AKG has always been known for producing some of the best top-quality microphones for podcasting and streaming that money can buy, and their AKG Lyra hopes to keep this tradition going.
Being released in 2019, the AKG Lyra USB mic has been a real standout in terms of modern condenser microphones (also see, ‘Best Condenser Mic‘).
Alongside the Blue Yeti models, it is now commonly seen being used by many podcasters to provide precise and clear audio for each and every episode (also see, ‘AKG Lyra vs Blue Yeti‘).
If you’re debating on whether to pick up this small and trusty microphone, here is an AKG Lyra review of all of its features and the overall quality it provides so that you can be sure this is the right mic for you and your show.
What Is The AKG Lyra USB?
The AKG Lyra continues the AKG tradition of producing and selling high-end and easy to use plug ‘n play USB microphones.
These USB mics are so widely used in this day and age when podcasters, vloggers, and streamers want an easy way to record great sound quality without the hassle of connecting a microphone through a multitude of wires or through Bluetooth which can be unreliable at the best of times.
The AKG Lyra proved to be an excellent and reliable microphone for many audio enthusiasts when it was first introduced in 2019. It was not just proclaimed to be everything it was, but even better.
So how well does the Lyra really stay true to this promise?
How Good Is The AKG Lyra USB Microphone?
Higher-end microphones such as the AKG Lyra can cost quite a bit of money, so it is always well worth checking out reviews just to make sure you won’t be returning the microphone for a new one soon after you pick it up.
It’s also important to know what extra features the microphone comes with to ensure it will work for your specific podcast setup.
Here is all you need to know about the different features of the Lyra and if it really is as effective and reliable as it claims to be.
The AKG Lyra will record up to 24 bit 192 kHz in terms of its bit depth and sample rate which is definitely in the higher end when it comes to crystal clear audio quality.
This isn’t all that makes the Lyra’s audio so precise and focused. It also comes with 4 different capture modes: front, front back, tight stereo, and wide stereo.
This gives you a tremendous amount of customization in regard to how many voices you want to be going through the microphone at one time.
If you are conducting an interview-styled episode with you and the guest across the table from each other, the front and back option will pick this up perfectly while the wide stereo allows everyone around the mic to have their voices focused on and picked up simultaneously.
You also won’t hear any annoying resonant frequencies if you accidentally tap the microphone, unlike many others which can let out loud noises which can really ruin the entire listening experience.
The audio will also be able to remain precise and clear to anyone no more than 4 feet away from the microphone, meaning you and your guests won’t have to huddle around the mic too closely.
In terms of audio quality, the AKG Lyra really does excel in this area, and with how much you can customize the experience with its capture modes, it’s definitely a great option for the long term.
The only real downside to mention is the Lyra won’t do well at negating background noise since it is still a condenser microphone.
If you do have any sudden noises going on around you or if you’re using a keyboard next to the mic, these will be heard in the recording, however other than this the audio is crystal clear and very accurate.
For recording music, the AKG Lyra USB microphone is highly recommended for its clear and natural sound. This mic has three 14mm capsules that deliver a wide frequency response, making it an ideal choice for recording vocals or instruments in a professional studio setting.
Ease Of Use
Because of its USB plug ‘n play design and with a USB cable included with each purchase, part of the beauty of the AKG Lyra is that you can plug it in and start recording right away.
However, while this may not be very impressive by today’s standards, there are a few extra handy features that make the AKG Lyra perfect for both beginners and more advanced podcasters.
For one, on the very front of the microphone, you can see clearly laid out dials that are used for headphone volume control along with a polar pattern light-up indicator that lets you know which of the four polar pattern options are currently in use.
You also have a mute button just below that so that you can quickly silence your recording if there are any disturbances or background noises during an episode.
On the rear of the microphone, you get even more options including a polar pattern selection dial which allows you to switch between each of the four modes quickly and easily even while you’re recording, along with a microphone gain dial.
The rear and front design may be a little annoying for some users, especially those more experienced podcasters who may need to use all the features at once and will need to reach over or turn the mic around to turn each one on or off.
However, this really isn’t a dealbreaker and despite all these customization options being dotted around the mic itself, they aren’t too big or jarring to the point where they make the product look too cluttered.
This is a huge improvement over the Ara which only allowed the dials to switch between its two polar patterns and which also didn’t include a gain knob, and makes the whole experience of recording feel much simpler and more seamless than AKG ever has before.
In terms of the appearance and build quality of the microphone, while it does come down to personal preference, it definitely is sturdy enough to stand the test of time.
It comes with a metal mesh grill on the microphone which has a bit of give to it, along with a body made entirely out of plastic and the mounting joints which are also plastic along with the dials.
The dials themselves do have a slight amount of wobble to them, however, this is counteracted by the nice and firm click each of them gives off once you press them in.
The microphone itself has a very sleek and almost traditional look to them that mimics the design of many microphones from the 1950s and 60s.
This might not be the more modern and futuristic look that many people are looking for but is definitely still a charming and unique design in its own right.
A great feature about the AKG Lyra’s design is also that it’s built to rest perfectly on essentially any stand (also see, Best Podcast Mic Stands‘).
By default, the mic is already attached to a firm and sturdy base which is weighty enough to stand upright on a desk without falling over easily.
However, you do also get the option to remove the basic mic stand and attach the mic to an alternative stand or boom arm which is made easy thanks to five-eighths-inch threading at the bottom.
When compared to the Ara, the Lyra is only a little more expensive than other USB microphones and will usually set you back around $90 upon purchase.
While this is a big investment, considering the Lyra improves on everything that made the Ara already so great, and with many of its competitors asking for higher price points despite having many of the same features, the AKG Lyra is definitely worth the money.
For the slight increase in price, the AKG Lyra is definitely worth upgrading if you’re still using the Ara and is the perfect option if you’re a beginner and don’t mind spending a decent amount on a microphone that you can be sure is going to last you in the long run.
While there are a few notable downsides, including background noise sometimes being a problem along with the traditional design which may not suit everyone’s personal tastes, the positives still far outweigh any of the negatives and make this condenser mic more than worth its price tag.
One of the biggest reasons the AKG Lyra is presented in such a positive light by many reviewers is because, unlike other USB mics, it doesn’t alienate anyone from trying it with just how easy it is to use.
No matter if you’re more of an experienced podcaster, or a beginner just getting to grips with podcasts, the Lyra is accessible to anyone and definitely, a microphone that’s more than worth it if you have the funds to spend.