Campfire Audio Lyra II with Opus#1 Dap

Campfire Audio Lyra II review 
- expatinjapan


Please also see the earlier Campfire Audio Dorado review:

*Some minimal amount of the content is repeated from the Dorado review.

Whats in the box?



As usual Campfire Audio provides a box that is just the right size, no over sized and vacuumed sealed.





A beautiful black leather case to protect your precious earphones whilst traveling.




Each ear piece comes safely wrapped in a small red velvet pouch to prevent scratching whilst in transit


Every Campfire Audio earphone comes with the excellent Litz cable.



Specifications

Lyra II combines a single 8.5mm beryllium PVD dynamic driver and a unique liquid metal alloy housing to effortlessly deliver high fidelity music.

– World’s First 8.5mm Beryllium PVD Dynamic Driver

– World’s First  Liquid Alloy Metal Earphone Housing

– ‘Dusk’ PVD Finish

– Premium Litz Wire cable; Silver-plated-Copper Conductors


The bass for the Lyra II hits at around 110.0, the Vega at about 118.5 and the Dorado at around 116.0. 
(Left side of the chart).

Short impressions

I received the Dorado from Ken Ball at the Fujiya Avic headphone show in Tokyo in October, 2016 for review. I had a chance to listen to all new models at the time and listed my short impressions as thus: 

(Short time at the show impressions):
 `The Vega, Dorado and Lyra II
The Vega is deep and full sounding. It has excellent clarity and sound stage. The bass hits but is also clean, tight and fast.
The Dorado is deeper, and has a medium v shaped signature. Bouncy and energetic. It has a good weight to the sound. Fun but still CA smooth.
The Lyra II is more flat...in a sense, it has more mids, warm, even and with great instrument separation. Full with an excellent low end.

In terms of sound signature to my ears (And Ken confirmed I was pretty much on the Ball - excuse my pun).
Vega = XXX
Dorado = XxX
Lyra = XXx`

Of course short impressions at a show or in store can give a hint of what is to come, more is revealed with concentrated and analytical listening and more layers and nuances are discovered.
I did not ask how many hours they had on them. They had stock foam tips fitted.


What one has to realize with these new earphones that Campfire Audio has released is that they do increase in sound quality by price point.
Each of their sound signature is well designed and incremental, the Dorado whilst definitely a V shaped earphone isnt strictly so in the usual sense, it is more of a flattened V which retains some body and soul of tracks recorded.
And the Lyra II whilst presenting itself as a low and mids focussed earphone certainly doesnt totally lack in the highs department.

It isnt extreme tuning at the expense of all else, it is a controlled and measured tuning to present the best that can be reproduce concerning certain traditional choices of sound signatures, being the XxX (Dorado), the XXx (Lyra II) and the XXX of the Vega. No sharp rises or drop offs here.

Smooth, measured and timely.


Build

The build of all Campfire Audio products is sturdy and strong, from the lithe but able Litz cable to the robust MMCX connectors, the Lyra II is built to last.
The ear pieces being of metal means they will withstand more abuse than the average plastic earphones, thats not to say to be rough with them as the inside drivers are still delicate.



A protective metal gauze to prevent earwax getting inside.




The Litz cable as I have mentioned several times in other review is a well made, and fabulous sounding cable. Sturdy yet supple. No real need for an upgrade.




Fit

The fit is identical to the Vega and very similar in foot print to the Dorado (apart from the longer nozzle of the Dorado).
*Please excuse me as I recycle the photo from the Dorado review as I think it illustrates the fit well.


The shorter nozzle is similar to the BA IEMs of Campfire Audio, you need to have the right tip to get a good seal to maximize the performance of the Lyra II and your enjoyment thereof.

Stock foam tips on the left, the Comply Tx-400 I got from the Andromeda/Nova boxes.

I settled on the Comply Tx-400 tips for the Lyra II in the end, silicone did the trick with 
the JVC Spiral tips and also Ortofon.
But as Ken Ball at Campfire Audio said, foam is best for these earphones.


The Litz cable comes with a chin slider to assist for fit if needed.

The new Campfire Audio earphones build and shape compared.



The new line up of Vega (metal/silver color), 
Dorado (bronze/gold color) and Lyra II (Red brown black color).















Campfire Audio Dorado size comparison with CA Andromeda below:
Foot print is basically the same as the Lyra II except for the longer nozzle.


Sound

Testing of the Lyra II was done with a variety of Dap and dac/amps from the Opus#1, Hifiman MegaMini, ipod touch 6G, Shozy Alien Gold, CEntrance DACportable, Hifi-Skyn to the Hifi-M8.

Ipod touch 6G 128GB used Dan Leehrs Flacplayer app.

FLAC used was mainly 16/44.

The Lyra II had a burn in period of around 100 hours before commencing with the review.

In the end I found the Lyra II to be quite resolving and pleasing, but lets enjoy the journey first.

Campfire Lyra II with CEntrance DACportable


As I mentioned at the show after a short audition I decided to describe the Lyra II as having a XXx signature which Ken Ball confirmed.
Show impressions recap: `The Lyra II is more flat...in a sense, it has more mids, warm, even and with great instrument separation. Full with an excellent low end`.

Later after a short amount of burn in (10 hours?), using the Litz cable and supplied foam tips my next impressions found the Lyra to be `a bit dull, perhaps due to lack of highs, not so musical but can get airy and full of space with the track`.
I then departed onto the Dorado review and occasional hits of the CA Vega and left the Lyra II to burn in some more.

Once the Dorado review was complete, I moved onto the Lyra II.

Now the Lyra II had around 100 hours on it.

Campfire Audio Lyra II with Opus#1 Dap


Opus#1 (old Firmware), Comply Tx-400 tips.

LARD and Oasis seemed a bit dark at first listen, perhaps also the shock of coming from the V shaped Dorado, my ears need a bit of adjusting I guess.
Adele sounded great, full, spacious and clear.
A bit surprised at the dark low end after a strict diet of the Dorado V.

As the Vega is to the Andromeda, and the Dorado is to the Jupiter ...the Lyra II is to the  ????

Death in Vegas with Hope Sandoval sounds cool, If but a bit muted.
Less energetic than the Dorado of course, adjusting...

Lyra II with Spiral Tips later that same day

Bass still there although less prominent.
Vocals and treble more forward than before, treble has more of a presence with the silicone than with the foam.
Bass is solid still, just not so `thick`.
I find this combination more listenable and a tad more cleaner.

Opus#1 Dap just got a huge stunning firmware update.

The Dap has better resolution, more airiness and sparkle.
More space and separation between instruments than before.
I see this echoed in the improved performance of the Lyra II also.
I am really enjoying the Lyra II after the Opus update.

The Opus#1 with its latest Lollipop firmware update really shines when paired with the Campfire Audio Lyra II, great detail, the treble comes alive rather than recessed, lower bass is clean, clear and quick without a trace of muddiness, the mids are slightly warm, with a hint of lushness without becoming too enveloping or demanding.

Campfire Audio with Shozy Alien Gold Dap

The Lyra performs best with a dap etc that has a decent amplifier and a low output impedance to retain its signature and show its true colors. With the Hifiman MegaMini it was impressive at times when I cranked up the volume but the Lyra II desires more power.

Back to the Opus#1 with its new firmware.
Really nice body to the music, resolution is beautiful and top notch.

On to the CEntrance DACportable, Tx-400 Comply tips, Gain 2.
As usual the CEntrance DACportable with its power amplifier inside and low output impedance gives a realistic picture of what an earphone does and can do.

It always seems to come back to that point about signature, in this case the XXx shape.
Within that parameter one might ask `is that it?` Many other earphones have a similar signature. So what makes the Lyra II special, If at all?

The Lyra II like all the other Campfire Audio earphones I have listened to is smooth, well detailed and has a decent soundstage.
It has accurate placing of the instruments and a true portrayal of the vocals therein.

I can`t technically fault it as such.
It is a high performer worthy of its asking price.

I myself prefer a XXX signature, but thats my ears and personal preference.

Bass, then vocals, mids and finally highs seems the order of the day when it comes to the Lyra II.

But yes, the Lyra II, a clear fantastic sense of space and resolution with a beautiful
timbre within its parameter of XXx.

ALO Reference 8 cable, a nice match.

Value

Coming in at the lower priced end of the latest Campfire Audio line up at US$699, value as always is relative to ones wallet and of course the actual sound quality.
IE value for money, did I get it? Is usually the first wondering after an audio enthusiast parts with their precious money after spending weeks scouring forums trying to find the best bang for their buck that doesn`t break their bank.

Build of course is excellent as is all Campfire Audio products and the sound is stunning, If you like a slightly bassier and warmer XXx signature you`ll love the Lyra II.

I cover the value also in the Overall section.

Campfire Audio Vega (same sized housing) with the Hifiman MegaMini

Overall

The Lyra II is a steady performer and as with all the other earphones that come out of Campfire Audios stable it is a picture of quality in build as well as in sound.

With so many Campfire Audio products to choose from now, deciding which one is best for oneself is the first fun stage.
Price and sound signature. Simply once one has decided on a budget then the parameters of what one will purchase grow narrower, from there its simply a choice of sound signature preferable paired with a decent fairly neutral player with a low output impedance.

So where does the Lyra II fit into this, considering the II tacked on to the end of its name we would presume that this is a new improved version of the first Lyra, as I have never heard the Lyra this is my uneducated guess.

Out of the seven earphones Campfire Audio has on offer the Lyra II is the cheapest single driver DD unit, and it is the third placed (above the Orion - single BA unit and the Nova) in price, behind the Jupiter, Dorado, Andromeda and Vega models.

But I digress somewhat. Apologies.

The Lyra II due to its signature of XXx in my view matches well with a neutral to a bright source to really shine.

The Opus#1 with its latest Lollipop firmware update really shines when paired with the Campfire Audio Lyra II, great detail, the treble comes alive rather than recessed, lower bass is clean, clear and quick without a trace of muddiness, the mids are slightly warm, with a hint of lushness without becoming too enveloping or demanding.

As usual I paired the earphones with many different players/source, Dac/amps etc to try to get to the heart of the earphone, its essence; and came away quite pleased with the Lyra II. Having the Vega and the Dorado also in my possession meant I knew on an unconscious level I would probably look down on their cheaper cousin. I went the review route of Dorado>Lyra II> to try to combat this thinking.

The choice still is If you want V excitement then get the Dorado, If you want something a bit warmer and perhaps even laid back get the Lyra II and If you want the whole shebang of fullness, balanced, linear even then get the Vega.

Whilst the Lyra II is no slouch in its overall performance, its focus on the lows and mids might not be for everyones taste. Each to their own.

The Lyra II like all the other Campfire Audio earphones I have listened to is smooth, well detailed and has a decent soundstage.
It has accurate placing of the instruments and a true portrayal of the vocals therein.

A winner for fans of the XXx style signature.




Thank you to Campfire Audio for sending the Lyra II to Head pie for review
-expatinjapan



茶楽音人(さらうんど) カナル型イヤホン Co-Donguri-雫
Ocharaku Co-donguri Shizuku 
- Artistic design and pleasant sound at just $50 USD

Review by Ta-ke.


Pros: Good bass texture and clarity, quality build / cable feels premium. Controlled treble
Cons: recessed high-mids and treble shy with original tips,

Co-donguri雫, inheriting the ''donguri'' acorn-look-alike design, is the lowest priced release within the Ocharaku range. A few weeks after the release I purchased the Dawn Blue version at e-earphone, reaching around 100 hours of run-in before my impressions are written.


 The body looks like Scrat's Acorn as the name suggests

The Co-donguri features a glossy uni-body metal front chamber with an artistic vented rear chamber, coated in a classy matte finish. Similar paints can be seen in some high-end tea wares or copper wares and雫 (water droplets) seems to represent the paint coating theme on the rear chamber. There are 4 colors and the orange color is a special version available at e-earphone.


Co-donguri definitely looks outstanding and feels sturdy. The splitter labels the unit is assembled in Thailand and the package comes with 3 sets of spin fits (with 3 sizes).


 Ocharaku suggests the Co-donguri can be worn both ways

Moving on to the sound.
The Co-donguri is tested with the following source :
Macbook Pro mid 2015 rev., iPad air 2, iPhone, Chord hugo, ak 100II, mass kobo 385 amplifier, tomahawk amplifier from RSA. Tested with 16/44.1 .wav files extracted by EAC.

As expected the Co-donguri doesn't come with the brand signature phase correction design, justified by the price and Thai manufacturing. First impression on ipad it is a bit mid shy, the deep insertion seems to filter down the higher treble. Bass is slightly congested and sub-bass is well present with good texture and depth.
The overall presentation is a bit v shaped, average soundstage, sounds decent with female vocals in J-pops and some animation music, but may be thick and close for heavy instrument-based music and male vocal. Likely the slightly high impedance and dynamic driver configure is making it power hungry.

I tested the same combo on a noisy street with my iPhone and it seems to be more balanced having the bass cancelled out by ambient noise, isolation is average. It is a bit tiring to listen to in the library and the volume need to be pushed up to make the vocal sounds right as dap/ phone lacks gain/ power, plugging the iem into my Mac while i type this then i realized it is leaking a bit when I push the volume up on my Mac.

I am expecting performance and presentation to be improved after burn in.

The unit is left to burn in for a week (pink noise around 100 hours on a PC, at normal listening volume)

Testing with my Mac and iPad the bass has tighten a bit after burn in and the overall impression remains, treble seems to open up a bit more and there is a more bass control after burn in. The bass is still a bit over sufficient but not considered bass heavy.

I continue to feed the Co-donguri with relatively low-output devices and the earphone sounds best and most balanced when connected to Hugo and other source. It is more bassy with tomahawk, guess the synergy will be good with most low end daps and tracks with little bass presence. The highs to me lacks sparkle but may be good for many non-audiophile recordings especially jpop and kpop.


 The test moves on with higher end sources
(Hugo opened up for cleaning the glass observing window)

Higher end gears with high output definitely helps open up the treble. The pairing with Hugo gives much better control and pull the vocal and treble out of the mud, the treble sparkle is back and the combo has more air and separation. Further adding an amplifier helps push dynamics levels up and makes the presentation more engaging.
I swapped the tips with other tips I purchased from ebay and from bic camera and shorter tube lengths help getting out more treble details and makes the presentation more balanced.



The Co-donguri scales up with better gears and bass texture is noticeably enhanced through better power and control. Mid-highs texture is still a bit recessed and relatively less detailed.
While I find the Ak100II pairing remains quite bassy and highs are quite attenuated. My preference is to use clean sounding outputs to power up the earphones.

The verdict
Good bass resolution and excellent build, sounds good with phones and kpop or jpop, could be too bassy for lower end outputs listening to audiophile tracks. Separation with low end source is lacking, amping the earphone with higher gain factors help opening up the sound but may pick up some noise.
The Co-donguri is still a great purchase at the price point considering the build quality and design however it is more friendly with higher end outputs, to a kpop/ jpop listener like me.

Impressions are given after ~10 mins of listening and with various songs including recent and old Jpop, Korean pop, classical music (mainly romantic period) and modern mixes with heavy digital content.

Specs:
10mm dynamic driver
Output:103dBSPL /mW
Max input:200mW
Impedance:18Ω
Weight 16g
Cable length:1.2m
Accessories SpinFit S/M/L and warranty card/ user manual

About Author: Ta-ke
Loves to find the best pairings for his gear to make them shine, loves photography and tea