Empire Ears LEGEND-X Full REVIEW

Empire Ears LEGEND-X are the best IEM or headphone/earphones I have ever heard.

wel

 

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

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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

 

 

Request #1

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

 

 

 

Request #2

Note and then listen to the portion mentioned then stop.

From 2:43 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

 

 

The MIDS1000pxf

 

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.

 

 

The STAGE1000pxb

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.

 

 

The BASS1000px2

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.

 

 

The TREBLE1000pxm

 

Wanna be Startin’ Somethin’

 

Synesthesia:

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?

From E.E

“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

 

 

 

Technical Specifications

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

 

 

LegendX3

 

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.

 

Hey NOBLE..

 

uniformjaggedkingfisher-size_restricted

 

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

 

 

legend2

Weapon IX

 

From E.E

“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.

 

legend3

 

 

legend x

From E.E

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

 

 

legend4

 

 

 

Cable included with LEGEND X

3.5 / 2.5/ .4.4 available

legend5

 

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

legend6

 

About Me:

 

 

 

 

comp2

 

 

 

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

 

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Official site for purchasing

Legend X (Custom)

Facebook page

https://www.facebook.com/EmpireEars/

Head-Fi thread for reading more about the Empire Ears LEGEND X

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/empire-ears-discussion-impressions-formerly-earwerkz.786335/

Campfire Audio ATLAS (review coming)

Review of the new Campfire Audio Atlas is coming soon so stay tuned.

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Campfire Audio site

https://campfireaudio.com/shop/atlas/

 

Head-Fi discussion thread

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/new-campfire-comet-and-atlas.876320/

 

Darko

https://darko.audio/2018/04/highly-polished-campfire-audio-announce-atlas-comet-iems/

 

Reddit

Campfire Audio COMET REVIEW

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’m American.

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:

 

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!

 

 

STAGE:

zepyy

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.

 

 

TREBLE:

1000pxb

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

 

 

BASS:

1000pxl

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.

Nope.

 

 

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!

 

Totally impressed.

 

 

 

MIDS:

1000pxf

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.

 

http://www.independentrecording.net/irn/resources/freqchart/main_display.htm

 

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 mids….they make this set great.

 

What’s in the Box bro?

 

The video…it shows all

 

 

 

 

 

Review in vid and on this site coming soon

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Campfire Audio’s Site

https://campfireaudio.com/shop/comet/

Darko

https://darko.audio/2018/04/highly-polished-campfire-audio-announce-atlas-comet-iems/

Head-Fi’s thread

https://www.head-fi.org/threads/new-campfire-comet-and-atlas.876320/

 

 

The FiiO Q5 amp/dac (pics/review coming)

 

 

Adverts from FiiO:

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※ Dual AK4490EN DAC chips for the ultimate in decoding performance

※ XMOS USB Audio to ensure a rock-solid connection

※ Certified by 3 Major Bodies (Hi-Res Audio, MFi and aptX)

※ Interchangeable amp modules, fully compatible with FiiO’s lineup

※ Balanced and single-ended outputs all in the AM3A

※ Audiophile-grade components (OPA1642 + MSP432 + Panasonic film capacitors + NJW1195)

※ State-of-the-art ADC volume control

※ 3800 mAh battery for longer listening

 

 

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http://www.fiio.net/en/story/623

FiiO FH1 REVIEW

The FiiO FH1.

FiiO’s taking aim at the meat of the market.

The FiiO FH1 is a shot at the Beats babies. That is a good shot to take as they are a massive chunk of market.

IMGP0354IMGP0360IMGP0358IMGP0357IMGP0350IMGP0349

The FH1 uses

(x1) Dynamic 10mm Titanium

(x1) Balanced armature drivers. the “Knowles”33518

Specification

Frequency Response: 20Hz – 40KHz

Impedance: 26Ω

Sensitivity: 106dB/mW

Maximum Input: 100mW

Plug Type: 3.5mm + 2.5 mm

Cord Length: 120cm

Single Earbud Weight: 3.65g

Design

IMGP0381

FiiO has made a plastic design with an MMCX connect and mesh covered nozzle with a lip for securing the eartips. The interior is lined with plastic to secure the driver and reduce resonance. The nozzle is fitted with a brass tube to control bass resonance and reflection

It feels like a peanut which is cool cuz it sits in your ear like hearing protection. Like all of the Fiio F9, F9 PRO and this FH1, they all fit very good. VERY good.

Sound impressions:

STAGE

1000pxb

Foreplay/It’s been such a long Time

From F9 PRO

The wide spacey intro “Foreplay” is the kind of stadium rock anthem the the F9 PRO shine on. The treble clarity and peaks create a great sense of space. There is no perceived restriction on the virtual playback stage. Live recordings or those with large presentations from Classic to live 70’s arena rock shine on these

The FH1 has a slightly more intimate presentation but it is by no means restrictive.I just watched a vid describing this but damned if he mentioned a song…any song. The fuuu?

Using the song above the sense of space was still there but comparing with the F9 PRO it is not as wide..the sense of width anyway but that comes from treble peaks and i would take this over the F9 PRO

MIDS

1000pxf

Gold Dust Woman

Original F9 PRO comments

Male and Female vocal Fundamentals are stretched across the entire mid range.
Stevie Nicks and at times Lindsey Buckingham and others sound well balanced and well placed. The mids would be slightly forward or proper. There is no recess detected to my ears. The mid to early treble is one of the strong points of this set. Guitar also sounds very good both electric and acoustic.

FH1 (Same) CUZ IT’S almost.. SAME

Male and Female vocal Fundamentals are stretched across the entire mid range.

Stevie Nicks and at times Lindsey Buckingham and others sound well balanced and well placed. The mids would be slightly forward or proper. There is no recess detected to my ears. The mid to early treble is one of the strong points of this set. Guitar also sounds very good both electric and acoustic.

If you know where the mids start and finish you will note the almost identical lines so  clowns claiming the mids are of less quality than the F9 PRO are just full of shit.

hibynn

You.. of the broken ears and crippled morals or.. are just too lazy to even mention the music you listened to, to arrive at conclusions with no reflections to point to in measurements c’mon… I have been noting that since Summer 2017 and you folks are kinda messed up. This is music gear. What in the good god fuck did you listen to for fucks sake?

Music mentions when reviewing music gear..WHAT???

Has HBB gone mad!!  Seriously. Sweep the garbage sites away by ignoring them. Ignore this site if the truth makes you queasy and uneasy.

FiiO did a graph:

fi freq

BASS

1000pxl

Dazed and Confused

The opening notes of John Paul Jones Bass guitar are clear and extend into the harmonic range nicely. The lower sub-bass seems to be somewhat lacking. These are not basshead in any form nor were they advertised as such

Now this is where the real difference occurs. The bass is impactful and authoritative without EQ yet it does not bother the mids at all. This is easily my favorite “F” series IEM done by FiiO.  Texture? Cmon man, 35Hz is 35Hz. It (the driver) moves with enough speed to play bass guitar solo’s with all 4 strings doing their thing and you hear it clearly. All music sounds great but,  Reggae like Bob Marley – “Natural Mystic” sound dope. Nice punchy bass with Bob Marley and the Wailers coming in loud and clear

TREBLE

1000px2

Shorty Wanna be a Thug

From F9 PRO review
There is a ton of studio deck mixing going on on this track and the better the treble the more you will hear. Everything comes through loud and clear. The F9 has a peak at 7-8Khz. The PRO has one at close to the same point according to their graph. it seems less harsh than the F9 to me? They could graph out identical but while it sounds like a bright IEM it does not grate on me like the F9 did initially. I got used to it or this is just a bit better in resolution, clarity and no worse than the F9 peak perhaps better. This could be my brain getting burnt in though so take that with 2 grains of Salt

The treble of the FH1 is not as airy or rough as the F9’s. Both of those sets are not comfortable for me listening to whole albums or sides of albums. The FH1 gets all the detail of this track with a slightly less sense of space due to treble peak position. It is an easy compromise for me as i like detail but not so much it limits my listening marathons.

Conclusion

Did FiiO do what they set out to do?

I dunno?

What were they trying to do with the colors….hmmmm bass and colors…sounds like…yup!

About time. That is a big market and they should make lots of these and hopefully sell them all. I LOVE THE FIIO FH1!!  They finally got it right if 80% of the market means anything and damn…son….it sure as fu does!

1= BAD

10= AWESOME?

giphy

Initial unboxing video

 Compared to F9 and F9PRO

FH1 Video Review

Buy it here:

https://www.amazon.com/Headphones-Earphones-Earbuds-Monitors-Compatible/dp/B077TXG33Q/ref=cm_cr_arp_d_product_top?ie=UTF8

 

 

 

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