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Lark Studios Review , Impression, Discussions, and Thread

  1. Cinder
    Lark Studios is a new Brand from China aimed at the luxury TOTL IEM. Their debut IEM is the upcoming Lark Studios X, or LSX for short. They are also releasing a CIEM dubbed the LSXC. Here is their mission statement/about section:

    "The lark is a well-known bird to the music industry.
    As it flies high, you may only catch a glimpse of it as its cry reaches you.
    The crisp and sweet sound of the lark is a symbol of Lark Studio's constant pursuit of sound quality.
    The lark's rich colors inspire us to build ever more diverse and beautiful products, with an aesthetically-focused design.
    Lark Studio was created out of a passion to bring the market top-notch custom and universal in-ear monitors embodying the beauty of the lark, in both body and sound.

    After a long two years of preparation, three audiologists, with a combined experience of 18 years, set out to create excellently-performing monitors that provide an excellent visual and sonic value. Each employee of Lark Studio is a veteran of the audiophile market, with the youngest of ours having more than five years of experience.

    We are a group of people chasing dreams.
    Our team features an industry-leading tuner, hardware engineer, and product engineer, and together we've refined the traditional engineering/production cycle to provide a higher quality product, at a lower cost.
    Each pair of in-ears goes through three separate polishing passes at the factory and is inspected for quality control rigorously with each pass. We do not tolerate any defects.
    During the production process, our IEMs pass through four separate groups of tests, designed specifically by our quality-assurance team. And just to make sure that nothing gets through, a manual review is done by a trained professional right before we box up your new pair of in-ears.

    As a testament to our commitment to our customers, we offer a comprehensive insurance package that covers all forms of damage, be it user error, product defect, or environmental damage. A payment of $180 gets your IEM two years of no-questions-asked insurance. Just send us your IEMs and we will get to work. Please note that shipping must be covered by the customer.

    Each of Lark Studio's products is a labor of love. Every in-ear is made from high-quality materials, including some of the finest exotic woods you can find. Each piece is painstakingly screened for visual appeal and then treated to get the highest level of aesthetic value. We aim to build for you IEMs that transcend utility and become a true work of art, an heirloom quality product.

    It is exactly for this reason that when each new employee joins the company, he or she knows they must embody the values of Lark Studios.
    The staff strongly believes in the value of their work, as their job lets them bring life to an inert piece of plastic or chunk of exotic wood.

    This is the story, and these are the values, of Lark Studios. We aim to provide you with a service that leaves you glad you did business with us. Happy reading!"

    The LSX is believed to be shipping in a 10-BA configuration. More information to come as it is released! Post your thoughts, impressions, and reviews of all things Lark Studios below!

    You can contact Lark Studios at:

    us@lark-studios.com or arthur@lark-studios.com
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
    B9Scrambler likes this.
  2. Cinder
    I've got my impressions of the LSX prototype I was sent all wrapped up. Here they are!

    Lark Studios X Early Prototype Review: The Foundation of Something Great

    Lark Studios is a very new, basically unknown, brand. They hail from China and are positioning themselves to compete with the best and most established names in the luxury IEM industry. After all, their first product, the Lark Studios X, will be a behemoth 10-BA IEM. Ballsy, huh?

    Bear in mind, that what I’m reviewing today is far from the final product. I’ve been told by the guys working there that overhauls to both the tuning and the shell are underway. As such, I will not be using my usual review format. Instead I’ll be using a somewhat compacted version.

    Direct your question and comments to US@Lark-Studios.com and visit their website here.

    Sound Signature
    Sonic Overview

    The LSX is quite the sensitive IEM: my MegaMini, SuperMini, and AP100 all produced some hiss (as did my Burson Play, but its not really meant for driving IEMs). Only my Zorloo ZuperDAC-S produced no hiss with the LSX.

    The prototype I’ve been sent is a “detail-first” sort of IEM, forgoing any sort of rumble or bassy impact to capture as many transients as it can. The LSX is definitely going with a “hear-not-feel” approach to the lower register that, at least from a detail perspective, certainly paid off. The mid-bass has a passable level of presence, and the sub-bass conveys detail too, they just don’t have the weight you’d get from a dynamic driver, even with multiple BA’s being dedicated to the low-end. There’s definitely more mid-bass than sub-bass though.

    I’ve been sitting here discovering flaws in the making of some of my favorite songs for a while now and it never gets old; whether its the clipping/muting of a string during a guitar solo or a miss-timed drum beat, its all there in glorious detail. Vocals are way above average in terms of intelligibility, though the LSX does favor male vocals. A spike in the 1–2KHz seems to be responsible for this added clarity.

    Placement and layering is top notch, and the sound stage is impressive. Not too close, but not so large that it feels disconnected and unnatural. Cohesion, both in sound stage and frequency response, is as good as you can expect from any TOTL IEM.

    This detail comes at the cost of warmth. I can hardly call the LSX thin, but it’s certainly clinical. The treble and upper mids are the focus of the 10-BA crossover. Tonality is great though, and I’ve not yet heard any sibilance at all, or any sharpness for that matter; quite the feat from a treble-forward, 10-driver IEM. Adding back some of that lost warmth will be the key to creating an IEM that maintains both impressive clarity and a natural timbre.

    Construction Quality

    The prototype I’m working with didn’t ship with the cable that’s going to be included in the final product so I won’t be including it here.

    The LSX is made of a high-quality, hypo-allergenic resin. Its shell is quite large due to it carrying 10 individual drivers, but it is still comfortable, at least for me any my ears, to wear.

    My prototype unit uses 2-pin connectors. They lay flush with the shell and are pretty clean. They’re decent, but don’t hold my cable tightly enough. I’ve spoken to Lark Studios and they informed me that they are away of the issue, and that it was actually fixed in the very next prototype they built. So that’s cool.

    There is no evidence of a flaw in construction anywhere on the LSX, which is doubly impressive for a prototype who’s appearance was an after-thought. The face-plate is blended perfectly with the shell, and the transparent blue nature of the shell reveals no air bubbles or internal flaking. It appears that skilled hands dwell in Lark Studios.

    The Lark Studios X prototype I’ve had the privilege of testing has been a pleasure to listen to. Devoid of any real flaws, I can definitely see it becoming a phenomenal product and a serious competitor in the TOTL environment. I’ve grown a bit fond of it, as I took it to CanJam SoCal and A/B’d it against 10 or 15 other IEMs from every big name, so I’ll be sad to see it go when I return in to Lark Studios. But all good things must come to an end! If Lark Studios can correctly implement some small QOL changes and minor changes in tuning, I think we’ll have a winner on our hands!
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2018
    Ahmad313 and CGrish like this.
  3. Ahmad313
    I just visit their website and saw the only LSX/LSXC,
    they don't have any other range yet or i miss something ,???
  4. Cinder
    The website isn't done yet I think. Also, this is their first IEM.
    Ahmad313 likes this.
  5. FortisFlyer75
  6. Deezel177
    Hey guys, Lark Studios have generously loaned me a universal demo of their 10-driver LSX IEM. I've given it a listen and here are my first impressions. :)

    Lark Studios LSX - First Impressions

    Lark Studios’ LSX possesses a warm, full-bodied, organic sound. Driven by a meaty mid-bass, instruments carry a rich, euphonic tinge to them, complemented by the shimmer of the top-end. Unlike most modern flagships, the LSX is more of a throwback to the HD650s, or the LCD-2s, or the Noble K10s of old. At the heart of its presentation is smooth, easy listening, rather than ultra-clarity. Electric guitars are a highlight instrument, especially on slow rock or ballads. This is perhaps the most emotional and resonant I’ve heard John Mayer’s Edge of Desire. The haunting, moving emotionality of The Staves’ Don’t Let Me Down is showcased at its fullest on the LSX as well. In a strange way, its harmonic response is particularly good at conveying melancholy. Hopefully that translates to at least some of you as more than just a random observation. :D

    LSX-FI-1 copy.jpg

    As mentioned, the bass really is the LSX’s heartbeat. Kick drums are rendered with roundedness, body and warmth. But at the same time, their hits are clean as well. The same goes for the LSX’s verve-y, funky bass lines. The mid-bass emphasis - and the accompanying wet, warm timbre - may not be to the liking of all bassheads. But, if you’re the sort of basshead to cherish a low-end’s weight, quality and timbre, the LSX will surely please. This transitions smoothly to the midrange in an almost downward slope. The LSX positions its upper-mids (and therefore, its vocal presence) neutrally on the stage in the form of compact notes. But because of its technical prowess, that distance does not translate to detachment. Despite its inherently pillow-y, syrup-y signature, the LSX possesses impressive resolution. Instruments come through without a muffle or a veil. Although they’re darker in tone, the blackness of the background creates enough of a contrast, such that you can still easily distinguish them.

    LSX-FI-2 copy.jpg

    Now, micro-detail retrieval is obviously not its strong suit. The LSX is capable of rendering them, but they’re details you have to dig for, rather than ones that are brought to you. But at the end of the day, a surgical tool is never what the LSX was anyway. It’s a piece that - through warmth, smoothness and coherence - infuses a comfortable ease to the listening experience; almost like a cozy sweater or a soft, silky blanket. But at the same time, it offers modern technical refinement, admirable resolution and vast imaging to the table too, which truly sets it apart from its peers. This is most true of the top-end. The treble rides the line brilliantly between articulate and inoffensive. It’s shimmery, clear, bodied and naturally-paced too. There’s a relaxing, un-showy, come-and-go feel to the treble that ever so lightly strokes the ear before making its exit. Transience is sufficient to ensure nothing sounds dulled, flat or muffled. And, sufficient upper-treble presence is maintained to support the LSX’s stable, well-organised and roomy stage.

    LSX-FI-3 copy.jpg

    This concludes my first impressions of the Lark Studios LSX. Look out for the full review in a month or so. :wink:
    WhatToChoose likes this.
  7. ostewart
    I've just got the LSIV in on loan for a week. They are wonderfully balanced with excellent air and soundstaging, they are smooth and coherent but never lacking finer detail.

    I am really enjoying the sound of these, and the build quality is superb.
    glassmonkey and Deezel177 like this.
  8. ostewart
    Suffice to say I am a huge fan of the tuning of the LSIV. With a warm/neutral sound signature they handle pretty much anything you throw at them with ease, the transient response is superb.

    The midrange is what really captures you on them, with an accurate tonality and great linearity through the midrange you can hear each layer of the recording perfectly.

    The highs are not pushed forward to create a sense of false detail, instead they are effortless and roll off gently.

    They are just easy to listen to, yet have a great balanced overall. I'll take back the great soundstaging comment, the soundstage isn't huge but the imaging is superb which allows you to place instruments withing the stage with ease.

    An easy to live with tuning that doesn't really do anything wrong in my books.
    glassmonkey and Deezel177 like this.
  9. Takeanidea
    I've got the LSIV loaner here. The shells look beautiful. Well done guys. The tips supplied have a double flange and silicon and comply variants. The double flange must be for someone with strange ears. They do not show the qualities of the IV at all in my ears. The silicon tips are more linear, what they lack in bass impact they make up for in clarity. The complys have a warmth and bass impact and whilst they slightly reduce the detail overall, each track is listenable and I don't find myself reaching for the volume button.
    I've already spent a little longer on these than I would have had I come across them in a show, so early impressions are ready.
    I have no idea how much these cost, honestly! I'm sure glassmonkey would have told me, I've simply forgotten. I think these belong near to the Hifiman RE2000 Silver Universals classwise, am I close?
    They have some very nice qualities to them, they need very little power. They have a nice realistic soundstage. They have a powerful, midforward signature with just a hint of glare somewhere in the upper mid range. The RE2000 Silver's have a smoother, more effortless sounding presentation to my middle aged ears. This is through the Chord Mojo and my phone. I suspect there is too much voltage for the LSIV whereas the Hifiman' s are quite happy.
    I'm recharging the Fiio M11 and will come back with my thoughts
  10. Takeanidea
    Ok...I looked it up. The LSIV is $442, the RE2000 Silver is $799. I'd say, on the first hour of listening, the price difference is about right. Now, onto stage II. With the Fiio M11...
  11. Takeanidea
    No contest between these and the Lark Studio LSIV. The LSIV thrashed them! Through the M11, on low gain setting, with all to DSD conversion set, the IEMs as shown below sounded hollow in comparison. Only thing is I can't remember what the heck these in ears started out as! As you can see, they're heavily customised... The cable was $148, that's a Peterek custom. 20190903_142303.jpg edit- these are the infamous Trinity Audio Phantom Master 4 IEM, retailing at £139 at the time. Thus bringing these to a total of $346. Believe me, they are not in the same league as the LSIV. They're not even playing the same game!
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2019

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