The Lypertek SoundFree S20 has had an interesting journey to the marketplace. Originally called the Levi, a similar name to its more expensive sibling, the Lypertek Tevi (we reviewed this here), there were a few pre-production issues. 6-months or so down the line and the Lypertek SoundFree S20 is the result. That result was one worth waiting for.
- Excellent all-round audio
- Good battery life
- Bassy but crisp
- No ANC
- No aptX
- More expensive than the competition
As I mentioned in the introduction, it was a long wait to be able to talk about this product. Once I unboxed the product, I started to note the differences between it and Lypertek’s previous outing. The SoundFree S20 is incredibly similar to the Lypertek Tevi on paper but there are some design changes. The marketing material even calls out that it is based on its predecessor’s hardware.
The SoundFree S20 buds are slightly smaller than their predecessor, and instead of the side touch-button, the SoundFree S20 sports a top-edge physical button. Alongside the size, there’s some difference in the spec-sheet too with IPX5 water/dust resistance replacing the Tevi’s IPX7, and aptX missing entirely.
The charging cradle has a matte black finish in a rounded-oblong design which is a departure from the Tevi’s fabric-covered pill-shaped cradle.
- Driver: 6mm Neodymium Dynamic Drivers
- Frequency response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Bluetooth: 5.0
- Compatible audio codecs: AAC, SBC
- Play time (max): 8 hours + 40 hours with case
- Water-resistant rating: IPX5
- Charging options: USB-C and wireless charging
In The Box
- SoundFree S20
- Charging cradle
- Small, Medium, and Large silicone tips
- Small, Medium and Large flange tips
- USB Type-C charging cable
- Quick start guide
Audio & Use
Straight out of the box the Lypertek SoundFree S20 fit neatly in the ear canal. There’s no noise cancellation here, active or passive, but the tight, but comfortable in-ear fit means that there is some natural isolation for the wearer (and those in close proximity). Rather than a lacklustre implementation, Lypertek simply chooses to concentrate on a good all-round package. I’m okay with that.
After choosing the relevant tips, fitting the SoundFree S20 in the ear is relatively easy, and more importantly, consistently easy. Insert them straight and give them a little twist and they sit there and don’t move during any walking or jogging.
During a number of lengthy (to me) listening sessions, I felt no pain or discomfort when sitting still or whilst in motion. An example of this is a nice 1-hour long walk across rough terrain. They didn’t budge, and they were comfy. You can’t really ask for more here.
All About That Bass? No, There’s Treble
The Lypertek Tevi didn’t overdo the low-end and there’s no surprise then that the SoundFree S20 are very similar. Based on exactly the same architecture, they perform largely the same. The low-end is punchy without blowing your head off, but more importantly, it’s crisp and clear. Listening to my usual mix of Hip-Hop, Dance tracks and some acoustic mixes detailed the mids and highs too which are equally separated and have some depth to them.
That separation is more easily heard on acoustic tracks, and I once again found myself listening to the nuance of the track rather than struggling to hear specific pieces of it. As it should be!
As traveling is something of a no-go currently, I haven’t tested this in any noisy/detailed scenarios, but I’d expect them to be audible to the wearer in most circumstances due to the fit. Some might not like it but the SoundFree S20 buds do create a little vacuum in your ear as they seal. I have to say it took me a little while to get used to them, but the listening experience is much better because of it.
That experience can’t last for quite as long as the Tevi. The SoundFree S20 can manage the same 8-hours of playback from the buds directly, whilst the charging cradle can only offer an additional 40-hours down from the Tevi’s 70-hours. That’s not really an issue for most normal humans though is it?
Controlling the device during those sessions is now much easier than previously. I bemoaned the physical controls on the Tevi which had you clicking into your ear to make a track skip or volume adjustment. Here, with the SoundFree S20, the multi-function button is re-located to the top of the buds. Much better. The button is easily found, and the controls, whilst wrong for me, are easily accessed. I much prefer a single press to equate to volume control, however here a single press is play/pause, with double taps for track selection and a long press for volume. Nothing to worry about.
Prices of similar TWS buds have increased over the last few years. We’re reviewed the Edifier X3’s and the Cystereo Fusion buds over the last 6-months, both of which are almost half the price of the Lypertek SoundFree S20, and both boast aptX which the S20 does not have. That’s where the SoundFree S20 gets marked down. That’s the only area though.
Price to one side, these are excellent buds. They have a clear and concise soundstage which is broad enough for most users. Despite the lack of the aptX codec, they deliver an equivalent soundstage to that of the competition. In addition, they have more than enough battery life to see a user through a few sessions.
The Lypertek SoundFree S20 doesn’t quite have the same value proposition at £69, as the Cystereo Fusion, but as an overall package, they are an excellent choice for anybody looking for a quality set of TWS buds. I’m glad I have them in my collection, and due to the slightly better comfort, they are used more often than the rest of the options available to me. That’s an endorsement!