PROS: Warm and Smooth Sounding, Top-Notch Build Quality, Premium Look and Feel, Removable Cable.
CONS: Stiff and Springy Cable, Bass Response is on the Lighter Side.
The Lyra Nature earbud was provided free of charge by Astrotec in exchange for a review.
Purchase Link: AliExpress.com
Nature comes with a standard set of accessories. Apart from the earbuds, you get a hard clamshell case, a few foam donut sleeves and a few shark fin silicone donut sleeves and a cleaning tool.
Build Quality, Fit and Cable:
Nature’s shell are made from metal (Aluminum) with a matte grey finish. It’s a very sophisticated looking earbud to my eyes and the build quality is just as impressive. The size of the shell is on the larger size like the MX500 shells. As it is made of metal, the shells are not the lightest. But because the earbud uses an over-the-ear-cable wearing design, it stays in place securely and comfortably. While it stays comfortably in place, those with small ears might not get the best fit/seal, which can result in early bass roll-off.
The stock cable is a stiff and a springy cable. I don’t much a problem when I am wearing it. But it tends to tangle itself when coiled for storage, so when I take it out for listening, I’d have to spend a minute or 2 to untangle the cable. But the good news is, Nature comes with a replaceable cable feature and uses an MMCX connection. At some point, I can see myself replacing the cable, if not for the improvement in sound quality, at least for the improvement in user friendliness.
Lyra Nature has a mid-centric sound with respect to its roll-off in low end and the smooth top end. As mentioned in the previous section, the point where the bass rolls off will depend on the seal. With a poor seal, bass will roll off way too early leaving you with very little bass response. With a good seal, you do get a better bass response, but still a little bass light compared to other earbuds. Because of this, some instruments come across as lacking weight and foundation.
The treble is tuned to be more linear and smooth and I think the tuning choice of the treble supplements the mid-centric signature very well, as it helps to retain the timbre of vocals and instruments. It is not a very airy treble, nor is it completely dull. People who prefer a sparkly treble and high levels of detail retrieval, might want to look else where.
Nature’s specialty is its midrange. Its upper-mids are toned down just a tiny bit, which results in a warm and full bodied notes that ensures good instrument and vocal timbre. The slightly rounded off upper-mids causes a slight loss in transparency and articulation and sometimes tend to result in slight muddiness. Overall its a very sweet and musical sounding midrange. As for the non-tonal aspects such as soundstage, separation and layering, Nature does a commendable job. While it won’t make your jaws drop, it won’t leave you wishing for more either.
Lyra Nature ($170) vs DQSM Turandot ($220):
Build and Cable: As for the build quality, while the Turandot looks almost jewel like due to its chrome finish, after a few weeks of use it starts developing blemishes apart from taking scratches. While the Nature doesn’t look as regal, even after 2 months the matte finish holds its looks and finish much better than the Turandot. I do prefer the thin and supple stock cable of the Turandot over the thick and spring cable of the Nature. But Nature does have the ability to replace cables.
Sound: I have described the signature of the Turandot as kind of similar to a HD650, with respect to its rolled-off sub-bass, not the most defined mid-bass, sweet sounding midrange and a smooth, linear treble. And in a way even Nature is not far from that. It is basically like the Turandot with an earlier roll-off in the bass, smoother treble and warmer midrange. Or the other way to put it is, take the Nature and give better extension on both ends, add some more bass authority and some sparkle in the treble, and some clarity in the midrange and you would arrive at the Turandot. When it comes to performance, such as soundstage and separation, Turandot being the more expensive earbud, it has the upper hand there.
Lyra Nature is a warm, full-bodied and mid-centric sounding earbud. While it may not have a colossal stage or the best technical performance, the warm and syrupy signature is something one can appreciate amidst the current trend of highly detailed phones. It has the advantage to replace cables if you choose to and has one of the best build and finish I have seen in a earbud. If you are looking for a well-made, warm and mid-centric earbud, Astrotec’s Lyra Nature just might me your ticket.