The OnePlus Buds Z2 earbuds have finally hit the market and solve many of the problems of the previous OnePlus wireless TWS earbuds. The Buds Z2 also look better due to their reduced size. They have comfortable controls and great sound quality thanks to 11mm drivers and Active Noise Cancellation.
The only problem is that one of the new OnePlus smartphones is needed to support some of the functions. I am glad that the price has not increased.
Features OnePlus Buds Z2
- Drivers: 11mm dynamic
- Frequency response: 20-20,000 Hz
- Communication: Bluetooth 5.2, multi-device connection
- Noise reduction: Up to 40 dB, two modes, transparency mode
- Autonomy of work: 38 hours (with ANC), 27 hours (without ANC)
- Microphones: 3 MEMS microphones on each earphone stem
- Control: via touch elements
- Waterproof: IP55 (buds)
- Connection: Low latency 94ms (OnePlus smartphones only)
- Audio technology: Dolby Atmos (OnePlus smartphones)
- Dimensions: 33 x 22.4 x 21.8mm (headphones), 73.15 x 36.8 x 29.1mm (case)
- Price: ₹4,999
OnePlus Buds Z2 Design and convenience
TWS wireless earbuds rarely surprise with their design, but the OnePlus Buds Z2 has partly succeeded.
On the back of each earbud, there are circular touchpads that reflect light beautifully. The design resembles the original Buds Z, but the leg is 25% shorter, making the Buds Z2 look more compact. There are white and black colors to choose from. The white ones are a little heavier: each weighs 4.6 grams, and the case is 42 grams. The black Buds Z2 weights are 4.5 and 40.5 grams, respectively.
The headphones are comfortable for long listening sessions. The set includes silicone tips in three sizes, which provide passive isolation from external noise.
The Buds Z2 from OnePlus are also suitable for sports, thanks to the IP55 water and dust resistance – rain and sweat won’t harm them. Even the case has IPX4 splash protection, and the case itself is made in the form of a “pill”. It is quite wide – dimensions 7.3 x 3.7 x 2.9 cm, although it will fit in a jeans pocket.
OnePlus Buds Z2 Connection and functions
While the OnePlus Buds Z2 are more of the budget segment, they have a lot of top-tier headphone features.
True, some of them require a OnePlus smartphone. When you open the case for the first time, the Google Fast Pair function is activated – in a few seconds it connects to an Android smartphone via Bluetooth 5.2. Buds Z2 is one of the few models that supports multiple connections.
Press and hold on any of the headphones for five seconds and you will switch to the device you were using before. The function is not implemented as conveniently as on Apple AirPods 3 , but it works with devices from any manufacturer. You can quickly switch from your smartphone, tablet or laptop.
There is also a removal detector: if you take out the headphones, playback will automatically stop, plugging them back in will continue. The game mode provides a latency of just 94ms, but the feature only works on OnePlus smartphones, and not on all.
Dolby Atmos technology is also supported only starting from OnePlus 7 and newer models. If they are important to you, you will have to look for other headphones.
OnePlus Buds Z2 Connection quality
The OnePlus Buds Z2’s only significant drawback is the quality of the Bluetooth connection.
If there are a lot of people and vehicles around you, while listening to music between the headphones, desynchronization may occur, and sometimes the connection to the smartphone is completely disconnected. This problem is inherent in many TWS headphones to one degree or another, but it is especially problematic for the Buds Z2.
OnePlus Buds Z2 Headphone control
OnePlus Buds Z2 touchpads support single, double and triple presses.
This is a step forward – the previous model had only double. These actions allow you to control playback, call the virtual assistant, and switch between noise canceling modes. Moreover, now the owners of non-OnePlus smartphones can also customize the controls.
This is done in the OnePlus Buds app for Android or iOS, where you can also check the battery level and adjust the noise cancellation. The equalizer is also made only for OnePlus smartphones – this is disappointing, because now even the entry-level headphones have equalizers.
OnePlus Buds Z2 Sound quality
The main advantage of the OnePlus Buds Z2 is the sound quality, the same 11mm dynamic drivers are installed here as in the flagship OnePlus Buds Pro .
Most impressive is the powerful bass that you definitely don’t expect from a model in this price segment. Buds Z2 are suitable for listening to music in the genres of hip-hop and dubstep, and the low frequencies are not mixed with the mids and highs. Acoustic compositions sound good too.
The soundstage is spacious and immersive, especially when Dolby Atmos is enabled. It seems as if the music is being played live in front of you, and the sound comes from all directions at once. It is disappointing that this requires a OnePlus 7 smartphone or newer.
OnePlus Buds Z2 Active noise cancellation
The OnePlus Buds Z2 also has active noise cancellation (ANC), although it is implemented in a slightly unusual way.
There are two modes to choose from: Weak and Extreme. In Weak, sounds with a volume of up to 25 dB are blocked, and in the second – up to 40 dB. Extreme mode cuts out almost all unnecessary noise, even when you’re on the subway. The distant hum remains, but does not interfere with listening to music.
When you choose Low mode, you can hear a lot of what is happening around, however, the Buds Z2 has a separate transparency mode. It works thanks to the built-in microphones, and it copes with the task perfectly.
OnePlus Buds Z2 Microphone quality
The Buds Z2 have three microphones on each earbud, which OnePlus says helps deliver exceptional call quality.
In practice, this is not entirely true. Call quality is average overall, but one of the best in this price range. Your voice will sound clear enough during calls, although not as good as using the built-in microphone of your mid-range or flagship smartphone.
There are no modern wind noise suppression algorithms here, but during my tests, people on the other side of the link could hear me well even on a windy day.
Autonomy OnePlus Buds Z2
The battery life of the Buds Z2 is okay.
Without active noise canceling, you can expect 7 hours of listening time, and the case provides 31 more hours – an excellent result. With active noise cancellation, these figures are 5 and 22 hours, respectively. For example, AirPods Pro work 4.5 / 20 hours.
The charge level is shown on the LED indicator on the front of the case. The indicator is green when there is enough charge, yellow – it is coming to an end, red means that it is time to charge. You can check the battery status in the app.
In the Buds Z2, OnePlus has added its Flash Charge technology for fast charging. Just 10 minutes in a case gives you 5 hours of active noise canceling listening time. If the headphones are completely discharged, 10 minutes of charging is sufficient for two hours of use. It takes an hour and a half to fully charge the case via the USB-C connector.
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The OnePlus Buds Z2 are great wireless active noise canceling headphones. They surpass the original Buds Z in all respects, and at the same time cost a reasonable price. There is an attractive design, IP55 water protection and customizable controls.
More expensive models like Dolby Atmos and Low Latency Game Mode are also available. However, some of them are only available to owners of new OnePlus smartphones. But the 11mm dynamic drivers from the flagship Buds Pro deliver amazing sound with powerful bass. Active noise cancellation is also well implemented, especially for the price segment.
Should I buy OnePlus Buds Z2
The Buds Z2 are the perfect choice not only for OnePlus fans, but also for anyone looking to enjoy their favorite music wherever they go.
OnePlus Buds Z2 Advantages and disadvantages
- Reasonable price
- Convenient design
- Intelligent functions
- ANC and transparency mode
- Great sound with strong bass
- Intermittent connection problems
- Some features for OnePlus phones only