The OnePlus Buds Z are a low-cost set of true wireless earbuds that are suitable for people on a tight budget. If you don’t require extra features such as noise cancellation or multipoint connectivity, OnePlus may be a good option for you to consider.
With its low price, the Buds Z offers premium features like as automated ear identification, Dolby Atmos compatibility, and an IP55 rating, despite its low price. This puts other low-cost true wireless rivals in a tight race for first place.
The flash and glam of high-end true wireless headphones might be alluring, but sometimes all you want is something simple and effective that won’t break the bank. That is exactly what the OnePlus Buds Z provide. These robust earbuds will withstand all of your workouts, and they come with a companion app that is compatible with practically all Android smartphones.
Do the Buds Z earbuds fall into the traditional trappings of low-cost earphones, or are they a gem hidden in plain sight.The OnePlus Buds Z review was updated on January 4, 2022, to include information on the OnePlus Buds Z2 and the JBL Tune 230NC TWS as possible alternatives.
- It’s a good fit
- Charging at a rapid pace
- IP55 protection rating
- Automatic detection of the ear
- Bluetooth version 5.0
- Dolby Atmos compatibility (limited)
- Only SBC and AAC are supported; there is no aptX support.
- App functionalities are limited (not available to iOS)
In designing the OnePlus Buds Z, OnePlus didn’t take any design risks: these earbuds seem quite similar to their predecessor, which is simply a long-winded way of stating that they look remarkably similar to the Apple AirPods.
The earbuds’ familiar stemmed form makes it simple to insert and remove them, while the specialised nozzles seal to the ear and keep the buds in place while you’re listening. It is possible to get your buds Z trapped in face mask strings, even though they are designed to be secure in place.
Although there were a few of times where the earphones fell to the floor while I removed my face mask, this was never an issue with the Jabra Elite 85t or other similarly sized buds.
The OnePlus Buds Z truly wireless earbuds are displayed on a table next to a camera and a charging case for comparison.
The Buds Z come with few accessories, although OnePlus includes a USB-C connection for charging the case as well as three different sizes of silicone ear tips.
The earphones have received an IP55 designation, which indicates that they are dust and water resistant to a certain extent.
It’s especially useful for rock climbers and gymnasts because of the dust-resistant construction; nevertheless, a heavy layer of chalk on your fingertips will make it difficult for the touch screens to register contact.
Finally, while the OnePlus Buds Z are capable of supporting workouts, the minimal inbuilt controls are a detriment to the experience. More flexible options like JLab or Anker Soundcore are preferable.
The touch-capacitive panel on the inside of each earbud may be used to control playback. With the default settings, there is just one way to skip to the next track: a double-tap on either earbud. But that’s all. Because the earphones must be removed in order to stop playing music, this is a frustrating limitation.
Non-OnePlus smartphone owners will be unable to receive firmware upgrades or remap the onboard controls of the OnePlus Buds Z earphones unless they use the HeyMelody mobile application. Your smartphone must run Android 6.0 or above to be eligible; it is not currently available on iOS.
HeyMelody is currently in the early stages of development, and it shows: this is a fairly basic app with only two useful features (firmware updates and control configurations).
The fact that you have to download this app in order to be able to play the previous music directly from your headphones is inconvenient; but, at least the choice is there.
Currently, the HeyMelody app does not allow any sort of equalisation, whether it is a custom or preset choice; it does not have a “find my buds” function; and it does not offer ambient aware mode as of the date of publishing of this review. Possibly, as the programme evolves, we’ll see additional features integrated into the overall package.
Just like your smartphone and the majority of portable gadgets, your true wireless earbuds are packed with lithium-ion batteries; however, the cells in your buds are quite small in comparison.
The depreciation of lithium-ion batteries is inevitable over time, but the constant charging and discharging of true wireless earbuds puts their battery cells on a fast track to degrading faster. As things stand, the majority of true wireless earbuds that are used on a daily basis lose a substantial percentage of battery power by the time they reach the two-year milestone.
Several changes are coming, and Apple is at the forefront of these developments. Apple’s battery optimization software was one of the new features introduced with iOS 14.
This directs the AirPods (3rd generation) and AirPods Pro cases to stop charging when they reach 80 percent capacity, until the headphones are ready to be used by the user.
Even if it takes some time for the software to learn about your daily routines (for example, listening to music throughout your commute), once it does, it will help you to get the most out of your earbuds’ battery life in the long term…. This is a relatively new function, but it is hoped that it will be included in other headsets outside of the Apple ecosystem in the near future.
The OnePlus Buds Z, by the way it amplifies bass and treble sounds, serves as a blueprint for a consumer-friendly frequency response. Although the 10mm dynamic drivers do not appear to be very outstanding, this is a good-sounding, consumer-friendly system for the money.
Look elsewhere for your low-cost earphones if you’re an audiophile: the frequency response is mainly meant for a wide consumer audience and cannot currently be equalised without the use of a third-party programme. Bass notes are twice as loud as middle notes, causing vocalists to be obscured by the background noise.
This effect occurs when extremely loud noises, such as a kick drum, make it difficult to distinguish between relatively quiet sounds, such as voices. Despite the fact that this isn’t always a bad thing (after all, many of us seek for headphones with lots of bass), it’s just not an authentic picture of how the musician and sound engineers intended the music to sound.
However, at the end of the day, the OnePlus Buds Z still makes use of an integrated microphone system, which has its own set of restrictions. The sound quality is adequate for conference calls and casual phone conversations, however audio clips occur often and background noise may be heard at all times when using these devices.
Because your buddy on the other end of the phone will be able to hear all of the wind and traffic noise that surrounds you, we recommend making calls inside whenever possible while using these buds.
Aside from the OnePlus Buds, the OnePlus Buds Z2 is the most apparent alternative to the Buds Z in terms of design. IP55 certification indicates that these earbuds are resistant to both dust and water ingress.
Bluetooth 5.2 provides improved connection reliability over previous versions while maintaining support for the AAC and SBC codecs. In contrast to the conventional Buds Z, the Buds Z2 has active noise cancellation technology.
If you’re a fan of the stemmed design but don’t want to commit to a set of OnePlus headphones, the JBL Tune 230NC TWS may be a better option for you.
The Tune 230NC TWS is equipped with noise cancelling, just as the Buds Z2. In addition, you will receive extensive in-app assistance that is compatible with any mobile operating system. Listeners who want a little more bass in their music will learn to appreciate this headset, despite its shortcomings.
Compared to the OnePlus Buds Z, the Anker Soundcore Life A1 is not only more inexpensive, but also more compact. Because of the rubberized bands that surround the earphones, the fit is really comfortable.
The most significant disadvantage of these very low-cost earbuds is their extremely bass-heavy sound, although you may experiment with the in-app EQ presets to find something that suits your tastes better.