Thieaudio Legacy 5 Review: Perfectly Priced


The Thieaudio Legacy 5 is a $250 4 BA + 1 DD hybrid from Linsoul that aims to capture the entry mid-fi market segment after the efforts of Thieaudio's flagship twins. Despite having the Legacy name, it shares a number of design philosophies with the Monarch and Clairvoyance over its younger sibling, the Legacy 3. This begs the question: Does the Legacy 5 follow in the footsteps of its well-regarded predecessors or is it simply riding the coattails of success? 

Disclaimer: As usual, the Thieaudio Legacy 5 has been provided to me by Linsoul in exchange for this honest review. I have not been or will be compensated in any other way.

What's in the Box?

When I said that the Legacy 5 shares a lot of design similarities to the Monarch and Clairvoyance, I wasn't kidding. The packaging and accessories are 100% identical. Included is a hard carrying case, the Thieaudio 2-pin 2.5mm EST cable, a 3.5mm and 4.4mm adapter, a set of S, M, L foam tips, and the cherry on top is a pair of M size SpinFits. 

For those unaware, that EST cable can be bought on Linsoul for $70 and boasts all the standard cable jargon that you can read at your own leisure. It has a straight 2.5mm jack and the adapters are also straight jack, meaning if you don't own a 2.5mm input, you end up with a stupidly long plug that's rather ugly and annoying to use. The cable itself is rather stiff, prone to tangles, a bit heavy, has cable noise, and cable memory. And for some reason, it also hurts the back of my ears with its weight and hard braid. Suffice it to say, I do not like this cable and immediately switched it out. But hey, at least its a free 2.5mm cable.

Fit and comfort on the L5 is excellent. The shell size is quite a lot smaller than the Monarch/Clairvoyance and just a little larger than the Legacy 3. Like the tribrids, the shell is made of the same plastic-type material but it has a much subtler faceplate design with dark galaxy-like swirls on it. It's very understated and honestly a little wasted since you (and everyone else) are likely to never really notice it. Isolation is rather decent though it does share the same vent on the top of the shell like the Monarch/Clairvoyance that prevents it from feeling fully plugged. 


The Legacy 5 has a relaxed sound signature that's immediately pleasant. Its warm, smoothed out, non-fatiguing, and I can listen to it for hours on end. This tuning would be perfect for those who want something easy to listen to while working or commuting. The technical performance of the Legacy 5 complements its frequency response quite well. Though it doesn't punch much above its weight, it feels comfortable for the sound quality and price point that the Legacy 5 aims for.


I'd consider the bass quantity on the Legacy 5 to be moderate. It has more of a midbass focus and seeps into the lower mids for a warm, glue-y sort of sound. It has some good nuance and separation to distinguish when kick and bass guitar notes overlap. However the Legacy 5's bass quality is my biggest (and only) complaint for this IEM. It sounds soft, blunt, and thumpy. It lacks deep rumble or authoritative slam. This can make it a little muddy and low-res at times. For the otherwise wholly competent Legacy 5, its bass is clearly its weakest link.

The bass DD driver of the Legacy 5 is actually the exact same DD found in the Monarch and Clairvoyance. But when compared next to Clairvoyance and especially the Monarch, it is very apparent that this one of the sacrifices you'll be making. Don't get me wrong; for its price it's not bad and I wouldn't discount the Legacy 5 because of its bass. While I'd like to see a tighter DD on the Legacy for more critical listening, in some ways, the bass performance of the Legacy 5 in-line with the relaxed nature of the IEM.


The mids of the Legacy 5 are the star of the show for me. I really like the way they're presented. They have just enough forward presence to keep vocals interesting but aren't aggressively forward and command attention. The tonal balance is really quite pleasing for pretty much all instruments. It has a warmer that doesn't sacrifice clarity. The pinna gain is moderate and prevents the Legacy 5 from sounding harsh. That said, the warmer tuning forgoes some of that aggressive bite in electric guitars. All in all, there's nothing much to complain about here. The icing on the cake is a rather coherent crossover from the low end DD to the mids. Maybe it's partially covered up by the less-than-stellar bass but I don't hear a distinct transition to the BAs.


Like other warmer IEMs, the Legacy 5 does have a dip in the lower treble that avoids the energetic attack of the hats/cymbals. However, it does climb back up after that to maintain some upper harmonics and provide some much needed brilliance to balance out the overall sound. However, that is not to say it's perfect. There's a bit of peakiness that makes certain sounds pop out at you but as a whole, the treble of the Legacy 5 is unfatiguing for me. The Legacy 5 also does start to roll off fairly quickly once it approaches the upper treble. While it's not dark, the lack of air does contribute to that warm sound.



The Legacy 5 is not a resolution monster and it doesn't have the best instrument separation ability. Instruments do eventually seem to play on top of each other in busy tracks due to the lack of layering. There's enough clarity to that it isn't really a problem but if you're a detail chaser this isn't it.

Where the Legacy 5 does well is its soundstage. I don't feel as enclosed with this compared to a lot of other budget IEMs. Obviously, as IEMs, its soundstage isn't anything mindblowing. It isn't crazy wide and there isn't a lot of depth. But in combination with its tuning, the laid back nature of the sound gives enough stage to prevent it from sounding intimate. Imaging is a standard affair with that 3-blob left, center, right sound. I like the overall staging of the Legacy 5 and think that it adds just that extra layer of enjoyment compared to similarly tuned IEMs. 

Should You Buy It?

Yes. At $250, the Thieaudio Legacy 5 is one of the few examples of a perfectly priced IEM. It definitely provides a much more enjoyable experience to justify the price bump over the Legacy 3 while not being so expensive that it's a direct competitor to the Moondrop Blessing 2. Furthermore, its tuning fills a niche at that price range that not many IEMs adress. It's a very well tuned set perfect for long listening with competent enough technicalities that doesn't detract from its overall enjoyment. 

As a testament to how much I enjoyed the comfort and tuning of the Legacy 5, it was the IEM I picked for a 4 hour flight. And its likely one of the few IEMs I'll listen to again after this review in a more everyday setting. For those looking for a work IEM that they can listen to all day while slaving away behind a desk, the Legacy 5 should be one of your top choices.

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