Astrotec Lyra Mini Review: Mini Looking, Big Sounding

  • Great overall build quality
  • Elegant design
  • Great set of accessories
  • Expansive soundstage

  • Mids sometimes sound aggressive
  • Stiff, nondetachable cable

Astrotec is a company based in China that specializes on portable audio products like in-ear monitors and earbuds. It was founded in 2002 and the word "Astrotec" was from the combined words astronomy and technology. The Lyra Mini is, as of writing this review, the latest and most affordable model in their Lyra series of earbuds and currently retails for 99 USD. Luckily, I won the recent giveaway held by Astrotec for the Lyra Mini.

Impedance: 32 ohms
Sensitivity: 103 dB/1 mW (SPL at 1 kHz) 
Rated power: 2 mW
Max power: 8 mW
Driver unit: 14 mm dynamic, composite material diaphragm
Frequency response: 20 Hz - 35 kHz

Poco X3 paired with iBasso DC03 and Shanling UA1

Test tracks:
Africano - Earth Wind and Fire
Dark Necessities - Red Hot Chili Peppers
Gurenge - Lisa
The Chain - Fleetwood Mac
Monsters - All Time Low
Ours - Taylor Swift
Stay - Mayday Parade
Snuff - Slipknot
Yesterday Once More - Carpenters
So Slow - Freestyle
Aurora Sunrise - Franco
Attention - Pentatonix
Blue Bird - Ikimono-gakari
You're Still The One - Shania Twain
Anyone Who Knows What Love Is(Will Understand) - Irma Thomas
Salamin - Slapshock
AOV - Slipknot
Hey Jude - The Beatles
The Way You Make Me Feel - Michael Jackson
...and a lot more.

Unboxing and Accessories:
The Lyra Mini comes in a minimalistic white sliding box. Upon opening, you will find the Lyra Mini with the drivers held by foams and another smaller box that contains the accessories that include a nylon fabric bag for storage, 3 pairs of donut foams, removable silicone earhooks if you want to wear the Lyra Mini with the cable over the ear, a cleaning tool, velcro strap, and a plastic cap for the 3.5mm plug. You will also find a warranty card and a quality control passed label.
The Lyra Mini uses a 3D printed resin shell with gold accents, and according to Astrotec, they implemented a semi-open back design. On the rear side of the shell there are 3 small vents. The driver caps has this unique 4-pointed star design and is made of metal, as well as the mesh faceplates. The caps sport the Astrotec branding and on the underside of it, there are left and right side indicators. The stems are made of soft rubber that also act as a strain relief and have side indicators as well.
Unfortunately, there is no way to immediately distinguish which side is which without looking closely at the said indicators. This is something that Astrotec can improve in their next releases.

The cable is a basic silver plated copper that is light but quite stiff. I had to put on the velcro strap while taking pictures so that it stays in place and doesn't unravel. There is a chin slider that is made of plastic, while the splitter and the 3.5mm gold plated plug are made of metal.
Now let's get to the sound.

The lows are presented in a laid back manner. Subbass doesn't reach that deep and dissipates fast. Midbass has moderate weight to its punch and has a soft impact and texture at the same time.

Overall, the lows take a step back here. And while the subbass hardly has any contribution as the tracks get busy, I like that the midbass is there to the rescue. It lets its presence felt when needed and accompanies the mids upfront.

The mids are forward and intimate, and kinda gives that "in your face" feeling especially in vocal centric tracks. The mids are also slightly thin, resulting in the female vocals being more highlighted than the male vocals. However, there is a peak somewhere in the upper mids that makes it a bit aggressive and shouty at times, depending on the recording and mastering of the track.

Overall, the mids are the main attraction of the Lyra Mini.
Vocal centric tracks are really enjoyable on these but I recommend putting on full foams instead of the provided donut foams as it significantly reduces the occasional aggressiveness in the mids.

The highs are smooth and have a decent sparkle. The extension is slightly below average, with a decay that is fairly quick. The highs also have this quite noticeable graininess to it, that makes instruments like cymbals sound a bit lacking in its attack.

Overall, the highs of the Lyra Mini are leaning towards a soft presentation. It has a dip in the upper treble region that has an evident, audible effect and I would have liked it more if the treble has a more solid blow. 

Soundstage and Imaging:
The soundstage is very wide, with an above average expansion for an earbud. The height and width of the stage has an equal focus and gives off an airy and spacious feeling to the music. Imaging has great accuracy, layering and instrument separation is above average, and congestion is very minimal.

Astrotec's decision of going back to nondetachable cables, like their earlier releases, is a bit surprising considering the shift they made with their Lyra Nature and Lyra Nature Limited Edition earbuds that both came with detachable cables; which seem to be typical these days and I consider it a necessity at this price point.

Nonetheless, the Astrotec Lyra Mini is a midcentric pair of earbuds that is built well, has a beautiful shell design and great comfort with its 14 mm driver diameter. 15.4 mm and 14.8 mm are the common driver sizes, so the Lyra Mini is one of the more comfortable earbuds available today, even for people with below average size of ear.

Post a Comment

Previous Post Next Post