True wireless earphones are often considered too mainstream to be audiophile-grade, but some brands and products have tried to strike a balance between good sound and the convenience of the form factor. A simple way to improve sound quality is by supporting advanced Bluetooth codecs, which allow for more data to be transferred between the source device and earphones, resulting in richer sound. Lypertek, a small audio specialist brand that focuses on true wireless earphones, has gone a step further with a hybrid triple-driver setup.
Following the excellent Lypertek Tevi is the latest product from the company, the Lypertek PurePlay Z7, which is priced at Rs. 15,999 in India. This pair of true wireless earphones has a hybrid triple-driver setup in each earpiece and Bluetooth 5.2 with support for the Qualcomm aptX Adaptive codec, making it an impressive option on paper. So is this the best sounding pair of true wireless earphones for less than Rs. 20,000? Find out in this review.
The Lypertek PurePlay Z7 has physical buttons on the earpieces for controls
Two balanced armature drivers and one dynamic driver in each earpiece of the Lypertek PurePlay Z7
The design of the Lypertek PurePlay Z7 is much like that of the Tevi, with big, bulky earpieces and physical buttons for controls. I got a proper in-canal fit with the Lypertek PurePlay Z7, and I found the earpieces comfortable. However, their sheer size could be a bit unsettling for some people. They look a bit awkward when worn, and I was constantly worried about them falling out when I wasn't sitting down.
Physical buttons instead of touch-sensitive zones are a bit bothersome, particularly on a premium headset such as this. Pressing the buttons on the Lypertek PurePlay Z7's earpieces often shook their already precarious fit in my ears. The controls themselves are easy to learn and get used to, and cover the basics of functionality including playback and volume adjustment.
A press on either side plays and pauses music; a double-press adjusts the volume up or down depending on whether you press the left or right earpiece; and a triple-press skips to the previous or next track. A long-press on the right invokes the default voice assistant on your smartphone. All of these are the default controls, and can be changed using the app.
The earpieces are rated IPX5 for water resistance. The sales package includes a USB Type-C cable for charging, small dust covers for the earpiece outlets, three pairs of silicone ear tips, and three pairs of foam ear tips in different sizes. Although I do usually like foam ear tips, the ones in the package didn't give me a very good fit, and I preferred how the silicone ones felt.
The charging case is similar to that of the Lypertek Tevi, with a fabric-wrapped exterior and Lypertek logo at the top, but it is a fair bit longer. The case holds the rather large battery, and has a USB Type-C port for charging and a small indicator light at the front. There's also Qi wireless charging. While the case was a bit too large to comfortably fit in my pocket, the additional battery capacity was a useful trade-off. The charging case dies look good, but the earpieces still look a bit too ordinary for the price.
The Lypertek PurePlay Z7 works with the PureControl app on both iOS and Android. This app allows you to modify the controls, adjust the equaliser, turn on the LDX audio mode (more on that later), and adjust a few other basic settings on the headset. Most functions work fine even without the app, so you don't necessarily need to have it installed.
The triple-driver setup on the Lypertek PurePlay Z7 features two balanced armature drivers and one dynamic driver in each earpiece
The Lypertek PurePlay Z7 has a hybrid triple-driver setup, consisting of two balanced armature drivers and one dynamic driver in each earpiece. The frequency response range is 20-20,000Hz. There is also Bluetooth 5.2 for connectivity, with support for the Qualcomm aptX and aptX Adaptive Bluetooth codecs, as well as Qualcomm cVc 8.0 environmental noise cancellation for voice. There is no active noise cancellation on the PurePlay Z7, but there is a basic hear-through mode to allow some ambient listening through the otherwise isolating in-canal fit.
Battery life on the Lypertek PurePlay Z7 is very good, with the earpieces running for around 8 hours per charge with the Qualcomm aptX Adaptive codec in operation at moderate volume levels. The charging case added an additional six full charges to the earpieces, for a total battery life of well over 50 hours per charge cycle.
Good sound quality, but ordinary call quality on the Lypertek PurePlay Z7
On any kind of headphones or earphones, good hardware is the primary factor that ensures competent audio performance, and the Lypertek PurePlay Z7 is suitably equipped. However, these earphones will perform better with an Android smartphone that supports the aptX Adaptive and aptX codecs in operation.
The Lypertek PurePlay Z7 is designed primarily around the music listening experience, as opposed to all-rounders that might also prioritise two-way voice communication. Bluetooth connectivity was stable as well, and audio performance with high-resolution audio tracks from Apple Music was just about as good as you can expect from a pair of true wireless earphones.
Starting with Voyager by Daft Punk, the Lypertek PurePlay Z7 offered the kind of sonic signature you can expect from a multi-driver setup; there was detail, definition, and cohesiveness across the frequency range in this soothing, yet catchy electronic track. Each part of the range sounded distinct, with the three drivers ably sharing the load. The drivers are tuned for music, and reacted well to the constantly changing feel of the track. The lows and bass, handled by the single dynamic driver in each earpiece, sounded tight, aggressive, and beautifully refined.
Battery life on the Lypertek PurePlay Z7 is excellent, with over 50 hours of listening time per charge cycle
With the slow but haunting Need Your Heart (Minnesota Remix) by Adventure Club, the interplay between the three drivers was at its finest, and the deep bass of this dubstep track felt engaging and strong. The mid-range and highs, handled by the balanced armature drivers, were equally distinct and cohesive; never held back even through the powerful lows thanks to the unique nature of the hybrid triple-driver setup.
With its excellent tuning and driver setup, the Lypertek PurePlay Z7 made for impressive levels of detail. Listening to Let's Groove by Earth, Wind & Fire, it was possible to hear even the faintest elements in this track with surprising precision, all while the punchy lows and quick beats continued to rightly be at the centre of the listening experience. Indeed, it's a wholesome sound that covers everything with natural sonic signature as well as impressive detail and drive.
On the downside, I had quite a few issues with the Pure Control app on both iOS and Android. It often did not detect the headset even when properly paired and connected. That said, the app offered no significant value or utility after the initial setup process. LDX audio mode, which is said to activate a custom audio profile for enhanced performance, made no noticeable difference to sound quality. The hear-through mode barely had any effect on being able to hear ambient sound even with no music playing.
Although connectivity was stable during my time with the Lypertek PurePlay Z7, I did experience some issues. Often, the earpieces didn't turn off when placed in the charging case, and kept playing music even with the lid shut. I had to reposition the earpieces and hold the lid shut tightly for a few seconds to force the Z7 to power down.
On a couple of occasions, the earphones powered on and connected to my smartphone even though the case was shut and was in a backpack untouched. This drained power without my knowledge and could have interfered with phone usage. These are likely design and build quality issues with my specific review unit, but are worth mentioning nonetheless.
Call quality was very ordinary; although voice pickup was acceptable in quiet areas, I wasn't too pleased with what I could hear, and callers complained that my voice sounded a bit soft when I was outdoors. On the whole, this pair of earphones only really performs well when listening to music, and isn't the ideal choice for use as an everyday all-purpose true wireless headset.
The Lypertek Tevi was one of my favourite true wireless headsets of 2020, and I was looking forward to reviewing the PurePlay Z7 for that very reason. When it comes to sound quality, the Z7 doesn't disappoint, putting its hybrid triple-driver setup and codec support to good use. Indeed, sound performance comes close to what you might expect from more expensive options such as the Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless 2, and I quite enjoyed my time with this headset. There's also wireless charging and excellent battery life.
That said, there's not much else the Lypertek PurePlay Z7 gets right. The fit is precarious, the controls are old-fashioned, the app barely worked for me, call quality is underwhelming, and there's no active noise cancellation despite the price. You're definitely getting sound that matches the price, but the limitations of this headset hold it back from being as useful as similarly priced options such as the Jabra Elite 85t and Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro.