OnePlus Buds Z2 design
OnePlus may have started with the popular ‘fit in the outer ear’ of the original Apple AirPods, but the company has since moved on to ‘fit in the ear’ products with active noise cancellation. The OnePlus Buds Z2 design has also been done in such a way that active noise cancellation is available as much as possible. To ensure the earbuds fit comfortably in your ears, three pairs of silicone ear tips are included in the box, along with a short USB Type-C charging cable.
If we look at the OnePlus Buds Z, there is no significant change in the design of the OnePlus Buds Z2. The earpiece and charging case look the same. A difference is seen in the new model that the grill cover has been given to the internal microphone for active noise cancellation. The second big change is the color. The OnePlus Buds Z2 comes in black and white color options, which was missing from the OnePlus Buds Z.
I really liked the all-black color scheme of my review unit. However, the glossy finish of the device detects fingerprints very quickly, so the earpiece and casing need to be cleaned frequently. The charging port and the pairing button are present on the back of the case. The OnePlus logo is placed at the top of the lid, and there is an indicator light on the front.
The case is not too big and it fits easily in the pocket. The case comes with an IPX4 water resistance rating, while the headset comes with an IP55 water and dust resistance rating. Each earbud weighs 4.5 grams and both have three microphones each, which come with ANC and voice pickup.
The outer side of the earcup is touch sensitive for playback controls. These can be customized via the Bluetooth settings on the OnePlus smartphone or via the HeyMelody app. Through it, you can control music playback, switch between ANC and transparency mode, activate the voice assistant on the smartphone, and switch between the last two paired devices with different gestures.
If you use the OnePlus Buds Z2 with a OnePlus smartphone, all these settings and customizations are easily accessible in the Bluetooth settings. In this, you can check the current battery level of the earphone and charging case. You can switch between the two ANC modes provided: Normal and Max. You can also select the active Bluetooth codec, switch between ear detection to play and pause music, perform an ear fit test, and even update the headset’s firmware.
This customization menu on OnePlus smartphones is very easy to use and fast as well. But if you don’t have a OnePlus smartphone, you can also customize via the HeyMelody app (available on iOS and Android). Although the smoothness in the application will be a bit less, it works well with the Buds Z2. What is disappointing here is that you cannot customize the equalizer either through the app or through the settings of the OnePlus smartphone.
For Android smartphones, Google Fast Pair has been supported by it. Dolby Atmos and Game Mode (94ms latency) only work on certain OnePlus 7 and higher smartphones. 11mm dynamic drivers have been provided in the earphones. These have a frequency response range of 20 to 20,000 Hz and Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity equipped with SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs has been provided.
The OnePlus Buds Z2 battery is quite good for this price segment. With ANC mode activated, the headphones provide a backup of 4 hours and 30 minutes at 60 percent volume. With the help of the charging case, it can be fully charged 4 times, which means the total battery life is 23 hours. There’s no fast charging option on offer, but it’s claimed to get 5 hours of playback time in 10 minutes of charging.
Punchy sound, good active noise cancellation on OnePlus Buds Z2
OnePlus has been slow to move into its true wireless earbuds segment. The company has launched a series of earbuds and the OnePlus Buds Pro is the winner among them with a price tag of Rs 9990. The OnePlus Buds Z2 is half the price but shares a common feature with the more expensive earbuds, and that is cancellation. noise active. In this area, the Buds Z2 performed as expected.
The OnePlus Buds Z2’s performance is device-agnostic, which means it doesn’t matter which smartphone you connect it to. With the help of SBC and AAC Bluetooth codecs, I paired these headphones with OnePlus 9 and was able to use Dolby Atmos and low latency mode. During the review, I also paired it with the Apple iPhone 13 for a long time and was able to easily customize it with the help of the HeyMelody app.
You often expect Sonic Signature sound when shopping for an affordable true wireless earphone, which slightly boosts the bass (bass) and treble (treble) and slightly suppresses the midrange. This is the kind of sound that most buyers are looking for in their affordable headphones. I found the punchy sound of these OnePlus headphones to be quite good on some tracks.
I listened to Glitter by Keys N Krates, the bass on the beat sounded aggressive and powerful to me, while the 70s melodic songs sounded clean. One feature that you will find in the OnePlus Buds Z2 is that these earphones have a very good balance of bass and treble. I love the bass focused sound of David Guetta’s fast and aggressive song ‘Dirty Sexy Money (Mesto Remix)’. The OnePlus Buds Z2 are quite loud and capable of keeping up with fast-paced music in addition to the punchy sound. Compared to other headphones in this price range, there is a sense of reverberation with the bass, which is not found in the rest. Compared to the rough, unfinished sound of the OnePlus Buds, the new buds offer a much more refined sound.
Dolby Atmos and low latency mode worked well when used with the OnePlus 9. Atmos is designed to sound a bit more open and airy than Apple Music’s high-resolution sound. Low latency mode kicks in as soon as you turn on Pro gaming mode on OnePlus smartphone. It managed to offer better latency.
Active noise cancellation is only available on very select true wireless earbuds under Rs 5,000, but OnePlus has done a good job in this area. Although, compared to more expensive earbuds like the OnePlus Buds Pro and Nothing Ear 1, I did feel a slight difference, but still in terms of price, I found it better than other earbuds I’ve used in this price range.
Two modes have been provided for ANC (active noise cancellation): normal and max. I did not find any significant difference between these two. However, after turning them on, there was a significant reduction in interior and exterior noise when listening to music, audiobooks, and calls.
In Transparency mode, I could easily hear surrounding sounds, but my own voice sounded very high-pitched and muffled. In such a situation, it seemed like a better option to remove the headphones from your ears while talking to someone. The call quality and the connection stability of the device are quite good. The headphones did not experience any stability issues even at a distance of up to 4 meters from the paired device.
It may have been a long time for OnePlus to enter the true wireless segment, but thanks to its recent products, it is making a big mark in this segment. The OnePlus Buds Z2 also seems to be riding this trend, offering ANC and some useful features along with a very effective sound experience, including fast charging and Dolby Atmos support. However, to get the most out of them, you’ll need to use them with recently released OnePlus smartphones. Even if you have another Android smartphone or an iPhone, OnePlus Buds Z2 TWS is a great option for less than Rs 5,000.
Realme also offers similar features in this price segment, but OnePlus’ quality gives it some stiff competition from others in this segment. I did not see any special drawbacks in the device. If you have a tight budget of Rs 5 lakhs then you can definitely buy them but I think by spending a bit more money you can also buy Nothing Ear 1 or Jabra Elite 75t which are better options.