The Astrotec Lyra Mini is an entry-level addition to the Lyra line of earbuds. It retails for $98 and comes in a new smaller form factor that enhances fit and comfort.
Disclaimer: This sample was provided by Astrotec for the purpose of an honest review. All observations and opinions here are my own based on my experience with the product.
Build quality and design
Improved ergonomics and fit
Shouty upper midrange
Fixed (non-detachable) cable
Astrotec Lyra Mini
High-Purity OFC Silver-Plated Cable.
Large 14mm Dynamic Driver.
Cross-Style Acoustic Filter Design.
Copper Die-Casting Labyrinth Filter.
Ergonomic Design For Comfortable Fit.
Impedance: 32 Ohms.
Frequency Response: 20Hz-35kHz.
Packaging & Accessories
The Lyra Mini is the entry-level model of the series and as such, comes with simplified packaging in order to help keep costs down. The earbuds come in a small square box with the earbuds inside seated in a soft foam insert. Another smaller box contains the accessories which include some foam covers, a nylon carrying pouch and some silicone over-ear guides.
Staying true to its legacy, the Mini has a classic Lyra champagne gold finish. But this time around instead of the usual metal shells, these ones are translucent plastic. The front of the driver enclosure has the same cross-style acoustic filter as seen in previous iterations.
Also making a return is the patented die-casting Labyrinth filter on the rear of the housing. With its irregular shaped micropores, the filter suppresses the refraction of sound waves in the cavity.
Another departure from the higher-end models is the Mini’s fixed cable. Gone are the MMCX connectors which is a bit of a shame but on the bright side, I much prefer the straight cable to ones with the pre-formed heat-shrink ear guides, at least when it comes to earbuds.
The cable is silver-plated copper with a transparent sheath. The Y-split and straight 3.5mm plug are polished aluminium. There’s also a transparent plastic chin slider. Handling is good and the cable has no noticeable microphonics.
Without a doubt, the most significant design change is the reduced size of the Lyra Mini. This makes it so much more comfortable, at least for my ears. It fits almost like an IEM and feels a lot more secure than the bigger versions. Furthermore, the Lyra Mini doesn’t cause uncomfortable hot spots in my ears and I can wear them for longer listening sessions.
The Astrotec Lyra Mini is slightly on the warmer side of neutral with a bright upper midrange lift. It has a mid-forward sound signature with light bass and polite treble. The level of detail retrieval is fairly modest as most of the focus is on the upper midrange. This is a tonality that would appeal to fans of vocal and acoustic music in particular, although it can be intense for those sensitive to the 1-3kHz region.
In terms of driveability, the Lyra Mini is an efficient earbud and can be powered by pretty much anything including smartphones.
The Lyra Mini has a lighter bass in comparison to the Lyra Nature. It’s quite neutral and sits further back in the mix. Leading edges of bass notes are well defined but lack punch and impact. The bass has good texture too but depending on the track can be hard to notice.
Similarly, the sub-bass has a thin rumble and carries little authority. The speed of the bass is good so there’s never any bloat or smothering of the midrange.
The midrange is where the Lyra Mini focuses most of its energy. It’s a forward, bright midrange with ample detail and clarity. The upper midrange, in particular, is heavily boosted and doesn’t need much encouragement to get shouty.
Due to the forward nature of the upper mids, vocals and certain instruments like pianos have a tendency to resonate uncomfortably in your head. This is great for podcasts, however, as vocals are bright and detailed.
The treble is inoffensive and plays in the background behind the upper mids. Crash cymbals sound a little distant in the mix, hidden under the upper mids lift. Thus, the Lyra Mini has fairly poor micro-detail retrieval. However, at the same time, there’s no sibilance or sharpness in the treble region which is always a good thing.
Due to the nature of the Mini’s forward upper-mids presentation and laid back treble, the soundstage is longer than it is wide. As far as earbuds go, the Lyra Mini has quite a narrow stage. Instrument separation is moderate and the overall resolution is slightly below average, especially when there’s a bright piano or electric guitar in the recording as they tend to dominate the scene.
The Astrotec Lyra Mini is a step forward compared to the previous Lyra models when it comes to fit and comfort. The smaller shells feel great in my ears and are much easier to manage. In regards to the Mini’s sound, it will appeal to those who prefer a brighter tonality with a focus on vocals, acoustic music and clarity. As for me, it’s not exactly my cup of tea but excited to see what they can do with this new design going forward.