Review: Lear LCM-Skyline – No Brainer

In today’s review we present you a very nice budget CIEM from Hong Kong, the Lear LCM-Skyline.

 

Disclaimer: Lear Audio sent me the Lear LCM-Skyline in exchange for a review. The base price for the Skyline is normally around 215 $ but please check below for the limited price. It is only available for custom-fit. LEAR Audio is not an advertiser.

At this moment Lear Audio is selling the Skyline model for 150 $ (standard), 190 $ (Combo Con connectors) and 240 $ (Combo Con + BT cable) as a special offer. This offer is effective until the end of October. Find out more in HERE.

Intro

Here we are with another Custom In Ear Monitor review. Yet, this I think should be a notable one because of the price. I don’t know any other manufacturer that produces custom monitors with this kind of a price policy. As you know, the overall price in the portable audio market usually is sky high, let alone for custom monitors. The only exception is the Chi-Fi equipment, which is also starting to become pricey here and there.

Yet, Lear Audio comes to our rescue with its affordable choices. The flagship “Big Ben” costs around 1145 $, and the rest of the range is below the 1000 $ mark. Of course, the performance in terms of sound quality is always the determiner. So low price doesn’t guarantee the performance. Having said that, it’s still wonderful to have companies like Lear Audio to find affordable gear.

Lear LCM-Skyline

About Lear Audio

We reviewed Lear Audio 3 times before. You can find their former flagship’s review here, and the NatroSound NS-U1 here. Last year I reviewed the award winning LCM-Turbo utilizing 2 dynamic drivers. Lear wants to develop things further with the Skyline in terms of their budget CIEM concept and I will get to that shortly.

Keep an eye on our development, we hope to please you and hear you say “LEAR is cool!”

Lear is in operation since 2008. Tatco Ma is the founder and CEO of  Lear Audio. The brand operates under Hong Kong Forever Source Digital, which is a well-known portable audio retailer in Hong Kong. LEAR brand operates with the full support of this mother company.

About Skyline

Lear claims that this is the world’s first custom IEM with a Hi-Res Audio tag, given by the Japan Audio Society. It utilizes a high performance 8mm PEEK diaphragm, N50 Neodymium magnet, and CCAW coil full range dynamic driver. So yes, there’s a single dynamic driver inside but that should not cause a loss of interest. This CIEM is certainly a no brainer for this money and I will tell you why in detail very soon.

Lear also used an oxygen free copper interconnection wire and 4% Silver-Tin soldering. These ensured very low distortion levels together with frequency response up to 40,000Hz to be certified as Hi-Res by the Japan Audio Society. You can see the Skyline’s exploded picture below.

Lear Hearing Care

Lear Hearing Care

Balanced In-Ear Pressure

With the Skyline, Lear Audio introduced new solutions to the market. The Balanced In Ear Pressure concept works like the Adel and Apex technologies that we saw before. It’s simply an additional port to ease out the pneumatic pressure applied to your ears. With this way, the fit feels more natural and inserting-removing the IEM is easier without the additional pressure effect.

It might sound simple and old, but how many times did you see this technology implemented to a budget IEM? Even with this price tag, this is a feature packed monitor and this is not the only feature that it has either.

Lear Hearing Care

Lear Hearing Care

This is another new concept from Lear Audio which was announced for the first time with this model. The hearing care concept acts as a frequency response guideline. For Lear, no frequency should excess the +6dB threshold in their frequency curve. This means no humps, no edges and no sibilance.

According to Lear, anything above +6dB is an excessive energy for your hearing, which is harmful in the long-term. You can think of it as too much sugar. It can taste good and pleasing sometimes. Yet, too much sugar damages your health over the years. So what Lear does is that, they follow a specific curve to restrict the excessive volume.

Continue to package, build quality, design and fit on PAGE 2.

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A lover of personal audio from Turkey, Berkhan always seeks the perfection. He chooses a simplistic expression of sound at all times, and tries to keep his photography enthusiasm at the same level with audio. Sometimes photography wins, and sometimes his love for music takes him over and he puts that camera aside.

9 Comments

  • Reply August 29, 2019

    Scott

    Great review. Any comments on how well the Balanced In-Ear Pressure feature works? Do you notice any difference in isolation compared to a regular CIEM?

    • Reply September 2, 2019

      Berkhan

      Compared to regular CIEMs, it has less isolation but it’s OK when you push the play button. When music is on, the isolation is quite good. The system works great as there’s no pressure applied to you ears and it’s very easy to insert and remove without the slightest of discomfort.

      • Reply September 2, 2019

        Psycomu

        I dont own above compared iem, but like the IT01s’ sound alot, hows that compare to IT01s?

        Or is there any iem for upgrade suggestion?

        • Reply September 2, 2019

          Berkhan

          To me it’s a lot better to IT01

  • Reply September 15, 2019

    yiannis

    compared to LEAR’s Kaleido?

  • Reply September 24, 2019

    Asegier

    I have the LEAR A1D Mk. I and I went in just last week to try out their entire new low end tier earphones.

    I agree with Berkhan, the Skyline is better (IMO) than the Turbo and Kaleido. However, I tried the LEAR A1D Mk III and I feel that that one is better. It’s got better clarity in my opinion. Although I suppose “better” is subjective, and it could also be because I’ve had the A1D Mk. I for many years, maybe I’m just used to it.

    I bought the Skyline in the end because I felt that getting another A1D was redundant (although they use different drivers in the Mk III. compared to the Mk. I) and also the price was very appealing.

    One thing to note is that if you are planning on getting the Combo Con upgrade anyways, then the A1D may potentially be a better choice as the clerk (Matthew) told me that the A1D Mk. III comes with Combo Con at $1999 HKD. Whereas for the Skyline the Combo Con package is at $1488. So it’s really only an extra $500 HKD (maybe around 80 USD?) more for the A1D Mk III. Also the Skyline only comes in 3 body colors. I think it’s solid black, translucent black and stardust black (a new skyline color I think). Faceplates cost anywehre from $398 to $698 (custom design, yes price has increased from before when I did my A1D) or you can choose from any standard colors for free.

  • Reply October 27, 2019

    Chris

    Very Clear and Detailed Review. I’m quite new on this thing, i enjoyed using BGVP DMG, so i wanted to ask how is the sound if we compared skyline with BGVP DMG ? Thanks a lot

    • Reply October 28, 2019

      Berkhan

      Skyline is darker but to me more controlled and coherent across the range. I would choose the Skyline since it’s also custom with better isolation.

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