A pair of great in-ear buds, let down by a single genre. If you want the best-sounding headphones under $100, you're almost there - unless you're a metalhead.
They feel super premium
Great sound quality for almost every genre
Incredible battery life
They're awful for metal
The case is weirdly shaped
The App is useless
You can always trust iMore.
Sometimes, the nicest of surprises come from the most unexpected of places. I had never heard of Lypertek until our editor told me about the little headphone brand, and after my experience with some of its in-ears, I’m glad he did. For the price, Lypertek makes some of the best little in-ears I’ve stuck inside my lugs.
This pair is the Audiophile-focused Pureplay Z7, and with some tweaking, they are a spectacular pair of buds. They sound great, last for ages, and come with nice extras in the box. They do lack some features, like noise-canceling, but that’s not what they’re going for. These are all about sound, and at that, for the most part, they excel.
Lypertek PurePlay Z7: Price and Availability
The Lyperteck z7s have now settled on a price, and a good one it is too. You can pick up a pair for $90. That's the same price that you can grab a pair of AirPods for - and these blow the AirPods out of the water.
You can get a pair at Amazon, where there are sometimes some great deals on the buds. Either way, whether you pay full price or a reduced price, You’re getting a pair of one of the best wireless earbuds worth far more.
Lypertek Pureplay Z7: What I liked
There’s a button! This is, weirdly, one of my favorite things about the earbuds. Where so many in-ear wireless buds go for little touch panels on the sides of the ‘phones, these have little buttons that you can use to control volume, skip tracks, and pause what you’re listening to. A single tap to pause, a double tap on either side to make the volume go up or down, and a triple tap either way to get to the next or the previous track. It’s simple, solid, and works super well.
There are no missed taps, no confused swipes, no accidental skipped tracks - just a light ‘click’ and it does what you want. It might require more of a click to get things going, which can push the buds a little further in your ears than might happen with touch pads, but it’s well worth it for everything you gain. Hopping about tracks has never been easier.
Not that you’ll want to skip your tracks too much - you’ll be too busy listening to them. Given they’re designed to be more for the Audiophile than much else, you’d hope they sounded good, but I wasn’t expecting the dynamism that's portrayed by these mini buds.
Inside each bud is a triple-driver setup. That means there's more hardware dedicated to a different part of the frequency range, and means that everything sounds great. The bass is big and deep. It goes much further down than in other buds but doesn’t overwhelm the other frequencies. The mids are present and correct, and are perhaps the weakest part of the package, although you’ll not be left wanting. The highs are particularly strong, as you might expect from a pair of in-ears, and thankfully they’re not in the least bit fatiguing.
Listen to PinkPantheress’s Pain and the song and headphones come alive. There’s the perfect amount of movement to the track, as the thick bassline lays down a solid foundation for the synths and the drums to build on. The vocals weave for the short runtime from ear to ear. It’s bouncy, it's fun, and it's super dynamic.
Switch gears and listen to Bjork’s Hunter, and the headphones don’t miss a beat of the twisting soundscape. The bass line is a little forward perhaps, but the bounce now becomes more subdued, the layering of the track taking center stage instead. The drums tap, the strings are harsh without being problematic, and Bjork’s soaring vocals hit with just the right amount of weight. Everything is present, but nothing overwhelms proceedings.
Hitting something a little different and TWICE’s Fancy really brings the fun. The bounce is back in full force, bringing the bass in all the right places. The track pulses with an in-your-face, sugary sweet pulse that only a K-pop track can, and the headphones keep up perfectly. The girl's energy is front and center - it’s almost impossible not to dance along.
This sound quality belies the price of the buds - a price I believe is one of the bargains of the century. That feeling continues when you have the buds in hand. They are made of plastic, but they feel dense with audio bits. They’re super comfortable when you slip them in your ears, made even better by the tip options that come in the box. My favorite are the foam options, which are super soft and with a little cajoling, expand out to make for an incredible seal in your ear.
That seal means that noise isolation is top-class. There may not be any ANC here, but it honestly needn’t be given how good these are at passively blocking the noise. Take them out of their natural audiophile habitat of the office, bedroom, or lounge, and you’ll be surprised at their performance when you’re out and about. The buzz of a bus is blocked out, traffic is dampened and keyboards are silenced. No, they’ll never be able to block as much noise as something with dedicated noise canceling, but they’re very impressive.
Battery life, too, is excellent. The buds, thanks to the lack of ANC, will last up to 10 hours on a charge, and the case will last for 70 hours. That’s bonkers. Given that I’ve only had to charge the case once over the last month and a half, that claim seems to hold true.
There’s more good stuff about the case, too. It’s weighty, and covered in a lovely fabric, really adding to the premium feeling of the whole package. It closes with a satisfying ‘clack’ and connects to your best iPhone instantly when you open it up. Brilliant.
Lypertek Pureplay Z7: What I didn’t like
It’s not all good with the case, however. It’s just the wrong shape. It’s a strange, long oblong that’s super thick. Sat on a desk, it’s fine, but slipped into a pocket and it’s one train ticket to thigh pain, please. It digs in far too much to want to keep it there, leaving me to put it in my bag. Then, I’m concerned that the other things in my bag will scratch or damage the cloth surface. It’s bizarre, because Apple has managed to perfect the AirPods case shape and size to be comfortable in even the skinniest of jeans, and it makes me wonder why companies like Lypertek aren’t better at using something similar.
The other problem lies with certain genres not meshing with the sound signature of the headphones - and for me, this is a biggy. These little buds and Metal do not get along. There’s a little too much bass, and not enough mids to excel in this ever-popular genre, with tracks becoming messy and flabby.
Trivium’s Like A Sword Over Damocles becomes washed out and a little unpleasant for example. The distorted guitars don’t come across well at all, and the bass frequencies boom too much. Matt Heafy’s vocals get lost in the mix, drowned out by empty guitars and thin cymbals. It’s not just not good, it’s actively bad.
Spite’s The Most Ugly had even more problems. The opening acoustic section was fine, but it felt thin and lifeless. The synth line that runs underneath was harsh, and then the main breakdown boomed too much to be fun. The kick drum is the focus when listening, and it really should be anything but. Even when I played with the settings in the app, I couldn’t get them to work for this genre. It’s bizarre, considering how good they are at pretty much every other genre.
That leads me on to the app - and it’s not great. I used it all of twice before I gave up. It will give you an equalizer so you can change the sound profile, but you’re not going to want to - just stick with the standard balanced EQ. Connecting the buds for the first time to the app was an absolute nightmare, which meant that updating them to the latest software was just as much a pain. The connection kept dropping out, even when they were still very definitely connected to my phone. I decided to press the special LDX sound enhancer button at one point as well, but then promptly turned it off afterward when it made my music sound like it was coming through a drainpipe.
These are minor issues, but they are well worth considering if you’re looking to get a pair - particularly if you’re a metalhead.
Lypertek Pureplay Z7: Competition
For those looking for an excellent pair of earbuds at the $90 price point, there are loads of options, but none get close to this for most genres of music. The AirPods 2 are the closest thing here, and you’ll pay a little more for the privilege of the Apple brand. You’ll get headphones that are better for metal, but they’ll be way worse for pretty much everything else. Check out the AirPods 2 review here.
You could consider the Beats Studio Buds, but you could end up paying up to $150 for those. They do feature noise canceling, but they don’t sound as good. The case is better though. Make sure you read the Beats Studio Buds review to get more of an idea of what to expect.
Lypertek Pureplay Z7: Should you buy these
You should buy these if…
- You want some of the best sounding in-ears on the market
- You want in-ears to use at home
- You don’t want to buy AirPods
You shouldn’t buy these if…
- You’re a metalhead. Seriously. Don’t.
- You wear skinny jeans
- You want noise canceling
Lypertek Pureplay Z7: Verdict
These are so close to being the perfect in ears. They sound great for almost everything, they last forever, and they’re super comfortable. All for one of the best prices this side of getting them for free. They’re not quite there, however. If you’re a metalhead, you should avoid these like the plague, and the case is very weirdly shaped. These are great headphones, make no doubts about it - but they are limited in their greatness.
As iMore's Senior Staff writer, Tammy uses her background in audio and Masters in screenwriting to pen engaging product reviews and informative buying guides. The resident audiophile (or audio weirdo), she's got an eye for detail and a love of top-quality sound. Apple is her bread and butter, with attention on HomeKit and Apple iPhone and Mac hardware. You won't find her far away from a keyboard even outside of working at iMore – in her spare time, she spends her free time writing feature-length and TV screenplays. Also known to enjoy driving digital cars around virtual circuits, to varying degrees of success. Just don't ask her about AirPods Max - you probably won't like her answer.