result, the Starfield has less detail retrieval and a softer but airier sound. Starfield’s soundstage is a little wider but has similar depth.
Hidizs MS2 ($79)
The Hidizs MS2 is a hybrid dual-driver IEM with 1DD+1BA. Its presentation is more vivid and forward than the L2. MS2 has lighter sub-bass and more upper bass. Its midrange is more forward and has considerably more clarity. The resolution and instrument separation is slightly better on the MS2.
MS2’s treble is more energetic in both the lower and upper regions. This gives it better micro-detail retrieval and more definition. The soundstage is about the same size on both but the MS2 has better spacing between instruments resulting in better overall resolution.
The Thieaudio Legacy 2 is a good IEM that lands at a price point where the competition is fierce. It has the same excellent build quality that we’ve come to expect from Thieaudio. It has great ergonomics and I think most would agree that it looks good too.
When it comes to sound quality, the L2 is competent but doesn’t really stand out from the crowd. I can’t help feeling that it’s close to being a game-changer but the sub-bass lift is just a bit too aggressive leaving the rest of the spectrum trying to catch up. With some mild adjustments, I think this could be a stellar IEM. Given Thieaudio’s history, I expect they’ve got more gems on the way.