How do you improve on one of the most highly rated pair of true wireless earphones, while keeping their same affordable price band? Simple – you don’t change the things that worked well, while adding a few new features – and that’s exactly what we have here.
The Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 are the sequel to the popular true wireless earphones previously known as the Lypertek TEVI. They provide excellent ear-pleasing sound (with just enough bass), Bluetooth 5.2 with aptX, a new expansive sound mode you control via a new app, and a battery time of – wait for it – 80 hours in total.
So, are these the best earphones one can find at this price range? That’s certainly a possibility, but let’s dig in deeper.
Quick Look – Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0
What are they: High quality yet affordable true wireless earphones with incredible battery times, that connect to your phone/laptop/streaming device via Bluetooth.
Value for Money
- Impressive battery times (10 hours + 70 with case)
- Balanced audio
- LDX Sound mode sounds great
- Very comfortable in the ear
- Excellent Bluetooth pairing and control
- Wireless charging
- No active noise cancelling
- Bass may be too soft for some
- No touch buttons
Features and Specs
- Driver unit: 6mm Graphene drivers
- Battery Playing Time: 10 hours
- Additional Battery Time on Case: 70 Hours (80 in total)
- Case charging port: USB-C and Wireless Charging
- Audio Codecs: aptX, AAC
- Bluetooth Version: 5.2 (With latest Qualcomm QCC3040 chipset)
- Extra Features: Customizable EQ and LDX Audio mode / “Hear-through” sound mode / IPX7 Water Resistance
Excellent true wireless earphones that do (almost) everything right – the audio is very high quality and well balanced, though with softer bass, so you won’t get that OOMPH feeling in your body – that’s either a plus or a minus, depending on your tastes.
Table of Contents
Who Are The PurePlay Z3 For?
A couple of years ago, Chinese manufacturer Lypertek burst into the true wireless earphones scene with the TEVI – an excellent pair that featured very impressive battery times, high-quality balanced sound, and a very affordable (and even surprising, for its time) price tag of £99.
The TEVI managed to snag quite a few awards and positive reviews, and they were even my personal favourite, having used them as my ‘daily driver’ for more than a year.
Recently, Lypertek changed the TEVI name to the somewhat bland PurePlay Z3, and now we’re getting the PurePlay Z3 2.0 – an attempt to perfect the already-excellent previous model.
And indeed, you will immediately notice that these are the “sequel” to the original TEVI earphones: they look almost the same (though this time you can also get them in white), many of the features are identical, and some of the previous model’s shortcomings are also still here (such as no active noise cancellation).
And yet, Lypertek did manage to improve things even further, with Qualcomm’s latest Bluetooth chipset, a new mobile app that lets you control the EQ and use a special pre-configured audio mode, and the familiar fabric-coated charging case, which now supports wireless charging.
If you’re still using the previous model, you probably don’t need to upgrade, as the sound quality is pretty similar. But if you’re just looking for brand new true wireless earphones – these excel in many ways.
Using the PurePlay Z3
Size And Comfort
The Z3 probably won’t win any design awards, as the look is quite standard – which is fine for a pair of earphones.
They’re lightweight and won’t hurt your ears even after hours of use, and they also don’t go as deep into your ear canal as some other models – which means they’re less painful, but also don’t make a perfect seal for passive noise cancellation.
In the box, you get three silicone ear tip sizes, and one pair of Flexifit foam tips, so you’re sure to find one that suits your ears and preferences.
The charging case pays the price of the enormous battery times – and is quite big, so don’t expect to fit it in your pocket – but at least it’s very lightweight. The hinge feels a bit too gentle though – so be careful with that.
I do love the fact that the case is covered in fabric, which makes it look and feel good (almost posh!) – it’s a nice change from most other earphone cases out there, that are usually made out of cheap-looking plastic.
The case has a USB-C charging port on its back, and it also supports wireless charging.
The buttons on the earphones themselves cover the outer face, and are not touch-control buttons but actual physical buttons that you need to push. They’re easy enough to push, but as is usually the case with these types of buttons, you sometimes end up pushing the earphones deeper into your ears, which can be uncomfortable.
I’m not a big fan of touch-buttons either, as they often lead to accidental presses – but In their cheaper SoundFree S20 model, Lypertek had the genius idea of placing physical buttons on the SIDES of the earphones (a small metal ridge on each side). It’s a shame they didn’t bring that innovation to the Z3 – I really want every earphone from now to eternity to have those types of side buttons.
The Z3 have an IPX7 water resistance rating, which means they can be submerged up to 1 meter in water, for up to 30 minutes. I wouldn’t go for a swim with them – but if it’s raining real hard, or even if you drop them into a puddle or (god forbid) the toilet – they should be OK.
Pairing and Controlling
The Z3 2.0 now come with Qualcomm’s latest chipset (QCC3040), and Bluetooth 5.2 support.
Pairing them with my phone was incredibly easy – they were ready to pair when I first opened the box, and my phone recognised them instantly.
Furthermore, they support “TrueWireless Mirroring”, which lets your phone see both earphones as one device. This helps a lot of Bluetooth connectivity issues which I often have with other models, where sometimes the phone only connects to just one side of the pair.
Subsequent connections were instant, and after a full week of using them, I had only a single case of a lost connection – that’s impressive for Bluetooth earphones, since, to this day, Bluetooth can still get very flaky.
The buttons on the earphones are easy to press, with all the usual controls – one press to play/pause the music and answer calls, two presses on the right or left for volume up or down, and three presses on either side to skip forward or go back. There’s also press-and-hold to activate the “Hear-through” mode or a voice assistant.
The Hear-through ambient mode supposedly amplifies outside sounds, so you can be more alert to what’s happening around you. In practice, I can’t say it did much – and you should still be extra careful if you’re walking in a crowded street or near a road.
The PureControl App
Another new addition for the 2.0 model is the Lypertek PureControl app – you pair it with the earphones, and can then manually change Equalizer controls (and even save custom settings), change what the buttons do, activate the special LDX Audio mode (more on that later), and even use ‘Find my Earbuds’, which uses the Bluetooth connection to show you where your earphones are.
It’s not accurate enough to direct you to the earphones when you lose them under the bed – but if you’re not sure whether you dropped them outside or in the car – this can be helpful.
The app, which is available for both iOS and Android, has very low ratings on both platforms at the moment. But apparently, it had some connectivity issues in earlier versions – which have now been fixed, hopefully. For me, the app was pretty flawless (with a couple of pairing issues here and there), and is a useful addition.
PurePlay Z3 2.0 Audio Quality
Let’s get this out of the way: the Z3 sound great – especially if you’re a fan of balanced audio that cleanly replicates what the artist intended.
Since there’s no overpowering bass (or any other sound component that overpowers), you can hear almost every instrument, especially if you’re in a quiet environment.
Listening to Chains by Nick Jonas, it does lack some power for the bass, but the kick is piercing nicely and the overall grittiness is not too distorted. Jonas’ vocals are clear and there is a good separation of highs and mids.
Moving on to All Systems Go by Donna Summer, lows were a bit weak on the factory settings, but with some EQ tweaking, you can get that synth bass to shine through. Summer’s vocals are beautifully lush and clear, keyboard riffs are well heard, and even though this is a typical 80s production, the sound doesn’t get too harsh.
Via the app, you can activate the LDX Audio Mode, which activates a designated audio profile that was developed specifically for the Z3 2.0. It’s basically an EQ custom setting (and indeed, you can’t make any EQ changes when LDX is on), but it works – it amplifies the bass and makes the audio feel a bit more expansive.
The LDX mode helps with the Z3’s main audio issue – the fact that it feels a bit lowkey, at least out of the box. If you’re a fan of heavy bass and sound that rocks your body – you won’t get it here. But the LDX mode does add some oomph to the general experience, and along with the accurate, balanced audio profile – you get a very good result.
Lastly, remember that the Z3 don’t have any Active Noise Cancelling. That’s not a bad thing in my book – ANC on earphones at this price range is usually a gimmick that doesn’t do much, so Lypertek were better off spending resources elsewhere.
The passive seal is good enough even when you’re outside, though it’s not perfect if you’re in a particularly crowded street or on the tube.
As for phone calls (remember those?), the sound on both ends was excellent, and people could hear me very well even when I was outside.
Watching Films/TV with the Z3 2.0
As always, I also make a point of checking how films and TV shows sound on the earphones. It’s not just about your phone – with Bluetooth, you can connect the Z3 to your computer, and even to some streaming devices that support Bluetooth (like the Amazon Fire TV stick).
However, the problem with watching films with Bluetooth headphones is that sometimes there’s too much latency and lag – therefore you get lipsync issues.
In this case, however, there were no lag issues at all, and the sound was surprisingly good when watching a film.
When I watched Spider-Man: Far From Home on my phone, I was blown away by the sound. Remember my complaint about the bass being a bit weak when you’re listening to music? Somehow it excels when you’re watching a film, and I could feel every explosion and even sound effect. And with the clean sound the Z3 provide, speech was also very clear and easy to understand.
SoundFree Z3 Battery Times
This part if of course one of the highlights on the Z3. With 10 hours of use inside the batteries, and 70 more hours in the case, what more can someone ask for?
These are of course theoretical numbers – actual timings depend on how you use your earphones, the volume you typically use, etc. Still, after a full week of using them for a few hours every day, the case still has a charge of about 50% – so you really can go a LONG time before you need to find a power socket.
The case has a set of 4 LED lights on the front, which is a quick and easy way of knowing how much battery power you have left.
The case also supports Wireless Charging, and Lypertek recently released a matching Wireless Charging Pad – matching in that it has the same “fabric” covering it, so the case looks nice on top of the pad.
Of course, you can also use the pad to charge your phone, or any other wireless charging-compatible devices you own (with QI support).
Bottom Line: Are The PurePlay Z3 2.0 Worth It?
The first iteration of the Z3 (back when they were called TEVI), was quite popular, and for good reason – excellent-performing earphones at a very affordable price.
Since then, however, the market has expanded – and for £99 – and even less – you can now find several excellent earphone choices.
That being said, this doesn’t take anything away from how good the Z3 2.0 are. Lypertek took everything that was great about the original model, and improved on it further. The sound is truly impressive (though, as mentioned, a bit lowkey), the battery times are incredible, and Bluetooth connection is as smooth as butter.
Yes, for ‘affordable’ earphones they’re a bit on the expensive side at this point (that’s the difference two years make), but you’re still getting a lot for your money – so you’re not likely to be disappointed at any stage.