The best budget wireless earbuds just got an upgrade to rival the AirPods Pro

Lypertek PurePlay Z5s displayed on some rocks
(Image credit: Lypertek)

The best budget wireless earbuds we've tested have a follow-up, and they're on sale right now. The Lypertek PurePlay Z5 succeed the Lypertek PurePlay Z3 2.0 wireless earbuds, which we loved for their excellent sound and unbeatable price. Lypertek's latest buds, however, add hybrid active noise cancellation to the feature set, making them a cheap rival for the likes of the AirPods Pro and the Sony WF-1000XM4.

Available to buy from Lypertek's official website or its Amazon store page, the new PurePlay Z5 earbuds are a touch more expensive than the preceding pair at $119 / £119 (about AU$280) - that's compared to the $99 / £99 (about AU$140) you had to pay for the PurePlay Z3 2.0.

That price increase is to be expected, with the addition of hybrid active noise cancelling, a feature that reduces background noise based on the surrounding environment, making them a more premium pair of earbuds. 

A brand new Auto-Ambient Sound Mode also makes it easier to hear the sounds around you when you pause your music, which is handy for when you need to talk to someone or listen out for traffic, without removing the buds.

Features we loved from the PurePlay Z3 2.0 are also returning, like the brilliant LDX Audio mode, which provides a more well-tuned, richer EQ option than the default sound profile.

The PurePlay Z5 also pack in three different types of silicone tips, which the company says will affect the sound of the earbuds. PurePower tips are a thicker variant, and focus on delivering a powerful sound. PureSpace, meanwhile, are on the thinner side, and provide a more open, spacious sound. Finally, the PureComfort foam tips could be the best option for long trips or commutes. 

We're not sure how much of a difference these tips will actually make to the sound, but it's true that thicker tips could provide a stronger seal against the outside world, and therefore a stronger bass response.

ANC at the expense of a long battery life

A man wearing the Lypertek PurePlay Z5

(Image credit: Lypertek)

The PurePlay Z5 wireless earbuds pack some great new features for the higher price, then, but it's not all good news. Unfortunately, the battery life looks to have taken a huge dive. You'll get around seven hours of playtime on a single charge - and approximately 28 hours more from the included charging case - and that's without active noise cancellation enabled.

Compared to the PurePlay Z3 2.0's whopping 80 hours of playtime, that's quite a significant drawback, and a shame to see one of the brand's best features become fairly mediocre with the new version. We wouldn't say it's a deal breaker by any means, but certainly something to keep in mind if you enjoy the peace of mind that enormous battery life brings.

Another noteworthy drawback is the reduction in IPX rating from the Z3 2.0 to the Z5 wireless earbuds. The Z3 2.0 earbuds boasted a high IPX7 rating, making them water resistant for up to 30 minutes when submerged. The PurePlay Z5s are scaled back to IPX5, which means they're still sweat and splash resistant, but may suffer if exposed to larger pools of water.

Ultimately, the drawbacks don't diminish our interest in the Lypertek PurePlay Z5 wireless earbuds, but with such a high bar set by their predecessors, we have to hope that the Z5's improvements outshine the negatives like an increased price and much lower battery life.

Rhys Wood
Hardware Editor

Rhys is TRG's Hardware Editor, and has been part of the TechRadar team for more than two years. Particularly passionate about high-quality third-party controllers and headsets, as well as the latest and greatest in fight sticks and VR, Rhys strives to provide easy-to-read, informative coverage on gaming hardware of all kinds. As for the games themselves, Rhys is especially keen on fighting and racing games, as well as soulslikes and RPGs.