Legacy Audio Focus SE compared to the Legacy Aeris Speakers

I am looking for owner opinions of the Legacy Audio Focus SE speakers compared to the Legacy Aeris speakers from a sound quality perspective.  I am considering either of the 2, but have to wait another 5 weeks until a new local dealer will have their showroom ready for display.

I only owned the Focus, but it was a much older model.
I liked them a lot but I eventually sold them for some Von Schweikerts. The Aeries has powered subs so I think they would be easier to adjust and place than the Focus. But don’t they cost substantially more?


I reviewed the Focus, Focus SE, Whisper, Whisper DSW Clarity Edition, Helix and the V, all for Dagogo.com. I have owned the Focus, Focus SE, Whisper and Whisper DSW Clarity Edition. So, if you want a thorough analysis of Legacy sound you can read all of them.

I have heard the Aeris several times. Buy the Aeris. Top to bottom it’s in a different league than the Focus SE. You can trust my opinion, or wait five weeks and buy the Aeris anyway. :)

We are a Legacy dealer and couldnt agree more.

The Aeris is in an entirely different league. The overall clarity and tonality is similar the sense of scope is way different. The Aeris has a much larger sense of space, tighter much deeper bass and is just spectacular in dynamics.

It is really a no brainer.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
I got rid of my Legacy Focus' and went with Tekton Design's Ulfberht speakers. They operate on a whole different level.
I just checked out Tekton Design’s website. Very interesting, but a 73" high speaker would be overkill in my room as my drop ceiling is 7’-9" high. The room size is 19’-10" wide x 29’-10" long. I might give them a call though. The price is attractive at $12,000.
I agree that the Aeris is a league up from the Focus SE, but only when the Aeris is set up optimally.  When doing the online room equalization process, it is not that hard to get a bad setup.  I heard the Aeris after a setup, and all the mid-bass fullness was missing.  When Aeris is done right, you can't believe how incredible a male baritone voice sounds.  Those big Aeris mid-woofers are light and FAST.

It's interesting how you hi-jacked this Legacy thread. Even if you feel it was unintentional on your part.....The point is, try doing that on one of a half dozen Tekton threads currently going, and see what happens....
As a recent owner of the Signature SE's, I think Legacy makes incredible speakers. Anything else would've been too big for my room, and they sound so amazing.
I love my Whisper HD"s  with Silver Graphite Mids . With all tubes. Legacy makes some great sounding speakers.
I've had the Legacy Signature III's in the system for many years now. Why Legacy stopped making the Signature III's is beyond me. Its a great speaker. If it were not for my smallish room dimensions, I'd own the Legacy Focus ... the old ones, not the new ones. 

Not an owner, but the two times I heard the Aeris, I was reduced to a drooling, gelatinous mess.  Absolutely gorgeous sound in every respect I could think of, and these were audio show demos in a hotel room.  No experience with the Focus, but if I had the coin, the Aeris would be in my top 5 speakers from which to choose from.

I owned the SE's for a couple of yrs and they are a good speaker for sure but I agree with what has already been said about the Aeris those play on a completely higher level.I almost bought a pair myself but at the time I really wanted to try the Full Range thing.

Tekton makes some good speakers also and you may want to check into them.

Most importantly get out and listen and go where your ears take you.

Best of luck to you,
I'm a simple guy, so I REALLY wish Legacy would release a passive Aeris that you could just hook up to an amp and crank it up.  They could always include a bass attenuation switch like they do with their other speakers.  The issue for me is the Wavelet room correction system, which I don't seem to completely trust.  I've seen it used a couple times, and it can get a bit complicated.  And you can get quite different readings from the system.  I heard the Aeris one time, and all the mid-bass energy had been sucked out by the setup procedure.
mtrot, setup might take a bit, but once it's dialed in it's better than passive. You will not typically get better sound from the Aeris with passive x-over than you can with the Wavelet and separate amp channels for all driver sets. 

Read my review of the Legacy Audio Whisper DSW at Dagogo.com, as I compared this special version of the Whisper in both passive x-over, and active x-over with attendant channels of amplification. In short, the active was superior. 

It should be expected that with a more complex setup it would take a bit more time to master, however it also puts far more power in your fingertips to contour the sound precisely� as you wish. Well worth a bit of a learning curve. Having used the Wavelet processor I assure you the Mid-bass, and other frequency bands, can be adjusted and it's easy to use. My impression is that Bill tends to set up speakers like the Aeris and V with less low end energy than many audiophiles might prefer. In my experience he sets the default like that initially, likely because it would cause problems in many rooms to go for broke on the low end as a default setup. Better to err on being light on the low end... That's what I learned of his setting up the Helix and the V in my room in preparation for review. 
Legacy, or any speaker company working toward actively crossed speakers, would be going backwards to continuously release it's active speakers in passive mode, as they are trying to move the community toward what they offer as a better process. You can't make steps forward by continually backtracking. I think there are a couple instances of hybrid crossover Aeris out there, like my Whispers with both passive and active x-over capability, but imo you're seeking lesser performance. One person I know who did that was anticipating high end amplifiers and did not have the coin to do so immediately; when he got the amps he dumped passive x-over mode, rightly so. I did the combo of passive/active X-over in the Whisper because as a reviewer I need speakers that do not demand triple speaker cables, amps, etc. But, as far as which I would run for personal use for ultimate performance, it would be the active version. 
I have heard both the Focus and the Aeris as well as the Tekton Double Impact.

The Focus compares to the Tekton DI, IMO. The Aeris is on another level. It is a special speaker. The Tekton Ulfberht is also supposed to be a special speaker for less money, but I have not heard it.

The Aeris has an open plenum for the highs and mids so even though I have not heard the Ulfs, I would have a hard time believing they could compete with the openness.

I really think you need to listen to them all yourself.
Vpm we finally got our Aeris and as stated they really are in a different league from the Focus or Signatures.

The arent just a bit better they are truly world class from increased low bass, greater speed, a more open & lucid midrange, to increased articulation even in the upper midrange and treble.

I have heard many of the $60k and above speakers and very few are better.

When you add in room correction, a dac and preamp, just add a set of cables and a transport and you are all set try that with any other system.

The only problem with Legacy is that not enough people really know just how good they are,

We are proud to add the Aeris to our stable of reference audio gear.

Dave and Troy
Audio Doctor NJ
I agree Audiotroy. I think the Aeris is better than any of the uber-expensive Wilsons I have heard. And I really like the Wilsons.

" The arent just a bit better they are truly world class from increased low bass, greater speed, a more open & lucid midrange, to increased articulation even in the upper midrange and treble. "

Yes, those Aeris mid-woofers are light and FAST.  That is some light material. 
I currently use the Signature SE’s, which with my Luxman M800a, Esoteric K-03x and Coda 07x, provide the best sound I’ve ever had in my home. The Signatures flat out, out perform many companies flagship speakers, and I’ve heard many of them i.e. B&W 800D3, Revel Salon, etc... I’m getting a pair of the Aeris later this spring. Audio review veteran and one of the most respected reviewers in Audio, Anthony Cordesman said the Aeris, along with the Wavelet processor that comes with it, provided him with the most realistic sound he’s ever heard and uses a pair as one of his references.  Legacy’s price/performance ratio is something brand new in all of high-end audio and veritable gift to those want some of the best available sound at a real world price and produced 100% in the USA. It’s really remarkable, and speaks directly to the quality of charactor of their owner and Chief Engineer, Bill Dudleston.  Their multi driver integration and movement of massive amounts of air philosophy, provides the lowest distortion, crystal clear sound and low frequency dynamic capabilities that I’ve heard.  That is all, carry on...
I haven't ever listened to the Focus, but auditioned the Aeris & Whisper about six weeks ago. The Whisper with Wavelet were delivered a couple of weeks ago.

Between the two the Whisper had a broader sweet spot and on some material seemed to fill the room more. With the Whisper utilizing open air subs and the Aeris sealed I would have expected more bass response from the Aeris but did not.

I only auditioned with music material, no movies, so the Aeris might offer an advantage there. Actually when first setting up the audition that was there recommendation, primarily music = Whisper more Video = Aeris.

I am fortunate to be relatively close to the factory (3 hours) and spent a few hours with Bill on a Sunday morning and touring the factory. Bill and Brice came out on a Saturday and spent about three hours moving the beasts downstairs and setting them up for me (thanks guys).

As mentioned, I am not familiar with the Focus but do not believe that they would take full advantage of the Wavelet correction. The Aeris/Whisper have a separate line level input for the rear firing subwoofer that time aligns the rear wall reflection with the front firing subwoofers.

For those looking for passive Aeris (don't see a reason but), Bill does custom work so I think that they could be had.
I just ordered a pair of Whisper XDS, but this thread is making me wish I went with the Aeris the way you all gush about them. I'll admit I really prefer the looks of the Aeris, but I went with the Whispers intentionally for the open air bass, but that midrange on the Aeris is very tempting. My speakers won't be ready until mid June. This was a very difficult decision and now I'm second guessing myself.  I have no dealer in my state, and am basing my decision solely having heard the Whispers years ago at a show. 
jcarcopo, what is your ultimate priority? Ease and fullness, or more laser-like precision? The Aeris has more coherence, the Whisper more dynamic impact with ease. Between the two designs you cannot have it both ways. Make your choice. If you want to drive yourself crazy, keep second guessing. But, do not lie to yourself that if you have the "right" choice you can have it all. No, you can't, because they are different designs, both superb in their own right. 

When switching from a more traditional dynamic speaker, the ear hears the quad of 7" mid-bass drivers. However, within about 1-2 weeks this becomes normal to the ears. Placement and toe in affect this dramatically. The Whisper will sound more full, plump than the Aeris. If you value more etched, delineated lines on instruments, then go with the Aeris. If you want more body to them, go with the Whisper. 

You will get a more easy, relaxed bass with the Whisper. By that I do not mean sloppy, but mature, less stressed. The output will sound less strained at higher levels, relatively so, as both are large speakers with formidable bass drivers. 

In the reviews of the V and Valor systems, one of my little games off the record was to see how close I could get the Whisper to the others. Pretty doggone close in several respects, but I had to add a pair of EXTREME XD Subs to do so. Not saying the performances were identical; the characteristics in terms of coherence and imaging were still characteristic of each speaker, but I found a way to enjoy the Whisper a lot, too.  :) 

Read my reviews of the different iterations of the Whisper at Dagogo.com