Astrotec Lyra Collection Review

Astrotec Lyra Collection

Beautiful sound in a Beautiful Shell…

 

About Astrotec:

Astrotec is a Hi-Fi brand which is specialized in production of audio products, since 2004 and is located in BaoAn area, Shenzhen – China. Astrotec has been involved in the development and manufacture of miniature loudspeakers, hearing aid components, car audio components, professional headsets, earbuds and In Ear Monitors (IEM).

 

 

Disclaimer:

This sample was provided to me by Astrotec for the purpose of an honest review. I’m not affiliated with the Astrotec and all observations and opinions here are my own that are based on my experience with the product.

The Price and Warranty:

The Astrotec Lyra Collection (32 Ohm) is available for a price of 299.99 USD and is covered by a two year limited warranty.

Purchase Links:

Astrotec Web links:

 

Package and Accessories:

The Astrotec Lyra Collection comes in nice looking box, which is wrapped with a grey colored cardboard that sports the “Lyra Collection earbud” advertising and the Hi-Res Audio logo.

 

This box is including the following items;

  • Astrotec Lyra Collection Earbud (32 Ohm)
  • Leather Hard Box
  • 3 pairs of foams (1 full & 2 donut)
  • 1 pair of silicone ear guides
  • 3 pairs of silicone ear fins (s/m/l)
  • Leather cable strap
  • Airplane adapter

 

The Lyra Collection is a premium product of this company and you can easily see and feel why this earbud is classified in such a category. The first appearance is fantastic with the fashionable look of the packaging.

The box is including different types of foams, two pairs of ear guides (ear hooks) and pairs of ear fins which is a very useful addition for a better comfort and fit/seal that directly affects the sound performance of an earbud.

Inside the box is very nice looking leather warped Hard Box, which has a magnetic lid and the Astrotec branding. The inner side of this box is coated with fabric material, which reminds an expensive jewelry box.

There is also a leather strap and one airplane adapter.

 

Design, Fit and Build Quality:

The Astrotec Lyra Collection is a very well-crafted earbud, which is made of aluminum material and has a satin blue finish, instead of a regular plastic shell which is more common for earbuds these days.

On the earpiece is a beautifully crafted voice grill, which has a very nice appearance. This grill sports also the Astrotec branding and is framed with a black plastic ring.

The rear end of the Astrotec Lyra Collection earbud is embedded with a labyrinth filter made of high-density copper ball die-casting, which is also called copper beads maze-filter. There are countless irregular labyrinth fibers inside the cavity, which can effectively filter the noise and suppress the refraction caused by the sound wave in the cavity.

On the sides are the left and right markings and some grills which are crafted carefully.

The Astrotec Lyra Collection sports a non-detachable cable which is protected with a black plastic strain relief. This cable is made of two types of wire material. Those are the 6N purity mono crystal cooper, mix braided with silver plated copper (SPC). The cable is protected with a transparent soft TPU material which looks pretty solid.

On the cable are the chin slider and Y- splitter, which has the Lyra Collection branding.

This Astrotec Lyra Collection has a gold plated 3.5mm headphone jack, which is right angled. The housing of this housing is in black and sports an Astrotec branding.

The Astrotec Lyra Collection is very lightweight and comfortable earbud, which fits pretty well in to my ears with the help of the ear fins, which are included in the box.

 

Specifications:

The Astrotec Lyra Collection sports an 15mm diameter single dynamic driver, which is very efficient with a relative lower impedance of 32 ohms (there is also a 150-ohm version of this earbud), which makes it ideal for portable sources without any powerful amplification like smartphones and tablets, etc.

 

Technical Details:

  • Driver                         : 15mm Single Dynamic Driver
  • Impedance                 : 32ohm
  • Frequency response  : 15Hz – 40000Hz
  • Sensitivity                   : 108dB/1 mW (S.P.Lat 1KHz)
  • Cable                          : 8 shares 19-core copper & silver-plated mixed cable
  • Plug                            : 3.5mm gold-plated plug
  • Cable length               : 1.2m

 

 

Albums & tracks used for this review:

  • Opeth – Damnation (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 16bit/44kHz)
  • Metallica – Sad but True (Flac 24bit/96Hz)
  • LP (Laura Pergolizzi) – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Saskia Bruin – The Look of Love (DSF)
  • London Grammar – Hey Now (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Diana Krall – So Wonderful (DSF)
  • George Michael – Older Album (Apple Music)
  • Bryan Adams – MTV Unplugged (Spotify)
  • Dire Straits – Money for Nothing (DSF)
  • Mile Davis – Kind of Blue Album (Tidal Hi-fi)
  • Emmanuel Pahud (Claude Debussy) – Syrinx (Spotify)
  • Otto Liebert – Bare Wood Album “Acoustic Version” (Spotify)
  • Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti (Tidal Hi-Fi)
  • Daft Punk – Get Lucky (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Lorde – Royals (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Michael Jackson – Billie Jean (DSF)
  • Future Heroes – Archangel (Spotify)
  • Deeperise feat Jabbar – Move On (Spotify)
  • Gothart – Jovano, Jovanke (Spotify)

 

Sources used for this review:

  • Erabud           : Astrotec Lyra Collection, NiceHCK EBX, K’S 300 Samsara
  • DAP/DAC      : Cayin N5II, Hidizs DH1000, Chord Mojo, Hifiman HM603s

 

The Sound:

I believe in burn-in and have written this review after a burn-in process of 120 hours.

Please note that this is an earbud, which needs a good seal and fit to show its best and the sound quality (even character) can vary from person to person due the differences of our ear anatomies.

I have used the stock donut foams and have use the ear fins which was included to the box for a better seal due this review.

 

Sound Signature:

The Astrotec Lyra Collection earbud has a slightly warmer then neutral tonality with balanced presentation, which sounds transparent and clean.

 

Frequencies:

Bass:

The sub-bass of the Astrotec Lyra Collection has moderate rumble, followed from a nice control and bass depth, which reachs surprisingly low for an earbud. The sub-bass extends good and is providing a nice sense of power to the overall presentation. But don’t get me wrong; don’t compare it with the power of a full sized headphone or an In-Ear Monitor.

The bass is adding a nice sense of warmth to the sound without to make the sound veiled or too hot. The level of resolution and realism is in a high level for an earbud and you can hear this especially in some acoustic albums like Otto Liebert’s – Bare Wood, where the Lyra Collection really shines during the presentation of a guitar, which sounds in a very realistic and emotional way.

Another example for the bass performance of the Astrotec Lyra Collection is the song “Move On” of “Deeperise feat Jabbar” where you can hear some nice bass kicks.

 

Midrange:

The first noticeable ability about the sound presentation of the Lyra Collection is the transparency and detail level of its midrange. The midrange sounds clean and airy with a level of definition which makes the presentation of vocals and instruments realistic and effortless.

There is enough space for instruments and even very complex songs like Alboran Trio’s – Cinque Lunghissimi Minuti are presented without any remarkable loss of control.

The midbass tuning of the Lyra Collection makes it possible to add a nice touch of warmth and fullness to midrange, without to overshadow the overall clearness.

The vocal presentation of the Lyra collection is upfront and intimate and this tuning makes it possible to represent, both male and female vocals in a quite realistic and emotional way. For example; Male voices in Gothart’s – Jovano, Jovanke sounding intimate and emotional.

The upper midrange of the Astrotec Lyra Collection is slightly boosted, but without any considerable result of harshness and loss of control. This tuning affects female voices in a positive way, which is noticeable with some vocals like Laura Pergolizzi or Diana Krall which are represented in a quite realistic.

 

Treble:

The treble range of the Lyra Collection is vivid and with a nice amount of sparkle, without to sound harsh or sibilant. There is also a nice rendering of air which makes space for instruments. Instruments like cymbals, violins or flutes sounding quite realistic and fatigue free. For example; the cymbal performance of the Lyra Collection in Megadeth’s Sweating Bullets is pretty controlled and sounds very realistic.

The upper treble extension of the Asrotec Lyra Collections is on a high level and the overall resolution improves the realism of some acoustic songs like Laura Pergolizzi’s live performance in Lost on You.

 

The Soundstage and Imaging:

The Astrotec Lyra Collection benefits form its semi open back design with its maze filter system, which gives the Lyra an expansive soundstage with a quite natural presentation of depth. This soundstage characteristic gives also vocals and instruments enough space for an accurate imaging.

 

Comparison with other Earbuds:

 

Vs. K’S 300 Samsara Version:

Please note that the K’S Samsara is a High impedance earbud which need lots of juice to show its potential. The Astrotec Lyra Collection on the other hand is a very effective erabud which doesn’t need such power to shine.

The K’S 300 Samsara sounds warmer than Astrotec Lyra Collection, which has a more balanced tonality.

The Samsara earbud has extra sub-bass quantity and depth, but missing some extension compared to the Lyra Collection, which sounds also more balanced. The Astrotec Lyra Collection has better bass speed and texture than K’S Samsara, which has the upper hand for bass impact.

Both the K’S Samsara and the Astrotec Lyra Collection sounding very detailed in the midrange department, but there is a difference in tonality and presentation. The K’S Samsara sounds warmer and more emotional, while the Astrotec Lyra Collections sounds natural and transparent.

Some male vocals like George Michael or Bryan Adams sounding quite good with the K’S Samsara earbud, but the Astrotec Lyra Collection has the upper hand for female voices, where it sounds more lifelike with its presentation.

The Astrotec Lyra Collection sounds also more realistic with string instruments like guitars and violins and excels also better for instrument placement and separation.

The K’S Samsra has slightly better upper midrange control, while the Astrotec Lyra Collection has the upper hand for transparency and sparkle in this area.

The treble range of the Astrotec Lyra Collection is brighter and is rendering more air for instruments. Both earbuds sounding quite detailed and have nearly the same level of resolution. But the K’S Samsara is missing of some additional micro detail where the Astrotec Lyra Collection really shines. Both earbuds are sharing a great control in the treble range and doesn’t sounding too harsh in most situation.

The K’S Samsara and the Astrotec Lyra have a decent soundstage performance. Both have earbuds have a quite expansive stage, while the Astotec Lyra Collection excel slightly better for depth. Both of this earbuds sharing a quite accurate, instrument positioning.

 

 

Vs. NiceHCK EBX :

The NiceHCK EBX and the Astrotec Lyra Collection are very easy to drive earbuds, which are sharing the same impedance of 32 Ohm.

The Lyra Collection has a slightly warmer tonality then those of the NiceHCK EBX.

The sub-bass of the Lyra Collection has slightly more weight and reaches deeper compared to the NiceHCK EBX which has less body.

The bass of the Lyra Collection extends better and has also more control in fast passages with instruments like bass guitars. The lower frequency region of the Astrotec Lyra Collection sounds fuller and is adding more body and warmth to the song without to make the sound veiled.

The NiceHCK EBX is missing some mid-bass weight, which make the overall presentation a bit too dry. Astrotec Lyra Collection is also superior in representing bass texture and resolution.

Both NiceHCK EBX and Astrotec Lyra Collection are very transparent and clean sounding earbuds, which is most noticeable in the midrange department.

Astrotec Lyra sounds fuller and warmer in midrange, which is a result of better weight in the bass area. Female vocals’ sounding very clean and transparent with both earbuds, but the NiceHCK sounds a bit more dry with some voices like Saskia Bruin and Aretha Franklin. The male vocal presentation of the Astrotec Lyra’s sounds more emotional and realistic compared to the EBX earbud, which is missing some fullness in this area.

Instruments like guitar, piano or violin sounding slightly more realistic and intimate with Astrotec Lyra Collection, compared to the colder and slightly dryer sounding presentation of the NiceHCK EBX earbud.

The upper midrange of both the Astrotec Lyra Collection sounds cleaner and more controlled, while the NiceHCK EBX earbud has some sibilance and harshness problems with instruments like piano, violin or flutes, etc.

The treble range of the NiceHCK EBX is more pronounced, then those of the Astrotec Lyra Collection. The detail level of both earbuds is in a high level, but the Lyra Collection is rendering more micro detail than NiceHCK EBX which is otherwise a good performer.

The Astrotec Lyra Collection has more upper treble presence, which gives additional sparkle and air to the sound.

Both earbuds sharing a quite expansive soundstage and they are one of the best TOTL earbuds in this regarding. But they are some differences; The Astrotec Lyra Collection has the upper hand for depth, while both are nearly identical for soundstage wideness. The NiceHCK EBX and Astrotec Lyra Collection are pretty good for imagine and definition, where the Lyra Collection is slightly more accurate.

 

Conclusion:

The Lyra Collection (32 Ohm) is maybe not a very affordable earbud and has many competitors at the market; but Astrotec offers an product with solid build quality, in a luxurious package, with impressive sound quality, that outperforms many IEM’s with almost twice the price.

 

Summary (Pros and Cons):

  • + Wonderful appearance and build quality,
  • + Lots of accessories,
  • + Great sound quality with high detail level,
  • + Easy to drive

 

  • – A bit Pricey
  • – Non Removable Cable

 

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