Unless you’re out to hear Starbucks’s playlist behind your own music, Lyra’s not an out-and-about earphone. You’ll have to kill your ears in order to drown out background noise. Don’t. We love you here, commenting, reading, and interacting with our reviews. It’s not quite time to graduate to www.HearingAidFonia.com. Stay with us a while. And enjoy Lyra at home, windows closed, with the fan off.
No matter what’s going on around you, what comes through loud, clear, and strong, is bass that is both youthful and punchy. If you can fasten Lyra real close to your ears, it is massive. If you fasten it loosely in your ears, it approaches neutrality. At the bottom this bass is dry, nearly-chalky. Its thwack is crazy satisfying for trance, less so for hip hop. Bass hits hard, fast, and with great resolution, but is pretty one-dimensional. Low-voiced instruments stand shoulder to shoulder, and in macro, are distinct. But as when viewed a few meters back, are basically just a wall of ooomph. That wall is pretty wide, standing just outside of each ear, encroaching as far in as your inner eye sockets.
Space is biggest in the mids. Contrast between them and bass is stark, but decently graduated. This contrast digs an amazing chasm where fast electronic music turns to trance (the feeling, not the genre) pretty fast. Mids have a lot of pressure of their own, and are distinct. They float in their own stratosphere. Low mids are as taught as Lyra’s bass. Mid-to-high mids stand out well, even against exciting treble elements.
Vocals don’t stand out all that well against strong bass. And leading male vocal edges, clear as they are, are dry, and nearly weightless. Too weightless, in fact: effectively reversing male puberty, and exulting the clarity of his female counterpart.
Apart from that, tonality is pretty good. If you’ve got Peter, Paul, and Mary’s Flora running, you’ll be amazed by the bell-like clarity between the three. But Peter and Paul get a bit of a neuter. Cymbals clash and shimmer with great speed. Their decay is fast, and there’s no splash. Cymbal shimmer is probably the neatest high-frequency sound to spit from Lyra. Neat not in absolute accuracy, but in its penchant for scrubbing smooth certain resolving details artefact-free fades to black. It’s almost Disneyland in its exalting of the faux to near real levels.
Those fades to black are like your daughter in a bright Easter dress handing the last egg to poor, egg-less Walt, a perennial slowpoke with flowers in his hair. It’s reedy here, fast there, super-smooth another place. All together, it’s a real treat, if one whose flavor isn’t the norm.
Lyra is a fine earphone. It’s made well, outfitted well, and decently branded. Its fit is so-so. Where is its website? Who makes it? What’s their plan for the future? My guess is Tomorrow Land: good, if sublimated reality, and a penchant for crazy designs. AX-60 rocked. Lyra recreates. I love its bass, and its idealistic highs. Its dry mids lack bite in the oboe, the male vocalist, the riffing bass guitar. But they’re super clear.