Empire Ears has proven to be a behemoth in the world of IEMs, with their high-end selection that set a certain standard for other brands to catch up to. The Odin was, and still is one of the best IEMs I have listened to, and since then I have been eagerly awaiting their next big entry. One of their latest universal models is the Legend Evo, a follow-up to their Legend X IEM. The Evo comes closer to the Odin’s price at $3,099, is it able to live up to the expectations set by Empire Ear’s standard for quality?
What You Get
- Legend Evo IEMs
- Empire Cleaning Cloth
- Empire Cleaning Tool
- Final Audio Type E Tips – SS, S, M, L, LL
- Metal case
- Empire X PWAudio “GENESIS” Ultra Pure OCC Copper Cable
Look and Feel
Think the Legend X but a bigger and that is essentially the design of the Legend Evo. Its housing is quite large and can be cumbersome to wear. The initial fit is not very natural and can feel uncomfortable at times. Its outer shell doesn’t really sit in your concha, rather it sticks out of your ear supported by its wide spout. After hours of listening my ears felt stretched out and I readjusted them almost regularly.
Empire’s Weapon X driver system makes a return here, with new bone conduction features and a pure copper voice coil. Its dual conduction architecture also includes five balanced armatures and W9+ subwoofers that are helped by a nine-way crossover network that organizes the Evo’s many systems to maintain a coherent signal flow.
- Impedance: 4.5 Ohms @ 1kHz
- Frequency Response: 5Hz-35kHz
- Sensitivity: 103dB @ 1kHz, 1mW
I have come to expect a pretty substantial soundstage from Empire Ears, and thankfully the Legend Evo delivers. You mostly get a fairly traditional stereo field, but with a ton of room to perform massive imaging with tons of separation. It creates a level of depth that is layered but concentrated, never expanding too far as to make its elements appear airy. This isn’t a soundstage that wraps around you, instead, its immersion comes from its consistent musicality, and its ability to supply a cinematic presence to the imaging. It can whip from left to right without any setbacks and keeps to a spatially accurate stage without feeling too linear.
The main course of the Legend Evo is immense bass response. This IEM gives you everything you could want in its lows, from its roaring sub-bass to its clear and defined mid-bass punch. It can really get down there in terms of depth and can shake you to your core in some cases. You also never have to worry about the tone outstaying its welcome either, as the frequencies are granted enough space to properly showcase their power without affecting other areas of the sound spectrum. It’s a thrilling and impactful response that gives you satisfyingly rich textures with clarity and articulation that makes sense of its gratifying resonance.
With such a commanding bass presence, you may expect the midrange frequencies to take somewhat of a hit, but that isn’t the case with the Legend Evo. Its sizable impact is carried over into the mids and creates a whole spectrum of meaty details. It commands a similar presence but also doesn’t over-exaggerate its tone, keeping the timbre clean and tidy. One of its greatest characteristics is how much weight it brings to instrumentals and vocals, driving them with a complete and lively force that lifts the signature considerably. The amount of energy on display here is what makes the Evo almost addictive to listen to.
There is definitely more of a hard limit on how far the highs can expand, but their timbre is still worthy of note. It is more of a natural response that flattens out rather than rolls off, so it avoids sounding hollow and incomplete. The treble doesn’t have as much of a defined tone but the timbre is still well communicated in the sound signature and never delves into harsh areas of tone.
There are some setbacks with the Evo’s overall experience, but when the sound comes into play, Empire Ears knocks it out of the park once again. This is some of the best bass slam on an IEM, with growling subs that will keep you engaged with the music for a significant amount of time, especially if you are a bass-head. Its stage, mids, and highs also maintain a strict level of fidelity that makes the Evo one of a kind. I don’t think I can see myself owning a pair, with its rougher fit being a major flaw as a whole package, and with the Odin on the horizon, the Evo might be a tougher sell. However, if you don’t mind its large fit, then its signature still has a ton to offer.
The Empire Ears Legend Evo is available at Audio46.