Audiophiles on a budget are spoiled for choices lately, with so many new brands appearing every time you turn around. While many are still going for the generic consumer-based tuning of big bass and warmth throughout, some are targeting a more refined sound. Enter the Lypertek MEVI, the first IEM from the startup Chinese brand that aims to bring HiFi to the masses. You can find more information on the Lypertek website here.
At the time of writing, the Lypertek MEVI is priced at $29.90.
This product was provided for the purpose of an honest evaluation. All observations and opinions here are my own.
Stylish and robust design
Microphonics (cable noise)
Lower treble peak
Package and Accessories
The Lypertek MEVI comes in a very small but stylish cardboard box. There is an image of the earphone along with some listed features. Inside is a zippered clamshell case adorned with the Lypertek logo. The case is simple but attractive and practical, offering good protection in a pocketable form factor.
The earphones and other accessories are all found inside the hard case and include the Lypertek MEVI earphone, a shirt clip and 3x pairs of silicone eartips (S, M, L). It’s a basic bundle but perfectly acceptable at this price and the included case is fantastic.
Build Quality and Design
Sporting an all-metal shell, the MEVI is a very small and stylish IEM. The flared, capsule-shaped shells have a matte black finish, giving it a premium appearance that belies its budget price. On the rear of the shells is the Lypertek logo in white.
The nozzles are straight and fairly short but they have a solid lip that holds eartips securely. There’s a protective metal mesh to keep out ear wax and debris. Just in front of the cable connection is a tiny bass vent. The two parts of the shells are joined nicely with no sign of glue residue or rough edges.
Overall, the MEVI’s build quality is excellent. Yes, it’s an extremely simple design but Lypertek has managed to give it style and a premium aesthetic.
The MEVI’s cable is a black rubberized material. It’s fairly supple and sits well Above the Y-split it’s a bit thin but it has good strain reliefs so should be durable enough.
The strain reliefs at the top are colour coded; red for right and blue for left. I love this. It is so easy to distinguish left and right and adds a splash of colour to break up the otherwise all-black appearance.
On the right side is a metal single-button inline control and microphone. Although it only has a single button, the controller is multi-functional. It can be used for play, pause, answer or end calls, skip or rewind tracks and shuttle control.
The Y-split is metal and it has a decent strain relief. Finally, the cable terminates with a straight metal 3.5 mm plug.
Comfort and Isolation
With its diminutive size and lightweight shells, the MEVI is a very comfortable IEM. It practically disappears in your ears. With its smooth and rounded surface, you’ll hardly notice its there and can be worn for long sessions without any issues.
Passive noise isolation is about average and will depend mostly on the eartips and how good a seal you’re getting. It’s suitable for most everyday situations such as public transport and busy environments.
One thing the MEVI has in spades is clarity and detail retrieval, thanks to a boosted upper midrange and lower treble, as well as a very clean bass presentation. However, it doesn’t come across as overly bright; the slightly accentuated bass and linear centre midrange provide enough body to prevent it sounding thin or cold. It reminds me of the LZ A5 albeit with noticeably less bass.
Sources used for testing
ATC HDA DP-20
Acoustic Research AR-M20
The MEVI’s bass is really exceptional for such an affordable earphone. It’s fast and punchy, with just the right balance between definition and fullness. What the MEVI does with bass is well-defined, expertly controlled and nimble.
Where the bass loses impetus is in its sub-bass. It drops off quite rapidly and is a touch lacking in impact. It does have a nice fast rumble but is a little too restrained and lacks extension. Overall though, the quality of the MEVI’s bass is well above average for a sub $30 IEM.
The midrange is a bit of a mixed bag. On one hand, it produces brilliant clarity and retrieval of minute details but on the other, it leans towards being too bright and a little strident. The lower to centre midrange is fairly neutral and is quite forward due to the absence of colouring from the bass.
Male vocals sound a little thin and distant, playing second fiddle to the upper midrange. Female vocals have more density, vibrancy and tonal accuracy. Guitars have good texture and really pop. They come to the forefront in songs like Sieges Even’s “Mounting Castles In the Blood Red Sky”.
The MEVI’s lower treble peak adds to the airiness and clarity of the sound but can be a bit of a double-edged sword. Some snares and cymbals can be a bit fatiguing. While the MEVI is mostly free of sibilance, it does rear its ugly head on occasion, most notably with the T consonant.
The treble extension is very good, providing the MEVI with an abundance of harmonics for air and sparkle. However, I did find that slightly reducing the 6.5kHz peak with EQ made the sound much more pleasant to my ears.
The MEVI presents a fairly intimate soundstage, having considerably more width than depth. Where it does excel is in its instrument separation, which helps to avoid feeling confined. Having said that though, when there’s a lot of cymbal action, like in The Pineapple Thief’s “Take Your Shot”, the separation takes a plunge as the cymbals dominate and everything else becomes a blur.
Hypersense HEX02 ($25)
The HEX02 (review here) is a much warmer IEM than the Lypertek MEVI. It has a lot more bass, which is thicker and carries over into the midrange. In the sub-bass, the HEX02 has truckloads of it compared to the MEVI. The MEVI’s vocals are more articulated and intelligible, where the HEX02 concentrates on warmth and richness.
There’s more extension in the MEVI’s treble but it’s also thinner and on the dry side, whereas the HEX02 has a more relaxed and non-fatiguing approach. Overall the MEVI has a leaner and more detailed sound compared to the HEX02’s bass focused, easygoing nature.
When it comes to build quality, both IEMs are excellent for the price. The included accessories are virtually the same apart from the MEVI’s great case vs the HEX02’s fabric pouch.
Tin Audio T1 ($37)
The T1 (review here) has a more balanced overall presentation while the MEVI concentrates on its upper midrange focus. Bass on the T1 has more body and some extra weight behind it and more extension in the sub-bass. Male vocals have more body on the T1 and come off sounding more natural.
Vocals are denser and have more intimacy on the T1. Vocals on the MEVI tend to get pushed behind the upper reaches of the midrange with things like snares and handclaps being the most prominent instrument in the overall sound.
While the T1’s treble isn’t as airy, it does portray a more rounded and three-dimensional soundstage. There’s a greater sense of depth in its presentation and positional cues are better on the T1. Detail retrieval is superior on the MEVI, assuming there aren’t too many cymbals crashing in the music.
The build quality is great on both of these with neither having any distinct advantages over the other. However, the accessories award goes to the Lypertek MEVI, since the T1 doesn’t come with a storage case.
Lypertek MEVI Conclusion
The MEVI is an ambitious budget earphone that gets a lot of things right. I’m eager to see what they produce next. This is yet another earphone worth serious consideration if you’re shopping for something in the budget entry-level.
With its great build quality and comfort, the Lypertek MEVI is certainly good value for money. Those who cherish clarity and picking out the fine details in their music should definitely appreciate what the MEVI has to offer.