Accutone is a company that specializes in hands-free communications solutions but they’ve taken their experience and expertise and used it to create a series of consumer earphones. From their website: “Accutone Audio is about music, and our love of music has pushed us to build products that remove the barriers between the musicians and their audience.
Continuing our corporate motto of “Clearer Communication Brings People Closer”, our audio products are able to do just that by delivering exceptionally accurate audio output, just as our beloved artists envisioned.” Today I’ll be looking at one of Accutone’s entry level solutions from their “Standard Line” the Lyra in ear monitor.
Disclaimer: This product was sent to me for the purpose of my honest review. I’m not affiliated with the company and all opinions and observations here are my own, based on my experience with the product. I’d like to thank Angus from Accutone for the opportunity to test the Lyra.
Packaging and accessories
The Lyra in ear monitor comes in three colors: Space Gray, Gold and Rose Gold. I have the Space Gray version. They come in a nice, compact box with an image of the IEMs on the front. Inside you’ll find:
- 3 pairs of silicone tips
- pleather carry case
The carry case is made from black pleather and is a nice addition. It has a magnetic flap on the front with Accutone branding that snaps into place when you close it. I find these more convenient than zippered style cases but this one could benefit from just a touch more depth as the earphones can be a little difficult to get in and out.
The provided silicone tips aren’t the best quality and were all too small for my ears so yet again I drew some extra large ones from my personal stockpile.
Build, comfort and isolation
The cable on the Lyra in ear monitor is really nice for a budget IEM. It feels strong, looks good is supple without kinks/memory and doesn’t feel sticky like some other budget cables. It has very good strain reliefs at the housing, Y-splitter and plug. The cable terminates in a right-angled 3.5 mm plug. There are Left and Right markers on the strain reliefs where the cable connects to the housing but they are near impossible to see, even in sunlight.
There’s also a 3 button inline control and microphone between the Y-splitter and housing. The controls worked perfectly on my Android phone and also on my FiiO DAP.
The housings are nicely crafted metal with an excellent, smooth finish. I find the Lyra to be very comfortable although with a good seal you may want to reposition them occasionally as there are no vents present. They’re very lightweight, adding to their comfort and there are no sharp edges to be found. I can wear these all day without a problem.
Isolation is average to above average, assuming you’re getting a good seal. These are suitable for any but the noisiest of environments.
FiiO X1ii, NiNTAUS X10, MusicBee > Micca OriGen+
The Lyra in-ear monitor is easy to drive and works well with all sources including smartphones and budget DAPs.
The overall sound signature of the Lyra is warm and smooth, slightly V-shaped but still fairly balanced. It’s a non-fatiguing sound that can be comfortably listened to for long music sessions.
While not the most etched bass, these still have good impact and tone. Kick drums sound a little loose but not boomy as they decay pretty quickly, adding some weight and fullness to the sound. Sub-bass has a little boost which fits my preference although on occasion it rolls off a bit early. There’s still enough grunt behind it to be satisfying and push the music along. These are not for bass-heads but for those who like a bit of thump these will do the trick.
Midrange contributes the overall warmth of the Lyra, being a little recessed but bringing vocals to the forefront. They’re not the clearest mids but tonality is natural sounding. Male vocals are smooth and rich as are acoustic and string instruments but things can get a bit congested in busy tracks. Female vocals come across more clearly than their male counterparts sounding vibrant yet smooth and are my favourite part of the middling frequencies.
The Lyra has amazing treble for its price. Everything is beautifully clear and the timbre of percussion in the highs is absolutely wonderful. It’s relaxed but crystal clear and outdoes the treble on much more expensive IEMs. Crash cymbals, high hats, chimes and bells sound really amazing on the Lyra and often make me stop whatever I’m doing and marvel at the sound. There’s a bit of sparkle there but no sign of sibilance. The highs are airy and convey some really impressive detail, making them my favourite aspect of the Lyra.
Soundstage is average, being neither particularly wide or narrow but still able to portray sound beyond the width of your ears. Imaging likewise is respectable but not spectacular, certainly not bad for this price range though.
Fischer Audio Paco ($38 USD)
The Paco has a more textured and punchy bass. The midrange of the Paco is less forward but has more clarity in the lower mids and lacks the superb treble extension and timbre of the Lyra. While the Lyra is very comfortable the Paco is even more so due to its tiny size and tapered rear housings. The Paco comes with a small carry pouch while the Lyra is accompanied by Accutone’s excellent case but the ear-tips provided with the Paco are far superior in quality. Lastly, the Paco has very clear Left and Right markers while the ones on the Lyra are practically pointless as they’re so hard to see.
Brainwavz Jive ($28 USD)
The Jive has a thinner or cooler signature than the Lyra. The lower mids and male vocals are more clear on the Jive but also more recessed. The Lyra keeps its tenacious hold on the treble prize, being more extended and vibrant. The bass on the Jive is more etched and punchy and has a little more reach in sub-bass. Comfort wise the Jive comes out ahead for the same reasons as the Paco – tapered rear housing, smaller size and silky smooth finish. Brainwavz’ Jive is a complete package with better ear-tips and bulkier but more versatile carry case. For overall sound, I prefer Accutone’s offering but for the entire package, the Jive is still hard to beat.
Accutone Lyra Conclusion
Accutone have a great entry level in-ear monitor with the Lyra. It’s well built, lightweight and comfortable. The sound is slightly mid-forward with a rich, warm sound that’s balanced by one of, if not the best treble I’ve heard in a sub $50 IEM.
If the lower mids were a little clearer this would be an absolute killer earphone but as it stands is still a very competent performer. My only criticisms would be the sub-par supplied ear-tips and poor Left and Right markers. Apart from that its a strong offering at a low price with a musical presentation, solid build and definitely worth taking a look at.