Cyrus new soundKey USB DAC is revolutionising mobile music. It is compatible with iphone, iOS and android mobile and protable devices.
The majority of USB DACs and headphone amplifiers fitted to smartphones or laptops are the cheapest and most plentiful the manufacturer could find. And we all know what the results of that kind of policy are – just listen to the way your laptop neuters your favourite tunes when you plug your headphones into its socket.
At one end of the soundKey there’s a 3.5mm socket for plugging in headphones (or connecting to a system). At the other there’s a micro-USB socket. There’s no need (nor any room) for anything else.
In the box Cyrus soundKey USB DAC provides a cable terminated with a micro-USB at both ends (for use with appropriate Android devices) and a micro-USB/full-size USB cable (for use with laptop or desktop computers).
Those wishing to use an Apple phone or tablet will need the Apple camera kit, but using a dongle to attach an external USB DAC to a smartphone is far from uncommon, so it’s an acceptable compromomise.
The soundKey is ready to handle a wide range of digital audio file types, most pertinently MP3, AAC and FLAC – and can handle files up to 24-bit/96kHz resolution. It requires Windows 10, Android 5 (or above) and iOS 9 (or above) of its source machine.
Comparison with our current favourite at around this price, AudioQuest’s DragonFly Black, highlights the soundKey’s relative shortage of out-and-out dynamic heft – but at the same time, the Cyrus achieves the remarkable feat of making the Black sound like something of a blunt instrument. It’s significantly more revealing, more open and more detailed than the AudioQuest.
If we’re asked to make a trade-off between transparency and ultimate dynamism, we’ll come down on the side of the Cyrus every time.
The Cyrus ONE HD is a High-resolution integrated amplifier ideal for use with your TV, Games console, laptop or desktop PC as well as many other audiophile sources.
The ONE HD builds upon the concept of the original Cyrus One, adding digital inputs including asynchronous USB, optical Toslink and coaxial digital inputs. All of these inputs are configured to work at high-resolution, up to 32bit, and are configured to get the very finest sound from whatever source you have.
The amplifier topology has been significantly updated beyond that of the original Cyrus ONE. Now in its fourth generation, our Hybrid Class-D design is now further refined with the signal path having been given a complete overhaul.
Cyrus design philosophy has been one of marginal gains. We have examined every performance critical component, upgrading wherever possible to improve the preamplifier stage, the power supply and the filtering. The result is an integrated amplifier with a host of digital inputs that is a sea change product in the development of the brand.
Bluetooth Enabled – aptX®HD:
aptX® HD compatible Bluetooth enables you to stream better than CD quality music from your phone/tablet or computer via a wireless Bluetooth connection, providing maximum flexibility without the need for a home network or any complicated setup. This allows everyone in the family to enjoy their music from their portable devices quickly and easily.
Digital and analogue inputs:
Asynchronous USB, optical and SPDIF inputs enable you to connect your PC, TV, Games Console, CD player, indeed virtually any source, directly to the Cyrus ONE HD. Four analogue inputs include RCA terminals for a turntable and an AV input that can be set to fixed gain in order to integrate with a separate AV amplifier.
Class AB Headphone Amplifier:
Uniquely, when headphones are connected, the large toroidal transformer is switched to power just the headphone section. These huge reserves of power result in a high power, high voltage class AB headphone amplifier that will drive almost all headphones with ease. The resulting musical performance is on a par with most standalone headphone amplifiers
Speaker Impedance Adjustment:
SID – Speaker Impedance Detection automatically matches the amplifier’s output response to the electrical load of the loudspeakers. This means that matching Cyrus ONE HD to any brand of loudspeaker has suddenly been made so much easier.
The Cyrus ONE linear is a premium loudspeaker system, which, whilst designed to perfectly augment the Cyrus ONE amplifier system, provides exemplary performance with a whole host of audio systems.
The ONE linear is engineered with a classically ‘British’ linear frequency response curve. The objective is complete neutrality, allowing the full character of the music to be revealed. A loudspeaker, however, can only be truly perfected if it is known which amplifier system will be driving it. In this case, the ONElinear has been optimised for use with our own hybrid Class D amplifier topologies.
The ONE linear bass/mid driver uses a double-wound copper-coated aluminium voice-coil. As well as being light, this produces a stronger induced magnetic field and hence ‘grip’ over hard to control bass frequencies. The voice coil is bonded to a carefully profiled KEVLAR cone material. This material is light and responsive, carrying limited inertia and retaining its shape and hence audio characteristic even when pushed hard. The speed and accuracy of the resulting bass response is remarkable for a speaker of the size.
The ‘tweeter’ or treble unit is a textile soft-dome, capable of meaningful response well beyond the limits of human hearing. Refined and balanced, the high-frequencies are never ‘aggressive’ or harsh, yet retain the full detail of the source recording.
The crossover uses high quality electrolytic capacitors to maintain the signal integrity and a smooth phase response through the transition from bass driver to tweeter. This again contributes the even response.
The cabinet has been developed using advanced computer modelling with ‘Delayed Cumulative Spectral Analysis’ to reduce the contribution of cabinet noise to levels more than 35dB below the driver output. The same computer modelling is also used to fine tune the crossover to ensure a consistent performance, even when listening ‘off-axis’.
The ONE linear is rear-ported and designed to be positioned between 10-30cm from a rear wall. This will optimise the bass response and mid-range clarity, although some experimentation with position is advised as this will be room-dependent.
The Cyrus iR14 remote control gives you full control over your Cyrus equipment and other infrared devices in your home. It can easily become your only remote, by learning the functions of up to two other remote controls. With a stylish design, intuitive layout and backlit keypad that responds to your every movement, the iR14 is a great way to control your Cyrus equipment.
If combined with Cyrus’s unique MC-BUS communication system, the iR14 becomes the hub of your system, controlling everything with a few button presses. You can easily switch between controlling your hi-fi, TV and Satellite at the press of a button and the responsive remote control even shows you which item you’re currently in control of.
Our universal remotes simplify the control of all your home video and audio devices. Universal remotes can replace a broken remote, but they can also combine the control of multiple devices into one remote control. One For All Universal Remotes work with all your audio video devices guaranteed, regardless of the brand.
The Cyrus PSX-R2 external power supply is a great addition to any existing Cyrus equipment that you may own. The PSX-R2 delivers an impressive increase in sound quality. It works by removing existing high voltage circuitry from inside the main Hi-Fi component isolating it from the sensitive, low voltage parts so important to music production.
The concept is that a power supply provides a super smooth DC feed to the highly refined electronics to you can hear the full potential of the products you have purchased.
In many products the PSX-R2 works in tandem with the built-in power supply to allow each part of the unit to be powered separately. It thereby removes any cross contamination from for example the motors in a Cyrus CD player.
The unit works by providing a regulated DC power feed free of negative artefacts that are present in all domestic mains supplies. Connecting a PSX-R2 external power supply enables the high grade components in the partnering component to perform to their full potential. This is one of our most popular upgrades and is highly recommended. The PSX-R2 provides new depth and detail to the sound output of partnering products by providing extremely low noise power to the circuits within the unit. Low noise high gain amplifiers connected in a propriety design filter out any unwanted noise and provide remarkable benefits in sound quality. If you consider that amplifiers and other audio electronics work by making copies of the incoming signal, it is obvious that the copy will sound better because if DC voltage lines are cleaner. A stable, strong and separated power supply can provide huge sound quality benefits for a hi-fi system.
By powering part of the workings of a Cyrus unit, the PSX-R2 lessens the strain on its internal power supply. This separation of power makes the unit work more efficiently, and creates a stronger and more detailed sound.
A fully regulated 300W DC power supply, the PSX-R2 uses intelligent connectivity which automatically adjusts its output parameters to suit the partnering Cyrus component.
The Cyrus PSX-R2 external power supply acts the same as most higher-end equipment. It has been long known that removing high voltage circuitry from the more sensitive low voltage parts will dramatically improve sound quality. Similarly providing multiple voltage supplies removes interference from one part of a device to another.
Cyrus has long produced the PSX-R power supply – an off-board power supply that isolates the high voltage components and allows you to enjoy your equipment at its best. They have however incorporated many enhancements to the AC and DC portions of this version of the power supply that they developed for the 30th Anniversary system. This enables the PSX to extract even greater levels of performance when partnered with recent Cyrus amplifier designs.
The Cyrus PSX-R2 power supply is compatible with most Cyrus equipment – you just plug in your kit into the PSX-R2 instead of the mains and enjoy!
The Cyrus PSX-R2 expernal power supply is highly recommended for the Cyrus CD players and transports that are often reviewed with this power supply as the incredible improvement decimates the competition!
Cyrus has a strong line-up of hi-fi separates and the company has hand-picked technologies and components across its whole range to use in the Cyrus Lyric.
On paper, all the ingredients seem to be there. Play a couple of CDs and you soon realise Cyrus has mixed them to perfection. There’s all the musicality, enthusiasm, and agility we’ve come to expect from Cyrus products, and more.
Listening to Time from the Inception soundtrack and the Cyrus Lyric hits some serious dynamic highs. The sense of scale as the string and wind instruments rise in volume is captivating, as is the sudden shift from a loud crescendo to delicate piano play.
Switch to Eminem’s Bad Guy streamed as a WAV file from our networked storage, and there’s a fine sense of precision and timing to the track. All the individual elements of the song are hang neatly in a clear, open soundstageRead more at https://www.whathifi.com/cyrus/lyric-09/review#vr8Bsu0HAZYqvQe3.99
The Lyric unearths a fabulous amount of detail and laps up information from every tune you play, whether it’s an uncompressed WAV file from a NAS or a compressed Spotify stream over Bluetooth.
There’s an impressive sense of power and drive on tap too. The Cyrus Lyric’s specifications include a new hybrid amp design capable of a claimed 170W per channel.
And, although more power doesn’t always equate to a more powerful sound, it certainly seems to help the Cyrus. This system leaves a lasting impression.
Play Haim’s Falling over Bluetooth and the Cyrus Lyric hits hard in the low frequencies. The drum kicks and bass notes arrive with a serious amount of weight behind them.
X Power is high quality power amplifier, with switchable stereo (100 Watts per channel) or mono (181 Watts per channel) modes providing huge amounts of power. The X Power power amplifier uses an oversized power supply, which allows it to be incredibly dynamic and responsive to even the most challenging inputs.
Running as a stereo amplifier, X Power outputs 100 Watts per channel but with a simple flick of a switch, it turns into a 181 Watts per channel mono power amplifier, providing improved sound quality and allowing the use of harder to drive loudspeakers.
The X Power features music sense mode. When set to low power standby the X Power detects an incoming signal and automatically and noiselessly switches on the amplifier ready for use. If there is no music detected for an extended period of time it will revert to standby mode.
The X Power power amplifier includes a port for connecting the PSX-R?. The addition of this highly regulated off-board power supply not only improves sound quality but increases output power, especially in mono operation.
The X Power power amplifier includes an expansive and highly adaptive power supply which provides considerable dynamic power in excess of the rated RMS figure, essential to driving difficult loads.
The X Power power amplifier can be used in multiple scenarios. Most typical would be in a Pre / Power system with Pre? DAC or Stream XP?. Also compatible with integrated amplifiers in bi-amped stereo configuration. The fixed gain structure enables compatibility with any Cyrus amplifier.