Disclaimer: The Astrotec Lyra was provided for the purposes of this review. I paid nothing for it and have no obligation to return it to the sender. It goes for like 165$. You can find out more about it here.
15mm is a lot of driver to cram into a single concha. Lyra just fits into my ears without falling out. It’s a tight fit. My wife’s tiny ears are right out. Yours? If they’re normal to large, you’ll have no problem shoehorning them in.
In 2015, finding a high-quality earbud is about as hard as finding value in the STAR WARS parody popularly known Revenge of the Sith. But high quality earbuds exist. But some look as funny, and cheap, as a Darth Vader monster-stepping out of ankle shackles in front of a cackling Igor Palpatine.
Lyra’s nothing to laugh at though. Like The AX-60, it is solid and shiny. There’s rubber in two sections: the tiny stress gubbin out of which the cable runs, and the hard grip over which you pull wind screens. And, I suggest using the screens. Without them, and unless your ears are made of gum, Lyra will Houdini out at every opportunity. And with the windscreens in place, the sound is thicker, more powerful, and ore alive than ever.
The cable is the same grey thing that we saw in the Astrotech AX-60. It is thick, resilient against touch noise and body oils, and it is light. Lyra’s metal chassis weighs it down, making tangles when pulled from storage, but untangling it isn’t a real chore.
In Lyra’s horribly cheap pressure-fitted aluminium carrying case are: ear guides to help Lyra stay put when worn over the ear, and more wind screens. The ear guides are beasts; they either pin your glasses to your head, or pry them out at strange angles, sucking your lenses closer to your greasy eyebrows (if you have Neanderthal in you). And since metal neck cinch does its job, they serve no purpose.
Lyra is as well-machined as it is solid. It is mostly free of hairline blemishes. Hard-to-press crosses punch through the grill. The effect is high-class. The microscopic metal pebbles swarming the back are a bit less high class, but at least they’re free of blemish, and resistant to scratching.
Overall, this is a nicely made earphone. Does it look good? I don’t know. I think its shape is too arbitrary, and less thought went into fit than went into style.
Sound impressions after the jump: