1More ANC TWS ($179): The predecessor to the EVO, the ANC TWS offers a well-rounded feature set at a now lower price. Key selling points for the EVO include is much smaller size and more refined noise cancelling. From a raw sound POV, both earphones offer their own charm. The EVO has a more mature tuning to my ears while the ANC TWS is more V-shaped. The ANC TWS is more bass dominant and it has a bigger mid-bass hump making it more bloated. The EVO isn’t as engaging with a broader emphasis at a lower magnitude. I did note that the EVO does have slightly better driver control and its low end is more detailed. Meanwhile, the ANC TWS has greater punch and slam properties. The EVO has a more even, coherent midrange.
Its voicing is slightly more natural but also more laid-back. The ANC TWS has a bigger hump with greater contrast to the bass. It sounds thinner but much clearer, however, the voicing isn’t as natural and male vocals sound notably drier. Up top, both have a similar tuning with an 8kHz peak. The EVO, due to its fit style, offers greater control over treble tuning via altering fit depth. It has a smaller peak of more balanced quantity. It is equally well-defined but the timbre is slightly more natural with greater body and texture. The ANC TWS is thinner and more energetic. It is more detail forward but doesn’t retrieve as much raw information as the EVO. Both have a spacious stage, the EVO has more rounded proportions and notably improved imaging over its predecessor. The EVO also offers SoundID offering some tunability that the ANC TWS lacked.
Lypertek Z7 ($199): The Z7 is a similarly priced enthusiast model from Lypertek of TEVI fame. While their top-end earphone isn’t as neutral as that model, it has a proper app-based eQ and a very capable triple-driver setup. It also passively isolates very well, meaning ANC isn’t as necessary if you don’t mind a bit more wearing pressure due to the strong seal. Stock for stock, the Z7 is fuller in the bass and has a more contrasted midrange with a cleaner tonality. It’s a bit smoother and more L-shaped than the U-shaped EVO which offers greater treble to balance out its bass. However, this changes with eQ (settings used as per my review here). The Z7 offers a more potent sub-bass with greater dynamics and a keener attack. It’s a bit thicker with more sub-bass focus but also noticeably more defined and controlled. The EVO doesn’t have the same driver quality but a slightly more balanced tuning out of the box.
The midrange is more natural on the Z7, having a more gradual climb into its upper-midrange alongside having more pinna gain, achieving a balanced to W-shaped sound. The EVO sounds fuller, warmer and smoother making it more forgiving and better at higher volumes. The Z7 is cleaner and clearer with superior detail retrieval. The treble tells a similar story, the Z7 has a slightly lower 7kHz emphasis and sounds slightly more detailed. It has greater focus and complexity. The EVO with its higher 8kHz emphasis sounds thinner but also more energetic with greater air. Subjectively, the Z7 does resolve greater background detail. It has a wider stage and slightly better layering too. However, the EVO isn’t too far behind with more features and a more comfortable fit.
Sony WF1000XM4 ($299): The Sony is a far more expensive model with a similar feature set. The ANC is more refined, and the fit is slightly more stable though the housings and charging case are both larger. The app offers greater functionality, especially in the form of a more flexible eQ. Sonically, both have a similar style of tuning being warm, forgiving and laid-back with a slight bass bias. The Sony has a cleaner tuning with less upper-bass and a bit more pinna gain, its treble is also more even but you can adjust this via eQ if you choose. The EVO has better raw driver quality and was the more resolving earphone to my ears. This applies almost throughout the entire audio spectrum and especially so when ANC is active. The WF1000XM4 has a slightly cleaner and more even sound tuning that helps, however, under scrutiny, the EVO does offer better bass definition and texture.
The midrange is more natural on the Sony’s where the EVO isn’t quite as tonally clean and lacks some centre-midrange presence. The Sony is a touch more articulate which gives it a more pleasant tonality to me. The EVO isn’t as clear but more resolving, it layers noticeably better in particular. Treble too tells a similar story. The Sony has a more appealing tuning with slightly more lower treble giving it good crispness and detail density in the foreground. The EVO’s hybrid driver setup offers clearly better detail retrieval. It’s more detailed, defined and extended. The WF1000XM4 becomes a bit brittle at the top-end while the EVO resolves fine details clearly. On complex tracks, the EVO sounds noticeably more discerning. The soundstage too is more open on the EVO. The Sony isn’t bad and offers good proportions but not the same level of layering as the EVO. This only makes me yearn for a more flexible eQ setting on the EVO more.
Like the ANC TWS, the EVO strikes not as a perfect earphone but a well-rounded one at an excellent price point. At almost half the cost of premium competitors, its overall refinement and feature set get impressively close with the benefit of a resolving hybrid driver setup on top. The lack of a manual eQ will limit enthusiast appeal due to the colourful nature of SoundID’s tweaks, however, the stock tuning has no huge flaws so long as you know what to expect. This is a coloured earphone being warm, smooth and full. In turn, those wanting clarity and separation will want to look elsewhere. This is a sound that excels over long listening sessions or high listening volumes. Its fullness works well in the presence of ambient sound where bass tends to get drowned out and is executed subjectively in good taste considering the nature of the product. Special mention goes to the effective ANC system that immensely impressed me. While the market leaders are a little better, I don’t think anyone would be disappointed by the performance here even in direct comparison. The hugely more compact and comfortable design especially combined with the more pocketable carrying case also makes the EVO a far more accessible buy than its predecessor. At an even lower asking price, this makes the EVO a strong buy for those wanting a warm yet detailed TWS earphone with excellent ANC potency.
The EVO can be purchased from 1More for $169 USD at the time of review. I am not affiliated with 1More and receive no earnings from purchases through this link.
Track List –
Billie Eilish – dont smile at me
Billy Joel – The Stranger
Bob Seger – Night Moves
Cream – Wheels of Fire
Crush – OHIO
Daryl Hall & John Oates – Voices
Dire Straits – Communique
Dirty Loops – Next To You
Eagles – Hotel California
Elton John – Honky Chateau
Fleetwood Mac – Rumours
H.E.R – I Used To Know Her
Jaden – BYE
Jeff Cascaro – The Other Man
Kanye West – Ye
Radiohead – Pablo Honey
The Beatles – Abbey Road
The weeknd – After Hours
TOOL – Lateralus