Lypertek Z7 Review – One Great Leap
Testing Methodology: Measured using Arta via IEC 711 coupler to Startech external sound card. 7-9KHz peaks may be artefacts/emphasised due to my measurement setup, less so with deep fit. Measurements besides channel balance are volume matched at 1KHz. Fit depth normalised to my best abilities to reduce coupler resonance. Still, due to these factors, my measurements may not accurately reflect the earphone or measurements taken by others. I gave the Z7 100hrs burn-in to ensure maximum performance prior to subjective breakdown.
The TEVI remains one of the best, if not the best tuned wireless earphone for audio enthusiasts. The Z7 follows up with a more robust sound somewhat similar to what we’ve observed on the Oriveti O-series coming from the OH-series. Where the TEVI showcased a sub-bass boosted DF-neutral curve, the Z7 comes across as more Harman-inspired with its larger bass-shelf. In turn, as far as tonality is concerned, I wouldn’t say the Z7 is really better, it’s different and arguably the TEVI will objectively come across as a bit more refined for enthusiasts.
The Z7 is a little more bass orientated than the TEVI but upholds good tri-frequency balance in isolation, being hardly bass-focused. The voicing has changed mostly, with emphasis continuing more into the mid-bass producing a warmer and fuller sound. This is followed up with an upper-bass dip that helps retain separation and tonal cleanliness. Accordingly, the midrange remains respectably clear and natural. It has a similar voicing to the TEVI but trades some definition and cleanliness for greater body and coherence.
In addition, rather than introducing too much aggression or brightness in the treble, the two BA drivers are actually smoother than the TEVI but with a noticeably sharper transient response yielding an immediate improvement in fine detail retrieval. The Z7 avoids being too bright as a result. This makes it suitable for longer, higher volume listening as is the common use case for TWS models.
I don’t hear anything that out of the ordinary happening here, unlike Sennheiser’s high-end audio mode. It appears to be a small bass and lower-treble boost and subtle surround-sound effect that gives you a slightly grander sense of dimension at the cost of a more diffuse centre image. The midrange sounds fuller due to the greater low-end presence and the treble also has a little more bite – but it’s all quite subtle altogether. I personally preferred the sound without even if you do get a bit more detail presence, as I find them to have plenty of bass and they can lose separation on certain tracks with LDX on. It’s a nice quick tweak to have for those that want just a little more engagement but note that you can’t use LDX and eQ at the same time for those that like to fine tune.
Pure Control eQ
Whether you enjoy the stock tonality more than the TEVI will be based on your personal preferences. However, the benefit of getting the Z7 is that you can use the accompanying app to set an eQ profile that accounts for this. It responds well and you can effectively achieve a similar kind of sound to the TEVI whilst benefitting from the more resolving driver setup should you choose. With the TEVI you are stuck with what you have. Of note, the eQ does appear to limit the extent of change. As above, my measurements do not exactly mirror changes shown on the app, especially the 500 Hz region. That said, with some tinkering, you can get a good result and it is neat that the changes are saved to the earphones so it will persist on every source, not just those with the Pure Control app. Above are my eQ settings that provided the most similar signature to the TEVI and my preferences, you will get better separation and balance than stock. You can, of course, adjust this further to preference. For the sake of fair review, I will assess the Z7 below on its stock flat preset but I definitely thought this was worth diving into.
I lauded the TEVI for its clean, separated and controlled bass. While the Z7 has similar qualities, it does have notably reduced separation and tonal cleanliness in return for a fuller note structure. Sub-bass extension is noticeably improved that said, delivering more slam and pressure at the very bottom where the TEVI was a bit more diffuse here. The Z7 also delivers a fuller, punchier mid-bass that gives it a more powerful voicing and greater physicality. As it has a more heavily contrasted transition from the upper-bass to lower-midrange, the presentation isn’t excessively warm and the midrange retains good separation. The bass timbre is still notably different, not as linear, but there isn’t any muddiness and only a little bloom due to the increase in contrast. It also isn’t bloated as both sub and mid-bass showcase good linearity, simply a wideband elevation.
Due to the fuller tuning, it isn’t immediately evident that the Z7 is more resolving but under direct comparison, it’s evident the Z7 has superior driver quality than the TEVI. Not only does it dig deeper and deliver a more dynamic presentation, the Z7 also has higher driver control. The TEVI sounds a bit tighter but mostly because it has less extension and a leaner note weight. The biggest difference is that the TEVI has a large mid-bass separation advantage. The Z7 is otherwise more aggressively textured, showcasing a quicker decay and which helps to counteract the loss of separation to some degree. So, while the TEVI does separate better, actual note definition is higher on its successor. The Z7 provides some of the best driver quality and one of the most textured bass responses I’ve heard from a TWS earphone but also some mid-bass bloom that harms its separation on certain tracks.
Despite the larger bass, Lypertek have kept midrange colouration well in check alongside upholding a very natural voicing and timbre as was beloved on the TEVI. If you’re coming from a more typical DF neutral IEM like the TEVI or perhaps are used to BA bass, you may find the midrange and treble to be laid-back relative to the bass. Most listeners, however, will find the balance pleasing throughout. And, where many that implement a nadir entering the midrange can sound dry and revealing, this isn’t the case here due to the elevated mid-bass. This means the Z7 comes across as a slightly fuller and more coherent performer. The TEVI has greater separation and also has higher clarity, the Z7 being a bit more laid-back in the upper-midrange and a touch smoother in the treble too. But the Z7 does have higher note definition so though smoother, it isn’t congested nor is it detail deficient.
The Z7 is also notably more coherent. Its defining trait is its full-bodied note structure, a foil to the slightly drier, thinner TEVI and most other TWS earphones that pursue a more revealing, instantly gratifying presentation. Tonally, it isn’t too warm, with just a light colouration from the bass that is mostly counteracted by the upper-bass dip. In turn, the Z7 isn’t a jarring transition from the dead neutral TEVI, it mostly sounds more laid-back. Likely, this is because the midrange itself showcases excellent linearity and good cleanliness if not quite to the extent of the frequently mentioned TEVI. I hear good upper-midrange extension and density, though a slight reduction in pinna gain around 3 kHz where I’d personally want a few more dB. This is because the Z7 also has a smooth lower-treble meaning it isn’t the clearest and most revealing sound. It certainly remains a pleasantly resolving earphone, but the focus is clearly on upholding a natural voicing and smooth, coherent character over the highest clarity.
Of course, it is unreasonable to expect a huge headroom, sparkle and micro-detail here as on any of the current TWS earphones. What you receive is a slightly smooth but impressively linear lower-treble set to almost class-leading fine detail retrieval. The Z7 isn’t an especially crisp or energetic monitor so details aren’t especially forward, but on critical listening, it does discern small details very well. This is due to the combination of good lower-treble linearity and the dual BA tweeter setup that enhances the Z7’s note presentation with a sharper, more focused leading edge than its competitors. Accordingly, it is able to achieve a well-detailed image and high separation with zero treble emphasis, thereby avoiding fatigue and harshness. You can also use eQ to increases treble presence which helps open up its smooth and full presentation. The Z7 responds well to this, demonstrating a strong technical foundation and a deliberate decision on Lypertek’s behalf to provide a smoother sound.
I suppose some are not fans of BA timbre usually apparent in the form of a lighter note weight and slight brittleness. However, I found this was mostly absent here as the treble isn’t at all emphasized nor peaky in any way and this character persists even with a few dB of eQ, it is very clean. The linearity of the tuning means the Z7 has heaps of texture and appropriate note body. It does taper off through the middle-treble meaning instruments such as cymbals and high-hats can sound a bit over-damped, lacking some air and shimmer. But you also don’t get any truncation. Extension is a standout, though again, there isn’t a huge amount of presence above the lower-treble. You do get some background details coming through still, which puts it in the select elite as far as TWS earphones go. This greatly aids its imaging performance allowing the Z7 to layer and expands like few competitors.
The Z7 is well above average when its comes to soundstage expansion and imaging due to its similarly strong treble extension. It is one of the few TWS earphones that can expand beyond the head and presents noticeably more depth than the TEVI too for an altogether more multi-dimensional image. While not overtly huge, you do get a nice sense of space and layering. Localisation is mostly sharp, shy of a good wired in-ear, but most elements can be pinpointed. Layering is a highlight; you get a focused foreground and a decent background with good contrast between. Separation does leave to be desired, especially compared to the TEVI which excelled here. The smoother and fuller voicing of the Z7 does it few favours here, albeit, it is far from a congested sound either. Using eQ can help greatly in this regard as the improved note definition over the TEVI does give it a technical advantage.
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