Lypertek is back at it again with another set of TWS buds at a competitive price, with the sort of features you’d expect in 2022. The Lypertek PurePlay Z5 buds deliver IPX4 waterproofing, touch controls, active noise cancellation, 10mm drivers as well as their now-signature LDX audio setting.
- Great soundstage overall
- LDX Audio is excellent
- Comfy fit
- Nice package
- Battery life isn't top tier
Lypertek has tweaked their design methodology somewhat from their previous outings. Their last offering in 2021 was the PurePlay Z3 2.0 where a small bud design was chosen. This time out, the PurePlay Z5 opts to add stems to the unit, making them seem more akin to AirPods than previous Lypertek offerings.
There are some similarities, however. The signature branding remains; subtle and subdued as always. Their proprietary audio profiling is present once more in their LDX Audio mode, and the Z5 is compatible with their PureControl companion app, although annoyingly you’ll have to download their ANC-specific app for the PurePlay Z5.
Less annoying is the inclusion of ANC, something I’ve called out as missing in previous Lypertek offerings.
The Lypertek PurePlay Z5 earbuds come packaged with a small pill-like charging box that has a smooth plastic finish and an embossed Lypertek logo. This is a significant departure from their fabric-coated pill-shaped cradles of previous products. The buds themselves have a stalk design as previously mentioned, with a smooth two-tone plastic finish. There are touch panels on the rear of the bud to manage the various functions, and pinhole microphones to aid clarity during voice calls or digital assistant use.
The charging cradle has magnetic pins for charging as well as a notification LED both internally and externally.
They are available in only a single colour, black.
- Driver: 10mm Dynamic
- Frequency Response: 20Hz – 20kHz
- Microphones: triple mic setup for Hybrid ANC and cVc 8.0 (clear voice capture)
- Bluetooth Specification: Bluetooth 5.2
- Supported Codecs: aptX/aptX Adaptive/AAC/SBC
- Play Time (Max): 7 hours with ANC off (4 hours with ANC on), 35 hours (with case)
- Waterproof Level: IPX4
- Features: Music control, volume control, phone calls, voice assistant, Ambient mode, Auto-Ambient™, LDX™ audio, 7-band EQ with dedicated presets, setup assistant, Find my Earbuds
In The Box
- Lypertek PurePlay Z5 True Wireless Earphones in Black
- Charging case
- PureSpace™ Silicone Tips in XS, S, M, L, XL
- PurePower™ Silicone Tips in S, M, L
- PureComfort™ Foam Tips in S and M
- USB Type-C cable
- Quick start manual
Audio & Use
Let’s just start with the charging case. I’m not a fan of the material choice. One of Lypertek’s distinguishing features has always been their fabric-coated pill-shaped charging cradle. I’ve always liked the feel of them, and the shape helps to be pocketable. The PurePlay Z5 cradle however is a hardened plastic with a grotesque embossed logo in the lid. It belies the otherwise premium nature of the Z5s, for me. There is wireless charging on the cradle which is nice, but there was also on the PurePlay Z3 2.0, which had that more striking design. That’s a miss for me. Charging the cradle is relatively speedy and the cradle itself can charge the buds quite fast and provide a total of just over a day’s worth of continuous playback (or around 16 hours if ANC is continuously on).
Something else I was never a fan of was TWS buds with stalk designs. I put these in my ear half expecting to feel a tug toward the bottom of my ear canal, or some other unpleasant feeling. Nothing. The PurePlay Z5 is so lightweight and comfortable, I almost forgot they weren’t just buds. It got me thinking about how much better some of their other products might have been with stalks, such was the comfort.
Once you’ve got the correct tips in place (you can choose between sizes and silicone and foam tips. I had large silicone ones on for the review) you can start to enjoy the music. There’s a lot here to enjoy. Together with the companion app (more on that shortly), you can really tune these buds to give you the soundstage you’re looking for, on a song by song basis if you so desire. My usual playlist of Hip-Hop, Drill/Grime and some acoustic tracks all fared well. Bass was low, tight and rumbly, whilst there was a distinctive difference between the mids and highs. On some percussion-heavy tracks that dissipate slightly, but overall, it’s an absolute delight to listen to music on the PurePlay Z5.
In LDX mode, you could be forgiven for thinking you were listening to an absolute top-tier set of earbuds, far beyond the PurePlay Z5 £120 retail price. Just get your hands on a pair and enable it in the app. There’s an expansion to the audio, regardless of the genre, and there’s a real immersion. It’s amazing what Lypertek have managed to do here.
I’ve seen a number of reviews criticising the ANC capabilities of the Z5’s so thought I’d address it specifically here. ANC hasn’t been part of the Lypertek stable until now, so this is essentially their first attempt.
It works, but it’s not the absolute best, granted. I certainly did put it through its paces though. I head into London via a bus and hit the tube as well, and also found myself in coffee shops to test in quieter locations. There is a definite increase in clarity when using ANC in a noisy environment, but it’s evident they don’t block all extraneous noise. There is a gentle hiss on occasions too, but overall, I found it a fairly good experience. It’s worth adding that normal mode itself does a good job of isolating the wearer, and the ambient noise setting was handy on occasion and provides some significant clarity to the outside world.
To sum up the ANC, the PurePlay Z5 is not top-tier. The Sony WF-1000XM4 is, for me, the class-leader in ANC for earbuds, but they will cost you almost double depending on the retailer.
Moving on, the companion app allows a tonne more functionality. There’s volume control, ANC control, and the ability to configure single, double and triple-tap touch controls to whatever function you’d like. it’s quite a tight little application. The only annoying thing is that you need to download a new application as opposed to using the “old” PureControl app. Anything pre- Z5 will still be functional through the old app. Granted, not many users are going to have a suite of Lypertek products that they use on a regular basis, but it still seems an odd adjustment.
Finally, there’s battery life. This is a difficult one. The marketing material suggests 7 hours of continuous use, with 28 hours of top-ups from the cradle, if you aren’t using ANC. If you decide you need to use ANC, you drop a considerable amount of longevity. 4 hours of playback, and 16 hours of cradle top-up is what the marketing material suggests. In my testing, I got just shy of the 4 hours. This is far from class-leading but also isn’t a deal-breaker in my eyes. The inclusion of speed-enough wired charging, as well as Qi wireless charging, means top-ups are available easily.
The Lypertek PurePlay Z5 might have taken the next step in its maturity. The introduction of ANC is something that has been severely lacking in their line up and I fully expect these to appeal to more users now because of their inclusion.
The soundstage is excellent thanks to the 10mm dynamic drivers. Their LDX Audio mode continues to offer stellar audio overall also, and is a growing value-add.
Whilst battery life is a bit of a concern, the cradle is fully stacked, and most users will get through a day or two without having to worry about charging. When you do need to top up, whack it on a charging pad and away you go!
Whilst £119 is far from cheap, inflation is hitting hard, and in terms of the market Lypertek is now playing in, I think these are excellent value for money if you’re on the hunt!