Lypertek is a small Chinese audio manufacturer that shot to prominence last year with its in-ear TWS earbuds, the Lypertek Tevi. The Tevi received rave reviews from critics for its audio quality despite its budget-friendly $90 price tag and remains one of the most well-regarded product in its price range.
The Levi that we are reviewing today is an even more affordable model in the company’s lineup that only has three other models, including the Tevi. The Levi is priced at $60 and promises much of the same audio quality that popularized its elder sibling along with several other features that belie its price tag. You are getting a claimed 8 hours of battery life, wireless charging, IPX5 splash-resistance, and an ambient mode for letting outside sound in.
That all seems impressive but as usual it all comes down to how they sound. In this review, we will explore the audio quality and other features of the Lypertek Levi.
The Lypertek Levi have a traditional TWS earbud design without any stalks sticking out the bottom. Each earbud has a rounded shape that sits snugly in your ears with a flat side facing outwards that has an LED within the company logo. On the side of each earbud is a physical button that controls various functions. The earbuds come with three pairs of ear tips of various sizes, with the medium size already attached.
One of the cool things about the Levi earbuds is that they are IPX5-rated for splash resistance. This means you don’t have to worry about damaging them with sweat during workouts.
The charging case has a compact, pebble-like design. It is made of smooth hard plastic that doesn’t look very nice and the fit and finish around the edges is also imperfect.
The front of the case has LED lights to indicate the battery of the case itself. On the back is the wireless charging pad. On the bottom is a USB-C port for wired charging.
Opening the lid on this case is a bit of a hassle. You don’t have much to dig your finger in and the smooth plastic makes it quite slippery. Once open, the lid doesn’t even open a full 90-degrees and is constantly getting in your way as you’re trying to pull out the equally slippery earbuds. The lid does, however, shut with a satisfying snap.
The Lypertek Levi have an in-ear design. The ear tips that come with them are nothing special, with the typical rubber material found on budget earbuds.
The Levi have somewhat large outlet ports so they fit very snug inside your ears while also going in fairly deep. Some people may not find this comfortable but I personally didn’t find them uncomfortable. Having said that, I also couldn’t forget that I was wearing them as they do apply some pressure on your ear canal while they are in there.
The ear tips also achieve a fairly tight seal thanks to the thicker outlet ports, which is good for passive noise isolation but also creates a strong suction force while wearing or removing them. It’s best to do this slowly to avoid damaging your ears.
Software and features
The Lypertek Levi do not have a companion app. Everything has to be controlled from the earbuds themselves or from your phone’s Bluetooth settings.
The earbuds have a physical button each for controlling some gestures. You can press once to play/pause, twice to skip track, and three times to activate the ambient mode. You can also press and hold the adjust the volume. The skipping and volume functions require wearing both earbuds so that the left one can skip back/reduce volume and the right one can skip forward/increase volume. When there’s no audio playing, pressing and holding turns off that particular earbud.
The Levi support SBC and AAC but there’s no aptX support as on the Tevi. They also use Bluetooth 5.0 but there’s no multi-device pairing.
The Lypertek Levi have very impressive audio quality for the price. The focus here seems to be on delivering a clean, high fidelity audio rather than any particular sound signature.
The bass response is impressive. There’s good amount of warmth to the sound and also plenty of heft to the attack. There is a slight boost to the upper bass but it’s not enough to become overbearing or muddy and the overall bass is still quite taut and precise. I wish it extended a bit further for some of the lowest octaves but what you get is robust and full-bodied.
Mid-range has an amazing tonality and delivery. Vocals sound smooth and articulate across all the tracks I tested. Instruments have a commanding presence in the mix and aren’t overshadowed by the bass. The mids do lose some of their energy in the upper regions as they flow into the treble, which robs the string instruments of some of the resolution and detail. It’s a shame as the sound gets 90% of the way there and then holds back a bit for the remaining 10%.
It’s possible the sound is tuned this way as a bump in the upper mids/lower treble can often be perceived as harshness by some people as our ears are particularly sensitive in that region. However, Lypertek may have pulled back just a tad further than necessary and missed out on what would have otherwise been an exceptional mid-range.
The high-end response is perfectly serviceable. Once again the sound here is very clean with a good amount of detail. It’s not very bright, which some will prefer but that results in a somewhat boxed-in sound as you’re losing some of the detail in the upper reaches that help with the soundstage and making the sound feel more open.
Despite some of the drawbacks, the Lypertek Levi sound exceptional for the price range. Most of the drawbacks are due to the high standard that they set for themselves, which then prompts me to look for faults that I would not have bothered bringing up with a lesser product. But the drawbacks aren’t worth obsessing over considering the price class of the Levi as all things considered they still punch well above their weight.
The Lypertek Levi have a mediocre microphone. The sound is noticeably compressed and easily identified as coming from a Bluetooth headset or a particularly old telephone. People aren’t going to hang up on you because of it and the Levi still get the job done but won’t be our first pick if you intend to make a lot of voice calls with them.
The Lypertek Levi only have passive noise-cancellation. However, they are very good at it, and can drown out ambient sound surprisingly well.
So well, in fact, that Lypertek decided to include an ambient sound mode. This pipes in the sound around you that it captures with its microphones into the speakers. This is designed to make you more aware of your surroundings such as while walking on a busy street or sitting at the airport waiting for an announcement. The feature works as intended and there’s also little to no latency.
The latency performance is generally very good. It is especially good when paired with an iOS device, where the delay is often imperceptible. On Android, the delay is slightly noticeable but still very good. This is with AAC, however. If you switch to SBC for some reason, then the latency is significantly higher.
The connectivity with the Levi is mostly good. I say mostly because on a couple of occasions I heard the audio drop for a split second and during both of those times the phone was sitting a foot away on the desk. Apart from those times, the connection was stable with no dropouts.
The Lypertek Levi have a claimed battery life of 8 hours of continuous usage with music and the case is supposed to provide four additional full charges for a total of 40 hours.
In my testing, the Lypertek Levi went on for an incredible 9.5 hours of continuous use. This is far ahead of most other products in its price range and also stuff that costs three times as much.
Once drained, a quick ten-minutes charge will give you one full hour of usage, which isn’t as impressive as some other models but still decent.
For charging the case itself, you can use a cable or wired charging, but oddly enough both were a bit flaky. The case wouldn’t charge from the OnePlus Warp Charge 65 charger that supports USB Power Delivery. The wireless charging also didn’t work at all with one of the wireless chargers I tried but worked with a different one.
For $60, the Lypertek Levi are stunning value for money. The sound quality is impressive but you’re also getting great battery life, water-resistance, wireless charging, and an ambient sound mode.
The only criticism I’d bright up here is the microphone quality with the rest being nitpicks. If that’s not a priority for you and if they are available in your region then there’s really no excuse for you to not have them.
- Audio quality
- Battery life
- Wireless charging
- Ambient sound mode
- Microphone performance
- Case design