The A-Audio Legacy headphones deliver wonderful sound in a premium package that offers active noise canceling and an optional bass enhancer mode that helps the headphones deliver the pounding low-end on many of our test tracks.
For $299 users get a pair of stylish, well-built headphones that deliver marvelous sound quality and good noise canceling abilities.
After a month with the A-Audio Legacy headphones there’s no denying that they deliver impressive sound quality across a wide range of music with a comfortable fit.
I do miss the wireless freedom of the Plantronics BackBeat Pro, but the A-Audio Legacy does a better job for bass-heavy tracks like Kanye West’s Love Lockdown and Jay Z’s Blue Magic thanks to the optional bass mode and still offers a more balanced soundstage with active noise canceling (ANC) on or off.
A-Audio Legacy Design & Features
The A-Audio Legacy headphones feature a metal and leather design that is bold but not boisterous. The frame is metal with chrome plating or in phantom black like our A-Audio Legacy review model. There is a leather band at the top and leather ear cups.
The band is snug without being too tight, and it keeps the headphones on and in place while I am walking downtown or dancing in the house. The ear cups are large enough to seal around my large ears, but at high volume those near you will hear some of what you are listening to. The headphones fold flat when around your neck or to carry in an included carrying case.
A-Audio includes two headphone cables, including one with an in-line microphone and remote control. The body of the control is also metal and it is easy to grab and control the headphones.
There are headphone jacks on both ears so you can choose which side your cord hangs from and so you can share audio to another pair of headphones. This sounds like a small feature but I love the option to run the cord down my left side while working and down my right side while on the go. Plug a second pair of headphones into the other side to share during a flight or car trip.
I wish there was an auto-off option, as I ran down one pair of AAA batteries when I left the ANC mode when i ran out the door in a hurry. Thankfully the headphones still work without power, but there is no bass or ANC mode. A small cover slides off one side to swap batteries.
A-Audio Legacy Sound
Comfortable headphones are important, but only if they sound good. The A-Audio Legacy headphones excel in both comfort and sound quality. There are three modes on the headphones, A-Audio calls it “three stage technology”, that allow you to choose how you hear the music. This includes passive which does not require power, active noise canceling which can help keep out distractions and bass, which delivers a bass boost that is just right.
Performance & Sound Quality
I came away impressed with the overall sound quality of the A-Audio Legacy headphones for a wide range of music.
Simply put, I hear parts of the music that cheap headphones and earbuds cannot deliver. There is also more depth to the music. While listening to Teardrop by Massive Attack there is a distinct separation between the instruments and the voice that is list on the headphones that come with your iPhone.
Good Mystery by Amber Rubarth shows where these headphones excel. This track makes it sound like you are in the middle of the room as most instruments play off to the right and Rubarth sings just behind your seat and supporting instruments and a guitar comes in at just the right volume from the left side as the track builds.
When switching between the three stages, there is a change in the sound the headphones deliver. Switching from passive to the active noise canceling feature drops some of the bass out of any track, which is the only real complaint about these headphones. On Heartbeats by José González, switching ANC on removes some of the overall balance that the guitar brings to this track. On bass heavy tracks like Love Lockdown by Kanye West ANC dulls the bass.
Flicking the switch to bass, solves this problem, at the cost of active noise canceling. With the bass mode on, the soundstage is as well-balanced as in passive. There is definitely more bass, but it is not overpowering or artificially heavy.
I end up listening to most electronic music and rap with the bass mode on. Pop or rock sounds good in this mode as well, but I tend to leave the ANC mode on while listening to these types of music or the occasional classic music selection.
With the microphone and remote control attached callers sound incredible, especially with a good FaceTime audio connection, and they report that I sound clear.
Active Noise Canceling
the key to enjoying noise canceling headphones is knowing what to expect. Putting the A-Audio Legacy headphones on and flipping ANC on will not completely drown out the entire world around you. This technology is best at dealing with low-frequency noise like airplane engines or in my experience the din of working in a coffee shop. They will not block out the voices of people talking nearby, babies crying or the blender kicking into overdrive at Starbucks.
The A-Audio Legacy ANC is able to help me tune out distractions at home and while working in a coffee shop. I have not been able to fly with them yet, so I cannot say if they will block out all of an airplane. The Bose QC15 headphones deliver better noise canceling, but the A-Audio headphones sound better.
Are the A-Audio Legacy Headphones Worth Buying?
At $299, the A-Audio headphones are not cheap, but they do deliver incredible sound that immerses the listener in the music with multiple listening options that excel with any genre I pressed play in. The noise canceling is good, but the bas mode and overall sound quality are what sell these headphones.
The premium design and build-quality that comes from leather and metal that combine to form a snug fitting, comfortable pair of headphones seal the deal. A-Audio is working on a wireless version that will offer the same modes, but more freedom to move around.