Astrotec Lyra – Sublimation

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.

“Noooooooooooo!”

The Stuff

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:

Astrotec Lyra – Sublimation
4.7 (93.33%) 6 vote[s]

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Back before he became the main photographer for bunches of audio magazines and stuff, Nathan was fiddling with pretty cool audio gear all day long at TouchMyApps. He loves Depeche Mode, trance, colonial hip-hop, and raisins. Sometimes, he gets to listening. Sometimes, he gets to shooting. Usually he's got a smile on his face. Always, he's got a whisky in his prehensile grip.

16 Comments

  • Reply May 16, 2015

    dalethorn

    Lyra is currently $99 on Massdrop.

    • Reply May 18, 2015

      ohm image

      Thanks for the update, Dale. I’ll have to mention that.

  • Reply May 20, 2015

    digitldlnkwnt

    Question: They look well made, but based on your impressions they sound like ill-fitting and rather uncomfy IEMs.Given the fit is only “so-so” and given that fit is literally everything, especially where bass is concerned with an IEM, I’m not sure why you recommended these. I can improve the bass on any IEM by pressing it a bit tighter to improve seal, but i can’t walk around that way.

    • Reply May 20, 2015

      ohm image

      I’m not sure where you got the idea that I ‘recommend’ these. They’re okay, sometimes good, seldom great. They’re so-so. A nice try.

      • Reply May 20, 2015

        digitldlnkwnt

        Mostly from the last paragraph, but perhaps I miss interpreted.

    • Reply May 20, 2015

      dalethorn

      These are IEM? Look like earbuds to me.

      • Reply May 20, 2015

        digitldlnkwnt

        Same difference unless you want to play the marketing term game. They go in your ears correct ?

        • Reply May 21, 2015

          dalethorn

          IEMs have to seal in the ear canal and contain special tips for that purpose. No such eartips for earbuds, and, much less critical accordingly.

          • Reply May 21, 2015

            George Lai

            Hi Dale. Then there are the half-in-ears like the Dunu Titan-1.

            • Reply May 21, 2015

              dalethorn

              I would definitely regard that as an IEM since it has the obvious eartips. Whatever the case, if it connects to the ear canal it’s trouble for me, so those that don’t touch the ear canal and don’t have those tips – earbuds. Seems to me to be the major distinction, unless someone has a chart breaking it down.

              • Reply May 21, 2015

                George Lai

                The Lyra is definitely an ear bud of course. I tried the Titan-1 as, like you, I can’t use universal IEMs with ear tips. The unique thing about the Titan is that the bulk of the weight is taken up by the ear bud portion resting in your ear, whilst, if you use a smaller than usual ear tip, I figured that the ear tip is more to help the positioning or stability of the whole device. Try a demo, Dale. I was pleasantly surprised.

                • Reply May 21, 2015

                  dalethorn

                  Thanks George – I have both of these on my list. It should be an interesting learning experience.

  • Reply May 26, 2015

    independentskeptic

    I’m a fan of earbuds as IEM’s have never felt comfortable. Any comparisons to other earbuds like Yuin?

    • Reply June 3, 2015

      ohm image

      I don’t have any Yuin about which to comment. Sorry.

  • Reply June 24, 2016

    golov17

    Fully gree with review, thanks ????

  • Reply June 24, 2016

    golov17

    Agree, btw, sorry ????

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