AKG Lyra USB Microphone REVIEW

The new AKG LYRA might just be our new fave for affordable USB mics.

Desktop USB Microphones used to be one trick ponies — yes they worked, with not a lot of options, and placement was dictated by “all in one” mounts that may have looked cool, but were anything but flexible. Leave it to AKG to come up with a Desktop USB mic that delivers quality sound, with plenty of sound options, and flexibility in the newly released Lyra.

First off, the modern-yet-retro design is very eye catching, and thankfully it’s got “go” to accompany the show. Underneath the grille are four mic capsules, a pair facing outwards on each side. The front panel has a listing of selections for the mic patterns; Front, Front and Back, Tight Stereo, and Wide Stereo. A mute switch button lights up red when engaged, and a headphone level control sits here as well. The back side has the selector for the microphone pattern, as well as mic gain. It kind of seems weird that the mic selection is shown on the front, but controlled from the rear, but it makes sense in a way, as to not confuse the headphone level with the gain level. At the bottom is a USB C connection as well as a 1/8” headphone input. The alloy base has a nice opening to allow routing of the cables, while the yoke section is detachable, and able to be threaded upon a standard microphone stand.

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Consider the ‘Front’ mode as the head-on version, with the forward capsules engaged, great for voice overs, and recording vocals or instruments facing it, while the ‘Front and Back’ mode, like the name implies, works great when the sound source(s) are facing the front and back. Great for interviews, as well as an acoustic duo playing together. The stereo modes are very expansive, even in the ‘Tight’ mode, which captures a small ensemble playing with no issues. The ‘Wide’ stereo mode works great when getting a group together that might not be able to crowd around the mic evenly. The stereo modes work great connected to an iOS device for practice/room recordings.

We connected it to our DAW (PreSonus Studio One), and the overall sound quality in each mode was excellent, with no issues — simply place it near the sound source, and it’s ready to go. The mic stand mount comes in handy for optimum placement. As a desktop mic, it’s nice to have one that doesn’t need anything extra. The stereo modes really capture room sounds, so keep that in mind when using it for that extra “air.”

Practical applications abound with this, from content creators looking for high quality sound to pair with their videos, or podcasters who’d normally need multiple microphones and stands, it keeps the feel of interviews professional, yet casual. It’s easily placed in a room with multiple people with no “hollow-ness” or far away tunnel-like effects. Using it as a single one-on-one style mic for voice overs, it delivers nicely as well.

The only downside is that AKG only included a standard USB cable, so recording to Android and iOS devices means getting specific cables for those applications. Thankfully we had an iOS device cable and it worked great connected to an iPad’s recording app.

AKG really knocked it out of the park with a durable, great sounding, and ergonomically functional mic that can work for any multimedia venture: from recording music, YouTube and Twitch streaming, to podcasting.

PROS

Great design, excellent sound, easy to use settings to choose from

CONS

iOS/Android cables not included

STREET PRICE

$149

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