The Lypertek Tevi prove to be a bit of a bargain at their price, producing an assured performance across all types of musical genres. If you can't afford to pay extra for the likes of Libratone, Sony and Apple, the Tevi are a great budget option
- Confident, lively sound
- Polished build quality
- Long battery life
- Comfortable to use
- Not much at this price
- Review Price: £99.00
- Bluetooth 5.0
- Mono mode
- 10 hours battery life (70 in total)
- USB-C charging
Every audio brand from House of Marley to Sony has been pumping out true wireless earbuds. In the space of a year, Apple has released two in the updated AirPods and the AirPods Pro, which goes to show the popularity of this market.
But despite the presence of these big brands, the true wireless market is still relatively new and there’s room for less well-known brands to make an impact.
Step forward Lypertek, a Chinese audio brand you’ve probably never heard of, but one you’ll be paying more attention to, thanks to their affordable Tevi earbuds.
Lypertek Tevi price and availability
The Lypertek Tevi (now known as the PurePlay Z3) went on sale in late 2019 for £99/€89. They’re still available under their new nom de guerre, with the price slipping below the £80 mark, depending on where you look.
Lypertek Tevi design – A simple, economical and polished pair of earbuds
- Economical design
- Tactile, physical buttons
- Good built quality
The Lypertek Tevi are one of the smallest pairs of true wireless earbuds I’ve come across. Aside from the silver ring on the earbud, they’re not particularly ostentatious either. If anything, the simple, polished design gives them an air of confidence.
For control the Tevi have tactile buttons for playback, volume and track selection. If you’re not a big fan of in-ears, the force needed to press these earbuds to register a click is less likely to endear the Tevi.
They prove comfortable to wear for long listening sessions. Like other true wireless options, they look like a miniature ear trumpet, but the Tevi slots in and stayed fairly well planted during a gym session.
Build quality is good and though the use of plastic gives the Tevi an inexpensive feel, they avoid the grossly plasticky nature of rivals at this price.
Along with the earbuds, there are multiple silicone tips (S, M, L) with a choice of Flexifit foam tips (M). Otherwise, they’re available in two finishes: black and a pink-ish ivory.
Lypertek Tevi features – A fair amount of features for the price, including impressive battery life
- Strong water reistance
- 70 hours of battery in total
- aptX codec support
At £100 the Lypertek Tevi aren’t going to have the active noise cancellation of a Sony WF-1000XM3 or AirPods Pro; but what the Tevi do offer is impressive and there’s still plenty to talk about.
Rated at IPX7, the Tevi are fully waterproof and so they can be worn in the shower or bath. The charging case isn’t, wrapped in an attractively textured grey fabric with an engraved Lypertek logo. On the back is a USB-C connection, while on the front are four LED indicators that show how much juice is left in the case.
With the earbuds’ battery life at 10 hours, the case holds another six charges for 70 hours in total. That’s a difficult figure to test, but in using the Tevi for the past few weeks the case hasn’t dipped below two bars. A 15 minute quick charge in the case grants another two hours.
As I mentioned before, the Tevi have tactile controls for accepting calls, playback, and volume. One push pause/play or accepts/ends a call, another push on the right ups the volume, while two presses on the left drops it. Three presses in quick succession on the right earbud skips forward and three presses on the left goes back.
It’s useful to have all these functions on the earbuds without resorting to fishing your mobile device out of your pocket. My one qualm is that my button presses aren’t quick enough so sometimes I end up stopping playback instead of skipping forward or back.
There’s auto-pairing to the last device used, of course. There’s also Qualcomm’s cVc 8.0 Microphone Noise Cancelling technology – not to be confused with active noise cancellation – for suppressing environmental noise during phone calls.
Mono mode, a feature also on House of Marley’s Liberate Air, supports the use of just one earbud. Take them both out of the case, place one back in and your mobile device should switch to whichever one that’s in the ear.
That, in a sense, works as a passive mode to listen to what’s around you and if an earbud is low on juice, it gives it a chance to recharge. However, in my experience, the controls don’t all shift to one side. If you pick the right earbud you’ll only get the option to increase volume.
Connect both earbuds to the mobile device and the Tevi employs a Master-Slave switching technology, so the earbud with the most battery automatically becomes the Master, reducing the impact on battery life.
And there’s another piece of Qualcomm tech in the TrueWireless Stereo Plus. Instead of sending the audio signal through the right earbud first, the signal is sent to both simultaneously, which should – in theory – favour a more reliable connection.
Anything else? The Lypertek Tevi support Bluetooth 5.0 as well as AAC, SBC and aptX codecs.
Lypertek Tevi performance – One of the most enjoyable pair of true wireless earbuds around the £100 mark
- Good dynamic reach
- Satisfying bass output
- Entertaining stereo imaging
I have to admit, I’m rather astounded by the audio performance the Lypertek Tevi offer at this price.
That’s not to say they’re perfect. The soundstage is on the smaller side, but avoids being congested. There’s perhaps not as much detail in the upper reaches of the treble, but that’s possibly a nitpick on my part and there have been a few connection issues.
Walking through Canary Wharf tube station was like wading through choppy waters, and there were times where an earbud would casually disconnect and leave audio playing through one, necessitating the other to be re-connected.
Otherwise, while they don’t match the sound quality of a Sony WF-1000XM3, I haven’t enjoyed listening to a pair of true wireless earbuds since the Sonys.
The Lypertek Tevi project an air of confidence and ease in how they go about things. Starting with Lupe Fiasco’s The Coolest and the timing of all the various elements is good, with the vocals taking centre stage and clarity of the track bears through, with bass steady throughout.
Moving on to Commitment from Jupiter Ascending – the film is pretty silly but Michael Giacchino’s score is one of his best – and from the gentle opening on to the impressive reach of the dynamic range and the well-communicated stop/starts, to the smoothness of the brass trumpets in the orchestra, there’s an enjoyable sense of detail that the Tevi knits together.
From that track, it’s a stop over at Nicholas Britell’s Eden from his If Only Beale Street Could Talk soundtrack on Tidal. Again it’s full of detail, the Tevi not only rising to the occasion with a classy rendition, but also remaining unflustered. It’s a well-balanced sound, neither warm-sounding or lean, with a performance that focuses on neutral.
As they’re quite small, housing 6mm Graphene drivers, next up on the list is a bass workout with Massive Attack’s Teardrop and it’s a satisfying play, both tight and rumbly when it needs to be. J Cole’s Let Nas Down on Spotify and stereo imaging comes to the fore, with the Lypertek Tevi effective in creating a space and dotting instruments and sounds within it.
I sense through all this that I’m trying to outwit the Tevi and find something that they lack. With one final roll of the dice, it comes down to System of a Down’s Radio/Video and despite all the shifts in dynamics and rhythm, the Tevi don’t pretend to even trip up, sound harsh or come across as fatiguing. It’s impressive how solid and punchy they can be.
It’s all confirmed with Solar Bears’ Cosmic Runner which slams in on the beat about 46 seconds in and puts in a weighty, big performance that puts the small issues I have about the size of the sound aside and leaves me to just enjoy the ride.
You should buy the Lypertek Tevi if…
You want one of the best sub £100 earbuds
For £100 – or less – the Lypertek Tevi offer one of the most confident and assured listening experiences at this price point.
You want long battery life from your earbuds
The Tevi can go on and on and on in terms of endurance. It might be a couple of weeks before you need to recharge the case.
Solid build and connectivity
The Tevi is not the flashiest looking pair, but they have solid build quality. Connectivity is reliable too, and that’s not always a given at this, or any, price.
You shouldn’t buy the Lypertek Tevi if…
You want noise cancellation
At the time of review there weren’t any ‘cheaper’ ANC options. With the Urbanista London, however, you do have good noise cancellation at a cheaper price.