- Unbelievable value
- Neutral sound-like audiophile
- Great lifetime of batteries
- Design is a bit plain
Just when you think you’ve seen all the true wireless earbud industry can bring, a little gem comes along. You may not have heard of Lypertek’s up-and-coming audio brand yet, but expect to hear a lot from it soon-the real wireless earbuds from Lypertek Tevi are among the best we’ve tried, particularly given the low price tag.
It ticks every box you might ask for with USB-C charging, a well-balanced sound, long battery life, and waterproofing, from what are essentially a couple of budget buds. Surprisingly, the Lypertek Tevi could just blow you away.
[Update: The first true wireless earbuds have just been revealed by Lypertek. While they are not as highly-specced as their slightly more precious siblings, The new Lypertek Levi doesn’t skimp on stuff like battery life, design, and compatibility. Of course, before we can tell for sure, we’ll need to test them for ourselves, but they look pretty promising, and may be 2021’s best value real wireless earbuds.
Price and availability
While it’s not quite a pocket-money buy at that price, considering the standard of what’s on offer, and still very much in the realms of what we’d consider a budget price, it’s very much a deal. To find a better sounding pair of earbuds for the money, and with a similar feature set, you’ll be hard pressed.
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The Apple AirPods (2019), for example, cost $159 / £159 / AU$249, and are still the most common true wireless earbuds out there, even though the title is likely to fall quickly to the Apple AirPods Pro, regardless of the lack of audiophile credentials from Apple.
In terms of the feature and nature of a pair of real wireless earbuds, the Lypertek Tevi does not crack the mould. In a pill-shaped charging case, left and right buds are mounted, slotting magnetically into position. The case itself has a battery in it, and it will recharge them by putting the buds inside, provided the case itself has been topped up with fuel.
The Lypertek Tevi pairing is somewhat different from any other true wireless buds that we have used. Using the TrueWireless Plus technology from Qualcomm, you first pair the right earpiece (over Bluetooth 5.0), before you are asked to pair the left earpiece separately.
They work like any other pair of real wireless earbuds after this point-remove them from their case and they will re-pair with your source device of choice automatically, pop them in the case and they will turn off and start charging. But thanks to their discrete link to the source, it also opens up the possibility of using them as a single mono earpiece independent of each other, useful if you just want to use them as a Bluetooth headset for calls, for example.
It’s pretty much regular fare so far. But the first argument that makes the Lypertek Tevi stand out from the crowd is their alleged battery life of 70 hours. That’s 10 hours in the buds, and there were another six full loads,
That’s the case. That’s a remarkable amount of juice packed in here, and although your mileage can differ depending on the volume at which you play your songs, if they offered half as much, most rival true wireless buds would be in a respectable spot.
That would lead to bulky, voluminous buds and a giant charging case, you would assume, but that’s not true of the Lypertek Tevi. Although at a rough 8cm x 3cm x 4cm it is not thin, its case is perfectly pocketable and also includes USB-C charging, which, thanks to its reversible design and fast-charging features, is superior to the cheaper microUSB. Similarly, the buds themselves (which eschew the stem-like prongs of the AirPods for a bud-only aesthetic) They are relatively thin, only a tiny amount protruding out of your ear.
During longer listening periods, some exhaustion is inevitable, but the buds are light enough that it’s hours before any real pain sets in. Plus, you get four eartip types to choose from, small, medium and wide in silicone, and a one-size-fits-all set of ‘Flexfit’ foam tips, close to the disposable earplugs material you find. As such, finding a comfortable match is easier-our cash is on the foam tips, which provided the best protection from external noise.
The buds also house physical buttons themselves, monitoring anything from playback to speed, to call-answering and calling your preferred voice assistant. Although clicking on stuff practically stuck in your ears can be a little painful, they’re much more reliable than touch-sensitive controls. Note also that the volume controls on the earbuds are independent of your source device-while initially confusing, it was actually helpful, giving you more granular volume level control, and allowing the Lypertek Tevi, if you like, to reach very high volume levels.
A flashy style is what the Lypertek Tevi does not have. Apart from an optional cord attached to one end, probably for hanging off a keychain or similar, the fabric-covered case is grey and nondescript and the buds are also usable, with a small silver ring circling the button region where the discreet Lypertek logo resides. But we would rather find a pair that blends into the background than draw attention to itself anyway, and the fabric-covered case actually makes it easier to discover when concealed at the bottom of your bag.
And while the Lypertek Tevi does not offer wireless charging or noise-cancelling, we wouldn’t expect them to offer IPX7 waterproofing at this price, so the cherry on a bargain-offering design is enough to see them survive a shower without fuss.
We have been used to making sacrifices for the audio quality of true-wireless buds for a long time-a nascent technology, the form factor was easy enough to disregard any audio failures. But, thanks to great audio from the likes of the Sony WF-1000XM3 and Cambridge Audio Melomania 1, that’s no longer an excuse.
It’s a wonderful and welcome shock that a £ 99 / $130 package of buds will challenge this storied competition. With the buds supporting SBC, AAC and aptX codecs, the Lypertek Tevi’s 6mm graphene drivers deliver some of the most natural and well-balanced audio we’ve enjoyed all year from a pair of earphones.
Where in their near-neutral tone is the Lypertek Tevi excel. It’s what audiophiles want, the chance to hear songs and soundtracks as intended by their writers, without tuning that overly exaggerates elements of a mix. Bass lovers will therefore want to look elsewhere, as the low end here does not overwhelm the soundstage, But for anyone else, it’s a very real reflection of the presentation of the songs.
Wonderfully detailed are the Lypertek Tevi. Listening to Bjork’s Hyperballad, an all-time favorite, a wonderful sub-bass mesh, sparkling samples, strings, beats and synths, and the whole album is opened up. The decay of the processed drum, the swell of a synth stab, the dance between the ears of an arpeggiated machine lead thread. The Tevi knows exactly how to treat them and where to position them.
Jump to anything a little more delicate, and it’s just as professional as that. With its rumbling sustained guitar chord and rhythmic palm-muted lead notes, Phoebe Bridgers’ ‘Motion Sickness’ opening bars are separate and broad. There should be a little more dimension to the soundstage, But that is a small concern, with the velvety voices of Bridgers lying comfortably in front of them.
With a newcomer brand taking it to the big boys, it’s not often we get caught off guard, but Lypertek’s Tevi earbuds are a great entrant in the true wireless battles.
The Lypertek Tevi punch well above their weight, and their price tag is affordable without being cheap in their presentation, feature-filled without bloating, and considered in their sounds. Even if you have enough cash for far more costly buds, if you don’t need noise cancelling technology, the Tevi will probably be well worth the saving. They’re splendid.
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