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Lypertek Z5 Review – Better

Pros –

Comfortable design, Effective ANC and Aware modes, Flexible companion app, Balanced yet engaging sound tuning

Cons –

Short battery life, Fit could be more stable, Driver quality sometimes leaves to be desired,

Verdict –

The Z5 faces tough competition, even internally from Lypertek’s own line-up however, to balance sound quality and lifestyle features with such aplomb must be recognised.  

Introduction –

I hesitate to name personal favourites in many categories of personal audio given there is such a diverse range of products in each and personal preferences play such a large role. With that said, I can confidently say that within the TWS space, Lypertek has made some of the best products enthusiasts can buy. This is especially so for those wanting something balanced and sound quality-focused un-like the vast majority of other TWS models. The Z5 is the latest addition to the company’s line-up representing the middleground between the TEVI-based Z3 and the higher end hybrid Z7. While it lacks the driver complexity of its bigger brother, the Z5 introduces active noise cancellation and a new stemmed design that promises to bring huge improvements to convenience and performance in day to day use, not just critical listening.

The Z5 just launched for $99 USD. You can read all about it and treat yourself to a set on Lypertek’s website.

Disclaimer –

I would like to thank John at KS Distribution very much for his quick communication and for reaching out to organise a review of the Z5. All words are my own and there is no monetary incentive for a positive review. Despite receiving the earphones free of cost, I will attempt to be as objective as possible in my evaluation.

Contents –

Specifications –

  • Driver: 10mm Dynamic
  • Frequency Response: 20 Hz – 20 kHz
  • Microphones: Triple mic setup with cVc 8.0
  • Bluetooth: 5.2 with aptX Adaptive, aptX, AAC & SBC
  • Playtime: 7 hrs ANC off, 4 hrs ANC on
  • Waterproof Level: IPX4

Unboxing –

The Z5 comes in a small hard box that opens up via a magnetic latch. Inside is an information pamphlet that provides usage and ear tip fit advice. Below is a micro fibre cleaning cloth and finally the earphones and case/charging dock within a foam inlet. At the very bottom are two cardboard cutouts housing 2 bags of ear tips and a type-C charging cable. The ear tip selection is generous with 5 sizes of standard silicone tips including the medium tips already fitted. The second bag contains 2 pairs of memory foam tips in addition to small and large elongated silicone tips should the regular tips not provide a good seal. Altogether, a good selection for a reasonably priced earphone.

Design –

Immediately, the design is a departure from past Lypertek earphones with a long, bullet-style main housing and microphone stems that leave the sides. The length of the main housing means the stems don’t interrupt a comfortable fit depth and they lock nicely into the ear just below the tragus. It must be noted that the Z5 isn’t a premium model by any means but still occupies a space where premium build quality can be found. The material selection is quite disappointing with a rather lightweight feel. The soft-touch finish is nice, but it does feel like a softer plastic meaning that scratches will be inevitable. Despite this and their lightweight feel, the Z5 doesn’t come across as hollow and there are no rough edges between, rattles or squeaks when manipulated. They’re an understated design free of flourishes, only a small aluminium ring surrounding the touch sensitive faceplates. I would describe the Z5 as barebones but perfectly functional all the same.

Fit & Comfort –

Even if they don’t inspire in handling, the Z5 does provide a sound ergonomic experience. The longer housings and angled nozzles provide a comfortable fit and a reliable seal. They are definitely less fiddly than many TWS earphones I’ve tested, and the stem gives the user something to hold onto for easy wear and removal. In addition, despite the lack of any stabilising fins or hooks, they do offer adequate fit stability for general use and commute. My main issue was that the housings don’t neck down at the tragus region. This meant the backs of my ears would press into the housings which would upset their fit during active use. While I did find myself wanting for longer stems, their lightness meant this wasn’t a constant issue and foam tips did alleviate fit issues altogether if at the expense of convenience. I found spinfits to be a good compromise offering most of the stability with the convenience of a regular silicone tip. Combined with an IPX4 water resistance rating they would make for a decent workout bud and your ears may be better suited to their shape than mine.

Charging Case –

The Z5’s case offers a similar feel to the earphones themselves with a light feel and a soft-touch finish. The edges are a little rough but overall, the design is pleasant and well featured. On the back is a type-C charging port and Qi wireless is also supported. The hinge closes magnetically but also has a reverse spring that holds the lid open making the case easier to handle. While the action isn’t as satisfying as the premium models, there are no wobbles or other obvious points of weakness. Once the lid is opened, the front facing status LED illuminates to denote power.

An interior LED showcases earphone power and pairing status in conjunction with a dedicated pairing button between the two earpiece holders. The case is far smaller than those on both the Z7 and Z3 but larger than the S20 case. Its depth makes it a little awkward to pocket but it isn’t unwieldly. The upside is that the case has plenty of depth to accommodate larger and longer ear tips. Many TWS earphones fit better with these styles of tips due to their short nozzle designs but won’t fit into the case once fit.

ANC & Aware Modes –

The earphones offer decent passive noise isolation on their own with a sealed design as far as I can see. They don’t fit especially deep meaning you shouldn’t expect monitor levels of isolation but good enough for day-to-day use. The ANC implementation is also quite good and easily above average. There is an immediately noticeable effect, and it activates quickly. The earphones have a slight hiss at all times, but this isn’t exacerbated when ANC or Ambient modes are turned on as on many competitors. ANC also doesn’t change the sound tuning or volume either giving the implementation a consistent and mature impression. What is most prevalent is a drop in ambient low-frequency noises such as road noise and air conditioning. It is a pronounced effect and subjectively around 80% effective making it a great feature to have on public transport. Higher frequency sounds are muted passively but the ANC isn’t doing too much here.

What makes the Z5 feel especially effective is that they aren’t amplified and are without artefacts – some ANC implementations almost seem to boost high frequencies making voices and distant sounds more apparent. The Z5 generally mutes the world, it’s a good effect with minimal pressure. The Ambient listening mode is similarly inspiring and a huge improvement over past Lypertek earphones. Instantly, it activates much quicker and provides more volume and clarity. The mics in the Z5 are evidently far superior in raw quality as voices are much easier to discern and volume is actually slightly elevated relative to reality. In addition, there’s no introduction of additional noises nor clipping due to elevated gain or poor mic dynamic range. Overall, I am very impressed with the quality of these features on the Z5 as they perform almost at the level of the best enthusiast ANC earphones like the 1More EVO for much less. The EVO at least does cancel a bit better and a wider range of sound while consumer models like the Sony WF-1000XM4 cancel a wider range yet and sound more natural in ambient mode.

Next Page: Usability & App

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