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OnePlus Buds Z vs OnePlus Buds Z2 Wireless Earbuds: Should You Upgrade

Good TWS headphones do not have to be expensive. OnePlus is one of the producers for which user feedback is extremely important and influences their publishing plans. Customers demanded wireless earphones and got them – that is OnePlus With Buds.

OnePlus Buds Z headphones initially make not so much a bad thing as a rather inconsistent impression. The red on their box does not show up on the product itself in any detail, even the smallest detail, apart from the red accent on the USB-C charging connector. In addition to him and the headphones themselves, the set includes a traditional set of three pairs of silicone covers (in sizes S, M, L), a warranty card, and a user manual.

Kind of simplified Pro Buds, OnePlus Buds Z2 evolves the recipe for the first Buds Z and is similar to many other headphones with active noise reduction for less than 100 $ Can the experience of the builder make the difference here?

Pros and Cons

OnePlus Buds Z OnePlus Buds Z2
Dust- and water-resistant buildDecent noise cancellation
Good sound output for the segmentAuto play/pause
IPX4 water-resistantIP55 certification
Battery life is up to 5 hoursTreble too oscillating
No touch controls Average battery life

General

OnePlus Buds ZOnePlus Buds Z2
$CHECK PRICECHECK PRICE
BrandOnePlusOnePlus
TypeIn-EarIn-Ear
Battery Backup20 hours 20 hours
ColorsWhite, GrayObsidian Black, Pearl White
Weight40 g42 g
ConnectivityWireless, BluetoothWireless, Bluetooth

This model of headphones reached for a rather unusual charging case because it had a horizontal orientation, which resulted in a length of up to 7.5 cm and a width of 3.59 cm. Some people will like it, while the other is quite the opposite.

Weighing 40 grams, the case in the form of a casket with a rounded top with the manufacturer’s name and a flat base is not particularly complicated. On top, we only see a LED informing us about the charge level below the cover on the front and a USB-C charging port accompanied by a function button on the back. Inside there are only recesses for both headphones with magnets and charging contacts. These are combined with a 450 mAh battery in a case, which gives “from itself” a total of 80 mAh rechargeable batteries in the headphones (40 mAh per earpiece).

The hinge of this case makes a pleasant impression, as it not only perfectly closes both parts of the case to each other but also works with a pleasant resistance both when opening and closing. It becomes “aggressive” only in the initial phase of the opening movement and the last one during the closing when the mechanism closes the case with a loud bang.

OnePlus Buds Z2 for its part, provides a slight variation, with a flat back directly inherited from the first Buds in a button format. Everything else remains fairly classic, however. The earbuds are quite thin, and the central part is relatively small. We do not notice any aesthetic genius, but no real false note either. All these similarities between the brands work in favor of Nothing ear (1), whose transparency brings enough originality.

The same goes for the charging box, which is rather compact and has a particularly simple design. It differs from its direct competitors by a more elongated and thicker shape. Both for the box and the headphones, gleaming predominates. OnePlus doesn’t want to hear about a matte surface. This trend is quite current and has its good and bad sides.

Design

TypeIn-EarIn-Ear
Drive10 mm11 mm
WirelessYesYes
Driver TypeDynamicDynamic
Noise CancellingNoYes
Foldable DesignNoNo

The OnePlus Buds Z is made of slippery plastic (except for the fragment landing in our ears, which is matte), but not one-piece, but four-piece, which can be seen immediately after the joints between them. These include, among others, an insert on the base of the headband, where the main microphone is hidden, and a decorative accessory on the very top of the casing, which only tries to imitate the physical texture. However, it is completely smooth, although it refracts the light, like a fragment with radial microspheres.

Interestingly, the OnePlus Buds Z has three additional, quite traditional holes in its housing, but their use is different in this model. Usually, they are located under the microphone and are used for the ANC mode, but in the case of this model, there are sensors in this hole at the top and by the elastic band. The hole on the top side is a mystery to me, although it is probably just a traditional “air vent” for the diaphragm.

Unfortunately, the OnePlus Buds Z does not have any touch control features, and the traditional headband format, also known as the stalk, is flat-finished on the outside. In turn, the IP55 certificate convinces us about their water and dust resistance.

Weighing a total of 4.35 grams, the OnePlus Buds Z headphones fit perfectly in our auricles, and after choosing the right size of the elastics, thanks to their low weight. At the same time, they stay securely in the ear canal and do not cause discomfort even after a long time. In other words – they provide comfort at a high level and the addition of a sensor, thanks to which the songs stop every time we take the earpiece out of the ear and resume it when it returns to its place.

The OnePlus Buds Z2 is not very dense but quite well put together. The real plus of the product lies in its certification, IP55, and not IPX4, as is the case with its competitors. This certification offers increased resistance to water splashes (resistance under a small tap-type water jet) and resistance to most dust. Above all, this robustness extends to the housing, certified IPX4. This point is rare enough to be noted because the boxes do not generally benefit from any protection.

The case has a correct construction, too, with a hinge without any play. The only notable flaw, especially compared to the competition: the lack of wireless charging.

As the formula seems proven, there is almost nothing to say about comfort. Here, the short cannula allows the headphones to be a little intrusive, and the silicone tips (3 sizes) cover almost all body types. As is often the case, headphones lend themselves fairly moderately to the sport. Indeed, despite the IP55 certification, the outfit is only there in “normal” use, without moving your head too much or performing jaw movements.

OnePlus Buds Z2 is not expected to revolutionize the ergonomics of this type of headphones, especially with the use of a simple touch zone on the flat back. Unlike the OPPO Enco free 2, the rod does not allow volume control.

Frankly responsive, the touch zone of each earpiece allows:

  • one key (right and left): play/pause;
  • two keys: next track;
  • three keys: start of track / previous track;
  • long press: toggle between different types of noise reduction;
  • and a proximity sensor allows playback to be muted and restarted by removing and reinserting the headphones.

This table is not perfect since the headphones do not allow you to adjust the volume or even call the assistant by default. The manufacturer relies on this symmetry of the commands to not lose the user. If there is a latency between the control and its triggering, the touch zones remain very responsive.

Features

MicrophoneYesYes
Music ControlsYesTouch
Quick ChargeYesYes
SpeakersYesYes
WaterproofIPX4IP55

The sound quality is ensured by 10 mm drivers with a sensitivity of about 97 dB @ kHz with boosted bass. However, you cannot count on overwhelming impressions because although it is difficult to say that the Buds Z sound unpleasant, their sound can be assessed as good, decent, not outstanding both on the bad and on the good front. In turn, they sound mainstream through and through, reaching for a pleasant, raised, and warm bass, but the lack of high tones gives them a slightly dimmed character. They are also good at dynamics and separating individual bands of sound from each other.

The OnePlus Buds Z2 is powered by an 11mm driver, similar to what is found on the Buds Pro. This filiation is closer than one might think since we see a large part of the sound signatures. Buds Pro seems a little more controlled but highlights the same pitfalls and overall qualities. They are, therefore, most likely the same transducers. With hindsight, the Buds Pro has aged relatively, at least compared to the 150 euros initially requested.

The sound of the Buds Z2 is pleasant at moderate volume since it manages to highlight the bass without exaggeration and without eating the mids, all with a good sense of detail. A slight peak at 1 kHz makes it easier to listen and accentuates the clarity of the voice. Particularly scintillating highs carry everything. On this point, the manufacturer had a bit of a heavy hand. The headphones are almost too exuberant in their approach to the highs without being sharp.

The OnePlus Buds Z2 are already very versatile, rather pleasant to listen to while delivering a good level of detail, and a sufficiently large and airy soundstage. The highs lack balance and remain the black point of the product, but the whole remains coherent enough to have fun.

This application is probably no stranger to you since it is here about HeyMelody, a classic of the OnePlus and OPPO galaxy.

Far from being a plethora of advanced functions, it ensures the minimum union. The first tab lets you know the precise charge level of the headphones and the case, switch between the different noise reduction modes and update the OnePlus Buds Z2.

It’s hard to rave about ergonomics in general, but the essentials are there. With a OnePlus smartphone, there are a few advantages, such as support for Dolby Atmos.

Battery

Battery TypeLi-Po 450 mAhLi-Po 520 mAh
Battery LifeUp to 20 hoursUp to 35 hours
Charging Time1.5 hours1.5 hours
Charging PortUSB-CUSB-C
Qi Wireless ChargingNoNo

When it comes to battery life you will get five hours on a single charge, which the case extends to 20 hours, but don’t worry – just 10 minutes of charging is enough for 3 hours of listening, thanks to the fast charging technology.

It is also worth reassuring you that the OnePlus Buds Z, after opening the case, quickly connects to the smartphone, which is not the domain of OnePlus models. Listening is free from noise, clicks, or sudden signal interruptions, and the lack of lag between audio and video while watching movies completes the mix.

OnePlus Buds Z2 battery life announced at 5 hours with ANC and 7 hours without noise reduction.

We are more in 4:15 with ANC and in 5:45 without ANC in practice. The result is not bad, but fairly standard. It is possible to enjoy about three and a half recharges with the charging case, which gives a good overall endurance. It is nevertheless a pity, once again, not to have integrated charging by induction.

Connectivity

BluetoothYes 5.0 vYes 5.2 v
Bluetooth SupportedSBC,AACSBC, AAC
Multi-Device NoNo
ConnectionWirelessWireless
Sensitivity97 dB102 dB
Frequency response20 Hz – 20,000 Hz

In turn, connectivity is provided by Bluetooth version 5.0, and the quality of the microphones in ideal conditions can be described as good. Still, it will be better on a busy street if you use the microphone in your smartphone.

OnePlus Buds Z2- The Bluetooth connection follows the same recipe as what is done with Freebuds 4i and the models that followed. Here, the two headphones can work in mono mode, the Multipoint is absent, and the pairing is compatible with Google FastPair while remaining on an SBC / AAC codec duo. A kind of quartet that we inevitably find. The OnePlus Buds Z2 display, in standard Bluetooth settings, precise information on the battery status (right earpiece, left earpiece, and charging case).

Above all, the OnePlus Buds Z2 does not miss the quality of this connection. There is no stability problem to report, the range is already very good, and the sound jumps are extremely rare.

Conclusion!

OnePlus Buds Z is an interesting model among relatively new TWS headphones, mainly due to its price of around $70, although you can buy them even cheaper from foreign sites. At such a low price, we get a full-fledged “feeling” of wireless headphones with a charging case with good, for this segment, quality, and design, which is complemented by a solid battery, quick charging, pleasant sound, and the unexpected addition of a headphone presence sensor in the ears. Biggest flaw? Evidently no touch control, but on the other hand, this potential downside may be an advantage for some.

Overall mastered, the OnePlus Buds Z2 are almost as good technically as the Buds Pro because they almost completely borrow their ANC and their good part. But, even with this premium ancestry, headphones come a bit late to stand out from other players sold for less than 100 $ already well established.

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