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OnePlus has long been the king of low-cost smartphones. The business is now making an effort to do the same with genuine wireless earbuds at a more affordable price. IP55 certification and active noise cancellation (ANC) join other high-end features like Dolby Atmos on the OnePlus Buds Z2, the successor to the OnePlus Buds Z.

OnePlus, like Apple and Samsung, restricts several functions of its earphones to individuals who own a OnePlus phone. If you don’t already possess a OnePlus smartphone, are the OnePlus Buds Z2 worth considering? Let’s find out in this review.

What’s the Target market for the OnePlus Bud Z2

  • With Dolby Atmos compatibility, quick connection, and low latency listening, OnePlus Buds Z2 customers get the most out of their headphones.
  • Students will like the Buds Z2’s portability and inexpensive yet attractive style.
  • OnePlus’ new earphones are a terrific option for commuters since they are long-lasting and offer excellent noise-canceling capabilities.

Using the OnePlus Z2 Buds Z2

The OnePlus Buds Z2 is a cheaper, OnePlus version of the Apple AirPods Pro. Since the original Buds Z were 15 percent shorter than the newer version, they appear and feel even more like Apple’s rivals. There are three different sizes of ear tips included in the package, and you can do an ear tip fit test to make sure they’re the appropriate size, as you have with Amazon, Beats, and Sony all do.

IP55 water and dust protection ensure that these earphones can be used when exercising and traveling. An IPX4 classification can withstand minor water splashes, even the charging case. The manufacturer recommends cleaning the earbuds with water; however, you should do so at your own risk since the device warranty does not cover liquid and dust damage.

The touch controls on the OnePlus Buds Z have been greatly enhanced. Each number of taps on each earbud may now be customized to control either music playing or the voice assistant. The noise-canceling and transparency modes can now be switched by pushing and holding each earbud for one second while pressing the earphones to a different gadget for three seconds.

Thanks to the earbuds ‘ automatic ear recognition feature, the music will instantly halt when you pull the earbuds out of your ears. The mono listening option allows users to listen to full audio using only one earphone as a bonus feature.

Design and Specs

Like the original OnePlus bullets earphone, the OnePlus Buds Z2 has a complementary look and feel. The CD pattern familiar with older-generation Bullets and the previous-generation Buds Z has the same bulky design that works for certain people’s ears, including mine.

OnePlus Bud Z2

Design and Specs

To fit more electronics into these buds, OnePlus reduced their stem length by 15%. The casing is 73.15 x 36.8 x 29.1mm, while each Z2 bud is 33x 22.4x 21.8mm in size. Z2 bud dimensions are 33x 22.4x 21.8mm. It weighs 4.5 grams each bud, and the case adds another 40.5 grams. Only a few millimeters bigger and a few millimeters higher than its predecessor, the new charging case is still portable and simple. There is a flat bottom on the bottom of the charging case, which makes it easy to grip.

The front of the device has an LED battery indicator. There is a USB-C charging port and a pairing button on the rear. The hinge has a substantial weight to it. This bag’s lid is sturdy and doesn’t move around while you carry it. Some of the trimmings on the lid have a matte appearance despite the remaining plastic being shiny.

The charging case and Buds Z2 are water and perspiration resistant to IPX4 standards, while the Buds Z2 are certified IP55. Compared to the OnePlus Buds Pro, the OnePlus Buds Z2 are more bearable for my ears in terms of size. Bud’s earbuds are simpler to use for long periods since the main body of the earbud is thinner and more comfortable. Remember that every person’s ears are unique. Therefore this may not apply to you as well.

When you’re on the go for long periods, the OnePlus Buds Z2 is a breeze to wear. They’re so light you’ll hardly notice you’re wearing anything. Inserting them into the ear and then gently moving the stems forward to point towards the mouth is the most comfortable method for me to wear them.

They do a good job of staying in the ear. The OnePlus Buds Z2 didn’t budge throughout a sweat-inducing yoga session. Running, for example, is a high-impact exercise that I am unable to remark on. Because of the charging case’s small size and mobility can easily take it with them when they travel. In addition, the plane’s noise-cancellation system works well. This will be explained in further detail in the Performance section below.

Is the HeyMelody app something you should download?

It’s possible to personalize the OnePlus Buds Z2 using the HeyMelody application, although the app’s functions are restricted compared to other wireless earbuds on the market. Additionally, users can choose between two degrees of active noise cancelation and conventional listening modes. It’s possible to change each combination of taps on each earbud and tweak the onboard touch controls.

The earphones’ default EQ cannot be altered even with app version 1.0.3 or firmware version 500. The OnePlus Buds Pro lacks this critical function, which was also one of our most significant complaints about them, so you’ll have to use an external EQ app.

Does the Buds Z2 need a OnePlus phone to work?

Many functions of the OnePlus Buds Z2 are only available to those who possess a OnePlus phone; however, you may use them with non-OnePlus phones. Only the OnePlus 7/8/9 series phones support Dolby Atmos audio. The latency of the earbuds may be reduced to 94ms in a low-latency gaming mode, although this feature is only available on a few OnePlus smartphones. In contrast to Android’s Google Fast Link and Apple’s iPhone’s laborious pairing process, OnePlus customers can pair their devices instantly.

The OnePlus Buds Z2 supports a variety of Bluetooth codecs.

Bluetooth 5.2 with SBC and AAC codec compatibility is included in the OnePlus Buds Z2. A minor speedup in connecting and a longer battery life over the original OnePlus Buds Z are possible with Bluetooth 5.2.

The AAC Bluetooth codec for Apple devices provides excellent connection quality; however, AAC on Android devices is often unreliable. The standard SBC codec will suffice, but at a slower rate than high-quality codecs like aptX.

Battery Life of OnePlus Buds Z2

For continuous listening at 75dB(SPL) with the active noise cancellation set to maximum, the earphones provided 4 hours, 22 minutes of battery life. Other true wireless earbuds in this price range are better, but these are on par with them. You can get up to 38 hours of playing with the earphones and charging case when ANC is off.

A rapid charge rate Charging the earphones takes just 10 minutes, resulting in 5 hours of listening time. USB-C is the only method of charging, and wireless charging is not supported. Due to battery degeneration, the OnePlus Buds Z2 probably won’t last more than a couple of years under moderate usage.

Noise Attenuation of the OnePlus Bud Z2

This OnePlus headset offers excellent noise suppression for the price. 30 dB of noise reduction can be achieved by using silicone ear tips with a proper fit. Turning on ANC to its maximum level reduces low-frequency noise by 20dB, making them just one-quarter as loud as without the headphones in.

Noise from the outside world will only sound around half to one-eighth as loud as it usually would because of the passive isolation and ANC. Surprisingly, the OnePlus Buds Z2 outperforms both the OnePlus Buds Pro and the AirPods Pro in noise cancellation.

Examining the Sound Quality of the OnePlus Bud Z2

The OnePlus Buds Z2 outperforms when it comes to sound quality. The frequency response of these earbuds is similar to that of many low-cost headphones, with a heightened bass and treble and a quiet middle.

The absence of a custom EQ is one of my greatest gripes with these earbuds, which means you’re stuck with the sound they produce out of the box. The EQ settings in your streaming app can permanently be changed, but if you listen to media in another app, those changes will be lost.

Low, middle, and highs

While most people experience a slight enhancement in low and high frequencies, the OnePlus Buds Z2 takes things to a higher level. Compared to intermediate instruments like pianos and guitars, bass notes are heard twice as loud, if not louder.

If you’re a fan of EDM, the OnePlus Buds Z2’s sound might be enjoyable. At 1:40 in Kygo’s remix of Seinabo Sey’s Younger, the kick drum and bassline boost the OnePlus Buds Z2’s high-frequencies, while the hi-hats, snaps, and claps all have a more substantial presence.

The apparent lack of detail caused by the frequency drop between 500 and 1000 Hz will put acoustic music fans on edge. The bass guitar and the piano’s low-end rumble obscure the chords and melodic substance of Adele’s Easy On Me. Adele’s voice sounds overly loud and challenging to listen to at high levels because of the spike in high frequencies at 2kHz and 5kZ.

Read also our review on the OnePlus Buds Pro

The Microphone system

Users can get good call quality with three microphones on each earphone of the OnePlus Buds Z2. Compared to other true wireless earbuds, these earbuds include a microphone located at the base of the stem of each earphone. Even in a busy location like a gym, people on the other end of a conversation can hear me clearly because of the microphones’ ability to reduce background noise. Try it out and let us know your thoughts.

OnePlus Buds Z2 vs. OnePlus Buds Pro: What’s the difference?

It costs about $50 more than the OnePlus Buds Z2 to upgrade to the OnePlus Buds Pro. OnePlus Audio ID uses a hearing test to customize the sound of the Buds Pro, while Zen Mode Air plays white noise files over the earphones. Additionally, the OnePlus Buds Pro offers three levels of noise cancellation instead of two and a stem squeeze to control playback instead of the fussier taps on the Buds Z2.

Because of this, the sound character is less bass-heavy and more balanced than that of the original OnePlus Buds Pro. It’s lovely to see an alternative to the OnePlus Z2’s cheap-looking slick plastic finish in matte black and reflective silver.

Is the OnePlus Buds Z2 worth your money?

There’s a ton of value in the OnePlus Buds Z2’s noise-canceling capabilities, long life, and high-quality mics. Despite all that, the OnePlus Buds Z2 is still lacking in substance. As far as listening goes, the earphones fall short. Atmos and low-latency listening is only available on OnePlus phones, and there is no option for customizing the bass increase in the default sound.

Pick up OnePlus Buds Z2 for bass-lovers who have a OnePlus phone. Before purchasing these earphones, other users looking for more value can look elsewhere.

OnePlus Buds Z2 alternatives: what are the best options out there?

With ANC off, the Samsung Galaxy Bud Plus is an excellent choice. The sound quality and battery life of these earphones are excellent. Additionally, the Samsung Scalable Codec, Wireless PowerShare, and other features are available to anyone who own a Samsung phone. Alternatively, you may consider the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 if you’re ready to spend a little more and get a better ANC, wireless charging case, and customizable sound.

With a price tag of $99, the Nothing Ear 1 is the closest rival to the OnePlus Buds Z2. As a result of its lighter weight and more comfortable fit, the Nothing Ear 1 offers higher sound quality at the expense of less effective noise cancellation.

The Anker Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro could be a good fit if you like customizing your headphones. EQ control, unique noise cancellation, and nine adjustable ear tip sizes are all included in these Liberty Air 2 Pro headphones.