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Lypertek MEVI Review – Value Champ

Pros –

Nicely balanced sound, Comfortable fit, In-line remote

Cons –

End to end extension is mediocre at best, Thin cable

Verdict – 

There’s no denying that the MEVI is a very well-performing in-ear in its price class, both in terms of sound and design.


Introduction –

Lypertek are a new audio manufacturer trying to break into the scene through aggressively priced in-ears. The MEVI marks their first effort, featuring a single 7mm dynamic driver and premium aluminium housings. Had the MEVI launched several years ago, this along would’ve made it outstanding, however, the market has since grown saturated with competition. With highly impressive earphones from more established brands such as Final Audio and Fiio storming onto the scene to great critical reception, the $30 USD MEVI has surprising amounts of competition despite its meagre asking price. You can read more about and purchase the MEVI on Lypertek’s product page here.

 

Accessories –

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Generic cardboard boxes no longer cut it, not even within the ultra-affordable price range. The MEVI presents well with a small hard box adorned with pleasing renders and basic specifications. Inside is a terrific zippered hard case. It’s compact enough to be pocketed while offering higher levels of protection.

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Lypertek also provide 3 pairs of silicone tips in addition to a shirt clip to reduce cable noise. It’s a basic accessory set that is perfectly serviceable and the included case is excellent.

 

Design –

The MEVI is super compact, with a fluted, bullet-style housing. They have a traditional cable down design, but can be easily inverted due to a lack of angled nozzles. The MEVI feels solid in the hand with an anodized aluminium construction. Compared to the plastic Fiio F1 and F3, the Lypertek feels appreciably more premium.

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It’s also a comfortable earphone as its miniscule housings don’t contact much of the outer ear. As a result, the earphones don’t form hotspots, even after hours of listening. They’re also relatively stable due to their lightweight design, though they don’t quite lock into the ear like some over-ear in-ears.

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Despite their medium depth fit, the MEVI has rather mediocre noise isolation. They block a lot more noise than Final’s semi-open E-series earphones, but also less than full-sealed earphones due to the presence of a small vent on their underside. Still, the MEVI is adequate for public transport but volume needs to be increased by a fair amount.

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The attached cable is passable. It’s thin, rubbery and with average strain relief. At the very least, the cable doesn’t have too much memory and it’s fairly pliable. The integrated remote/mic is practical for use during commute and the strain relief on the earpieces and jack is above average. Still, it’s a far cry from the sturdy units on the Adv M4 and Fiio earphones.

 

Sound –

Tonality –

The MEVI is quite a balanced earphone in a price range where most earphones pursue a more aggressive V or bassier L-shaped sound. The MEVI rather sounds u-shaped with particular emphasis on lower-treble. It also has lightly enhanced bass presence to imbue some fullness into its sound. Some may find its top-end a little bright, but this is an impressively clear and revealing earphone for the price.

 

Bass –

The MEVI’s low-end focusses on punch with a nudge of extra fullness, and its quality is outstanding, some of the best I’ve heard from a budget earphone. Its main caveat is sub-bass extension, which is pretty mediocre, producing soft, distant impact to bass drums and beats. However, the MEVI has apparent rumble and its low-end is very tight and agile. Furthermore, as mid-bass has slight emphasis, its sound is imbued with added warmth and body. As a result, the MEVI doesn’t sound lean or flat and I came away impressed with the MEVI’s very well-defined bass presentation. Upper-bass is also well-judged, with fairly neutral quantity. This produces a full low-end that lacks any muddiness while permitting a transparent midrange.

 

Mids –

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Mids are slightly bright but manages impressive transparency. The MEVI can sound a little over-articulated at times due to a modest lower-treble spike. However, bass spill is non-existent and the MEVI’s linear upper-bass/lower-midrange transition produces natural vocals with pleasing presence and tone. The same can be said for its upper-midrange which sounds similar if a little fuller on account of the earphone’s lifted centre midrange. This style of tuning also produces more forward male vocals that well-compensate for their slight dip in quantity. Mids aren’t exceptionally well-layered nor are they perfectly transparent due to slight warming throughout, but instrument timbre is nice and vocals are presented in a clear yet natural manner.

 

Highs –

The MEVI’s high-end is relatively clean apart from a notable lower-treble peak that grants enhanced clarity. The MEVI is certainly a very well-detailed earphone for its price and some will love the added clarity this affords. However, it’s a narrow emphasis produces rather thin notes. This is most notable with strings that are subject to a little stridence and cymbals whose truncated decay sounds quite unnatural. Moreover, the MEVI rolls-off fairly quickly above, with little air and shimmer. This does contributes to their dark background which helps to bring foreground elements into focus. However, the MEVI lacks the superb resolution and separation of higher-end in-ears as a result; though, such a shortcoming is hardly a rarity at this price point. The end product is an ultimately pleasing albeit superficially detailed sound that lacks the finer nuances of class leaders.

 

Soundstage –

The MEVI is on the more intimate side in stage dimension, however it easily avoids congestion. Width is above average but depth is quite limited on account of the MEVI’s vocal forward presentation. Vocals themselves are well-centred and instrument placement is accurate overall on account of their fairly balanced bass and midrange. However, as treble lacks extension, the MEVI’s sound doesn’t separate exceptionally well with blurred layers and distant to non-existent directional cues.

 

Driveability –

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With a 32ohm impedance and 95dB sensitivity, the MEVI is fairly easy to drive. It reaches high volume from essentially any source while providing higher hiss resistance for noisier players. It does benefit from a more powerful source, but sounds fairly consistent between sources of differing output impedance due to its single dynamic driver design. For instance, the MEVI sounded perfectly fine from my iPod Nano 7G and iPod Touch, but its low end was appreciably tightener and more controlled from my Fiio X7 II. Still, I found the MEVI to be happily driven from a portable source or phone and a dedicated source is non-essential.

 

Comparisons –

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Fiio F3 ($30): The F3’s main advantage over the MEVI is its more stable over-ear fit, its much sturdier cable and slightly more isolating design. That said, its plastic housings can’t match the aluminium MEVI and its fit isn’t quite as comfortable. In terms of sound, the MEVI is undoubtedly the better sounding earphone, but some may still prefer the F3 as it’s the immediately bassier earphone. The F3 also has better sub-bass extension and considerably larger emphasis, producing heightened Impact. However, as the F3 has a lot more mid-bass, it sounds far muddier and less defined than the tighter, faster MEVI.

Mids are more recessed on the F3, they’re warmer and fuller but less transparent. The MEVI sounds more natural as it’s more balanced and lacks the considerable bass and treble colouration of the Fiio. And, though both have a narrow lower-treble peak, the F3 is brighter and a lot more aggressive. The MEVI actually extends more than the F3, it is also more balanced and detailed with higher resolution. The F3 does have a larger stage, but it’s a presentation populated with less detail and nuance than the MEVI.

Final E2000 ($40): The E2000 is fairly similar in design and construction to the MEVI with aluminium bullet-style housings and a thinner cable. The cable on the E200 is actually even thinner, but it has better strain relief and is suppler. As the E2000 has an open design, it isolates a lot less. In listening, both are immensely impressive for their asking prices. The MEVI is once again more balanced, with the E2000 being a little bassier. However, unlike the Fiio, the E2000’s low-end remains well-controlled despite its emphasis, and it produces greater sub-bass extension.

The E2000 has just a hair less definition than the MEVI due to its slight bloat. Mids are also a little recessed on the E2000, but they’re just as natural if not more so due to its more refined lower-treble. The E2000 is also a lot more layered and extended due to its open design. The E2000 lacks the aggressive lower-treble of the MEVI, but it’s just as detailed. The E2000 also extends further, with more linear lower/middle-treble. As such, it has greater air and separation. The E2000 has a much larger stage with better layering and instrument placement. It’s more separated on top.

ADV M4 ($40): The M4 has impeccable build quality for the price, with aluminium housings and a beefy braided cable with proper strain relief throughout. The M4 also isolates a lot more than the MEVI. The M4 is another earphone that really over-performs at its asking price. It lacks the vast stage of the E2000, but has the most controlled, detailed sound I’ve heard around this price. The M4 is a little less balanced than the MEVI with notably more laid-back mids. It has similar bass extension and mid-bass emphasis but is a little less dynamic and defined than the MEVI.

Mids are less articulate, but also more natural and separated. The M4 has a very detailed lower-treble response, it’s a wider peak than the MEVI but still a peak nonetheless. As a result, the M4 retrieves more detail and presents them with greater body. The M4 also has a little more extension so it doesn’t sound quite as clean, but has more accurate shimmer and air. The M4 has a more spacious stage, most notably due to its more laid-back midrange, but also due to its greater extension. It also has more defined layers and greater separation.

 

Verdict –

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The MEVI prides itself on its tight, defined low-end and clear yet natural midrange. Though it may lack some background detail, the MEVI has a very well-considered sound signature that avoids over-flavouring and compromising genre versatility. They don’t have the most engaging sound, nor are they the most resolving earphone around this price. But the MEVI’s excellent ergonomics and balanced sound are easy to enjoy. Lypertek may not be a household name, lacking the aggressive marketing of earphones from Xiaomi and Fiio, but there’s no denying that the MEVI is a very well-performing in-ear in its price class.

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