Do you think this is in the same league with the top tier closed backs for desktop use?
I did. I heard LIRIC at Capital Audiofest and bought it there because it's a nice alternative to VC. Bonus that it's easy to drive portably--I have enjoyed taking Arya on the go to ruin people who haven't heard good audio, and now I think LIRIC can do that a bit better because of the isolation. They also may be a good option for travel when space isn't such a premium to limit me to IEMs.
Anyway, VC on tubes (I own Pendant) is where it's at for me for closed back listening. However, for genres with lots of energy, LIRIC delivers a very active, punchy sound. I have heard plenty of claims that Empyrean is "the best" can for electronic music, so that's what I auditioned at CAF, and I found the experience compelling enough to make a purchase (shipping says they arrive today, so I'll have more impressions later).
I still prefer VC for most genres--especially anything where ZMF's rich vocal presentation makes the mix. However, LIRIC is a nice alternative for high energy material that I like for programming. I envision LIRIC becoming my everyday closed can and using VC more sparingly, but particularly after work hours when I can engage with music more completely.
I also own Stellia, which was my all around favorite can for a good while, until I got VC. Stellia has intimate staging and top-notch detail, and is also a good portable can; in many ways it might be some of the stiffest competition for LIRIC. However, LIRIC is considerably cheaper and has a nice big stage vs the flashier design and extreme detail resolution of Stellia (oh, and replaceable pads, lol).
I have heard Stealth twice now--once at CANJAM SoCal on Ampsandsound Nautilus, and once at CAF on a GSX Mk2, I believe. Both times I found it good, but not as musically engaging as I'd like--it just wasn't $4k worth of excitement. Like, I get emotional about my VCs, and about Susvara, and I expect that by the time the price tag hits $4k on a pair of headphones that something really special ought to be going on. That hasn't happened with Stealth.
In sheer sound quality, LIRIC was "close enough" to Stealth in technicalities that they were kind of a wash, though I actually found LIRIC more engaging musically (for the limited music styles I tried). Physical build quality on Stealth was more impressive--the machining is excellent and the headphone is put together really well. The suspension system is great and extremely comfortable. LIRIC isn't exactly "less comfortable," but there is a moderately strong clamping force (offset by extremely comfortable, thicc pads), so LIRIC doesn't quite disappear, but I think it still offers all day comfort.
Anyway, that's a quick rundown of how I see LIRIC competing with other closed back options. The price makes LIRIC extremely competitive vs other closed backs, and portability might be another huge advantage if that's important (counterargument: MEST MkII customs are cheaper, smaller, more portable, and arguably better all-rounders if IEMs are an option).