Skip to content

OnePlus Buds Z, analysis: more for less

We tested the latest fully wireless earbuds from OnePlus (and the cheapest ones). This is everything you need to know about the OnePlus Buds Z.

The OnePlus Buds that I was able to try a few months ago quickly became my headphones , those that I use while walking or to make the odd quick call. They don’t sound as good as the Galaxy Buds or my Jabra Elite 65T, but well enough not to miss better audio quality in more use .

Now, OnePlus returns with OnePlus Buds Z, cheaper headphones than the original Buds, but still inheriting much of their traits.

For just over two weeks, I have exclusively used these headphones to test them and compare them with their predecessors. And I have to say – sorry for the -, what I think the Z Buds have taken the place that until now was the OnePlus Buds.

OnePlus Buds Z with charging case.

Data sheet of the OnePlus Buds Z

OnePlus Buds Z
specs
Dimensions Headphones: 37.98mm x 23.35mm
Charging case: 75mm x 35.9mm x 29.05mm
Weight Headphones: 4.35 grams
Charging case: 40 grams
Driver 10mm dynamic
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0
Battery 40 mAh per earphone
450 mAh in the case
Load Quick charge (10 minute charge for 3 hours) via USB Type C

The best of the OnePlus Buds Z

Great sound thanks to an improved fit

Without being the best, the sound of the original OnePlus Buds was good enough considering that we were looking at headphones under 90 euros. But its format in the style of Apple AirPods –that is, without silicone tips–, it made the isolation looked resentful, and therefore also the quality of the audio.

And a gesture as simple as adding some silicone pads This new edition of the OnePlus Buds series has served to increase the audio quality of these OnePlus Buds Z.

Like most similarly priced headphones, the Buds Z opt for a sound that relies on well marked bass, sometimes even masking the intermediate and high tones to some extent.

It may not be the way more precise interpreting the audio, but it is one of the most accepted by those users who do not consider themselves specialists in this field.

OnePlus Buds Z

OnePlus Buds Z in white.

The fact of having rubber pads – in that sense, by the way, three are included several sizes to choose from – makes ambient noise is reduced to a greater extent than when using the original OnePlus Buds. Logically, headphones with active noise cancellation such as the Huawei FreeBuds Pro will offer an infinitely superior result, but without a doubt the experience is better than if they did not include this addition.

It is also worth mentioning that OnePlus Buds Z include microphones capable of capturing very good quality audio, which makes them ideal not only for listening to music or podcasts, but also for make calls and video calls.

OnePlus Buds Z charging

The OnePlus Buds Z charging.

Autonomy to spare

The five hours of autonomy have almost become a standard in the field of fully wireless headphones, and The OnePlus Buds Z they do not stand out in that sense, neither for better nor for worse.

In any case, the 450 mAh battery in the charging case serves to enjoy another four full charge cycles before having to go through the charger. And the fast charging system built into the earbuds makes 10 minutes of charging is enough to obtain up to 3 hours of autonomy.

Fast charging is one of the characteristic features of the OnePlus device catalog, and we are happy to know that the firm has not forgotten to provide its cheapest totally wireless headphones with such technology.

The only more or less important deficiency that we find in this model is the fact that not having wireless charging in the case, this being one of its main differences with respect to the original OnePlus Buds.

The worst of the OnePlus Buds Z

A wasted controls system

OnePlus Buds Z with its case

OnePlus Bbuds Z with white charging case.

I said it in my review of the OnePlus Buds, and I repeat it again: OnePlus has included in its headphones one of the most precise and advanced touch control systems you’ve ever tried on headphones, and it’s still one of the worst used.

The integrated touch panel on the back of each earbud is capable of detect touches with great precision, better than much more expensive headphones. But for whatever reason, OnePlus still fails to implement convenient controls like the ability to modify the volume level through gestures.

Also, in order to modify controls and use the touch panel, for example, to pause or resume music playback, it is necessary to resort to the settings of our OnePlus mobile, where the parameters of the headphones can be changed. But, What happens then if we don’t have a OnePlus mobile?

In that case, it’s time to resort to HeyMelody app, developed by OPPO and OnePlus and compatible with several of the headphone models of both brands.

Hey melody

The HeyMelody app is necessary if you want to update the headphones and you don’t have a OnePlus mobile.

Once installed, this application – quite simple, really – can be used to update the firmware of the headphones or to modify the controls. Installing an external application on the mobile may not be the most convenient solution, but I am afraid that those who do not have a terminal of the brand will have to settle.

OnePlus Buds Z: ‘s opinion and final thoughts

OnePlus Buds and OnePlus Buds Z

The OnePlus Buds and the OnePlus Buds Z.

The OnePlus Buds Z are fairly simple totally wireless headphones: they don’t hide too many up their sleeve, but what they do, They do it right.

And still, curiously, they are headphones more complete and interesting than the original OnePlus Buds if we consider that now we do enjoy decent isolation which translates into a better sound quality, or that we have greater resistance thanks to the IP55 certification – instead of IPX4 like the OnePlus Buds -.

This is why Buds Z are, in my opinion, the best choice If you are looking for totally wireless headphones with the OnePlus seal, except that yes or yes to have wireless charging. In addition to save money, you will get a better audio quality along with everything that was already good in the headphones launched in mid-2020.

Price and where to buy the OnePlus Buds Z

The OnePlus Buds Z charging case

OnePlus Buds Z Z alongside other devices.

The OnePlus Buds Z can be buy from the company’s official online store, yet price of 59 euros. They are available in White color, and in a special edition designed by Steven Harrington.

OnePlus Buds Z, opinion and note from
Should you buy the OnePlus Buds Z?
In favor
  • Good fit that favors sound quality.
  • Autonomy within expectations, with a fast charging system.
  • Stronger than OnePlus Buds: IP55 vs IPX4
  • Good value for money
  • Accurate and fast proximity detection
  • Dolby Atmos support
Against
  • No wireless charging
  • Wasted controls system
  • HeyMelody app necessary if you don’t use a OnePlus mobile (not available on iOS)
  • No support for aptX codecs
Conclusions The Buds Z are a good example of how, in technology, the simple can beat the complex as long as the right decisions are made. A format that favors the quality of the audio, a more compact and easy-to-carry case, and an even more adjusted price, make it our preferred option within the catalog of totally wireless headphones from OnePlus.
Punctuation

& starf;& starf;& starf;& starf;& starf;

& starf;& starf;& starf;& starf;& starf;

OnePlus Buds Z

The best OnePlus fully wireless headphones in 2020