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Campfire Audio Lyra

Rating:
3.77778/5,
  1. ade_hall
    Smooth operator
    Written by ade_hall
    Published Sep 20, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Superb high quality looks and build, relaxed engaging sound
    Cons - Maybe a little polite for some, personal fit issues
    Many thanks to d marc0 and Campfire for arranging this tour unit.
     
    So it looks like the Lyra is no longer available in its current guise and is due for a reboot at some stage, let's hope CA can maintain the exceptional build quality and improve on the already good sound, here's my brief thoughts...
     
    The Lyra is physically smaller then the Orion and is a much better fit for anyone with less than average size ears like me, I still had problems due to the wide bore and shallow fit and could only really use the included small silicon tips, which was a shame as the foams seem to sound slightly better to me. I also had an annoying fit issue with the left, where I had to get it just right for a decent sound. I do hope Campfire will consider those with smaller than regular lugs in the future!
     
    The build quality is outstanding and the high gloss ceramic looks even better in real life. I really like the modern angular design of the rest of Campfire's lineup but if I had to make a choice it would probably be the understated classy elegance of the Lyra.
     
    Overall, the Lyra has a relaxing, warm smooth sound that is not overly bassy but has a bass sheen that is ever present. Technically, it might not have the speed, separation or clarity as some but this is an iem where the whole is greater than the sum of its parts and if you can submit to its charms will reward you with an engaging enjoyable 'musical' listen. 
     
    I tried it with a few sources including iPhone, Ipods, HM801 and Mojo, all were decent but surprisingly (for me) I found the synergy with the Mojo to be really good, I would have expected the smooth nature of both to be too much but this was not the case, maybe the Lyra likes power or the Mojo’s forward and Lyra’s slightly restrained mids make a good match.
     
    It’s not all roses for me though, as well as the fiddly fit, after a few days of listening each time, I did find myself wanting a bit more bite, clarity and bass speed/texture,  these will suit some people more than others, personally I prefer to listen to something that suits my general tastes over a longer period rather than changing all the time.  
     
    This is a high quality premium package and is recommended if the signature suits or if you just fancy a change of pace every now and again.

  2. daduy
    A solid, warm, relaxing and laid back IEM that will please a lot of people
    Written by daduy
    Published Sep 3, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build quality, cable quality, warm and relaxing signature, fits really nice, detachable cable, good isolation.
    Cons - Price, can sound too warm for some songs
    Disclaimer
     
    I got this unit as part of Australia/New Zealand tour arranged by @d marc0, thank you very much for including me in this tour :)
     
    Introduction
     
    I am just another music fans in this world, I love listening to music, and that made me stumble into head-fi around 8 years ago when looking for the best way to listen to my music. I am not in anyway an audiophile, heck not even close, so please forgive any lack of details in my review. Most importantly this is my personal impression on the unit, most likely i heard things differently than you, my 
    ears, my preferences, my brain :)
     
    As the last member of the tour I am lucky enough to listen to Lyra for quite a long time, and it has been a great pleasure. I mostly use them with LG V10 direct without any amp. The source will be either Spotify premium or my own mp3/flac.
     
    Build Quality and Design
     
    The build quality is pretty much on par with Orion if not better, it's made to last a long time, very sturdy and solid. The design is a bit different though, the Lyra have round corner while Orion has edges, that makes the Lyra a bit more comfortable compare to Orion.
     
    Sound Quality
     
    Ok the most important part for me, sound quality, so how do they sound? For me they sounded warm and relaxing, very smooth and enjoyable. When I listen for them the first time, I was bit overwhelmed with how warm they were, but in time I got used to it and enjoy them a lot. 
     
    This warmness, is pretty much the signature sound for Lyra, it really brings the music alive, providing beats and atmosphere as needed. Listening to instrumental guitar brings a lot of joy as the mid-bass provide a body to the string sound that made them sound full and rich. It works pretty well with Classical music too as the mid-bass just provide those necessary atmosphere to bring the orchestra to it's full glory. At times however this mid-bass can sounds a bit too much, depending on the type of music and how they were engineered, but this happens like in 1 out of 20 songs that i tried, and those particular song wasn't mastered really well in my opinion.
     
    One thing that I noticed as well is Lyra has a lot of details, it might not be so apparent because the sound signature of Lyra is not bright, but having said that the treble is definitely there and well extended, and it's just about the right amount. I usually prefer a bright sounding headphones/IEM but the treble tuning on the Lyra works very well for me.  
     
    Comparison
     
    Now this is a bit hard to me, because I don't own any IEM on the same price leve as the Lyra, so I am going to compare them with what I have.
     
    Lyra vs Phonak PFE 012
    Well this is not even a comparison, Lyra definitely outclassed my Phonak. Resolution, details, imaging, they're just far above the Phonak, the only thing the Phonak won is the comfort, but that's about it.
     
    Lyra vs Fostex TH-600
    Ok this is obviously not a fair comparison, for me TH-600 outclassed Lyra, but not as bad as how the Lyra outclassed the Phonak. One thing for certain is the big difference in sound signature. The Lyra is warm sounding while Fostex is more U shaped kind of sound signature. Other than the sound signature difference, i feel that the Fostex bring out more details, resolution and soundstage. Yes yes i know it's not a fair comparison, but Lyra shows a a good fight here.
     
    Right, so to summ it up, if we draw a line between Phonak and Fostex (in term of sound quality), the Lyra is probably three quarter toward the Fostex, and for me that's is quite good for IEM.
     
    Summary 
     
    I have always prefer full size headphones compare to IEM, until i tried Noble Savant. Campfire Audio Lyra is the 2nd IEM I've heard that i think can equal or surpassed full size headphones, and in my book that saying a lot.
     
    They are beautifully built and solid, have sound signature that will definitely please a lot of sound (but not everyone), provide enough details and resolutions but stays musical at the same times, and comes with good leather case, cable and accessories....they got the whole package, at a price.
     
    I suppose my only gripe is the price, I don't have any similarly priced IEM, and they do deliver, but somehow I kind of expecting more from them, maybe it's just my sound signature preferences, or maybe I haven't heard enough IEM to appreciate them more, but it is what it is and the price + the sound signature cut 1 star from the rating for me.
     
    But if you got the money and like your music warm, look no further, Campfire Audio Lyra won't disappoint.
      Brooko and d marc0 like this.
  3. piksnz
    An excellent all rounder with creamy bass a dream of every bass head
    Written by piksnz
    Published Aug 20, 2016
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Excellent bass control, superb dynamics, build material, bang for buck
    Cons - Vocals tend be softer, wire resonance sound
    [​IMG]
      d marc0 likes this.
  4. Brooko
    Campfire Audio Lyra – Warm, Lush, Smooth
    Written by Brooko
    Published Jun 26, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Build quality, sound quality, frequency cohesion, imaging / staging, fit, comfort , accessories, cable quality
    Cons - Price, minor cable issues
    lyra18.jpg
    For larger views of any of the photos (1200 x 800) - please click on the individual images

    INTRODUCTION

    Firstly I want to shout out to Mark (Head-Fier d marc0) for working with Ken Ball from ALO/Campfire for making this tour possible, and also for inviting me. Secondly I’d like to thank Ken once again for letting the tour go ahead.

    So far I've managed to review the Campfire Orion (which I thought was a spectacular IEM), and I've also heard prototypes of the Andromeda (hopefully I'll get the chance to hear the final version at some stage). I chose not to review the Jupiter because I did not think I could give an objective evaluation (it would be fair to say that the Jupiter and I did not get along at all).

    Which leads me to the final IEM in the Campfire Audio tour – the ceramic encased Lyra. Could this wow me like the Orion did?

    ABOUT CAMPFIRE AUDIO
    Before Mark approached me I’d never heard of them. Then he mentioned the name Ken Ball and things clicked into place. Ken of course is the CEO and founder of ALO Audio (2006) and ALO is very well known for creating high quality audio components – including cables, amplifiers and all manner of other audio equipment. Ken founded Campfire Audio last year – with a vision of creating extremely high quality earphones with excellence in design, materials and of course sound quality.

    DISCLAIMER
    The Campfire Audio Lyra was provided to me for review as part of a tour. I get to use it for 7-10 days then it goes to the next person. The only obligation I have as part of the tour is that I need to write about it. I am not affiliated to Campfire or ALO Audio in any way, and this is my subjective opinion of the Lyra.

    The Campfire Audio Lyra can be sourced directly from Campfire Audio for USD 749

    PREAMBLE - 'ABOUT ME'.
    I'm a 49 year old music lover. I don't say audiophile – I just love my music. Over the last couple of years, I have slowly changed from cheaper listening set-ups to my current set-up. I vary my listening from portables (including the FiiO X5ii, X3ii, X7, LP5 Pro and L3, and iPhone 5S) to my desk-top's set-up (PC > USB > iFi iDSD). I also use a portable set-up at work – usually either X3ii/X7/L3 > HP, or PC > E17K > HP. My main full sized headphones at the time of writing are the Beyerdynamic T1, Sennheiser HD600 & HD630VB, and AKG K553. Most of my portable listening is done with IEMs, and lately it has mainly been with the Jays q-Jays, Alclair Curve2 and Adel U6. A full list of the gear I have owned (past and present is listed in my Head-Fi profile).

    I have very eclectic music tastes listening to a variety from classical/opera and jazz, to grunge and general rock. I listen to a lot of blues, jazz, folk music, classic rock, indie and alternative rock. I am particularly fond of female vocals. I generally tend toward cans that are relatively neutral/balanced, but I do have a fondness for clarity, and suspect I might have slight ‘treble-head’ preferences. I am not treble sensitive (at all), and in the past have really enjoyed headphones like the K701, SR325i, and of course the T1 and DT880. I have a specific sensitivity to the 2-3 kHz frequency area (most humans do) but my sensitivity is particularly strong, and I tend to like a relatively flat mid-range with slight elevation in the upper-mids around this area.

    I have extensively tested myself (ABX) and I find aac256 or higher to be completely transparent. I do use exclusively red-book 16/44.1 if space is not an issue. All of my music is legally purchased (mostly CD – the rest FLAC purchased on-line). I tend to be sceptical about audiophile ‘claims’, don’t generally believe in burn-in, have never heard a difference with different cables, and would rather test myself blind on perceived differences. I am not a ‘golden eared listener’. I suffer from mild tinnitus, and at 49, my hearing is less than perfect (it only extends to around 14 kHz nowadays).
    Over the last week I’ve used the Lyra paired with most of the sources I have at my disposal – from my iPhone to the L5Pro and X7. But for the review I’ve used mainly my X3ii + E17K. In the time I’ve been using the Lyra, I haven’t noticed any sonic change. And although I used the Lyra coupled with several different amplifiers, they are easily driven, and will pair nicely with most sources straight from the headphone out.

    This is a purely subjective review - my gear, my ears, and my experience. Please take it all with a grain of salt - especially if it does not match your own experience.

    THE REVIEW


    PACKAGING AND ACCESSORIES
    lyra01.jpg lyra02.jpg

    Distinctive Campfire Audio boxes

    Opening the cover to reveal the carry case


    The Lyras arrived in the distinctive Campfire 76 x 116 x 54 mm rainbow coloured thin cardboard retail hinged lid box. It once again has that sort of 70’s psychedelic vibe about the patterning on it – and is very distinctive. The top (lid) simply has the word Lyra and a short description, and the front face has a picture of the Lyras. Probably the one thing to immediately catch my eye was on the top cover “Beryllium PVD Dynamic Driver + Ceramic Housing”. This could be something pretty special.

    lyra03.jpg lyra07.jpg

    Full accessory package

    Inside the case


    Opening the lid reveals the Campfire Audio case, and once again it really is a very sturdy case, but more “jacket or bag pocket-able” than trousers. It measures approx. 75 x 115 x 40 mm. The case is finished in tanned nu-back leather, is zipped on 3 sides, and when opened reveals a soft wool interior which will definitely protect and preserve your IEMs.

    lyra04.jpg lyra05.jpg

    The campfire manual

    Nice to see full specs included


    Under the case is a hidden compartment which reveals the accessories. These include:

    1. S/M/L silicone tips
    2. S/M/L generic foam tips (some of these were missing from the demo pack)
    3. S/M/L genuine Comply T400 tips
    4. A cleaning brush / wax remover
    5. A Campfire Audio logo clothing button / pin
    6. Campfire’s fold-out user manual (incl care instructions and warranty info)
    lyra06.jpg lyra08.jpg

    Included tips

    The actual Lyra and Tinsel cable


    You really don’t need any more than what is included, as the cinch on the cable negates the need for a shirt clip. At this price point, I'd normally expect a 3.5-6.3mm adaptor, but most people who're buying in this price range would normally have a few spares around – and Campfire do include their Tinsel silver plated cable which is pretty high value if purchased separately ($149).

    Whilst a smaller carry case may have been nice – I can understand the use for the larger case – it is just easier to handle and pack the Lyras, and it is very premium and jacket pocket friendly.

    TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS
    I’ve listed below the main specifications for the Campfire Lyra.

    Type
    Single 8.5mm full range dynamic driver
    Driver type
    Beryllium PVD diaphragm
    Current Retail
    $749 (Campfire Website)
    Freq Range
    8 Hz – 28 kHz
    Impedance (earphone)
    17 ohm (@ 1kHz)
    Sensitivity
    110 dB @ 1V @ 1 kHz
    THD
    <0.5% (1 kHz, 94 dB)
    Attenuation / Isolation
    -26 dB
    Jack
    3.5mm gold plated, 90 deg
    Cable
    1.35m, removable (MMCX) – silver plated copper (ALO Tinsel)
    Weight
    25g including cable and tips
    IEM Shell
    Zirconium Oxide Ceramic (ZrO2)
    Body shape / fit
    Ergonomic, cable over ear



    FREQUENCY GRAPH
    The graphs below are generated using the Vibro Veritas coupler and ARTA software. I must stress that they aren’t calibrated to IEC measurement standards, but the raw data I’m getting has been very consistent, and is actually not too far away from the raw data measured by other systems except for above 4-5 kHz where it shows significantly lower than measurements performed on a properly calibrated rig. So when reading the graphs, don’t take them as gospel – or at least remember that the area above 4-5 kHz will be significantly higher in actuality. It is my aim to get this system calibrated at some stage in the near future.

    channel.png vsorion.png

    Lyra on my rig - almost perfect channel matching & very good transitions

    Lyra compared to Orion


    What I’m hearing (subjective) – noted before I ever had these on the measurement bench.

    1. Elevated mid and sub bass (warmer tonality) but not what I would call overdone.
    2. Very clean and coherent mid-range which seems to have a slight rise in my favoured presence area (around 2 or 3 kHz). Female vocals sound very good and there is a nice transition from mids to upper mids
    3. Reasonably well extended but very smooth lower treble which falls well short of excessive sibilance (for me) and remains detailed with sufficient air for clarity.
    4. Overall I’d say that the Lyra has a warm and smooth frequency response, but it also has good overall balance. The bass on these is definitely north of neutral, but at the same time there is enough balance through the mid-range, and upper end detail boost in the lower treble to sound very coherent.

    As you can see from the graph the drivers are matched almost perfectly (and some of the differences shown in my measurements are likely to be minor differences in seating each ear piece). They are practically identical. When Ken says his team hand-pick and match the drivers, it isn’t just “marketing speak”. Well done!

    BUILD & DESIGN
    To me – the sign of a good earphone is often clean, simple lines, and a really solids build – but ergonomic and with comfort at the forefront. I wasn't overly keen on the initial Jupiter or Orion due to some sharp angle on the internal side. The Lyra on the other hand may be one of the best designed shell to come out of Campfire to date.

    lyra11.jpg lyra10.jpg

    Smoothed internal faces for a comfortable fit - note angled nozzle

    Top vent + you can just see the 3 piece nature of the shells


    The Lyra uses a high mass, ultra high density ceramic (Zirconium Oxide Ceramic or ZrO2) shell. Ken says that he used this material because as an acoustic chamber it minimises any vibration, and allows an extended higher frequency and natural tonality. There is a lot that goes into the manufacturing of these shells as well. First steps involve processes to mix the ceramic material, granulate, injection mould and debind. This is followed by a sintering process (72 hours at 1400 deg C) to harden and shrink the ceramic. The end result is a gorgeous black shiny shell with an ergonomic design and well smoothed internals.

    lyra09.jpg lyra12.jpg

    Very ergonomic shape

    Better view of angled nozzles and connectors


    The Lyra measures approximately 20mm in length, 14mm in height and has a depth of approx. 20mm (including the nozzle). The actual main body is around 7mm thick. The nozzle itself is angled slightly forward and slightly up when worn, extends approx. 12mm from the main body (domed housing area and nozzle), and has an external diameter of 6mm. The shape is very ergonomic, and the Lyra is designed to be used with the cable over ear. The IEM shell is 3 pieces in total – nozzle, shell and back plate, but the seams are very smooth. There are L/R marking on the inside of both ear pieces and the Campfire logo is also discretely engraved on the outer face. There is a small vent or port adjacent to the cable exit on each earpiece. The finish is a subtle carbon black gloss, and these really do look gorgeous. Another point to note is that the driver for the Lyra is actually a custom 8.5mm beryllium PVD transducer.

    lyra13.jpg lyra14.jpg

    External face with Campfire logo - memory wire on Tinsel cable is good

    Internal face with L / R indicators


    At the top of the shell is a beryllium coated MMCX connector, and when used with the supplied silver plated copper ALO Tinsel cable, the connection is made with a very reassuring click. The cables do rotate in their sockets, but the connection itself seems to be very robust. Unfortunately this is one of those things that only time can be the judge of – but the craftsmanship and material used seem to indicate longevity (to me anyway).

    lyra15.jpg lyra17.jpg

    MMCX connection system seems very stable

    Y-split and cinch


    As I mentioned, the cable is ALO’s “Tinsel” which is high purity sliver-plated copper wire encased in an FEP jacket. FEP is similar to Teflon, and some of the traits it has include resistance to chemicals, sweat, water, and oil. This means it should protect the wires from oxidation, and eliminate the “greening” effect. The male MMCX connector is again beryllium coated, fits very snugly, and has either a blue or red dot on the connector to indicate L/R. There is a 75mm length of memory wire for over-ear wear, and I’ve found this very malleable, but also holds its shape very well. The cable is approximately 1.4m long, and consists of two twisted pairs above the Y split which continue as a twisted quad right through to the jack. The Y split is small and light and houses an in-built cinch which works really well, but can be a little loose. The jack is 3.5mm, right angled, and has clear rubber housing. Strain relief is excellent. The jack will also fit my iPhone 5S with case in place, although YMMV as the diameter of the rubber base is around 6mm.

    lyra16.jpg lyra19.jpg

    Jack - very good relief

    Overall quality is excellent


    The one thing I did find with the Tinsel cable is that when sitting down (quiet environment with the cable sitting above my clothes), it could be very slightly microphonic. It’s not terrible, but there was some noise. However, I’ve used it a few times walking and with cable management (inside clothes) and use of the cinch, there is practically no cable noise at all. It was actually very good. The other thing to note with the cable is that they are prone to tangling, but if you are like me, and tend to wind carefully, and use the included ties, you shouldn’t have too many issues. If you are the type to scrunch and slip into a pocket though – you are going to get frustrated.

    So both aesthetically and physically I am highly impressed with the build and design, So how are they when worn?

    FIT / COMFORT / ISOLATION
    Fit for me is fantastic – the shells are very ergonomic in shape, and this includes the angle of the nozzles and also the placement of the cable exits. The shells (when fitted) do not extend outside my outer ear, and I would have no issues lying down with the Lyra. The memory wire is also really well implemented here so that snugging the wires properly is easy. The fit is usually shallow with ergonomic shells, but with the rounded internal edges, I have no issues getting a pretty good seal by simply pushing the earpieces in a little better.

    Comfort is brilliant – there are no hard edges which I encountered with the Orion or Jupiter, and I can use these comfortably for hours. As far as isolation goes, it will be tip dependent. For me, using large Comply T400 tips, or standard foams the isolation is extremely good for a dynamic driver.

    lyra20.jpg lyra21.jpg lyra22.jpg

    Most tips fit well including Spiral Dots and Spinfits

    Also Ostry tuning tips and Sony Isolation

    My favourites were simple generic foams


    And speaking of tips – those who’ve read my reviews will know that I have one ear canal slightly different to the other one (my right is very slightly smaller) - so I tend to find that usually single silicon flanges don't fit overly well. This is often even more of an issue with shallow fitting IEMs. I tried the large included silicones and was surprised to find them very comfortable and capable of getting a good seal. So I ran through some of the other tips I normally try.

    Sony Isolation tips gave instant seal and brilliant results – but I had to be careful about some vacuum issues with any change of pressure. I also fit and had great success with Ostry’s blue and black tuning tips, Spin-fits, and also Spiral Dots. The lip on the Lyra is fantastic for every tip I tried and I credit the reason for a lot of the success with the tips I tried to the angle of the nozzle. It isn’t just good – it is perfect.

    So everything is close to perfect so far – no issues with build, comfort or other design features. How do they sound?

    SOUND QUALITY
    The following is what I hear from the Campfire Audio Lyra. YMMV – and probably will – as my tastes are likely different to yours (read the preamble I gave earlier for a baseline). Most of the testing at this point (unless otherwise stated) was done with my FiiO X7 (AM3 module) and large generic foam tips. For the record – on most tracks, the volume level on the X7 with the AM3 single ended was 35/120 on low gain which was giving me an SPL range of around 65-75 dB (C weighted measurements from my SPL meter). If I was using balanced from the AM3, 28-29/120 gave me the same volume level.
    lyra24.jpg
    Tracks used were across a variety of genres – and most can be viewed in this list http://www.head-fi.org/a/brookos-test-tracks.

    Initial Thoughts
    It took me a while to get used to the Lyra, but at no stage has it ever been a sense of bass overdone, but maybe just one of bass slightly enhanced. And the more I have listened to them, the more I have come to enjoy their understated smooth tonality, and also their overall sense of balance. They are simply a very easy to listen to earphone. I've sometimes tweaked their upper mid-range and lower treble a bit in the time I've had them – but more often I've just allowed my ears to get used to the default signature. And what they remind me of a little is the HD650. Just a really smooth and spacious listening experience, slightly on the lush side – but with enough upper end to maintain clarity.

    The devices I’ve paired them with hasn’t mattered either. I’ve tried them with the X7, L3 (balanced), solo out of the X3ii or paired with the E17K, with Martin’s new hybrid portable tube amp, and even with just my iPhone. Each has a slightly different flavour, and with each the overall sound has been very good. On the slightly warm and smooth side yes, but never too dark or bassy.

    Overall Detail / Clarity / Resolution
    Tracks used: Gaucho, Sultans of Swing


    1. Slightly elevated bass response gives a little more bass guitar than truly balanced, but doesn't hide or mask detail.
    2. Very good cohesion in the mid-range, but appears very slightly distant compared to some of the more mid-forward earphones I've listened to lately. This is not necessarily a bad thing
    3. Clean and clear in the presence area with very good detail especially around vocals and guitar.
    4. Very good upper end detail (hi-hats/cymbals) with good decay – no signs of being over done. Just enough heat to balance things nicely.
    5. No signs of lack of resolution – some who prefer brighter presentations may find these a little on the smooth side.

    Sound-stage & Imaging + Sibilance Test
    Tracks used: Tundra, Dante’s Prayer, Let it Rain, Flower Duet (Lakme)

    1. Very good directional cues, definitely outside the periphery of my head space – so very good feeling of width and also of depth.
    2. Imaging is very clean and clear and very good separation of instruments without being clinical. No signs of smearing.
    3. Dante's Prayer was brilliant with an amazing contrast between the cello, piano, and Loreena's vocals. Portrayal of both piano and cello was very realistic.
    4. Excellent immersion (applause section of Dante's Prayer) with impression that crowd is around you (you are sitting right in it). Extremely good sense of depth as well.
    5. Live recording of Lakme's Flower Duet (Netrebko and Garanca) had very good presentation of space and was really easy to listen to – no signs of sharpness.
    6. Sibilance is present in “Let It Rain” - I know it exists in the recording. For me it is slightly more present than in other earphones – could be the 7 kHz peak. Not un-listenable though.

    Bass Quality and Quantity
    Tracks used: Bleeding Muddy Water, Royals, Electric Daisy Violin

    1. Muddy Waters presentation is excellent – gloomy and dark the way it is supposed to be.
    2. Very good mid-bass impact without being overdone. Mark's vocals have wonderful presentation of timbre, and texture.
    3. Good speed and bass resolution – not too boomy, but there is slight decay present.
    4. No real signs of bass bleed into the mid-range
    5. Good sub-bass for rumble (“Royals”) but not over-done (extremely good balance actually). Ella's vocals are clean and clear and have quite good tonality.
    6. Electric Daisy Violin shows really good clean impact, and while I personally would like a little more balance or forwardness in the mid-range, lovers of a more lush and warm presentation will love the Lyra.

    Female Vocals
    Tracks used : Aventine, Strong, For You, Human, The Bad In Each Other, Howl, Safer, Light as a Feather, Don’t Wake me Up, Ship To Wreck, Mile On the Moon

    1. Very good transition from lower-mids to upper-mids. Enough sweetness in the presence area to sound slightly euphonic.
    2. Good contrast between vocals and lower pitch of instruments like cello
    3. No signs of stridency with Aventine and Strong
    4. Strong and punchy bass impact with music with highly dynamic content (Feist, FaTM) – and again the contrast between bass and vocals is excellent.
    5. Wonderful with slower “jazzy” female vocals and especially with artists like Gabriella Cilmi, Norah Jones and Sarah Jarosz. Tonality I could listen to for hours. Again HD650 like.
    6. Smoother than some of my favourite IEMs for female vocals (I usually like just a touch more emphasis in 2-3 kHz) but I really can't fault this tuning – it sounds very natural.

    Male Vocals
    Track used: Away From the Sun, Art for Art’s Sake, Broken Wings, Hotel California, Immortality (Seether), Keith Don’t Go, Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town.


    1. This tuning is extremely good for male vocals – good presence and depth and not in the slightest bit thin or recessed.
    2. Excellent bass presence and still enough contrast with lead guitar – although again smoother and warmer than I am used to.
    3. Good portrayal of classic rock artists like 10CC and Jethro Tull. Mix of detail and tonality is good. This is one area I'd like to dial back the sub-bass just a notch.
    4. Brilliant with acoustic tracks or slower rock. Alter Bridge's Broken Wings was pure joy to listen to – although again I'd just like to dial back the sub-bass a little. Both Hotel California and Keith Don't Go were smooth, clear and thoroughly enjoyable.
    5. Pearl Jam was excellent – I really liked the overall texture and tonality – especially with Eddie's vocals. Cymbal decay was really good. Very easy to listen to.

    Other Genres
    Tracks used: Money, Trains, Ruins, So What, Love Me like a Man, Lifts You Up, India / Mountain Time, Lose Yourself, Little Man, This Is What It Feels Like, Turning Tables, Speed of Sound, Is There a Ghost, Dawn To Flight, Vivaldi 4 Seasons 'Spring' (Allegro), Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto in D OP 35 1st Movement, Escape Artist, Moonlight Sonata (1)

    1. With Alt Rock (Money, Trains) both tracks are just a little on the warm side for my liking – but they are still resolving very well. Good presentation of contrasting instruments on the whole.
    2. Jazz – good detail and generally good tonality. I'd still prefer just a little more mid-range presence, or a little less bass presence. Presentation of cymbals is very good and decay is realistically portrayed. Krall's Love Me Like a Man was fantastic – the Lyra really does piano incredibly well.
    3. Blues – very good. Beth Hart's “Lifts You Up” is from the Live at Paradiso recording which can often be a little to bright (it is recorded on the hot side) – on the Lyra it is perfect. Bonamassa on the other hand was smooth, velvety – but could have just used a little more edge on the guitar for me.
    4. Hip-hop, Trip-Hop, Trance, Electronic – the Lyra shines here. Great bass impact, and enough heat in the lower treble to really balance things out. Probably my favourite single genre (along with Indie) when listening with the Lyra.
    5. Pop – really good. Another example where the Lyra can really scale the heights. Managed to smooth some of the peakiness of Adele's Turning Tables (its the recording), and Coldplay's speed of sound was just an overall good blend of bass and mid-range. Nothing to complain about here.
    6. Indie – another strength here. A lot of Indie can be again recorded a little on the trebly or bright side. The Lyra's natural lush tonality complements this well – taking the edge of anything with slightly peaky recording.
    7. Classical – brilliant with piano and very good with stringed instruments generally (but especially with cello). Good sense of depth, imaging and separation with most orchestral pieces – and the only thing I found slightly lacking was just a little air with some recordings. Overall – very good.

    AMPLIFICATION REQUIREMENTS
    As I alluded to earlier, the Lyra is easily driven out of a smartphone or DAP, and on my iPhone 5S I’m generally sitting around 25-35%. Any higher and its getting a bit uncomfortably loud.
    lyra23.jpg
    I also volume matched and compared X3ii vs X3ii + E17K, and there was no discernible audible difference in dynamic presentation – so I think it is pretty safe to say that extra amping won’t be necessary. Based on the specs alone (17 ohm and 110dB SPL), straight out of the headphone-out of most sources should be more than enough.

    Of course you need to be aware of the relatively high sensitivity and low impedance of the Lyra, so ideally a source with under 2 ohms output impedance is desirable. I already knew I wouldn't hear any hiss (my hearing is not sensitive enough) so I seconded my daughter Emma and her incredibly sensitive 12 yo ears to try with the X3ii and E17K. She could hear very faint noise at 55/60 (no music playing) but at that level with actual music playing you'd be deaf anyway. So the Lyra seems to be pretty hiss free on low impedance sources.

    RESPONSE TO EQ?
    This was an easy one for me because I already had the frequency plot, so knew exactly what I'd like. Using the E17Ks tone controls (paired with the X3ii) I dropped the bass -4 dB, leaving me a slight mid-bass hump with its apex slightly higher than the small bump in the upper mids. To be fair, some will find this tuning a little bass light. For me it is perfect. I would pay real money for this default tuning. It just allows the mids to shine a little more.

    COMPARISONS
    This is a hard one due to the price of the Lyra – I wanted something in the same bracket, but I also didn't want to pitch it unfairly against multi-driver hybrids or pure multi-driver Bas. In the end I chose to just use two – the single dynamic Rhapsodio RTi1 (usually $800 – currently $500), and the single dynamic MEE P1 which although is only $200 I didn't think would be too far out of place against the Lyra.

    As always, the IEMs were compared after volume matching (SPL meter and test tones), but the comparisons are completely subjective. For these tests I used the X3ii and E17K (no EQ) – simply because it is easier to volume match with this combo.

    Lyra $749 vs Rhapsodio RTi1 $500 current ($800 standard RRP).
    lyra25.jpg
    vsrti1.png

    Campfire Lyra and the Rhapsodio RTi1

    Comparative frequency responses


    Both are single dynamic drivers, and both are in an ergonomically shaped high quality shell. When I look at the actual fit and finish though the Lyra has the slight edge on overall finish quality. If find both to be exceptionally comfortable to wear. Cable quality is similar – although TBH I prefer the ergonomics of the RTi1 cable over the Lyra. This would change if Ken included the new litz cable (from Andromeda/Nova).

    Comparatively, both have very similar levels of bass, both have very good transition from the lower to upper mids, and both have somewhat similar lower treble. The biggest difference occurs from about 2-5 kHz where comparatively the Rti1 has a lot more presence, and the Lyra is comparatively lower. This manifests itself with the Lyra being smoother and lusher, while the RTi1 is airier, brighter – but is also occasionally a little hazy. RTi1's presence for female vocals is also a little sweeter, but you could also argue that this is a little more coloured rather than neutral. As it is I can enjoy both presentations (they are both excellent), and I if could make a combination from the two of them I think that would be ideal – cutting some of the RTi1's peak at 5-6 kHz, but in turn adding a little more of a bump in Lyra's mid-range from 2-3 kHz.

    Lyra $749 vs MEE P1 $199
    lyra26.jpg vsmeep1.png

    Campfire Lyra and The MEE Pinnacle P1

    Comparative frequency responses


    Again we have a dynamic driver against another dynamic driver. Again we have two very ergonomic shapes, and two very well built shells. Overall the build quality (especially cable connections) goes to the Lyra – but the P1 is not too far behind, and on comfort they are both neck and neck. I prefer the P1's cable – this would change if Ken used the new litz. The Lyra is a lot easier to drive.

    Again both have extremely similar levels of bass, a similar shallow dip/curve in the lower mids and a similar bump in the transitional 1-2 kHz area. And like the Rti1 – the main difference is in the upper mid-range with the P1 having more presence from 2-5 kHz where the Lyra is comparatively lower in this area. This manifests as both being slightly warm and smooth – but the P1 is slightly sweeter with female vocals. Both are very good examples of dynamic driver tuning done right with clean transitions and a cohesive overall signature.

    The problem here is the P1 is at least 1/3 the price of the Lyra – and for me personally I really do enjoy both. If money wasn't an object, and this warmer smoother signature was what you enjoy, then the Lyra is really a very good IEM – even for its price. Conversely, if money is a little tighter, and you enjoy a little more presence in the upper mids, then the P1 really is a no brainer, and an earphone which really has no right to be priced the way it is (incredible bargain).

    CAMPFIRE AUDIO LYRA – SUMMARY


    The Lyra is an incredibly well built single dynamic driver IEM, with a very good ergonomic fit, and also an extremely good quality cable. A quick note on the cable too – it retails on ALO’s site for $149 if sold separately. One should also be mindful of the materials used with the manufacture of the Lyra – from the custom beryllium driver to the high quality ceramic shell.

    Fit and comfort is brilliant, and of all the Campfire IEM's I've tried to date the Lyra is easily the most comfortable.

    Sonically the Lyra is quite nicely balanced, but with a subtle emphasis on the low end, a well tuned transition through the mid-range, and enough sparkle through the lower treble to give sufficient detail without being overly bright. To me it is slightly on the warm side, with a clear and lush vocal presence.

    At a current RRP of USD 749, the Lyra is definitely at the upper end of single dynamic drivers, and when you look at the build quality and materials, I can see why it is priced the way it has been. For many though, they will look at up and comers like MEE's P1 and wonder if the Lyra is really worth the asking price. To me it is a fair asking price given the well tuned signature and quality craftsmanship, and you can't really fault what Campfire has managed to deliver simply based on some of the competition.

    So would I buy these, and would I recommend them to friends or family? On a pure quality basis I can see their worth, but for me personally they do not quite fit my overall signature preferences. I can see the appeal though and for anyone who like this type of signature they should definitely be considered. 4 stars from me – and that is mainly due to the price point. If these were priced a little lower I'd have no problems giving them a 5 star. Great build, great sound – great IEMs.

    Once again I’d like to thank Ken and Mark for making this opportunity available.


    lyra27.jpg
      peter123, d marc0, fnkcow and 7 others like this.
    1. View previous replies...
    2. Brooko
      Thanks gents.  Unfortunately haven' heard either the IE800 or the Nova yet - hopefully someone else may be able to help with feedback / comparative comments on those.
      Brooko, Jun 26, 2016
    3. Kunlun
      Hi Brooko, I noticed that you focused on frequency response, which is of course a key aspect. However, I would like to hear more explicitly about detail retrieval and clarity in terms of comparing the Lyra with other iems. Could you please comment more about that? Thanks!
      Kunlun, Jun 27, 2016
    4. Brooko
      @Kunlun - there is section on clarity and resolution.  Unfortunately I can't go back and do specifics now as they are already on the way to the next tour member - and I won't provide that sort of detail unless I can A/B directly.  They resolved pretty well - all the detail is there - just not at the forefront or highlighted compared to IEMs like the DN2000J. 
      Brooko, Jun 27, 2016
  5. fnkcow
    Campfire Audio Lyra
    Written by fnkcow
    Published Mar 21, 2016
    2.5/5,
    Pros - Build quality, accessories
    Cons - Price, microphonic cable, separation, picky with recordings
    20160225_104142az.jpg
     
    Disclaimer
     
    This unit was in my possession for about 10 days as part of the local tour. I'd like to thank Campfire Audio and @d marc0 for organizing and including me in this tour.
     
    I listen at relatively high volume level, so my impressions will be based on this. Please be aware that there might be variations in impressions at different volume and issues present on different volume level may/may not exist on this product.
     
    Package
     
    20160225_103455az.jpg
     
    - Campfire Audio Lyra with removable stock cable
    - x3 difference sizes of silicone tips
    - x3 difference sizes of foam tips
    - x3 difference sizes of Comply tips
    - Campfire Audio pin
    - Cleaning tool
    - Information booklet
    - Leather carry case 
    - Cardboard box
     
    *As this is a tour unit what are included inside the package might vary from current retail standard. 
     
    The beautiful carry case is made with nuback leather, and is padded out with wool-like furry lining on the inside. It has more than enough space inside for the Jupiter plus a few accessories and once zipped closed it provides hard case protection on the outside and shock absorbent n the inside. 
     
    20160225_104430az.jpg
     
    Design and Usability
     
    The Lyra utilises ultra high density ceramic for the shells. Looking at the precise yet smooth to the touch curves and angles mirrored on both the housings, you know that they meant business. The shiny smooth ceramic is a sight to behold and immense satisfaction to hold in the hands, and is most probably scratch resistant, though in exchange it attracts fingerprints easily. It may look a bit industrial and beefy at first glance, but once worn is comfortable enough, and I could wear it for few hours on end without getting ear pains. Isolation is average and wind noise is audible when outdoors. 
     
    The included removable MMCX cable is actually ALO tinsel cable, which usually have to be bought separately as upgrade cables. It swivels with movement to provide greater flexibility and comfort. It has memory wire and a clear plastic tube as a chin slider. The cable is robust and does not tangle easily. Only gripe would be that microphonics is evident and would do with the inclusion of a shirt clip to secure it.
     

     
    Sound Impressions
     

     
    Drive-ability: 
     
    The Lyra is less sensitive than typical earphones and require some power to provide enough juice to sound great especially the bass response. Tested with my phone and Cayin N6.
     
    Sound:
     
    Overall the Campfire Audio Lyra has a laidback warm V-shaped sound signature. I found that it is picky in that it sounded good with well mastered tracks but lifeless and dull with modern pop music etc.
     
    Sub-bass extension is ever eager to spring out and surprise you. Bass is big yet rounded and soft. It is boomy yet without the suckerpunch impact and lacking in texture and detail. It comes across as flabby with slow bass speed and long decay when bass prominent songs are played. It is not ideal for fast paced music like trance where speed and tightness are sought-after traits. The bass bleeds into the mids and makes it sound thick. Vocals tend to take a backseat behind the rest. Detail and clarity is there, but need to focus to hear it. The bass bleeding tends to muffle them and impacts on the layering and separation. These take the life out of the vocals and make them feel dull and flat. Yet, upper midrange is thin and grainy, making it slightly sibilant for me. High frequency notes offer good details and the amount of clarity and airiness are just right without being too dimmed or too much sparkle, contributing to the overall headroom space. 
    The soundstage is of average size but the bass bleeding impacted on the layering and separation. It tends to sound a bit congested when there are lots of elements going on within a song but they are sufficient and will not get totally overwhelmed and collapse. 
     
    Ratings & Conclusion

    As Head-Fi shows overall ratings for the audio gear instead of my own, here is a snapshot of what I have rated:

    2016-03-22_032314.png

     
    Campfire Audio Lyra is not for me. However this does not mean it will not be suitable for others, as YMMV, especially for those who prefer this kind of sound signature and listen at relatively low volume. Auditioning first is recommended to see if it fits your taste.
     
     
  6. d marc0
    Campfire Audio Lyra: About That Bass!
    Written by d marc0
    Published Mar 19, 2016
    3.5/5,
    Pros - Excellent build quality, aesthetics and packaging. Smooth midrange and great treble response!
    Cons - Microphonic cable, wind noise can be audible, foam tips and powerful source required to sound best
    Campfire Audio is an audio design and manufacturing company located in Portland, Oregon USA. The company began by hand-building cables and audio amplifiers as ALO Audio, which is now a known brand for a wide range of high quality audio products. Last year ALO Audio marked its 10th year at Head-fi.org and to celebrate the milestone, Campfire Audio was introduced. A brand with a new focus and vision; building earphones with high quality components through fine craftsmanship without compromising sound quality. Earphones that will stand up to the riggers of daily use while performing at the highest level.
     
    Three brand new In-ear Monitors (IEM) were introduced by Campfire Audio, they are the Jupiter, Lyra and Orion. These IEMs were all designed and custom tuned from the ground up, using Campfire Audio's in-house techniques. Last time, we got to review the Orion. Today, we will look at the Lyra - single dynamic driver IEMs with ultra high density ceramic enclosures.
     
    RETAIL PRICE:           US$ 749
    DRIVER SPEC:           8.5mm beryllium PVD transducer
    IMPEDANCE:            17 Ohm
    SENSITIVITY:             110 dB at 1V, 1 KHz
    FREQ RESPONSE:     8Hz - 28KHz
    TERMINATIONS:       Beryllium Copper hardened MMCX, 3.5 mm gold plated L-pluged L-plug
    INCLUDED CABLE:   1.35 M Silver-plated Copper Tinsel Wire with FEP jacket
    WHERE TO FIND:      http://www.aloaudio.com     http://www.addictedtoaudio.com.au
     
    Disclaimer: This review unit was provided as a loaner by Campfire Audio.
     
    [​IMG]
     
    I was impressed with Orion's packaging and the same holds true for the Lyra. Campfire Audio seems to keep a theme going....fine craftsmanship from the inside - out. Accessories may not be as many as other brands, but in my humble opinion, they actually got most of the essentials right. Similar to the Orion, I think a shirt clip can be a valuable add-on as a tool to minimise cable noise (microphonics). Granted it's easy to acquire them and they're cheap, having a clip that aesthetically matches the beautiful Tinsel Wire cable would've been nice. Other than that, the Lyra packaging is another winner!
    1. 3 pairs Comply Tx 400 tips (S,M,L)
    2. 3 pairs foam tips (S,M,L)
    3. 3 pairs silicon tips (S,M,L)
    4. Cleaning Tool
    5. Carrying Case
    6. Campfire Audio Pin
    7. User Guide
     
    [​IMG]
     
    SETUP:
    iPod Touch 5th Gen > OPPO HA-2 (HIGH GAIN)
    16/44 FLAC and ALAC
    Comply Tx 400 tips were used
     
    TEST TRACKS:
    Dr. Chesky’s Ultimate Headphone Demonstration Disc
    Daft Punk - Giorgio by Moroder
    Megadeth - Head Crusher
    Adele - Love Song
    Anna Maria Jopek - Bukowina
    Dire Straits - Sultans of Swing
    Phil Collins - Easy Lover
    Avicii - Lay Me Down; Heart Upon My Sleeve
     
    ABOUT THE AUTHOR: (to follow...)
     
    Campfire Audio promised to provide IEMs that are built through fine craftsmanship. The Lyra is a another extension of this philosophy with a different approach in their chosen material. Unlike the aluminium-built Orion, the enclosures on the Lyra are made of ultra high density ceramic, Zirconium Oxide Ceramic (ZrO2). They function as acoustic chambers whose physical properties are meant to influence excellent detail, less distortion, extended high frequency and a natural tonality. These IEMs have premium-smooth finish, although at the expense of finger-print resistance. In spite of the shiny surface, the IEMs don't seem to scratch or dent easily. The design of the enclosures conform perfectly to my ears and the feeling of having them on seem to disappear after a short time. The only things I notice are the foam tips inserted in my ear canals. Other than that, everything else regarding fit and comfort are excellent. Please note that your experience may vary to mine because we all have different ear shapes and sizes.
     
    All Campfire Audio IEMs feature MMCX connectors hardened with Beryllium Copper. This improves the resistance of the connectors to wear and tear. The included cable is a silver plated copper 4 conductor tinsel wire protected by a rugged FEP jacket. According to the manufacturer's notes, FEP improves signal travel and eliminates oxidation on the tinsel wire. This cable has been used for over a month and I don't notice any green-coloration, so it's looking good so far. I truly concede that the cables are visually amazing! Easily one of the best looking cables I've ever used for IEMs. These are worn over the ears with the aid of short memory wires. There is a slight disadvantage in wearing this cable, the FEP jacket easily conducts cable noise (microphonics) whenever they rub against clothing. This is where the cable cinch comes in handy, pull it up to your neck and it neutralises most of the cable noise. As mentioned earlier, a shirt clip is also an effective tool to minimise microphonics.
     
    We all want a nice protective case for our IEMs, I'm glad to report that the Lyra has a nice leather zipper case included. It has a nice brand logo on the outside, while the inside is lined with a soft-fluffy material with plenty of room to store the Lyra and other accessories.
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Similar to the Orion review, I'd like to reiterate the importance of ear tips because they substantially affect the overall sound of these IEMs. There are a few key factors in making sure your IEMs perform as they should be. The most notable ones are comfort, seal, insertion and the type of ear tips. In this review I'd like to focus on the type of ear tips. I personally prefer hybrid silicon tips over foam tips. More often than not, silicon tips don't alter the sound dramatically. Foam tips are known to attenuate the lower treble and for that reason, I rarely use them as my go-to tips despite the fact that they're the most comfortable tips ever made. Just like the Orion, I seem to prefer foam tips with the Lyra. Please note that I've paired the Lyra with Comply Tx 400 tips in this review.
     
    The Lyra sounds warm and lush with a v-shaped sound signature. Using a Sine Sweep Test, there's an abundance of accentuation in the lower frequency with a laid-back midrange and then another emphasis in the lower treble. Bass texture is a bit rounded, soft with an ever-present deep rumble from the sub bass region. The specification states a frequency response starting from 8Hz! I can definitely tell that there's a lot of sub bass on these, often more than what's expected. Daft Punk's Giorgio by Moroder is a great test track for bass detail, texture and speed. The Lyra was able to provide visceral sub bass presentation. The bass decay times is longer than ideal, so there's less texture in bass guitar notes. The smooth presentation in the lower frequency can sound great with fast-paced beats but can also be the opposite for slow tempo recordings where tightness is essential. Timbre sounds natural and dynamic especially for acoustic strings; quite evident when listening to Adele's rendition of the hit Love Song. There's a lot of weight or energy in the mid bass and can overshadow the lower midrange. This is a bass-head's earphone; a cocktail of visceral and ever present bass enclosed in shiny ceramic shells.
     
    [​IMG]
     
    Important thing to take note of, the Lyra's bass responds well to added power. Test track I used to determine this is Avicii's Lay Me Down. In my experience, setting the OPPO HA-2 on high gain brings more control to Lyra's bass. Decay is noticeably faster and the response is a bit tighter. These improvements are indeed audible but the overall presentation in the lower frequency is still the same. Comparing the bass response to the FLC 8S, the Lyra trails a bit in terms of speed, texture and detail. I believe that given the right genre or recording, the Lyra can provide good bass response. It's when a modern pop song is mixed with an inclination for more bass, the Lyra doesn't agree too well.
     
    Vocals take a back seat in relation to the lower and higher frequencies but the Lyra is able to project enough detail and clarity in the midrange. Female voices are slightly more emphasised than male vocals. Height and depth in vocal projection is spacious but the soundstage width is the limiting factor in making the overall presentation grander in scale. Tonality is smooth in general but there's an added edge in the upper midrange to keep things exciting and fun. These characteristics in the midrange are evident through the various instruments in Avicii's Heart Upon My Sleeve. Overdriven guitar riffs in Megadeth's Head Crusher sounds thicker than usual - this however is caused by the bass emphasis bleeding into the lower midrange. On cleaner tracks such as Bukowina by Anna Maria Jopek, the instruments in the lower midrange are projected in great detail and lushness.
     
    Treble response is most likely the Lyra's best trait, comparatively just as good, if not better than the IEM hybrid FLC 8S. It's got more than enough clarity and detail in the lower treble to match with the boosted lower frequency. As a result, the Lyra doesn't sound too dark at all. As a matter of fact, there's great balance between bass and treble. Using foam tips is what I recommend after using the test track from Easy Lover from Phil Collins. There's a succession of cymbal crashes in the intro and the transition between the midrange and treble is seamless. This is why the Comply Tx 400 tips becomes significant - they attenuate just the right amount of treble energy. Cymbals' timbre sound natural with satisfying spark and shimmer. There's also enough air in the upper treble, good enough to prevent congestion in the overall presentation.
     
    Although not quite as sensitive as the Orion, I still find the Lyra sensitive enough to be driven easily. However, I still recommend to pair the Lyra with powerful sources because of the substantial improvement in the bass response. Fortunately, these IEMs aren't sensitive enough to easily hiss, so pairing with an amplifier like the OPPO HA-2 won't pose a problem. The Lyra is a decent bass-head's IEM that can provide a fun experience. The synergy with different genres can be a challenge to attain; but when the right track is chosen, the Lyra sounds sublime.
     
    [​IMG]
     
    The Lyra sports tuned ports which may be responsible for the overall transient response. I believe these ports hold the key to further tuning improvements specifically in its bass response. In my experience, the Lyra sounds best in outdoor settings or not-so-quiet environments. The reason being, the said scenarios can reduce the perceived bass quantity. This is purely my preference, if this is the intended use for the Lyra then I can truly understand the inspiration in its tuning. Please note that the tuned ports are positioned facing forwards. The location of the ports can make wind noise more audible than ideal, so just a point of caution when using the Lyra outdoors.
     
    This is the second entry from Campfire Audio's line-up of In-ear Monitors. As a new entrant in the IEM market, they are definitely heading in the right direction. The Lyra is built from premium materials, designed to be functional and performs as advertised. These can be a bass-head's IEMs if one prefers a smooth and laid-back sound. Surprisingly, they're quite fun to listen to! I'm really looking forward to review Campfire Audio's third model - the Jupiter. Quite curious on what sets them apart from the Orion and Lyra.
     
     
      svyr, djvkool and H20Fidelity like this.
    1. svyr
      thanks Mark.

      can you do a rough (estimated) plot of the sub-bass vs bass vs mid -bass vs 1k as an estimate, or can Campfire audio link us to one?
      how are the mids detail and relative amount compared to FLC8s?
      svyr, Mar 20, 2016
    2. d marc0
      @svyr you're welcome.
       
      sub bass is about +10db relative to 1kHz. the upper bass is probably half of that. heaps of rumble on this one.
      d marc0, Mar 20, 2016
  7. DJScope
    Campfire Audio Lyra: Hard-shelled beauty!
    Written by DJScope
    Published Mar 15, 2016
    3.0/5,
    Pros - Top notch build quality, great cable, plentiful accessories, decent imaging.
    Cons - Bassy is a little too meaty/bloomy, average soundstage, a little pricey

    Campfire Audio Lyra

    "Hard-shelled beauty!"
     
     
    Firstly, I’d like to thank dmarco for organising this review. It’s always a great opportunity to be a part of these.
     
    The second on the list coming from Campfire Audio is another beaut of an IEM, the Lyra. This one is completely different to the Orion. Of the three new IEMs this one is probably the most unique. Instead of a CNC machined shell it's made from heat treated ceramic and a single dynamic driver, but like it's other 2 brothers it comes with pretty much all the same accessories including that amazingly bling looking cable. Let's see how it stacks up.
     

    A little about the Campfire Audio Lyra

    More info at the CA website: http://campfireaudio.com/lyra/
    Frequency response  ​
    8 - 28 000  Hz
    Impedance  ​
    17 Ohm
    Sensitivity  ​
    110  dB
    Plug  ​
    Gold Plated 3.5mm (1/8”) 90° Angled
    Beryllium and Copper Custom Alloy MMXC
    Cable Length  ​
    1.48m (SPC)
    Speaker diameter  ​
    Single 8.5mm Beryllium PVD Dynamic

     
     

    Build

    Housing

    If the Orion had a world class build quality, then the Lyra is interstellar. The ceramic doesn't just look stunning with it's glossy, smooth finish but the material is super strong and has a LOT of heft to it. I bet this is one of the IEMs that would still be around, working 50 years down the line. 
    The choice of ceramic has its advantages, yes, both acoustically and physically, but at the same time has its down sides as well. I found the extra heft a bit of a burden on not just getting a good seal, but also being limited to the types of ear tip that would work with them. The extra weight tends to pull the earpieces out of your ear when using my normally preferred tips. This led me to the conclusion of only 2 choices: 1) using tips that are one size larger effectively making long listening session a little uncomfortable, and 2) only using foam tips. For the purposes of comfort, I defaulted to only using the provided foam tips, which were not bad, but had a negative impact on bass response and soundstage.

    Cable

    The cable is the same as the Orion, so I will paraphrase, or better yet just copy/paste from that review:
     
    This cable is absolutely divine! Can someone say “Bling, bling!”? The first thing I saw where I unboxed them was the cable and it just melted my heart. I believe that it is tinsel covered SPC wire inside. The MMXC connectors are beryllium and copper custom alloy are housed in a clear acrylic moulded strain relief which fuses with the clear ear guides, which have memory wire and can be shaped to suit your ear shape. The cable is insulated is sparkly silver material which feels tough, yet it’s malleable and surprisingly has a minimal amount of memory. The wire is very slippery which means that it doesn’t snag on clothing and it is very light, so light actually that you can’t even feel it’s presence.
    The only dislike I have with it is the way the MMXC connectors rotate freely in the socket. It would be so much better if there was an interference fit of some sort to minimise this.
     

    Packaging

    The Lyra comes in the same beautifully and cosmically designed cardboard box with a different sticker on it to represent the Lyra. It's simple no-nonsense and very effective.

    Accessories

    The Lyra comes with almost all the same accessories as before; this time instead of a canvas hard case, it comes with a full leather upholstered case with leather webbing and the same sheep wool inner lining. For the record, I absolutely love this carry case.
    Campfire Audio include a very nice selection of ear tips that mostly consist of foam tips. 
    In the box you get:
    1. 3 pairs of rather standard silicone tips (S/M/L)
    2. 3 pairs of generic hard foam tips (S/M/L)
    3. 3 pairs of COMPLY TX-400 foam tips (S/M/L)
    4. A cleaning brush and ear wax prod.
    5. A little booklet with all the juice details about the Lyra.
    6. A little CA "Fanboy" shirt pin. (That's funny, nice touch!)
     

    Sound

    All my listening and evaluation consists of various genres of music including but not limited to: trance, house, funk, acoustic, rock, orchestral and electronic. 
    Gear used: Audio-gd NFB-15 amp/DAC, FiiO X1, FiiO E17 (PC as transport). Ear tips used are Fidue dual-flange wide bore for deep semi-deep insertion.
     
    I'm not sure that I'm the target audience for the Lyra. It didn't gel well with my preferences when I first tried it and it still doesn't gel well with me today. It is a slightly V shaped sounding IEM with a pretty big emphasis on the mid and upper bass frequencies. I also found the Lyra to by quite picky with recordings, masters and genres. It sounds exceptional with very well mastered and non-compressed tracks, but when it came down to normal, everyday listening, the Lyra sounded grainy, thin and lifeless. It's shone best with electronic tracks with cleanly separated sound elements and nothing too complex. Soundstage performance can be "OK", with at times above average, but once the bass starts to overwhelm, everything is muddled together. 

    Treble

    The treble is my favourite aspect of the Lyra in the sound department. From close listening I can find 2 or 3 peaks, one at 8kHz, one at 9-10kHz, and one at 12kHz. This effectively means that micro details will be very spot on and very much part of the experience all the time, it's also makes me think that this is a part of why they are so picky with music. Treble has decent attack and bite, with moderate decay. 

    Mids

    Mids are a bit of a bummer. They just feel much too lifeless. They're thin and grainy on the top end and might be a little sibilant to some people. Sibilance was just under my threshold and felt like it was border lining at times, but I never got the feeling where I had to turn it down. Female vocals are flat and two dimensional, and just don't feel very appealing. Male vocals are a bit better, they pick up a lot of bloomy from the lower end which gives them a pretty thick appearance. But at the same time they seem a bit lifeless and dull. Acoustic instruments are also overwhelmed by the bass thickness with that "bloom" which muffles a lot of the separation between the instruments. 

    Bass

    Well the bass is pretty big. It's weighty and thick, with lots of rumble and authority. It goes as low as 30Hz audibly to my ear. This is pretty good, but the speed and coherence of the bass is a little lacking. It rather flabby and slow and it leaks quite a bit into the rest of the spectrum. 
     

    Score

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    Conclusion

    The Lyra is a bit of an opposite to the Orion. I found it to be a bit out of my world. The target market here would be a more mainstream crowd, which in my eyes are not really in this price range. I think the Lyra should've been the entry level and the Orion the second tier. It's a beautifully built IEM, but sound-wise, I feel like it's a huge step backwards. It's probably because it doesn't appeal at all, and I'm sure that there are people who genuinely love this sound signature, alas, I'm not one.
     
    Cheers! [​IMG]
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  8. Wyd4
    Fantastic Looking, Great sounding IEM
    Written by Wyd4
    Published Mar 7, 2016
    4.0/5,
    Pros - Punchy Bass, Solid Build, Stock Cable
    Cons - Separation is good not great, Price/Sound Ratio
    Hey all.
     
    I have recently been fortunate enough to be invited to partake in the Australian sisterhood of Campfire Audio product reviews.  I am humbled and generally stoked to get my hands on some products I would otherwise not be able to afford/listen to in return for my honest opinions.  I have plenty of these so seems like a no brainer to me.
     
    First cab off the rank for me in this tour is the Campfire Lyra.  The lyra or lyre was a stringed musical instrument played in Ancient Crete, or so google would have me believe.  While I see no strings, in short the Lyra certainly is an instrument of great pleasure.
     
    Packaging:
     
    **INSERT BOX PIC**
     
    To me, personally I hate the packaging.  Kind of resembles psychedelic spew.  It is odd, because I actually like the imagery I just like my packaging minimalistic.  This however has no baring what so ever on the product its self and lets face it, no one is going to buy a $1100 au IEM based on the cardboard box it comes in.
     
    Accessories:
     
    **INSERT LEATHER BOX PIC**
     
    WOW WOW WOW.  While the box left me a little concerned about the quality of what contents may be held within, all fears were nullified upon opening.  I fell instantly in love with the portable receptacle.  Made from leather, a beautiful tan colour which I can only imagine will look better and better with age like my wallet. 
    **INSERT ARTISTIC WALLET PIC**
    Ok, so like something leather that ages well and isn’t my wallet.
    And that smell, I love leather.
    The zip is solid, no fear of wrecking this sucker.  But it is when the zip is open the magic happens.  A majestic opening of automated fashion follows presenting you with the IEMs safely and comfortably perched upon lambs wool.  Like a quality seat cover, I wanted to get in there and snuggle.
     
    **INSERT OPENING PICS OF GREAT JUSTICE*
     
    In addition to the carry case you are provided a set of comply tips in 3 sizes, some silicone tips, some IEMs and the usual kit.   Not an overwhelming amount of accessories compared to something from RHA, however everything you need is there and what is there is of high quality.
     
    Aesthetics:
     
    Cable:   First off, lets talk a little about the cable.  I would have been horribly disappointed had I opened up an IEM from ALO and been presented with a generic Epic style cable.  Let me be clear, I was not disappoint.
    The cable is of the tinsel variant and it is just so pliable.  It is super thin, super light and super comfortable.  It also looks sexy as hell.
    The only issue I take with the cable is it does tangle VERY easily.  However there are little Velcro do-dads that come with the iems when packaged new that actually work very well and neatly to remedy this.
     
    Body:  These are some very premium looking iem’s in the flesh.  I feel that the camera does them an injustice.  Half of their beauty is the feel.  While they do feel a little cold, they clearly do not feel like steel.  It takes a moment then you remember.  These are made from Ceramic.  They are super light, super smooth and very well built.
    The nozzle, snout or your preferred name for the appendage designed to deliver the noises into your ear hole, is made from aluminium and I have zero fear of breaking it.  It is rock solid!  HAI FIEV!.
     
    But what about that sound?:
     
    What can I say, overall these sound very nice indeed.  They have a bit of a V_Shaped signature going on, which I have zero issue with.  In fact as a bit of a basshead I quite prefer V or L shaped signatures.
     
    The sound stage is quite large, though not the largest I have heard from an IEM.  It does very well however at instrument placement and certainly doesn’t feel cramped or overly intimate.  To be honest, if baffles me how manufacturers these days are managing to throw such out of head sound from speakers inside my ears.
    Instrument separation is not one of the better I have heard in an IEM in the $1000 price range.  The soundstage, Separation and general tonality of these IEMs provides a very natural, yet fun sound, but can sometimes get a bit rich sounding.
     
    Bass: The bass is the most present area of the range in these iems.  It is typical of a boosted Dynamic driver bass presentation.  It’s a little slower than your average BA bass, but it has a thump to it that just cannot be replicated by the smaller BA drivers.  While it lingers a little, it is articulate enough to keep up with all but the most complicated passages.
    I particularly like the presentation of the lower frequencies as it packs a wallop, but it stays relatively clean, particularly because the boost is to be found in the mid-bass, which can be problematic in many headphones/iems.  While I feel there is a bit of bass bleed into the mids (depending on the tips used and the music playing), it generally stays where it should and thumps away to the beat.
     
    Mids: I need to say first off, I am not a fan of forward mids.  I much prefer a neutral midrange presentation.  I think the mids on the Lyra are well presented.  Given the V shaped tuning, they do well to not get lost or appear distant.  Yes they are the least pronounced section of that graph we call truth, but they maintain a presence.  Not to be forgotten.
    Male, female and cats voices are all portrayed in a pleasant way.  There is no nasally Fran female vocals, no bloated male vocals and no meows are lost.  However they do sit JUST back in the mix when compared to something like the Noble Savant or any of Grado’s offerings for example.
     
    Highs:  The highs, while turned up after concentrating on the midrange, are always polite.  I never caught any sibilance.  In fact I never caught any Sibilance through the entire spectrum.  There is plenty of sparkle and air to the highs, but I would never call them bright.  They have managed to get oodles of detail into the highs without making them strident, fatiguing or shrill.  I really appreciate this.  Over time I have been appreciating more and more detail in the highs, however I am still quite sensitive to overly bright presentations and I think they nailed it.
     
    Comparison:
     
    IE800:  I must say, as much as I enjoyed the Lyra, for me from a sound only perspective, I must give the nod to the Germans.  I feel the lows on the IE800 reach deeper and lower than the Lyra, while staying more neutral into the midrange.  The IE800 hits harder, lower and doesn’t bleed into the mids.  I find the mids on the IE800 cleaner, though a bit leaner and more neutral.  The Mids on the Lyra being a touch thicker sounding, and while I DO like this, in combination with the warm bass, it made them sound a touch more congested than the IE800.  I am not saying the Lyra sound overly congested, just compared to the IE800 they do.  I find the highs on the IE800 perfect for the rest of the IE800 presentation, however I am equally happy with the Lyra’s highs.
    The soundstage is more vast on the IE800.  It really does throw a soundstage comparable to a closed can.  Dare I say it almost as large as some open cans like the LCD2 etc.  The Lyra has ample soundstage for an IEM, however the IE800 has ample soundstage PERIOD.
    Fitment and ergonomics however, well that is a different story.  If you plan on replacing your cable, moving your head, walking, sneezing, blinking, chewing, clicking your fingers, then I suggest you go with the Lyra, as you will find yourself adjusting/putting the IE800 back in your ears.  The IE800 is truly horrible in this regard and I have no idea what Sennheiser were thinking.
     
    Noble Savant:  The Noble Savant was a bit of a special experience for me.  However for everyday listening I could not choose it over the Lyra.  I think the Lyra presents a far more versatile sound that you could listen to all day.  I think if the Savant had a bit more booty, then I may be singing to a different tune.  The bass on the Lyra wins hands down in every regard.  The Savants bass is nimble I guess, so I could give it that, however it is also quite shy and only comes out on special occasions like your birthday or Christmas.  The mids however on the Savant are magical.  I said above I am not a forwards mids fan, well I make an exception for Grado and the Noble Savant.  There is just something euphoric that I experience when listening to the Noble that simply isn’t there when listening to the Lyra.  The highs however I think are great on both, but I feel the Lyra has the resolution and extension to take the cake there.
    Which would I buy?  Well I already have every day cans, so I would probably buy the Savant for those special listening sessions.  However if I were in the market for an all rounder, I would buy the Lyra.
     
    I will write comparisons with the ASG2.5 and Tralucent Ref1too when I get a moment in the coming week.
     
    Conclusion:

    I think ALO/Campfire Audio have produced something that sounds safe, likable, sturdy, Beautiful, sleek.  They have accessorised it with quality items and packaged all that goodness up in a horribly ugly cardboard box.  While I think they do sound very good, I also feel at the price of $1100au, there are other offerings available that provide similar quality sound or better, at the cost of ergonomics and build quality.  I think if this was pitched at $899-$999 It would be a great-good buy, at $1100 for me it has branched into a new level of expectation, for which I think sonically it falls just shy of.  All this being said, it would certainly make my shortlist of suggestions should someone ask me to recommend an iem if they had the money, as as much as we would all hate to admit, its not always about JUST sound.  Its about how we use things, how we see things and how we feel about things too.  Well it is for me.
     
    Peace.
     
    FORMATTING AND PICTURES TO COME WHEN I AM NOT ON A TRAIN WITH NEAR ZERO CELL RECEPTION
      d marc0 likes this.
    1. Gilles De Rais
      Excellent comments. Your comparisons are similar to mine, except I'd invert the IE800 and Lyra ranking. I found the Savants to be too"audiophile" in their tuning and found myself eqing them to give a more rounded balance. The Lyra are an excellent all-rounder with one minor flaw - wearing them outside in windy weather excites the port too much. I suspect rotating it to the back would have been preferable.
       
      regards,
       
      Giles
      Gilles De Rais, Mar 7, 2016
  9. tassardar
    Intimate experience with great bass
    Written by tassardar
    Published Aug 27, 2015
    4.5/5,
    Pros - Intimate Experience, Impactful and deep base, Warm and Soothing, Great Looking Earphones
    Cons - Separation not the best, Lack the bite in the high, Could have better cables, Less sensitive then other IEMS

     
    After years of not getting anything new, the Lyra was my first earphones that I would classify as high end. I got it before my CDM and one thing really lead to another.
     
    Made by Campfire Audio, a spin off by ALO Audio, the Lyra is a single Beryllium dynamic driver IEM encased in a Ceremic casing which looks really pretty and well made. The cables provided were the tinsel from ALO audio which I didnt like (see below) and all this is packed together in a nice brown leather case with wool in it.
     
    The Lyra is really light and small, as such it fits nicely into my small ears. They come with 3 different type of tips, I personally use the comply as they are the most comfortable to wear and produces a sound I find most acceptable.
     
    LyraUp-3.jpg
     
    The Lyra was my choice of purchase after testing a host of earphones at my local dealer. I can outright say I did not choose this earphone as it is greatest, however it produced the most enjoyable music experience to me. If I was to describe, Lyra is a intimate experience that couples with one of the most enjoyable bass thats deep and full of impact, all this packaged with warm and smooth signature that does not lead to listening fatigue. Its like listening in a concert hall, with all the warm melodies wrapping around you.
     
    Im a fan of music from the Final Fantasy Series, especially the music from Distant Worlds. The Lyra really brings alive the music I enjoyed, similar to a live performance in a cosy hall, where music is all around. The vocals from Answers felt intimate yet majestic, the bass from One Wing Angel had the impact and engagement that I only experience in larger cans, the soft yet soothing voice from Kiss Me Goodbye with all the details from the vocalist breath to the really soft string instruments could be heard. There is also a very different decay in sound, that adds a really nice touch of smoothness without messing with the clarity. The Lyra provided a musical experience that one could just close your eyes and tap to the beat or doze off to sleep in all its coziness.
     
    However the Lyra I felt lacks separation for a IEM in its price range. The BA systems like the Shures and JH provided better clarity and separation between instruments, in the process making the sound stage seem a little larger. It also lack bite in the highs, something that a friend of mine commented and why he dislike it. Theres also the Tinsel cable which seem to muddy the sound a little. I tried all sort of cables and a silver coated pure copper cable could really improve all the above issues. It does loose a little of its magic I stated above but I find that the sound with a cable change felt more acceptable to most for a IEM at this price. 
     
    Tips do matter for the Lyra. Silicon increase the impact and bass response, comply tames it and improves clarity. If silicon I will go for spin fits for the best seal.
     
    One final rant before I conclude: The cable mmcx connectors oxidised and start turning green a little too quick. The place Im at is a little humid but less then a month is extremely quick and the clear plastic that shows the oxidisation in all its glory really detracts from the really awesome shiny black look of the Lyra. The connector is also moulded out of smooth plastic, trying to remove it prove to be too much challenge with the lack of grip. If anything I want to change, its definitely the cable for both sound and looks.  Maybe Campfire should just provide users with a choice of cables from their parent ALO SXC or Pure Copper cables. Either would have been better and cater to the various group of listeners. Im still looking for my perfect cable, maybe a Cryo Copper Balanced cable to my CDM could really improve things yet retain that magic. 
     
    LyraUp-2.jpg
     
    The Lyra is a IEM thats all about enjoying the music and not technicality wins, providing a close intimate sound with engaging lows that most other could dream off. It may not be the best at its price bracket for some fields, but for what it excels, it provides you a experience that probably could not be obtained anywhere else.
      Jeff Y and Kundi like this.
    1. KB
      Nice photography! :wink:
      KB, Mar 29, 2016