Today we’re going to check out the the Oneplus Buds Z, and these are very interesting for me because I don’t like the Airpods style earphones that just sit in your ears, so now we have a noise isolating design at a cheaper price point and we’re going to see how good it is.
Inside the box, you get the manual and warranty papers, a red USB Type C Charging cable, a red cable club card to make them look cooler than they actually are these days, differently sized eartips, and finally, the case containing the earbuds.
The case of the Oneplus Buds Z feels pretty good, it does open like those cheaper TWS earphones instead of how the case of Airpods and more expensive Oneplus Buds opens, and it’s not a big issue, but one thing that feels awkward is removing and placing the earbuds back in because you have to twist your hands awkwardly to insert or remove it and they should’ve swapped the positions of the left and right earbuds for an easier experience.
Other than that, the overall design is really good, and they actually feel pretty high in quality with their glossy plastic that doesn’t look cheap.
These earbuds have a quick connect feature with Bluetooth 5.0, which makes these connect to your phone as soon as you open the case, and you can also see the battery levels of the individual earbuds and the case, which is nice.
You can also make these earphones ring with your phone in case you lose them, which could be helpful, and it is decently loud for an earphone driver.
Coming to controls, I am a little disappointed here as we have limited touch gestures and you can only double tap the left or right earbud to go to the previous or next track by default. You can customize this gesture to a play pause function or Google Assistant function with the HeyMelody app, but other than updating the firmware, the app doesn’t do much.
The Oneplus Buds Z also have wear detection, so if you remove them they will pause the music, and if you put them back in within 3 minutes, it will resume the playback. It’s a cool feature to have, but I don’t really use it often and I wasn’t able to find a way to disable this.
The reason I am not so impressed by the gesture functionality is that cheaper earphones like Oppo Enco W11 have volume control, along with single, double and triple tap gestures, which really give you full control with just a single touch surface.
But one extra feature the Oneplus Buds Z do have is a device switching feature, so you can press and hold the touch area for 3 seconds, and it will quickly toggle between last connected devices.
The button on the case is also really helpful in pairing these with a new device, and the LED on the case is really bright, and tells you the battery levels of the case and the earbuds.
Speaking of battery life, they offer 5 hours of runtime on the earbuds, and 15 hours of extra battery life in the case, taking the total to 20 hours. They lasted for 4 hours in my pink noise test, but you should get 5 hours with the usual content at normal volumes.
These also have fast charging with 10 minutes giving your 3 hours of playtime, and with IP55 dust and water resistance rating, you also won’t have to worry about people spraying water on your earphones.
I am very pleased with how well they fit. Their shape is really ear friendly, and you can really wear these for hours without issues. Their stem doesn’t touch any part of your ear, and they’re also very lightweight, and I think even people with smaller ears will find them to be comfortable.
The latency while gaming is pretty standard, and oneplus says that you can get 103ms of latency with Oneplus 6 or newer devices after enabling Fnatic mode, which is nice, but in all cases, these earphones won’t be the best for gaming, just like other wireless earphones.
[WATCH VIDEO FOR MIC TEST]
I found the microphone to be pretty good and clear, it can sound a little muffled, but the clarity of voice is good, and because these have multiple microphones, the noise cancellation also works well.
Finally coming to the sound quality, after checking out their design that looked very similar to the Oneplus Bullets Wireless Z earphones, I was worried that they were just a true wireless version of these earbuds which didn’t sound great, but thankfully, these seem to have different drivers inside, and they actually sound really great for the price.
There is a slight V shaped sound signature here, but it is done in a very subtle way that makes it very enjoyable.
Some people may think that these don’t have enough bass, but you just have to use the larger eartips if you feel like that, and these actually have slightly boosted bass, but that just makes their sound enjoyable and it doesn’t feel like it’s affecting higher frequencies negatively.
The mids on these are also nice, and I enjoyed listening to vocals, and finally the treble also feels a little boosted, but again, it has not been overdone, and I am a person who is very sensitive to harsh treble, but on these I find it to be really good.
The soundstage on these kind of surprised me, as it is quite wide for earphones, and there is separation between instruments which I was not expecting to have in this price range.
Now because the Soundstage on these is wide, sometimes it may feel that they’re lacking impact, but it is a character that I don’t mind at all and overall I really like their sound for watching TV shows, and for listening to music.
I didn’t feel like there is a need to use equalizer with these earphones, even though you could reduce the bass by around 2 decibels and see if you like that better.
So overall, the Oneplus Buds Z are a really great package that comes at a really good price. I think 3000 Rs. is the ceiling of budget for a lot of people in India, and you are getting very good value at this price point with these earphones.
There are some gripes that I have with the relatively limited touch gestures, but other than that, they are really great in all areas, including comfort, connectivity, functionality and sound quality.
⭐ Buy OnePlus Buds Z: https://amzn.to/2VyAbKM