When I’m not writing reviews for Rapid Reviews UK, my day job is in retail management – I’m also one of those people who also commute to work. That said, a lot of my day is either spent listening to music or an audiobook. So, to say that I’ve been through a lot of headphones/earphones is a big understatement. I’ve had a few great sets and a lot of awful ones too. But when it comes to the Lypertek PurePlay Z5 Hybrid ANC True Wireless Earphones, they’re up there with the best to have graced my ear canals.
So, come with me as we take a trip on the elegant side with this hardware review…
Style, Profile, I Said
When I received the package that contained the Lypertek PurePlay Z5, I wasn’t fully expecting to find what I did inside. I’ve had plenty of earphones in the past that come packaged within a basic box that you’ll either destroy trying to open it or, on a few times, it’s been damaged by the postal service. Thankfully, the PurePlay Z5’s arrived in tip-top condition and also had an aura of elegance about them – even though they’re not Lypertek’s premium brand
The box art is of a sleek black design with a white font. Adorning the front cover is a simple picture of both earphones with the Lypertek logo emblazoned within a holographic centrepiece. It’s also worth noting that the box is quite chunky. As such, if you’re to order a set of these, it may be best to camp by your front door!
Anyway, upon opening the box and you’re greeted by a minimalistic compartment design that’s also pretty snug. There’s not a lot of wiggle room which certainly keeps the Z5 safe if you intend to transport them this way. As the box folds open, you’ll be presented with a quick pull-out that thanks you for purchasing the Z5s, as well as describing how to choose the best silicone cover and how this affects the in-ear fit and sound quality. Take this away, and you then have the Z5 and its charging/carry case all cushioned by a sturdy piece of sponge that’s been cut to offer a tight fit. Diving deeper, we then have the extra silicone covers, the charging cable, and the unit’s paperwork.
Tap, Tap, Tap
Tap controls have become a recent trend with wireless earphones, and the Lypertek Pureplay Z5 is no exception. Personally, I’m not a fan of touch control as it does open you up for accidentally skipping a track or activating/deactivating features. That being said, the touch controls here are actually pretty good – but not infallible.
Controls are mirrored between both left and right buds, which is perfectly accessible for both left, and right-handed users. A simple tap on either bud will switch between playback, whilst holding either will cycle between the various noise canceling modes. Meanwhile, tapping and then holding the bud will call up the built-in voice assistant.
While the controls are incredibly straightforward, they do still lead to those age-old problems I described earlier. So – for now – I’ll stick to the manual controls.
Much like touch controls, noise cancellation is also becoming a bespoke feature that potential users look for when buying a pair of earphones. After all, we want to hear our music/audiobook – not everything else. Not one to disappoint, the PurePlay Z5’s also come with the feature!
Utilising the ear bud’s six microphones, the unit takes in the strength of the current levels of ambient sound and adjusts itself accordingly. The rhythmic hum of the train on the track is all but dampened to a quiet hum. Catching a bus full of screaming children is reduced significantly. Nature also takes a turn for the quiet with the sound of the North Sea all but a distant roar. While the noise cancellation does keep up the pace with softening most noises, it doesn’t completely cancel out everything. If anything, it feels like most of the work comes from the ANC enhancements and your choice of silicone tip.
Another great feature is that this noise cancellation can also be tweaked to allow ambient noise when appropriate. This Auto Ambient feature – which is activated through the app – automatically adjusts the ambient balance when the earphones are not in use. It’s a great feature to use, especially if it’s not simple to pop the earphones out – such as being in a kayak on the Norfolk Broads.
Aside from being great to listen to music/podcasts through, the Lypertek Pureplay Z5 is also able to act as a hands-free kit too. While it’s not necessarily a feature, I would purposely buy these earphones for it as it does have its uses.
Turning The Dial Up!
As with any set of earphones, sound quality needs to be up to scratch. With the Purplay Z5, this quality sits firmly in the middle – unless you tweak a few options. Opening the companion app gives you plenty of ways to customise the built-in equaliser to your tastes.
There are plenty of predefined settings to choose from, such as “gaming”, “podcast”, “music”, and simply “default”. Each of these comes with its own settings suitable for that activity. However, for me, the ultimate setting was aptly named “loudness”. Basically, this setting switches the Z5 into a high-performance mode which really pushes Lypertek’s LDX audio to the max. Listening to Bring Me The Horizon’s Shadow Moses on a packed commute was literal music to my ears! That being said, even when in “loudness” mode, the sound quality was on an even setting. The rhythm never blanketed Olly Sykes’s vocals, and likewise, the “very heavy” vocal moments didn’t drown out the backing track.
Not one for podcasts; my next port of call was the humble audiobook. As a resurgent Warhammer 40K player, I’ve decided to rediscover the Horus Heresy novels on Audible. I often drift off to sleep with the grim-dark 40,000th millennium battling on. Anyway, a quick flip of the equaliser to its predefined “podcast” setting, and the Z5 enhances the reader’s voice (Toby Longsworth) with crystal clarity.
While the battery life of the Z5 can be seen as a bit of a letdown, for me, it’s perfectly reasonable. For context, on a four-hour charge, you’ll get roughly 20 hours of noise cancelled playback from the earphones. However, turning the noise cancellation setting off, and this dramatically increases to about 30 hours. Naturally, no one is going to use the Z5 nonstop for 20/30 hours. However, with this battery life, you won’t be rushing to charge the unit after every use. It’s also worth adding that during a 4.5-hour train journey, I had only drained about 10% of the battery.
A lot of what the Lypertek PurePlay Z5 has to offer is controlled through its companion app. Personally, I found this to be a bit of a mixed bag. While its suite of predefined equalisers, volume control, and incredibly accurate “Find My Earbuds” were intuitive and easy to use – it was updating the Z5’s firmware that was the issue.
From first connecting the unit to my Galaxy Note 10+ and the app prompted me to do a firmware update. I was told to keep the Z5 connected and in range of the phone whilst it did what it needed to do. Once the update was complete, it would then fail and ask me to try again. As of writing, I’m still yet to get this to work. While I initially thought that I may have a defective demo unit, a quick trip to the Google Playstore and there are quite a few app reviews that all mention the same. Thankfully, even with the issue, you can still use the Z5, but not as intended by Lypertek.
When it comes to all-round performance, the Lypertek PurePlay Z5 make for a great value. Granted, they’re not the best earbuds on the market, but for the £99 asking price – they’re great for everyday use. The true icing on the cake comes from the LDX function. When activated, this brings a huge range of enhancements to whatever you’re listening to. Even if this isn’t enough, with nine preset equaliser settings and the scope to create your own, even the staunchest of audiophiles can tailor the experience to their own liking.
Add to this a range of silicone covers, easy-to-use touch controls, and that LDX sound, then the Lypertek PurePlay Z5 is a great accomplice to your audio needs.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4 out of 5
The Lypertek PurePlay Z5 is available now and can be purchased from Amazon by clicking here.