ThieAudio Legacy 2: Captain Morgan

Greetings!

Today we’re looking at the Legacy 2 from ThieAudio.

ThieAudio is Linsoul Audio’s in-house brand. Created in 2019, it quickly gained steam as a reliable brand producing competitive, high performance earphones. Their lineup has expanded greatly since their arrival on the scene, and include three main product types; tribrids, hybrids, and BA-only earphones. Of course they also offer a variety of accessories. The Legacy 2 we’re checking out today is a 99 USD 1+1 hybrid utilizing a Knowles ED29689 balanced armature and 10mm beryllium coated dynamic driver.

I’ve been using it consistently over the last 6 months and feel it is one of the best products available at its price thanks to it s premium build, affordable price, and versatile, well-tuned signature.

What I Hear

Tips: The Legacy 2 comes with wide and medium bore tips of decent quality, the latter of which I feel best pair with the Legacy 2. The smaller bore helps highlight the sub-bass bias and warms up the signature a touch, though this comes at the expense of a some upper end energy. Alternate, higher quality tips I can suggest in place of the stock medium bode set are those from Moondrop, or Sony Hybrids if Moondrop’s silicone is too stiff for you.

Treble is lean and crisp with good extension and a ~7k peak that gives the presentation plenty of energy and shimmer. Notes are well controlled and free of splash with a tight, defined feel. Refinement is high with next to no grain or rough edges present. The thinness permits plenty of space and air, and helps to highlight the exceptional detail and clarity on board. I’d be completely happy with this type of presentation on an earphone that is more neutral leaning and analytic, let alone on a mild v-shape like the Legacy 2. Good stuff here.

Dipping into the mids the Legacy 2 follows the recent trend of bumping the upper midrange. Personally I quite enjoy this style of tune since it keeps vocals prominent and clear regardless of how bassy or treble heavy a track is. Luckily I found the rise subtle enough so as to avoid causing fatigue, though the more sensitive of you out there will surely enjoy tossing buzzwords like shouty at the Legacy 2. Another benefit of this presentation is attack enabling percussive and other rhythmic instruments definitively and confidently carry a track. Complaints? I personally personally a thicker, warmer presentation for female vocalists. Works great for deeper voices though.

The Legacy 2’s low end is sub-bass biased which makes sense given the lean presentation on hand. Extension is overall quite good, though it drops off suddenly leaving some passages falling flat when they should be providing a hefty, visceral feel. Texturing is impressive with grungy, dirty notes being properly represented. Those used to or seeking the Harman target might find the Legacy 2’s low end lacking or anemic since the mid-bass bloat and warmth Harman seekers love is missing. Speed and control is again impressive with the dynamic driver used easily handling speedy, complicated passages without distortion or muddying.

The Legacy 2’s soundstage is simply put, awesome. While depth is fairly average, width is seriously impressive with sounds careening convincingly off into the distance. I love using these for gaming since they provide a much more convincing sense of scale than most other earphones. Imaging backs this up with extremely tight, nuanced channel-to-channel movement that puts more conventionally tuned products to shame. Track layering is pretty average thanks to the moderate depth present, though the same cannot be said for instrument separation. The lean, highly detailed presentation leaves plenty of room for individual instruments to play, enabling the listener to pick apart individual track elements and follow them with ease.

Compared To A Peer (volumes matched with a Dayton iMM-6)

TinHiFi T5 (129.00 USD): Bass quantity and presentation between the two is similar with the T5 providing a slightly more linear move through sub- to upper-bass regions. The Legacy 2’s bass quality is superior to my ears as it produces more texture and is a bit more controlled and nimble when it comes to rapid note repetition. They’re similarly visceral though with deep providing a solid rumble. Heading into the midrange both earphones lift around 3k allowing vocals to stand out. The Legacy 2’s vocal presentation isn’t quite as forward but is a touch warmer. Both are quite detailed with the Legacy 2 doing a better job of nullifying sibilant tracks. Timbre quality is also firmly in the Legacy 2’s camp, though it’s still a bit brighter than is completely natural. Treble is where the two take a sharp detour. After the 3k rise, the Legacy 2 takes a smooth dip down to 8k, where a small 10k peak adds back some sparkle. The T5 on the other hand has strong peaks around 5k and 7k that give it plenty of sizzle and sparkle. At times it can sound harsh and cause fatigue where the Legacy 2 remains energetic but non-fatiguing. Detail and clarity are superior with the T5, but not by much. Both have immersive sound stages, with the T5 coming across wider and deeper. Technical competency goes to the Legacy 2 though, with better defined and more precise channel-to-channel movement and improved instrument separation. I found the T5 to match the Legacy 2 with how well they layered tracks, however.

Overall, I really enjoy them both but if I had to pick one it would be the Legacy 2. The additional sub-bass bias it provides, combined with it’s lean, crisp mids and bright, but not fatiguing upper ranges make it a great listen with pretty much everything, and along the lines of the sort of signature I prefer. I find the T5 more comfortable and enjoy the extra energy it brings to the table, but it lacks the versatility as a result of being more fatiguing. Still one of my personal favourites though.

In The Ear The Legacy 2’s shells feature the same, low profile, custom-like shape that has become exceptionally common over the years. The acrylic design is wonderfully put together, free of seams or sloppy mould lines, with a gorgeous blue, abalone-like inlay making up the face plate. The receptacles for the 0.78mm 2-pin cable sit flush with the body of the earphone and provide some protection from lateral movement. Up near the 2-pin ports are two small vents, one surrounded by a brass coloured ring. As expected, they’re flawlessly integrated. While the lips on the nozzles are not overly prominent, they work well enough to hold more 3rd party tips securely. I haven’t had any slip off and get stuck in my ear…. yet.

The 4 strand braided cable is also excellent. While the braiding is quite loose, something I’m not generally a fan off, the sheath itself is slightly stiff and feels plenty resistant to cuts and nicks. The compact straight jack is polished aluminum with a small but relatively effective strain relief. The aluminum y-split is featureless and really only there to hind the strands to splitting as they lead to each earpiece. While there is no strain relief here, you do get a useful rubber chin cinch. Leading up to the colour coded 2-pin plugs (clear for left, red for right) are preformed ear guides that effectively keep the cable behind your ear. This cable is light, looks good, displays limited microphonics, and is quite tangle resistant. It’s a great inclusion.

Comfort is also a win for the Legacy 2. The shell is reasonably small, extremely light, and with outstanding ergonomics nearly disappears in the ear. The protrusion out back that hooks into the cavum is subtle but works well in keeping the Legacy 2 stable during movement.

In The Box The Legacy 2 arrives in a fairly plain matte black cardboard box. On the front of the exterior sheath in silver foil writing is the ThieAudio brand name, while on the back you find their website and Made in China. Slipping the sheath off reveals identical branding on the lid. Lifting off the lid reveals the earpieces with cable attached set within a dense foam insert taking up the top half of the interior. The remaining space and contains a very slim cardboard box containing the manual and other documentation. Beneath is a gorgeous faux-leather carrying case containing the remaining accessories. In all you get:

  • Legacy 2 earphones
  • Braided 0.78mm 2-pin cable
  • Carrying case
  • Wide bore single flange tips (s/m/l)
  • Medium bore single flange tips (s/m/l)
  • Velcro cable tie

Overall a solid, low-frills unboxing experience. The wide bore tips use a tough, durable feeling silicone that reminds me quite a lot of the those FiiO includes with a number of their products. The medium bore tips are exceptionally common and are included with countless other earphones. They’re serviceable. The case is the real highlight, similar in design to those provided with TinHiFi’s nicer models, like the T4. The dark blue faux-leather pattern looks stellar, and there is plenty of room inside for the earphones and spare tips. The magnetically restrained flap seals the deal.

Final Thoughts Is this the best product available at 100 bucks? For some, yes. For others, no. That’s the beauty of variety being present in this hobby. There should always be something to satisfy the infinitely varied listeners out there, contrary to what the Harman curve lovers and measurement freaks want the hobby to devolve into. For my tastes, the Legacy 2 has no auditory equal at this price range. I adore it. It also doesn’t hurt that they look gorgeous, are built well, are extremely comfortable, and come with a solid suite of accessories. If you follow my reviews and tend to have similar tastes, get the Legacy 2. You won’t be disappointed. If you tend to dislike what I enjoy, you know what to avoid.

Thanks for reading.

– B9

Disclaimer A big thank you to Lillian with Linsoul for reaching out to see if I would be interested in covering the Legacy 2, and for sending a copy for review. And for her unlimited patience. The subjective thoughts within this review are my own and do not represent Linsoul, ThieAudio, or any other entity. At the time of writing the Legacy 2 was retailing for 99 USD. You can order yours here: https://www.linsoul.com/products/ThieAudio-legacy-2

Specifications

  • Drivers: Knowles 29689 + 10mm Beryllium-Plated
  • Frequency Response: 20Hz-20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 108dB
  • Impedance: 32ohms

Gear Used For Testing Huawei P40, DDHiFi TC35 Pro (Mountain), Earstudio HUD100, Earmen TR-Amp, Asus FX53V, TEAC HA-501

Some Test Tunes

Supertramp – Crime of the Century

Slipknot – Vol 3 (The Subliminal Verses)

Daft Punk – Random Access Memories

Aesop Rock – The Impossible Kid

King Crimson – Lark’s Tongues in Aspic

King Crimson – Starless and Bible Black

Infected Mushroom – Legend of the Black Shawarma

The Prodigy – The Day is My Enemy

Steely Dan – The Royal Scam

Porcupine Tree – Stupid Dreams

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