Skip to main content

CCA LYRA Review – Unbeatable Earbuds Under $20

Last updated: 3 months ago
7 min read
Editor
rating
3.6
CCA LYRA earbuds

CCA LYRA brought a breath of fresh air into the under $20 territory, offering outstanding sound quality that can rival the best earbuds under $100.

CCA LYRA are the new in-ear monitor kings in the $20 price range. Upon hearing them for the first time, you’ll be shocked at how a pair so cheap sounds so good.

Not only that, but they offer decent build quality and a detachable cable with 2pin connectors.

And they’re pretty comfortable and stable due to the “ear hook” designed cable.

On the other hand, ergonomics could be better, with big housing requiring equally big ears to fit inside. Also, placing the IEMs into your ear requires both hands since the cable is so stiff.

Nevertheless, these few quirks don’t ruin the listening experience. If you’re among music lovers, the CCA LYRA are more than worth checking out.

But let’s dive into more details and find out what you get when purchasing CCA LYRAs.

HeadphonesAddict is user supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

  • Superb sound quality (for the price)
  • Excellent stability due to over-the-ear cable
  • Detachable cable
  • Minimal microphonics
  • Good comfort …
  • … but not for all ears due to strange design
  • Slightly cheap-feeling cable
Editor
rating
3.6
By HeadphonesAddict
User
ratings
0
User Ratings: 0
Our rating
  • Star Rating
    4.0
  • Star Rating
    3.5
  • Star Rating
    3.0
  • Star Rating
    2.5
  • Star Rating
    3.5
  • Star Rating
    5.0
User rating
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
  • 0
RATE THIS MODEL
CONTENTS (show more)

    Sound

    Star Rating
    4.0 Great

    While lacking a bit of treble extension and having a slight bass boost, CCA LYRA are a superbly balanced pair of IEMs that work with any music genre.

    Check the CCA LYRA Sound Comparison

    CCA LYRA Sound Quality Test – HeadphonesAddict

    Learn how to understand sound comparisons.

    If you want to start your audiophile journey and don’t know where to begin, these are the earbuds to pick.

    While not perfectly neutral, they portray every song naturally, with good clarity and detail retrieval for the price. You can even get a good sound stage and accurate imaging.

    CCA LYRA Frequency Response

    CCA LYRA frequency measurement
    In reality, the bass frequency response is a bit punchier than what’s seen on the graph.

    Bass: Slightly boosted but smooth as a butter

    Lower frequencies are ever so slightly boosted from the sub-bass to around 250Hz, where they flatten out.

    While that isn’t the most ideal, the boost isn’t big enough to cause muddiness in the midrange.

    Note that the bass measurement in our graph should’ve been slightly higher, but we couldn’t get a proper seal on our testing rig due to the strange earbud’s shape.

    Technically, earbuds do a great job playing different nuances in bass guitars. Even pop or hip-hop songs sound smooth yet full, with a good amount of rumble. If you haven’t listened to well-tuned earbuds yet, you’ll be amazed at how much you can hear with LYRA.

    Compared to similarly priced Moondrop Chu, the latter have slightly less bass, which is also a bit tighter. In comparison, LYRA has a deeper, thumping bass that isn’t as fast.

    Slower bass performance is especially noticeable when listening to metal. That being said, the intro in the “Pale Morning Star” by Insomnium still sounds fantastic.

    CCA LYRA internals
    CCA LYRA sport a clear housing, so you can easily see a single 10mm dual magnetic dynamic driver placed under the nozzle.

    Midrange: Lush and natural

    Despite that 5kHz peak and too small dip between 6kHz to 8kHz, the midrange sounds incredibly natural.

    Due to bass extension, which makes the sound a little warm, male vocals truly shine. They sound full and lifelike, albeit lacking a tiny bit of air.

    Of course, female vocals aren’t that far off, although not as mesmerizing in comparison. Also, I haven’t heard any case of sibilance, even though earbuds got pretty close to it in “Teenage Dream” by Katy Perry.

    Furthermore, LYRAs are capable of playing busier tracks without skipping a beat. Songs like “Lost it To Trying” by Son Lux sound full, with all the instruments clearly audible and natural in tone.

    Treble: Excellent clarity for the price

    Cheaper headphones usually fall apart in higher frequencies. But not the CCA LYRA. They easily outperform their closest competitor, the Moondrop Chus.

    Earbuds could use a better treble extension, but it’s boosted where it should be, adding detail and texture to higher notes.

    Detail retrieval in this region isn’t comparable to premium earbuds. However, cymbal crashes still sound nicely textured and transparent, making the LYRA suitable for jazz or any other funky music genres, as well.

    CCA LYRA internals
    Another look at the dynamic driver and the wiring.

    Soundstage is another area where these earbuds do an above-average job. It gives you a decently sized room around your head for the sound to move in it.

    Furthermore, imaging is great, too, placing instruments and sounds around your head with good accuracy.

    In the end, I could only wish to have such earbuds in my younger years instead of paying more for far worse sound quality.

    CCA LYRA should be on every beginner audiophile’s radar, as they offer superb audio quality for less than $20. Cheap Chi-Fi earbuds never stop to impress.

    Are CCA LYRA difficult to drive?

    You can easily drive them through a smartphone (I used Samsung Galaxy S21 and iPhone 11, both with dedicated AUX adapters) since they only have 28 ohms of resistance.

    That being said, you will get a tighter sound using a headphone amp and playing high-quality HiFi music.

    Pairing them with the AudioQuest Dragonfly Red, earbuds are already deafening loud at 12% volume. However, you can hear that the bass is slightly tighter and the overall sound a little bit more transparent.

    Comfort & Fit

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    Despite LYRA’s size, they’re very lightweight and incredibly stable. However, that size and abnormal shape make them unsuitable for every ear.

    CCA LYRA are one of those earbuds with a slightly unconventional shape.

    Not everyone will find CCA LYRA comfortable due to the design.

    Their housing is actually smaller than the notoriously big Sony WF-1000XM4. However, LYRAs have a strange shape that isn’t universally ergonomic to fit all ears.

    The idea behind the shape is to contour the casing to the shape of your pinna. But since everyone’s ear is slightly different, some will experience discomfort over long music sessions.

    Also, the included cable with wire-over-the-ear design is pretty stiff, leaving very little space to maneuver earbuds and find your ideal spot.

    Speaking of the cable, its design helps earbuds remain rock steady. Even when I was shaking my head like a maniac, they didn’t fly off.

    CCA LYRA ear hook cable
    Plastic surrounding the wire and forming the “ear hook” is quite stiff.

    Of course, if you shake your head or smile a lot, the ear tips might lose some grip. Thankfully, you can quickly readjust them to fix the issue.

    Regarding silicone ear tips, you get standard S, M, and L sizes.

    Durability

    Star Rating
    3.0 Good

    The housing is made of thin plastic and lacks official water protection, yet feels solid and well-protected with cables attached. On the other hand, the cable quality is only decent.

    CCA had to cut many corners to meet the $20 price range (or $19, to be exact).

    Firstly, plastic is the main building material. Higher-end models are made of resin, whereas LYRA seems like they’re made of plastic.

    It’s put together from 3 different pieces: the “diamond” faceplate, the middle, and the nozzle. Also, there are 2 bass ports on each side.

    CCA LYRA internals
    A 3-part construction: faceplate, middle, and nozzle part.

    Transparent housing is a cool touch, but with only one dynamic driver inside, there isn’t much to look at.

    Stiff “ear hook” cables should provide extra protection if earbuds accidentally fall on the floor as it prevents them from rolling around.

    Moving to the “high-purity silver-plated cable,” it feels okay, albeit you can tell it’s on the cheaper side. It looks cool and doesn’t have that rubbery stickiness that would pull against your shirt.

    The ability to replace damaged cables helps with overall durability since cables are the usual breaking point in wired earbuds.

    There’s an L-shaped 3.5mm connector on one end and a 2pin connection on the other.

    CCA LYRA connectors
    CCA LYRA use a 2pin connection.

    The stiff ear hook-shaped plastic is permanently attached to the cable, so you’ll have to use a different cable if you find the stock one too uncomfortable.

    CCA LYRA don’t have any water resistance rating, yet you shouldn’t be afraid of using them for light workouts or at least outdoor walking.

    Features

    Star Rating
    2.5 Average

    The most notable feature is a detachable cable and “ear hook” design for extra stability. Also, you can opt for a version with an inline microphone.

    Earbuds at this price range often suffer from poor build and durability and limited features. And while CCA LYRA aren’t necessarily packed with features, some of them are incredibly useful.

    The biggest one is the removable cable. That extends the earbuds’ longevity and gives you room for potential upgrades.

    CCA LYRA right side marking
    Almost invisible left/right indicators on the buds.

    The “ear hook” cable helps provide support and absorb cable noise. More on that later.

    While I got a regular version, there’s also the one with an inline mic and 1-button remote for basic playback controls.

    Noise Isolation

    Star Rating
    3.5 Almost Great

    CCA LYRA isolate pretty well but not as much as deeper-fitting models or the ones with foam tips. Nevertheless, you won’t hear anything during music playback.

    In-ear earbuds are known to have great passive noise isolation. However, fit, seal, and construction materials all contribute to it.

    CCA LYRA sit somewhere in the middle, with a moderately deep fit and plastic construction, which will let in more ambient noise than Moondrop Chu, which are made of zinc alloy.

    All that aside, LYRAs can still isolate to a good extent. Combined with music, you won’t hear anything but the loudest outdoor noises.

    CCA LYRA earbud
    CCA LYRA have a pretty decent passive noise isolation, so you can easily use them on your commute.

    What about cable noise?

    Fortunately, the over-the-ear design cable reduces microphonics by absorbing vibrations.

    That way, cable noise shouldn’t ruin your listening experience even when you’re walking.

    In there any sound leakage?

    The sound leakage is negligible. Unless you’re blasting your music at a dangerously high volume people around you shouldn’t hear anything. But practice safe headphone use to prevent long-term hearing damage.

    Should You Get CCA LYRA?

    Star Rating
    5.0 Perfect

    Chi-Fi products like CCA LYRA show that high-quality audio is possible for less than $20. Because of that, they deserve a spot in our best earbuds under $20 guide.

    Sure, the housing is bulky and protrudes a lot, and the cable is stiff (and has a strong plastic smell).

    However, if you want to enjoy music in a very faithful manner, there’s no better place to start. Trust me, when hearing new details in music, you’ll want to re-listen your entire music catalog.

    CCA LYRA diamond pattern
    A “diamond” faceplate to give the CCA LYRA some character.

    As I mentioned earlier in the review, I could only wish for IEMs like LYRAs when I was in high school.

    Back then, cheap earbuds meant listening to a harsh, sibilant, bass-heavy mess and being content with it.

    Thankfully, now there are many more excellent and dirt-cheap options to choose from. And CCA LYRA are one of them.

    How do CCA LYRA compare to the competition?

    • They have a fantastic sound quality that’s hard to beat under $20.
    • Cables are detachable, which can’t be said for most of the competition.
    • They offer better build quality than most in the price range, although not quite the best.
    • Earbuds have an option for an inline remote and mic, which is also present on many other cheap earbuds.
    • Their comfort can be a hit or miss, depending on the individual.

    CCA LYRA Alternatives

    Moondrop Chu vs. CCA LYRA

    Moondrop Chu wired earbuds

    Chus are less bass-boosted alternative with brighter midrange and not as detailed treble. Still, both deliver very natural performance for the price.

    The Chu have a higher build quality with metal housing and better cable, which is non-detachable.

    Both have good comfort and stability, with the Chu giving the option to attach ear hooks for an even stabler fit.

    Moondrop Chu review

    Skullcandy Dime vs. CCA LYRA

    Skullcandy Dime wireless earbuds

    Skullcandy Dime are cheap true wireless alternative with impressive audio quality for the price, with a slightly V-shaped sound signature.

    While you get the advantage of being wireless (on top of an IPX4 rating), the Dimes aren’t as comfy or stable. Their battery is also subpar, with only 3.5 hours on a single charge.

    Skullcandy Dime review

    KZ ZST vs. CCA LYRA

    KZ ZST in-ear monitor

    KZ ZST v-shaped in-ear monitors produce a livelier sound that can occasionally get sibilant.

    Build-wise, both earbuds share the same plastic construction with detachable 2pin cables and over-the-ear type of wearing.

    However, the ZST can be a tad more comfortable thanks to a more conventional earbud design.

    KZ ZST review

    What’s in the Box?

    CCA LYRA accessories
    • CCA LYRA wired earbuds
    • Three pairs of silicone ear tips (S, M, L)
    • User manual

    Specifications

    Type: In-ear
    Connection: Wired – 3.5mm
    Back design: Closed-back
    Drivers: 10mm dynamic
    Frequency range: 20-40.000Hz
    Impedance: 28 Ohm
    Weight: 0.2 oz (5.5 g) per earbud / (27 grams with buds & cable)
    Mic & Controls: Optional
    Water resistance: None
    Battery life: /
    Charging time: /
    Active noise cancelling: No
    Bluetooth codecs: /
    Wireless range: /
    Microphone: Optional

    Leave a comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *