This Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 review is a good place to start for anyone on the hunt for some of the best cheap headphones.
I recently reviewed the Lypertek PurePlay Z5 which are a pair of true wireless earbuds that look a little bit more like the Apple AirPods Pro with a little stem helping them stay balanced. They were out to impress with their sound quality and snug fit but I loved the 7-band equaliser in particular.
Not everyone is willing to splash out more than $100 / £100 on a pair of headphones though - if that resonates with you then you’re in the right place because the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 area slightly cheaper option.
Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 review: price and what’s new
Available from a number of retailers including Amazon, the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 costs $89 in the US, £99 in the UK and AU$130 in Australia. Prices will vary though so take a look at the widgets to see how much they will set you back right now in your region.
Following on from the Lypertek PurePlay Z3, the second version has had a few upgrades worth knowing about. They pack a new Qualcomm QCC3040 chipset, updated Bluetooth 5.2, wireless charging and a Hear Through mode. You’ll also be able to use these with the PureControl smartphone app which means you get a customisable equaliser and a few preset sound modes which you didn't before.
Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 review: design and fit
Simple and discreet, the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 are a classic bud shape, there's no stem. Each one has a silver-framed panel on the outside with a small Lypertek logo. They come housed in a pill-shaped charging case which is covered in a woven mesh fabric and it has a little strap to help you carry it around.
Largely made from plastic, both the earbuds and the case feel a little flimsy in comparison to pricier options but they are IPX7 rated which means they’re completely waterproof and so will survive everyday accidents like if you were to get caught in the rain or drop them in a puddle. The build also means the earbuds feel pretty lightweight, they only weigh 5g each.
When I tested them out, one of the things I loved about the Lypertek PurePlay Z5s was their fit because they came with 8 silicone tips and 3 foam ear tips. I was disappointed not to get the same here, although with three sizes of silicone eartips and one set of Flexfit foam tips, you still get more sizing options than you do with most other earphones.
I still found them to be a little too big for my ears which ultimately meant I got tired of wearing them after an hour or two. But that won’t be a problem for everyone. Despite that, they did stay very securely in my ear so they were particularly good for using in the gym.
With the volume at about 50% the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 will give you about 10 hours of music from a single charge and the case gives you an extra 70 hours of battery so you get a total of 80 hours of listening time before you need to plug them in. That’s excellent and a very good reason in itself to buy these wireless earbuds.
On the front of the case, there are four little LED lights that let you know the battery level. One LED means you have less than 25% battery left, two means you have less than 50%, three means less than 75% and four means you’re totally fine for a very long time.
If you forget to plug it in, then a quick 15 minutes hooked up to power will give you 2 hours of playtime.
These earbuds support wireless charging so you don’t actually have to plug them in if you own a compatible charger.
One thing I wasn’t so keen on was that instead of using touch controls, Lypertek has opted for buttons on the outside of each bud. While that does mean they work more efficiently, you do also have to press them right into your ear to get them to work, which isn’t comfortable at all and put me off using them.
When you do go to use them, you do get loads of control over your music, you can pause or play the track, skip forwards or backwards and adjust the volume, as well as answer calls and switch on the ambient sound mode. In the PureControl app, you can change what double or triple pressing does but it’s limited to the volume and skipping through tracks.
Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 review: performance and features
So far, the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 wireless earbuds have been a little hit and miss, but one thing that they do succeed at is delivering fantastic sound quality - and at the end of the day, that’s what matters the most.
Clear and well balanced, the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 are a versatile pair of earphones that will sound great no matter what type of music you listen to. They're very precise, they don't push the bass too hard nor do they make the treble sound too over the top. Some people might prefer a more dynamic sound but if you're after accuracy then these will fit the bill.
For a bit more depth and definition, you can switch to the LDX audio mode in the app. I found it made the track I was listening to sound a lot more energetic, I ended up having it switched on as much as possible because my playlists sounded that little bit better when I did.
Not only is there a detailed 7-band equaliser in the PureControl app but you can also create two of your own preset sound settings. It's one of the things I loved about the Z5s so I was pleased to see it on the Z3 2.0 as well. If you're not so confident with the manual EQ then you can also choose from 8 different presets including Treble, Bass, Rock, R&B, Hip Hop, Dance, Jazz and Pop.
A big disappointment was the lack of noise cancellation, but in saying that, the sound isolation is pretty good so you don’t get too much outside noise interrupting your songs anyway.
For when you do want to know what’s going on around you, you can choose to let sound in through the Hear Through mode. I thought it worked well even with the music playing because I could clearly hear the conversations happening around me. It’ll be very handy when you want to hear road noise or announcements on public transport as well.
I was also happy with the call quality, my voice came through distinctly and background noise didn't get in the way.
In terms of connectivity, the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 have Advanced Bluetooth 5.2 with aptX and AAC codec support. I thought the connection was solid, it didn’t drop even when I was in a busy area and I could wander away from my phone without losing the music.
Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 review: verdict
The Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 do some things really well, and others not so well. The sound quality is fantastic for a more affordable pair of true wireless earbuds and the battery life is outstanding so you’ll very rarely need to charge them. But I didn't find them very comfortable and there’s no noise cancelling built in, both of which are quite significant problems.
Having said that, these are very versatile. You can use them for everything from work calls to workouts. I was pleased with the call quality and they're waterproof, it’s also always nice to have plenty of control over the music, which you definitely get here.
All in all, I'd say that the good outweighs the bad and the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 are excellent value for money - definitely worth adding to your shortlist.
Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 review: also consider
Other options to consider are the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus and the Sony WF-C500.
If you don’t mind having basic features then the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus are some of the best cheap headphones you can buy. There’s no adjoining smartphone app so you won’t get any equaliser settings and they don’t have noise-cancelling either but we were able to look past that because they just sound so good.
For an even tighter budget, the Sony WF-C500 are a great choice. They sound fantastic, they have good battery life and they even have a smartphone app giving you lots of control over the audio.
We try out all sorts of products, not just headphones. From sleeping bags to smartphones everything we test is used in a real-world way. If you're interested in hearing more about that, take a look at how we test at T3.