Thursday, April 29, 2021

Lypertek SoundFree S20

One-minute review

If you’re looking for budget wireless earbuds, the Lypertek SoundFree S20 could be a great investment that’s easy on your bank balance. 

Lypertek burst onto the wireless earbuds scene with the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 (formerly known as the Lypertek Tevi before a name change), which blew us away with their good audio performance, great design, and value for money at under $100 / £100. 

The Lypertek SoundFree S20 are cheaper still, coming in at $69 / £69 (around AU$90), and undercutting popular true wireless earbuds like the Sony WF-1000XM3 and the Apple AirPods (2019) by a significant margin. 

Despite their low price, it doesn’t feel like Lypertek has cut any corners with the SoundFree S20. 

Their design intuitively includes physical buttons that allow you to control your music playback, and while the charging case does feel a little plasticky and cheap, it’s small and light.

Battery life comes in at a lengthy 48 hours when you include the USB-C / wireless charging case. Connectivity is also very good, with Bluetooth 5 and automatic pairing making it easy to hook them up to your phone or tablet. 

The audio performance is impressive, with strong bass frequencies, smooth mids, and decently detailed trebles. Complex compositions can sound muddled, and the soundstage isn’t particularly spacious, but we wouldn’t expect pristine audio from earbuds at this price. For the cost, they sound very good indeed. 

The Lypertek PurePlay Z3 are still the superior earbuds, and if you can find them at a discount, we’d recommend picking them up over the SoundFree S20. That being said, the Lypertek SoundFree S20 are still easy for us to recommend, and offer a cheap yet capable alternative to the likes of Apple AirPods. 

[Update: Lypertek has announced its latest true wireless earbuds – and with an incredible claimed battery life of 80 hours, they may be among the longest-lasting wireless earbuds on the planet. According to the company, the new earbuds offer an updated design, improved features, and hybrid driver technology compared to the buds we're reviewing here – and they're far pricier, too.]

lypertek soundfree s20

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Lypertek SoundFree S20 price and release date

  • Available to buy now for $69 / £69
  • Australian availability TBC

The Lypertek SoundFree S20 are available to buy now for $69 / £69 – that works out at around AU$90, though Australian pricing and availability is still to be confirmed. 

The earbuds were initially slated to launch in 2020, but following a few delays were released in February 2021.

That pricing makes them cheaper than their predecessors, the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 (formerly known as the Lypertek Tevi), which were already pretty inexpensive to begin with. They’re also significantly cheaper than the most popular wireless earbuds on the market, the Apple AirPods.

wireless earbuds

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Design

  • Slim, light case
  • IPX5 water-resistance
  • Physical control buttons

The Lypertek SoundFree S20 look pretty similar to their more expensive predecessors, with the company’s logo emblazoned on the earbuds’ housings and a choice of six differently-sized eartips to choose from. 

The charging case is a little different though, with a flip-top lid and a smaller build that makes it easier to slip into your pocket. At the bottom of the charging case is a USB-C port for charging, while on the front of the case is a row of four LEDs that tell you how much battery it contains when you plug it in.

Another change is the way you control the earbuds. Instead of integrating buttons into the outer housings, which means you have to push them into your ear uncomfortably every time you want to adjust your music, Lypertek has included a small silver button on the side of each earbud.

true wireless earbuds

(Image credit: TechRadar)

While you could argue that this choice detracts from the sleek lines of the design, we’re surprised that we haven’t seen many earbuds with this kind of button placement before. It just makes sense, and while touch-sensitive housings are still being refined, the use of physical buttons gives a reassuring tactility to using the earbuds. 

The controls themselves are fairly easy to master, with different tap combinations allowing you to play and pause your music, skip tracks, turn the volume up or down, answer, end, and reject calls, enable your device’s voice assistant, and turn on the Ambient Sound mode. 

An IPX5 water-resistance rating means you can comfortably work out with these buds, without the fear that a little rain or sweat will ruin them – though the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 do offer a superior rating of IPX7, so may be a better choice if waterproofing is a big concern.

lypertek soundfree s20

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Audio performance

  • 6mm neodymium dynamic drivers
  • Support for AAC and SBC
  • Bassy presentation

Like their predecessors, the Lypertek SoundFree S20 offer a better listening experience than their low price might suggest.

With 6mm neodymium dynamic drivers and support for AAC and SBC audio codecs, all the ingredients for a decent audio performance are there – and while they don’t have the same audiophile-friendly neutrality as the Lypertek PurePlay Z3, it’s hard to fault these cheap wireless earbuds. 

Listening to How Deep is Your Love by The Bee Gees, we noticed a little harshness in the trebles, but the mid frequencies sounded smooth and clear, with the luxurious vocal harmonies supported by lush strings and mellow synth organs. 

wireless earbuds

(Image credit: TechRadar)

In Bruno Mars’ 24k Magic, the low frequencies were forceful and vigorous. The tuning may feel a little bass heavy for some, but if you like a lot of oomph in the low end of your music you’ll enjoy listening with these buds. Meanwhile, percussion generally sounded precise, albeit with a little hiss at louder volumes.

Moving on to Laura by Scissor Sisters, and the driving rhythms and staccato vocals were handled well, though as more instruments were introduced in the chorus, things began to sound a little muddled. It’s still an enjoyable listening experience, but more high-end earbuds will give a better sense of separation and space in the soundstage. 

They aren’t the most detailed listen either, and audiophiles may crave a little more accuracy – but for the price, they sound great, and we’re hesitant to make too many complaints about a pair of budget-friendly buds. 

lypertek earbuds

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Battery life and connectivity

  • Eight hours onboard
  • 40 hours in charging case
  • Bluetooth 5 support

Battery life comes in at eight hours from the buds themselves, with a further 40 hours of charge provided by the charging case. That may not be quite as long as the Lypertek PurePlay Z3’s claimed 70 hours, but it’s still far more impressive than most true wireless earbuds on the market today. 

If you do run out of juice, a quick-charge feature means you can pop the buds in their case for 15 minutes and get a good two hours of playback. 

You can top up the case via the USB-C port or wirelessly if you have a compatible wireless charging mat – a welcome feature at this price.

lypertek wireless earbuds

(Image credit: TechRadar)

The connectivity is very good too, with the Lypertek SoundFree S20 supporting Bluetooth 5, alongside audio codecs including AAC and SBC. 

Once you’ve paired the earbuds with your device initially, they’ll automatically connect when you open the charging case – a lovely feature that worked very well in our tests, and saves you fiddling around with your phone’s Bluetooth settings every time you want to listen to music.

Should I buy the Lypertek SoundFree S20?

cheap wireless earbuds

(Image credit: TechRadar)

Buy them if...

You’re looking for a bargain
You get a lot for your money with the Lypertek SoundFree S20, with a good audio performance, intuitive design, great battery life, and excellent connectivity. 

You need long battery life
With eight hours onboard and a further 40 provided by the charging case, these buds are perfect for anyone who isn't diligent about keeping their earbuds topped up. 

You want buds that ‘just work’
Pairing the Lypertek SoundFree S20 is a breeze thanks to Bluetooth 5 and the automatic pairing feature – fiddling around with your Bluetooth settings will seem like a distant bad dream. 

Don't buy them if...

You want the best audio performance available
These earbuds sound decent, but audiophiles will want a more balanced, spacious soundstage. 

You’re looking for outstanding design
The Lypertek SoundFree S20 don’t look bad at all, but their design won’t stand out from the crowd particularly. 

You want active noise cancellation
There’s no ANC here, so you’ll need to look to models like the AirPods Pro or the Sony WF-1000XM3 if you want to block out your surroundings.

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