Empire Ears LEGEND-X are the best IEM or headphone/earphones I have ever heard.
This picture has a lot of meaning to what I will write. I will use other tracks for other reasons but this is why I say what I say. The visual is symbolic. Lost in the desert and pulled right into an Oasis
I was standing,
I hit play on a D.S.D of Pink Floyd’s “Welcome to the Machine”
I slowly sat down.
Welcome to the Machine…indeed
This isn’t a review it’s a story. You virtually walk while I virtually talk and my story will be over in 5 minutes.
That’s not bad,
Indulge me man..
Give me undo favor of your time…just trust me. Thanks in advance
Note and then listen to the portion mentioned then stop.
From 0 – :45 seconds is an intro (elevator taking you to the machine)
Within that frame is a rhythmic panning from left to right channel that comes in around second :30 of this :45 second part
Note and then listen to the portion mentioned then stop.
From2:43 begins a series of 3 sonic buildups :
Stage 1 is from 2:43 and “happens” at 2:55
Stage 2 is from 3:06 and “happens” at 3:16
3:21 – 3:37 is Nick Mason ripping what sounds like multiple bass drums and was as clear as I have ever heard in my life. Worth a listen.
Stage 3 is from 3:36 and “happens” at 3:48
David Gilmour links the 3 with an acoustic guitar. You can just play 2:43- 3:48
The 3 part build-up was impressive even when I was a kid. The elevator to open the track, the hard rhythmic panning that morphs into what sound like air blasts panning hard left to right for a few seconds. It always blew me away since I was maybe 7 years old.
Now, the whole thing on the Empire Ears LEGEND X floored me but the clarity of the drum 3:21-3:27 was like hearing it for the first time in my life. I could hear every point of contact on what sounds like 7 strikes a second in bursts.
That track, that I have heard sooooooo many times just impressed the shit outta me. Holy ….the fuuuuuck?? It was big and wide and dynamic and had all I knew like the back of my hand and a couple new treats.
Then I set off on my regular listening after having been sat down in my tracks by the “Welcome to the Machine”….experience
Gold Dust Woman
Every bit of detail in the mids is fantastic with nothing getting in the others way. Have never heard Stevie sound as good. Feels like you can visualize her mouth getting closer and moving away from the mic in the studio. Fucking amazing stuff. Seriously, how many IEM can convey the live/I can hear her breath feeling on this track? Only this set can
The entire album, vocal and guitar-centric as it is, absolutely shines on the LEGEND-X.
Foreplay/It’s been such a long Time
This is a track that is studio recorded…. stadium mixed. Like Floyd, BOSTON is taking you on a ride as far as your gear can take you. They use panning a lot and put parts of the track as far around your head as your gear allows. It goes total spacial out of head with these IEM
The LEGEND X is again blowing my mind a little. I have a complete system properly crossed over in my fraking ear. Don’t ask how it compares to ________ because it is better.
I imagined LEGEND X was sent to me because it has 2 subwoofers, but I imagine lots of stuff. No way this very expensive kit was sent for just bass? No way… If they read any review at all they know I like Pink Floyd, Fleetwood mac, BOSTON, Bob Marley…and on and on. Hip hop thumps with authority but the separation and impact and detail of Nick Mason’s drums on the track mentioned to open this review/rant was mind blowing. My car audio and home systems have always been geek level in quality and price and time corrected and everything,…. but these little IEM are blowing my mind.
Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’
The guy that mixed this has that and he put a lot of silver and gold on this track. He described the high frequency as being those colors iirc and again the LEGEND X is just glittering and sparkling with all kinds of well played silver and gold. Masterpiece of a production. Mike went sideways but this album is a piece done by masters…so it is a masterpiece….that shines on the Legend X
What the hell is Empire Ears doing?
“While neutral in tone and a balanced signature throughout, an addictive treble energizes the music, while simultaneously remaining smooth. But our greatest challenge yet was incorporating the low-reaching, impactful bass of the W9 subwoofers, with technical performance rivaling any in-ear monitor on the market; a challenge we can proudly proclaim we have overcome. Offering top-tier levels of transparency and separation, as well as one of the widest sound stages in the industry, our flagship has earned its position at the top of the lineup: a Legend is reborn.”
Let me translate that for ya:
Most music from Symphony to Street Rap has bass and putting that with accurate mids and detailed and spacious highs is really freaking hard. Most of our rivals fail right here. We think we nailed that.
I think they did
7 Proprietary Drivers, Hybrid Design
2 W9 Subwoofers, 2 Mid, 1 Mid-High, 1 High, 1 Super High
10-Way synX Crossover System
A.R.C. Resonance Mitigation Technology
26AWG UPOCC Litz Copper Cable, Handcrafted by Effect Audio
They got a 10 way x-over system and (2) w9 subwoofers. I am a car audio guy and loved my JL Audio “W” series subs so…I am digging this on all levels.
Ever heard their flagship and felt confused?
Your like me then…lets keep going…
The crossover system has never been played with by me because it sounds epic as is but the design should be absolutely amazing for folks who tweak with EQ as the adjust will really…REALLY only relate to the single driver assigned to that freq region
synX Crossover Technology
The brains of the Machine. My personal thought is this is where the whole thing goes from a part of the TOTL pack to the top of it. Having a properly crossed over system is basic audio 101 for any set-up with multiple drivers. This is very basic to the whole thing coming together
“Weapon IX (W9), a proprietary 9mm rare-earth magnet subwoofer with the ability to deliver extreme output, accurate dynamics and sublime sound quality all at the same time. The keys to these performance capabilities lie at the very core of its design, where the woofer is enclosed in a tuned bass-reflex system with a front-firing sound port and rear-firing vent for maximum efficiency.”
Let me translate that for ya:
Bass is a full 1/3 portion of the audio spectrum and taking greater care with that 1/3 is over looked by many of our competitors. We tried harder, we think we nailed it.
I think they did too.
The Legend X utilizes a number proprietary balanced armature drivers by Knowles and Sonion, each one purpose built for a specific target response. Our drivers feature specialized reeds and low-mass diaphragms to reproduce incredible detailed, true-to-recording sound while remaining efficient enough to be powered by everyday devices.
Furthermore each Empire driver utilizes a NASA-born ferromagnetic liquid technology, Ferrofluid, to dampen acoustics peaks and reduce vibrations in combination with our A.R.C. technology. The end result is extraordinary clarity and increased shock durability.
Let me translate that for ya:
A recent tend in the industry is to stuff a crazy # of BA drivers in a shell and charge extra for it. More drivers is more money and sometimes, way too often that does not result in improved audio quality, in–fact, the exact opposite often occurs because of little thought to acoustics…which is puzzling as the science ..acoustic science predicts the issues that doing multiple horns in a single enclosure might cause. We think we found a way to deal with that using science.
I think they did too
Cable included with LEGEND X
3.5 / 2.5/ .4.4 available
What’s you get with the LEGEND
In Ear Monitor
Empire Aegis Case
Empire Dust Bag
Empire IEM Pouch
Empire Cleaning Cloth
Empire Cleaning Tool
I would advise you sell your gear, get out of the $500 zone and stop chasing your tail. I have been there.
It would be wiser to buy an item like this and get off the hype train and all of it’s routes and stops and save your sanity, time and get back to enjoying music if that’s why you are in this.
That is my Review of Empire Ears LEGEND-X
I may edit and update but my opinion of it being the best set of IEM your money can buy will not be changed or edited
Stunning beauty and fantastic sound are 2 things the new Campfire Audio COMET give you. Highly rec’d
Lets get one thing out of the way…right away..
Campfire Audio does not mess around. They punch the competition right in the mouth and they do it often…bout every damn time they release something.
The quality is always top notch. Campfire Audio gear is designed and made in America.
I enjoy typing “Made in America”
I reaaaaaaally enjoy it when what I am talking about is exceptional and on par and beyond, items made by the most famous, high quality personal audiophile gear manufacturers on the planet.
Review of Campfire Audio Comet:
The set goes for $200
$200 does not often (ever?) ..buy you a set of this quality. 3D modeled, drop forged steel, polished beauties with mmcx removable LITZ cable.
I am going to save the pic and vid bombing for the bottom of the review so you can get what you came for right away.
…the f’ing sound!
LED ZEPPELIN – Stairway to Heaven
I grew up on this album among others. This was one of my Mom”s favorites. The song opens like pedals on a flower one by one as each member comes into the fold. This song has an epic build up from the slow opening guitar notes into a full on rock and roll explosion that goes in all directions sonic wise and that makes for a good psycho-acoustic stage. After growing up with vinyl on home systems it always sounded very compact on mp3 files and ipods but moving up to items like Sony’s WM1A and using high quality vinyl rips brought back the familiar separation between Robert Plant, John Bonham, John Paul Jones and Jimmy Page.
The Campfire Audio Comets are using a single wideband Balanced Armature driver and deliver a stunning sense of realism.
BOSTON – Foreplay/It’s been such a long time
I use this song for staging usually but it has so much upper frequency info it can be an excellent evaluator of treble detail, and expose roll-off. All of the notes I expect to hear are heard. There are no obvious caverns along the treble frequency. It would be clear. It always is. Lots of stuff sounds just alright with this song and some…few, sound fantastic. The Campfire Audio comets are a new one in the fantastic group.
I have to say again these are $200 and are a single balanced armature driver
LED-ZEPPELIN – Dazed and Confused
Another Zep track…..yeah…shoot me!!
This was THE FIRST track I ever played with the Campfire Audio Comets because I doubted/expected the bass to be lacking or at least some roll off in the sub-bass.
This was when I knew this was not going to go as expected and was the beginning of the awesome…I smiled.
I like Ken (never met him) but we have a common tie to…Hawaii.
I was going to try and be very polite to a guy who seems genuine and is really out to make great gear, but, the bass is going to be an issue and I gotta be honest, my bass loving brethren are reading this…..and……like I said above…I smiled, this set is just fine..because I like good bass that does not screw my mids and these really really surprised me.
The bass guitar string pulls are clear and defined and resonate and decay in a natural manner. They are as they should be. Man that is so rare and I have never experienced that with a single BA. Never experienced that with a set that has 4 BA just for bass…crazy. And the mids are excellent……craaaazy!
FLEETWOOD MAC – Gold Dust Woman
The most important is the last on the list.
The Campfire Audio handle vocals like a boss…..or put another way, these are very good/exceptional in the mids
The mids are a slave to bass and confused as treble and get blamed for most sonic issues cuz they do…in fact, (the issues) reside along their range.
Bass that is elevated too long will encroach on mids and create a veil that can cover the entire mids and sometimes the whole audible spectrum. This is most apparent with vocals both Male and Female vocals as the fundamental range of both sexes spans more than half of the mid range. The harmonic range fully crosses and goes way into the treble If it is veiled by late bass or recessed tuning or an un natural bump before the treble you will hear it.
This Fleetwood Mac track had at least 2 female and 2 male voices. There are often other layers with unknowns but Mick, Lindsay Stevie and Christie are definitely there. It sounds like Stevie Nicks was mastered in at a slightly higher level than everything besides the guitar and some effects. The other vocalists are a tad back but if this track is played with bad mids they will sound quite distant. Stevie is met by backing vocals by Christie that are about as loud as Stevie appears to be during the outro both saying “woman” together near the end of the song. If you know this song really good you can hear scooped/veiled/forward or recessed mids pretty much right away.
If the bass is good and the treble is great…you got 2 outta 3…right…that’s good yeah?
No…the whole thing will go down the “V” sig toilet and be just another set of in ear monitors.
The crunching, grinding harmonic chaos that is an electric guitar with pedals down is just so ….damn…hard to get right. It does not matter the design or driver type, something is always missing. It’s not missing now
Place: Some kids room, somewhere in America
Reason: Reason? Mom….GET OUT OF MY ROOM!!
That kid is so stoked!
This guy is so stoked!
unfurling the biggest selling pin-up poster girl in history…
and you can see her nipple….for an 11 year old boy that’s like big time stuff.
I think the guy in the 2nd picture and the kid in the 1st are actually… the.. same.. dude!
Same lines that Campfire Audio has become famous for but in “L” size. Absolutely beautiful down to the last detail. Everything is awesome.
“The real cycle you’re working on is a cycle called yourself. The machine that appears to be “out there” and the person that appears to be “in here” are not two separate things. They grow toward Quality or fall away from Quality together.”
― Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
Well respected guy as it relates to voicing and building IEM in the audio industry.
Dreams of doing some over ears headphones.
Takes lots of time to get the reality and the dream lined up.
Pic posted above would indicate said dream.. has met reality
Respected, smart, dreamer…nails it.
I want some of that.
You want me to paint a picture?
**Bob Ross voice**
There’s a happy little aluminum cup over there, yeah..
moving up,…what do we have….oh,
it’s a nice yolk connected by a strong pivot section, for you folks watching at home any old brush will do….lets just enjoy, that’s what it’s all about …yeah?
The padding seems really nice and hey…those plush pads , like clouds…happy clouds being warmed by Mr Sun…….those clouds come right off! Lets just use black, it’s a dark color but it is one of my favorite colors because I can make almost aaaaaany other color with a little help from Mr. Black.
Alright then, lets dip our brushes now…just a bit,
Excellent pics and from all angles are at the site where you will buy it:
Closed headphones always have and always will fall short of open backs when it comes to a sense of space around the listener.
That said, Pink Floyd’s On the Run which is fantastic for panning and spacial audio cues sounds great. Using mostly IEM lately and not my MA-900 has sort of conditioned my mind to getting a sense of space from tuning more than actual air coming into my ear in addition to the sound.
The left to right and back pans, and both sides panning to opposite sides simultaneously is well captured as is the woman’s gate and boarding announcement which resides partly in the early mids but is very clear which is not the case with over extending bass.
Tupac Amaru Shakur (beloved god of THUG LIFE)…his favorite song was:
I bought these because having a driver with good mids and great bass is something beryllium drivers are becoming famous for. That and it’s cups being made of a metal along with the reputation of Campfire Audio is mostly why I pulled the trigger.
On 2pac’s Ambitionz az a Ridah’ the bass thump is clean and falls fast. The speed of the driver is preventing an elevated bass from becoming a mid frequency issue. Nothing else is clouded or less resolving because of the bass hit that pins down the entire track. I like bass but I like mids even more. Scooped mids kill. They kill hopes, they kill smiles they ..
I would rather it sound as if the lead singer were standing on my fucking face than sound like he was in another room behind the band. This set makes me not have to deal with either discomfort but if they had thin mids or distant vocals I would be shredding them in a video..I NEVER DO WRITTEN REVIEWS OF GEAR UNLESS IT IS BOSS. Vids are easy. Writing is an A.D.H.D torture event.
AC/DC’s Girls got Rhythm,
I have come to realize how much this track which is a fantastic vinyl rip, throws guitar and vocals a notch or more back whenever there is a dip in the mids. If the 300-2Khz range is warped it will show on tracks like this and Fleetwood Mac’s Gold Dust Woman loud and clear.
Noteworthy to say the least is the ability of this set to play back guitar with distortion pedals in a way, I have not heard on many sets of head gear of any type, be it B.A. , PLANAR , DD..IEM, on-ear or overear.
The Beryllium driver coating is clearly cleaning things up via speed and recovery of all the minutia that happens during distorted guitar playback. It is almost like a unicorn for folks who have never heard good audio gear as they have never heard it and literally have no idea what they are missing. Ignorance is not bliss but it helps to not drain the wallet like this hobby does.
The crunching, grinding harmonic chaos that is an electric guitar with pedals down is just so ….damn…hard…to get right. It does not matter the design or driver type, something is always missing. It’s not missing now
Hearing this vinyl rip like this and knowing I can grab this set anytime and hear this kind of replay is worth the price of admission alone.
E.L.O Telephone Line
All kinds of trebles ready to make you want to rip your skin of your face if the driver has spikes in the wrong areas.
Seriously…50Hz tone at 145dB for 20 minutes or
8.5Khz at 145dB for 5 minutes?
Man, I’d get to minute 2 of 8.5Khz and cry before going insane and jumping out a window and impaling myself on something.
The FiiO F9 original version is good for 2 songs in a row and that is it. Game over, fatigue has arrived and annoyance and anger are following close behind. I bought the Beyer T1 and long term listening sessions with that beauty was just impossible.
The Campfire Audio CASCADE is built for long listening. Maybe it’s the basshead in me but this is not a bassy set it is a mid centric one. This is built for full album sessions. I believe this is the first review I wrote while listening to the item reviewed the whole time.
LISTENING JOY 1-10
1 = Get these things off my fucking head
10 = Sound so good I forgot something important and…don’t even give a shit. I’m in this hobby for the 10’s brah!
Well…I got an e-mail asking to change a boxing spar session to tomorrow instead of Sunday (J.S.T) and forgot to reply till typing that 1-10 stuff and he has a new baby and I am not gonna mail him at 11:50 P.M and wake his kid and piss off his wife.