ThieAudio Legacy 3

General Information

Brand Name: THIEAUDIO
Model Number: LEGACY 3
Time to market: 2019

Specification:
Drivers: 1 dynamic driver & 2 balanced armatures
Impedance: 8.6-9.5 Ohm
Frequency Response: 20~20KHz
Sensitivity: 108 dB
Distortion: <1%
Cable: 8 wires Silver Plated Copper with 2-Pin connector
Plug: Gold-plated 3.5mm Stereo Plug
Cable: 1.2 M

Thieaudio-Legacy-3.jpg

Latest reviews

Pros: Very good all-round performance , Stunning looks, Love the bass texture and tonality, Very musical IEM
Cons: Little to no accessories, Not the best pick if you prefer greater emphasis on detail.
View other reviews at: https://www.perrivanaudio.com/

Driver Setup
: 2 Balanced Armature and 1 Dynamic Driver (10mm Nano-membrane)

Price: $180 - $190 SGD (Price can vary more depending on the design you selected)







Intro


Disclaimer: I purchased the Thieaudio Legacy 3 Mystique Design from Linsoul at the full price of $129 (USD) and this review is written of my own accord.

The Thieaudio Legacy 3 is the younger brother of the Legacy 9 and comes in at a really attractive price for what it is offering. At the time of writing, it comes in 4 different colours, namely the Clockworks, Mystique, Chinese White and Blue-AW11 (what a name). I got mine in Mystique which is at an extra charge of 10USD more than the clockwork design and they look nothing short of amazing.


Packaging and Accessories (Score: 6/10)


Nothing to scream about in the packaging. The unboxing experience was pretty interesting as the box opens up like a book and it is made up of almost all paper with a piece of foam to hold everything in place. Nice to see less plastics in packaging, I guess?









It comes with a large faux leather zip case. It’s spacious enough for you to fit a small DAP or perhaps a Bluetooth DAC like the FIIO BTR5 on top of your Legacy 3 IEMs.






Included are some silicone tips which don’t exactly scream quality. They were too soft for my liking. There is also a SIM/SD card slot tool included which is supposed to help you toggle the dip switches on the IEMs to change the sound settings.


Build quality and Fit (Score: 8/10)


Build quality of the earphones themselves are stellar and they look many times their price.

The quality of the stock cable is decent. It starts off in a solid 3.5mm jack into an 8-wire braid, and splits into 2 quad braids via a sturdy metal Y-split. The wires are quite rubbery which I wasn’t a fan of, but at this price, it is a pretty good cable and I would be nitpicking if I complained too much about it.






I really like the size and universal shape of the IEM. The size is slightly smaller than you’d expect for this custom-like style design and sits in the ear with very little protrusion. However, my right and left ears are a little uneven, so I need to point out I had some trouble with my right side. I experienced pressure and driver flex when inserting the right IEM. I found myself needing excessive fiddling to get a good seal with silicone tips and after a while I gave up and switched to foams which fit comfortably and resolved my issues.


Sound (Score: 8.5/10)






Switch info and Frequency response of the Legacy 3

I just want to make a quick mention about the dip switches in the Legacy 3. It is a cool feature and something seemingly characteristic of Thieaudio earphones looking at the Voyager and Legacy series. It is a nice inclusion for the Legacy 3 as it’s quite rarely seen in earphones at this price bracket and offers good sound customization options to appeal to a wider range of sound preferences. However, one thing Thieaudio could do better is to at least include some information in the packaging about the switches and the effects they have without having to leave their buyers guessing.

I did most of the testing in the Default switch setting (both switches down). I did play around with the switches and I liked the Default setting, so I just stuck with it. The “Default” and “Vocal” settings sounded similar and I liked these 2 settings better than the “Bass” and “Detailed”.

Sources Used
  • Shanling M3s
  • Fiio Q1 MkII
Personally I enjoyed the Legacy 3 on a more neutral source (Shanling M3s). The Fiio Q1 MkII has quite a bit or roll off in the treble and it didn't seem to suit the Legacy 3.

Albums and music listened to
  • Chicago’s Questions 67 & 68
  • Fleetwood Mac - Fleetwood Mac
  • Aladdin Original Broadway Recording
  • Bastille - All This Bad Blood
  • Fun. - Aim and Ignite
Bass (Score: 8.5/10)

This is one of the aspects of the sound that really made me fall head over heels for the Legacy 3. The attack of the kick drums and toms are quite sharp with a really natural decay. I really enjoyed the drums in the intro of Chicago’s Questions 67 and 68. Many times I would find the drums having a little too much reverb and not enough punch but the Legacy 3 hits the sweet spot for me. In summary, the dynamic driver bass really impresses.

Mids (Score: 8/10)

I find the mids in the Legacy 3 tuned much to my liking. It is relatively laid-back but steady and firm throughout the frequency range. The mids do not take center stage in the L3 but are layered very well. Male vocals and instruments in the lower mids sound very mellow and soothing. In the upper mids, the female vocals and higher-ranging instruments like the trumpets sound melodious and silky smooth. What I liked especially is that at no one point did the Legacy 3 threaten to sound shrill or out of control. All of this was done while maintaining a very overall coherent mid section.

Treble (Score: 7/10)

I didn’t have any problems with the treble. It performed up to expectations and remained “lowkey” if I may put it that way. It blends well with the upper mids and does without any weird peaks in sound. Perhaps the naturalness of treble was the best thing here. I really like the sound of the snares and Hi Hats on the Legacy 3, especially when listening to Fleetwood Mac’s Sugar Daddy. There was no harshness and the treble had a big role in this. The reason for me not rating the treble as high is because of the seemingly loss of overall microdetails. This IEM may seem lacking some sparkle in some tracks. Although I would say this is a real plus for people who are sensitive to sibilance. Looking at the frequency response, the Legacy 3 plays it safe in the 7-10k region.

Misc

I really liked the soundstage on these. It is slightly above average and that’s quite impressive especially for IEMs in this price range. The imaging is well done with how everything is layered pretty evenly. Separation is decent. Listening to Aladdin's One Jump Ahead, everything comes to life and each voice and instrument sounds right where it's meant to be. It really is an experience.

Overall

I rated this earphone relatively high for its overall sound as it’s really the cohesiveness and musicality of this pair of earphones that won me over. I don’t deny there are minor flaws in this IEM, but the things that it set out to do – it does it so darn right. For example, the BGVP DM6 (SG$200) trounces the Thieaudio Legacy 3 in detail retrieval, but I would still pick the Legacy 3 any day given how much more well-tuned and cohesive music sounds on the Legacy 3. You can really tell Thieaudio has put a lot of effort into tuning these and this is a huge leap in the right direction.







Conclusion


The Thieaudio Legacy ticks many boxes for me and I find myself falling more and more in love with this IEMs AND the music I listen to with each passing day. In my book, that’s how I know this is a great earphone and it will be one I keep with me for a long time to come. 2020 may be a rough year but the Legacy 3 has made it into my list of things that made it better. Can it get better from here? Of course, there are things that the Legacy 3 can do better such as detail retrieval and perhaps more noticeable changes in sound profiles with the switches. I am hopeful for what Thieaudio has in store for us in the future and this is a powerful contender in this price bracket of $100-$200.
Last edited:
CT007
CT007
I think the treble on this is perfection. I wouldn't change it at all. It's extremely hard to find treble that passes the Weird Al test 🏆📀:heavy_check_mark:
LostnAmerica
LostnAmerica
Mine will be here soon...:)
  • Like
Reactions: CT007
Pros: balanced, mature V-signature
no harshness, or sibilants
audiophile claim and fantastic stage
Cons: it lacks a little bit of sub-bass
the mids could be crisper
dip switches have almost no effect
Rating: 8.7
Sound: 8.5

Intro
The VOYAGER 3 made me want more THIEAUDIO products and fortunately I didn't have to wait too long for another listening impression. THIEAUDIO is a project of the well known and well sorted online distributor LINSOUL AUDIO, if you are looking for Asian manufacturers. I was given the LEGACY 3 and what can I say, I am more and more taken with the L3 and for me the better and more mature IEM compared to the V3. There is nothing to complain about in terms of price.
Even if the LEGACY 3 is of course no endgame, it convinces me with its audiophile all-rounder qualities. I am really looking forward to the LEGACY 9, if I should get the chance to listen to it sometime.

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Handling
The LEGACY 3 comes in the same beautiful packaging as the VOYAGER 3, where THIEAUDIO has come up with something that is not 0815. The packaging can be opened like a book and reveals inside a large and attractive imitation leather case with lots of storage space. Inside there is a good silicone tip selection, even if I still would have wished for foamtips and a wonderful 8-core cable. This is however different in haptics and coloring (okay black is not a color) than the V3. I even find it better, because it feels softer and looks more filigree.

The housing is available in three versions: BLUE-AW11 (blue with glittering faceplate), Mystique and Clockworks. I won't say anything about the Clockworks design, but I find Mystique, or BLUE-AW11 more appealing, but they also cost an extra charge. You can also have the L3 custom made for a little more than 50 €, which was also the case with the V3. Great!

The L3 is a bit more compact than the V3 and also has smaller and rounder sound tubes, which has a positive effect on the wearing comfort. But with a custom, this doesn't matter anymore.
The L3 also uses two dip-switches to influence the sound in theory.

The isolation is excellent and the universal version also has a custom feeling.

20200513_220954.jpg

Sound
With the VOYAGER 3 I have already complained a little bit about not having enough changes when changing the dip switches. Out of the 4 touted sound changes only two became effective, which make a real difference. Well, with LEGACY 3 the influence of this technique is only to be guessed. One My Bass less here, one My Treble more there. The mids don't care about all that anyway. To be honest, it doesn't make sense to write anything about the individual settings. I've been confronted with delusions, thinking that I can hear the difference. That's for everyone to decide for themselves. If anyone is interested, I will write the review using the configuration 1on/2off. But in the end it doesn't matter to me, because even if the settings are nearly identical, the LEGACY 3 is a fantastic IEM in its basic signature.

The bass is very pleasant, it lacks some sub-bass and pressure from below, but it makes up for that with its detailed, dry, soft and dynamic character. The L3 is not a bass IEM, but a very balanced and natural sounding IEM with a slight V-signature. The bass has enough weight to give music the impact it needs, but he leaves it as far as possible, so the L3 doesn't give excessive emphasis in the low end. In contrast to the fast rolling, somewhat bloated BA bass of the YOYAGER 3, which however convinced me with its warm, fast and full-bodied nature, the bass of the L3 is more balanced, deeper playing and more consistent in level. It's not the tightest either, but with its decay it sounds quite natural and not sterile, which would also be untypical for a dynamic driver. In addition, it has texture and a distinctive reproduction of details. Very good dynamic bass, but with upward potential.

Even if the midrange is slightly pushed back a bit in the V-signature, it doesn't matter much. Vocals don't impose themselves, but they are very well placed in the mix, with a slight tendency towards the front. They have a natural timbre and get along completely without any unpleasant accompaniments. Even in rock music they still sound relaxed and airy without being compressed. In addition, the mids dissolve wonderfully and manage to build up emotions with ease. It doesn't make any difference what you put in front of them, I can't make out any gross blunders or discolorations. Very balanced and harmonious. Nevertheless they are not perfect. Sometimes they are almost a bit too smooth and I wish for a bit more clarity and you will hardly believe it: hardness. Nevertheless a real all-purpose weapon.

The highs pick up where the mids left off. Like the VOYAGER 3, they don't have an extraordinary expansion and are more concerned with safety, but the big bonus is that they don't have the sibilant emphasis like the V3. In addition they sound a bit more airy, which is good for the stage in the vertical position. All the necessary musical information is provided here as well, but you can still enjoy it after hours. Transparent and lively with audible micro details. As with the bass and the midrange, this is a high standard that also has substance.

The stage really has to be praised. It is split up into several audible layers and has a distinct character in width as well as in depth, although this is more evident in the former. In contrast to the V3, it opens up more in the vertical direction and also in the horizontal direction it has a slight upper hand.

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Outro
The VOYAGER 3 is in its price range an IEM with an unusual and interesting signature, with good technical features. The LEGACY 3 is more old-fashioned, but also more serious and adult. For me it can trump the V3 in all areas, even if THIEAUDIO with the LEGACY 3 is still far from reaching the end. If you put performance and price of the LEGACY 3 in context, it is really worth its money for my taste and I can recommend it as an audiophile all-rounder without restrictions, as long as you are not a quantitative bass fanatic or treble head.

In short, I would like to draw the line at the similarly priced SPRING, which I also rate at eye level, but for other reasons. Compared to the SPRING, the L3 sounds fuller and more mature. But the SPRING has the clearer highs and expansion, as well as subjectively higher transparency. In total it is tighter and brighter, which is refreshing. The LEGACY can score with more naturalness and calmness without getting boring. Both very good IEMs, but differently aligned, except the bass, which is qualitatively quite similar, with more body on the L3.

TA LEGACY 3.jpg
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Last edited:
CT007
CT007
What IEMs would you rate significantly higher than the L3 and Spring?

The white, and Blue-AW11, shell design is now available for the L3, as of today. Only clockwork and mystic were available when I bought mine, sadly.

Here is a FR comparison I hacked together, between L3, Spring and Starfield(from yourself & @Otto Motor) :

DallaPo
DallaPo
Nothing in the same price category that I would rate as significantly better
LostnAmerica
LostnAmerica
Ha e a pair in the way, probably arrive on the 1st or 2nd... also the Penon Sphere just for comparisons.
Cheers

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