OnePlus released their first true wireless “Buds” over the summer but surprisingly only a couple months later they had another ready to go when showing off their OnePlus 8T. These were called “Buds Z”.  They look to be like the first iteration but this time looking slightly more comfortable adding silicone tips. They are also considerably $30 cheaper. But does all this make the Buds Z better than the Buds?

Style

First change with the Buds Z is the case. The Buds had a very small compact case but this one is some of the bean pod style charge cases you normally see. Its still lightweight though and shouldn’t be much a problem throwing in your pockets. The case a small LED indicator on the front while a sync button and Type-C port reside on the back.

Earbuds are still “pipe style” featuring circular touch panels on each one. This time around though OnePlus decided to put silicone tips on each bud making them more comfortable to wear right out the gates. This eliminated the soreness I felt previously even wearing long periods and helped them always stay secure in my ears no matter what I was doing. These are also rated IP55 for water and sweat resistant with hydrophobic nano-coating so you can get some quick workouts without issue.

OnePlus Buds Z come with a Type-C charging cable, charging case and various silicone tips.

Features / Sound

Like the Buds, Buds Z are designed to work seamlessly with your OnePlus smartphone. Opening the case alone will trigger a notification on your OnePlus ready to sync up and connect. Its similar to what you see on iPhones soon as you open a case. So, by the time you put them in your ears you are ready to tune in and jam out.

Touch controls on each earbud as mentioned before and can be customized in the Bluetooth options of your OnePlus device. Here you can change the double taps to play controls or voice assistant. You will also get upgrades pushed out for your OnePlus. Soon as I synced up with my OnePlus 8T there is updates already downloading.

The Buds Z are utilizing 10mm drivers which are smaller than the 13.4mm drivers but still provide Dolby Atmos support.  I feel like the Buds Z sound like their predecessor but better thanks to those silicone tips. It helps achieve a sealed fit in the ears blocking some outside noise that the Buds unfortunately couldn’t fathom doing. The bass I was missing before comes thru better and I get that thump I was missing. Vocals are there and sound cool and mix in the music well.

OnePlus Buds Z support SBC and AAC codecs.

Experience

These earbuds charge up quickly and hold it advertised battery life.  Rocking these over the past week has fared to be a better time than I had with the Buds. That frankly comes down to the silicone tip addition. They feel better and sound better making me wish they went with this design from jump.

One issue that carries over and occurs with these earbuds is a slight “hiccup” switching from various apps. I once again jumped from Spotify to Candy Crush Soda and vice versa providing the same problem. While it does not happen w/ say going to Gmail, Twitter, etc. it does with gaming apps even with them on silent.

There isn’t any noise cancelling but they have a decent seal on them to block out some noise.

Verdict

With these dropping out mere months after the Buds, I wish OnePlus just went with the Buds Z. The comfort levels thanks to the silicone tips are win and helps with the noise isolation. Battery life is on point and they sync up to your OnePlus smartphone instantly making them a nice companion. Also, these retail $30 cheaper coming in at just $49.99. If you are rocking a OnePlus device and looking for inexpensive earbuds give these a listen.

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