Skip to main content

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 review: Strong LDX sound but ANC isn't so great

The Lypertek PurePlay Z5 offer great sound quality in LDX mode, but ANC is a bit of a let down

A photo showing a close-up of the Lypertek PurePlay Z5 earbuds in a users' ear
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

The ANC performance and sensitive controls on these buds make them a quirky buy, but the excellent LDX sound quality makes up for any shortcomings at the price.

Pros

  • +

    Decent audio quality

  • +

    Great soundstage in LDX mode

  • +

    Customizable sound

Cons

  • -

    ANC is disappointing

  • -

    Oversensitive touch controls

Lypertek PurePlay Z5: Specifications

Colors: Black

Battery life (rated): 4 hours (ANC on), 7 hours (ANC off), 20 hours (with charging case and ANC on), 30 hours (with charging case and ANC off)

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2 (codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX Adaptive)

Water resistance: Yes (IPX4 rated)

Size: 1.4 inches (per bud); 2.4 inches (charging case)

Weight: 0.176 ounces (earbud); 1.9 ounces (charging case)

The Lypertek PurePlay Z5 earbuds are the latest offering from Lypertek, a company that has managed to carve out a name for itself thanks to its high quality, affordable audio products. 

The Z5 buds also mark the first time Lypertek has attempted to add active noise cancelling to its earbuds. Unfortunately, the ANC mode isn't good enough to challenge any of our best noise-cancelling earbuds yet. So if this is the most important factor to you, you'll need to look elsewhere for your earbuds.

However, the PurePlay Z5s offer great audio quality for their price, with plenty of customization when it comes to EQ, controls, and fit. This is what helps them hold their own in the market of mid-priced wireless earbuds.

Read on for our full Lypertek PurePlay Z5 review.

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 review: Price and availability

  • Competitive price
  • Only available in one color

The Lypertek PurePlay Z5 earbuds sell for $129 / £119 at Lypertek's online store (opens in new tab), and can also be purchased from various other retailers, including Amazon (opens in new tab). Currently, they’re only available in black.

Inside the box, you’ll get the earbuds, a wireless charging case, a USB-C charging cable, user guide, warranty card, and 10 pairs of ear tips: 2 foam and 8 silicon.

There are several options to choose from for earbuds in this price range. The $119 Amazon Echo Buds 2 offer decent ANC and good sound quality. Meanwhile the OnePlus Buds Pro have some really powerful ANC capabilities. (OnePlus' buds technically cost $149, but can often be found discounted for around $119.) But if you're on a budget and put sound quality first, the Lypertek PurePlay Z5 buds are a great choice.

A photo of the Lypertek PurePlay Z5 earbuds charging case, closed

(Image credit: Future)

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 review: Design and comfort

  • Sleek design
  • IPX4 sweat and rainwater rating

The Lypertek PurePlay Z5 design keeps things simple, with a sleek black body and silver accents and branding to the outer surface of each earbud. They take some cues from the AirPods Pro, with a circular form leading to a small stem that drops down to hang over the ear — if you like this style make sure you check out our guide to the best fake AirPods.    

There are 10 pairs of ear tips bundled with the PurePlay Z5 buds, so you should be able to get a good seal. There are 2 pairs of foam tips and 8 silicone tips, so you’ll have your choice between maximizing comfort, bass, or tone.

Comfort was moderate with these earbuds. I was able to wear the buds for around two hours before I started to feel the urge to take them out, but if you’re used to silicone-tipped earbuds, you’ll be able to go a decent few hours with no problems. Plus, if you’re having bigger issues with discomfort, you can always switch to the foam tips.

A photo of the Lypertek PurePlay Z5 earbuds on a table, next to their charging case

(Image credit: Future)

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 review: Controls and digital assistant 

  • Responsive touch controls
  • Controls can be oversensitive

You can control what’s playing through the earbuds by using the PurePlay Z5’s built-in touch controls. You can use the preset commands, or delve into the PureControl ANC app to customize the commands yourself.

By default, a single-tap will play or pause your music, while a long press will cycle between ANC and transparency mode. Tapping the buds to pause or turn on ANC felt just as speedy as pressing the controls directly on my phone.

Even though they were fast, I found the Z5 touch controls to be somewhat oversensitive. If I needed to adjust the earbuds in my ears, or even if I just brushed my hand past the buds, they would register a single-tap. This was especially frustrating during calls, as a single-tap would cause the earbuds to disconnect from the call and sound would begin playing out of my phone’s speakers. To fix this, I had to go into the control settings in the PureControl app and disable the single-tap command. There’s a preset control style called “safe mode” in the app that uses this setting.

A photo showing the Lypertek PurePlay Z5 earbuds being operated by touch controls

(Image credit: Future)

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 review: Sound quality

  • Powerful sound from 10mm drivers
  • Customizable sound through the app

The audio performance is probably the best part of these buds, which is after all what they're all about and means Lypertek has its priorities straight. For the price, the Z5 earbuds offer an extremely rich and complex sound. You'd be forgiven for thinking these tones are coming from a much more expensive product. 

Performance did seem to skew towards the low frequencies, though, with the bassline coming through most clearly on tracks including Daft Punk's "Get Lucky" and Big Data's "Dangerous". That's not to say that the other ranges were lost — vocals in the midrange rang clear and true, and the highs soared on Kate Bush's "Running Up That Hill". 

For a bit of a break from listening test tracks, I streamed a party playlist through Spotify that included tracks like "Rock The Casbah" by The Clash and "Y.M.C.A." by the Village People to see how these earbuds handled content with lower data. The performance was still very much in balance, although things seemed less dynamic and the soundstage was perhaps a bit narrow.

Performance is all well but a bit mediocre compared to rivals so far, but selecting LDX mode in the PureControl ANC companion app really steps up the audio performance with a marked difference in clarity and the openness of the soundstage. When you install the app on your device, this really is the first feature you should try. I suppose it’s a bonus that Lypertek has thought to include more audio options, but it’s strange that LDX mode isn’t enabled by default to showcase the earbuds with their best sound.

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 earbuds in charging case with iPhone

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 review: Active noise cancellation 

  • Good transparency mode
  • ANC is better elsewhere

Simply put, the active noise cancellation is decent with the PurePlay Z5 buds, but there are definitely better options out there if ANC is your main priority. I was able to enjoy my music while my family watched TV in the living room, but some sound from the TV programme was still audible. During a commute, travel noise and chatter were also still present.

The ambient feature on the earbuds was more successful. The ANC mode can't block out all noise, but the transparency mode aims to let some outside sound in so you can stay aware of your surroundings. This was handy for walks outside, as I could enjoy some tunes without worrying I was going to miss out on things happening around me.

If you want some really good ANC in this price range, try the Amazon Echo Buds 2 or the OnePlus Buds Pro. These do a better job at blocking outside sound. Or, if you have a little more to spend, you can't go wrong with the popular AirPods Pro or the Bose QuietComfort, our favorite noise-cancelling earbuds.

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 review: Special features and app 

  • Access to custom and preset sound profiles
  • Unstable app experience

To get the most of your earbuds, Lypertek recommends downloading their PureControl ANC app. I had some issues using it. When I opened the app, I was prompted to download a firmware update for my earbuds. However, despite multiple attempts to download the update, I was often met with a spinning progress wheel that wouldn't budge above zero. The app doesn’t seem to be formatted in the best way, either — text boxes wouldn’t fit properly on my screen and there was no way to scroll down to read the rest of the information being displayed.

Lypertek PurePlay Z5

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

As for the actual features the app offers, there’s plenty to explore. Front and center is the LDX audio mode, which is a sound profile specifically tuned for the PurePlay Z5 buds. They bill it as an “improved soundstage with added depth, increased definition and a greater sense of space.” And they’re right on the money — listening with LDX turned on did lead to a bigger sound and more of a feeling of space, as if I was sitting in a room surrounded by the different components making up the sound.

You can also delve into the equalizer to adjust levels individually to your preferences or quickly switch between preset modes. There’s a “find my earbuds” feature, too. This would be a useful addition if it didn’t cause the app to crash whenever I tried to use it.

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 showing equalizer mode on control app

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 review: Battery life and charging case 

  • Stylish case design
  • ANC playtime isn't great

With ANC on, you’ll get about 4 hours of listening time from the Z5 buds, or about 20 hours if you use the charging case. This isn’t the best battery life out there, considering we got 4.5 hours play time from Apple's AirPods Pro in our tests, or 24 hours with the charging case. If you turn ANC and ambient modes off, you’ll get a more respectable 7 hours of battery life, or 30 hours with the case.

The case for the Z5 buds is slightly weighted, but the plastic material doesn’t have the most premium feel. It’ll keep the earbuds safe from dings and small drops, but I’d be a little worried about it being able to survive a drop from a decent height. However, the chrome Lypertek logo embossed on the front of the case is a nice touch, and there is a pairing button inside the case for some extra functionality.

A photo of the Lypertek PurePlay Z5 earbuds charging case, open

(Image credit: Future)

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 review: Call quality 

Call quality is decent with the Z5 buds. I could hear my friends clearly, and the three microphones on each earbud also carried my voice across the airwaves safe and sound. Results were similar when I ventured outside. I experienced some interference from wind and other outside noise, but overall my experience making a call was still good. No one could tell I was using a pair of earbuds and not a dedicated mic.

I will mention again that on their default control settings, a single-tap gesture caused the earbuds to disconnect from calls. The sound then switched to playing out of my phone’s speakers, which was disruptive during conversation as I tried to hook the earbuds back up again. This doesn’t happen during music playback, as a single-touch causes the music to pause instead (according to the default control settings.) It’s annoying, but at least you can disable this quirk by changing the touch control settings in the PureControl ANC app.

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 earbuds worn by reviewer listening outside with iPhone in hand

(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Lypertek PurePlay Z5 review: Verdict

The Lypertek PurePlay Z5 earbuds can be counted as another win under Lypertek's belt. While the Z5 buds don’t push the boat out, they do provide a great audio experience with plenty of customisation options at an affordable price point. This is something Lypertek has become known for.

As well as having excellent sound quality, the Z5s go the extra mile by being great on calls and having fast, responsive controls.

The biggest downside to the Z5 buds is their ANC. If you want to enjoy your music without distractions, you may need to check out some of our best noise-cancelling earbuds instead. There are also some issues with the PureControl ANC companion app that I experienced. However, the excellent sound quality and affordable price mean Lypertek’s buds don’t disappoint.

Millie is a Deals writer at Tom's Guide covering the latest tech news and specializing in deals content and how-to articles about everything from phones, streaming devices and headphones to games and software. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, gaming on her Nintendo Switch and creating digital art.