OnePlus has gone ahead and launched the successor to its highly successful OnePlus Z series. With the Z2s OnePlus say they want to redefine what entry-level TWS buds are and give it the best ANC (active noise cancelling) in the price range, have they done that, I’m not quite sure, but they’re really good.
Starting with the main thing, the drivers. The Buds Z2 have 11mm dynamic drivers, one in each ear and these get loud, they’ve been very much tuned for low-end performance, which is going to be great for the Skullcandy generation, but less so for people that listen to more classical or vocal-heavy tracks. The 11mm drivers here are reportedly the same ones in use on the OnePlus buds Pro, a pair of headphones that I’ve been using on and off for months, and whilst they don’t sound the same, I can definitely hear the overlap. Whilst OnePlus boast Dolby Atmos support, without purposefully mastered tracks, your Spotify will sound as good as ever, but just stereo, not 3D.
Moving onto ANC, or active noise cancellation. OnePlus claim that the Buds Z2 can cancel out up to 40dBa of noise, which is actually incredible, this is a level that only a few years ago over-ear headphones were struggling to get to. I need to use these for a bit longer before I give a final result but for sheer noise suppression for the cost, these are impressive.
Next is the battery, with increased capacities in both the buds and the case, OnePlus is claiming 38 hours of use between the buds and the case, that’s pretty impressive, that’s 5 hours for the buds alone with ANC ob, or 7 hours with the ANC off, showing how adept these low power chipsets are getting with noise cancellation, just a few years ago turning ANC would quarter your battery, nice to no longer see that being the case.
Speaking of the case, the case charges the Z2s take 90 minutes inside the case to fully charge, but with the buds in the case, a 10 minute wired charge will give you 5 hours of use, which really is impressive, that’s a short commute to work or whilst you’re in the shower amounts of time. With a power draw of 5v at 0.9a the buds Z2 case will happily charge from any USB-C power source you have lying around and even comes with an almost comically short USB-C cable in classic OnePlus red and white.
The Buds Z2 will be available from OnePlus and amazon for £99, which, whilst a bit of a jump up from the original OnePlus Buds Z, the ANC alone is impressive, but the improved clarity of the new drivers is top-notch, look out for our review in a weeks time.