Make no mistake, the Lyric 09 is proper hi-fi.
You’d certainly hope so, for the three grand Cyrus is expecting you to swap for it. But this is a CD player and streaming system like few others, with almost ridiculous power and stunning detail.
Be prepared to get blown away.
Fans of the British brand won’t recognize this as a piece of Cyrus kit. Where’s the half-width casework that’s been its signature for decades?
This unit, though, is a departure from the conventional for Cyrus in more ways than one – so why not change things up in the style stakes as well? And the new look hasn’t distracted Cyrus from providing all the features and functionality an all-in-one system at this price needs to have.
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Power: 2 x 170W
Connections: aptX Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, DLNA, Ethernet, internet radio, optical, USB
Dimensions (hwd): 11 x 42 x 32cm
Set-up to stun
There are physical inputs aplenty on the Lyric 09: two conventional USB sockets will accept external hard drives, MP3 players, Apple iDevices and the like, and a Type B USB input at the back will hook up to your computer or NAS drive, so you can stream music files to the unit and use the Cyrus’s excellent on-board DAC.
It'll play a whole bunch of formats and bitrates, too, including WAV, FLAC, and AIFF as well as those lovely, better-than-CD 24-bit/192kHz high-resolution files.
You can, of course, stream to the Lyric wirelessly (via the supplied aerial), but if you're prepared to spend this sort of money on hi-fi kit you want to hear it at its very best, which means hardwiring if at all possible.
But there’s aptX Bluetooth on board for when you just want to fling something from your phone to your hi-fi, and DAB, FM and internet radio. And, of course, that good old-fashioned CD player for those who haven't already put all of their old discs in a dusty attic.
The only disappointment is that the Lyric doesn't have streaming services such as Spotify, Tidal or Qobuz built-in. You can of course send music to it from any app you like with the Bluetooth feature, but that's not as good as the hi-fi having a direct link to the service.
And also remember that you need to supply your own speakers. And make sure they're good ones - the Cyrus deserves nothing less.
Getting a grip
You’ve got two choices to control all this: the remote control that comes with the Lyric 09, and the now almost-obligatory control app.
The remote is a fairly long unit, but it’s a decent piece of kit – and it has a sensor in it so should light up when you pick it up. And it will, provided you don’t sneak up on it – if you let it know you’re there with a bit of a shake it will light up like a good ‘un.
The Cadence app isn’t the most modern-looking piece of software out there, but it is intuitive to use, and makes locating and selecting tracks a simple procedure.
Synergy for a sound investment
Cyrus makes some impressive hi-fi separates, and it has borrowed from them to superb effect in the Lyric 09. The streaming engine comes from the (award-winning) £2300 Stream XP2 QX, and the CD mechanism is from the £700 CD.
Suddenly the three grand asking price doesn’t seem quite so outrageous. And the synergy between all these fine individual parts is something to behold. Play a CD and there’s stunning musicality, enthusiasm for the music and all the punch and attack we’ve come to expect from Cyrus hi-fi. The Lyric unearths fabulous detail no matter what the source – uncompressed WAV file from a NAS, or compressed Spotify stream over Bluetooth.
Even with the lowest-res files it reveals subtleties that lesser machines simply can’t pick out. The sense of scale is captivating, and there’s a fine sense of precision and timing to tracks. There’s power too, provided by a new hybrid amp design pumping out a claimed 170W per channel. This system will certainly leave an impression.
Cyrus Lyric 09 Verdict
The Cyrus Lyric 09 stands out from the crowd in a number of ways – it doesn’t look like a Cyrus product for a start.
Far more importantly than that, though, it properly delivers on the next-gen all-in-one system promise, taking the best parts from a variety of Cyrus hi-fi kit and mixing it together to create a beautiful-sounding whole that can truly lay claim to the term hi-fi. All in one easy-to-use unit. Brilliant.
REVIEWED IN CONJUNCTION WITH OUR SISTER SITE WHAT HI-FI?