OnePlus Buds Z2 Review

OnePlus launched the OnePlus Buds Z, the company’s first budget true wireless earbuds, back in 2020. The new OnePlus Buds Z2 which was launched in India earlier this month is the successor of it that adds support for Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) that was only present in its Buds Pro model. It also comes with Bluetooth 5.2 with AAC audio codec, but lacks the LHDC codec that is present in the Pro model.

Even though it misses wireless charging, it has flash charge fast charging. So, are these the best true wireless earbuds with ANC under Rs. 5,000? Let us dive into the review to find out.

Box contents

  • OnePlus Buds Z2 in Obsidian Black Colour
  • USB Type-C charging cable
  • Ear tips in Small and Large sizes (Medium sized tips pre-installed)
  • Quick start guide and Safety guide

Design and Build Quality

Starting with the design, the headset is housed in a round charging case that fits in your pocket. It has a glossy finish, so it can easily attract fingerprints, smudges and is prone to scratches. The charging case measures73.15×36.80x 29.07mm and weighs 40.5g (42g for Pearl White). There is a tiny LED indicator on the front that glows in green and red colours. The USB Type-C port is present in the back, along with a set-up button.

Opening the case, you can see the slots for Left and Right earbuds with the markings. It has a magnet to secure the buds in its place.

The headset has a plastic build that also has a glossy finish that attracts fingerprints easily. You can also see the microphone on the outside stem,  on the bottom, and there is one near the ear plug. It uses touch controls which are responsive.

The earbuds weigh about 4.5 grams (4.6g for white), which is light. The earbuds feature an in-ear design and also come with medium-sized ear tips pre-installed. You can change to bundled Large or Small sized ear tips if you wish. There is an Optical Sensor for Wear Detection so that it can automatically pause the audio when you remove it from your ears and play when you put it back. You can also see the contacts for charging.

Overall, the headset offers a decent build quality except for the glossy finish and fits your ears perfectly so that they don’t fall off your ears easily, even during outdoor activities like running or cycling. The earphones also have IP55 ratings for dust and water resistance, so it can withstand splashes or light rain, but you can’t use it when swimming. Even the case is IPX4 rated for water-resistant, so that it can withstand splashes or light rain. This is the same as the OnePlus Buds Pro, the company’s top-end headset.

Connectivity, Pairing, and Controls

The OnePlus Buds Z2 supports Bluetooth 5.2 with AAC audio codec. We can’t expect LDAC for the price, but the company could have added aptX or aptX HD for low latency gaming experience, since the 94ms low latency is achieved only in OnePlus devices. The connection range is around 10 meters, which is common in most headsets, and the connection quality is decent, but I felt the Buds Pro had a better range. The pairing process is very easy for OnePlus (6 or later) devices. Just enable Bluetooth on the OnePlus phone, open the charging case of the buds, place the charging case close to the phone, and follow the prompts.

To connect to a non-OnePlus phone or other Bluetooth device, place the Buds Pro into the charging case with the cover opened. Press and hold the setup button in the case for 2 seconds to enter Bluetooth settings. Then, select OnePlus Buds Pro. To restore factory settings, place the buds into the charging case with the cover opened. Press and hold the setup button of the charging case for 10 seconds until the indicator blinks red. There is also a fast pair option which pairs the headset with the phone instantly. We tested it on the Xiaomi 11T Pro and OnePlus 9RT, and never faced any pairing or disconnection issues. Since the phone pairs with the case and not the headset, you will need the case if you want to reconnect it or even turn on the headset if it’s disconnected from the phone.

Function Left earphone (L) Right earphone (R)
Play / Pause and Single tap
Play next track or Answer call / Hang calls Double Tap
Play previous track Triple Tap
Enable noise cancellation or switch between noise cancellation modes Press and hold for 1s
Switch the device / Reject calls Press and Hold for 3s

There is no option for volume control, same as the OnePlus Buds Pro. This also misses the Zen mode option, which I loved in the Buds Pro.

You can customize the controls from the settings in the Hey Melody app on Android and iOS. You can charge single tap, double tap, triple tap and also noise control options.

You can also choose at least two from Noise cancellation, Transparency, Noise cancellation off, when you press and hold  either earbud for 1 second.

The Earbuds fit test option plays music to ensure that your ear tips make a good seal with your ear canal for better noise-cancelling. You also get frequent firmware updates for the headset that improves the quality and adds new features.

Audio Quality,  Call Performance and Noise Cancellation

The OnePlus Buds Z2 pack a 11mm dynamic driver, which the company says is tuned for rich bass. Audio from the earbuds are very loud and crisp, but the bass is on the higher side, so it might not the best. There is also Dolby Atmos feature, but it works only with compatible OnePlus phones (OnePlus 7/7 Pro later) which is a bummer since Dolby Atmos feature is also available in other mobile phones. I tried enabling Dolby Atmos in Xiaomi 11T Pro, but audio quality better in OnePlus phones with Dolby Atmos compared to Xiaomi. The Buds Z2 also misses the OnePlus Audio ID from the Buds Pro.

Regarding the Noise cancellation, the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) blocks the ambient sound up to 40dB that helps in most cases. You can feel the difference when you are listening outdoors and even indoors when the AC or fan is on. There are Two modes, Faint (+/-25dB) and Extreme (+/- 40dB)  You can switch between noise cancellation, transparency and noise cancellation off by pressing and holding the earbuds.

For the price, it does a good job in blocking the outside noise and is on par with the Nothing ear (1) that is slightly costly. I can’t compare it to the OnePlus Buds Pro or OPPO Enco X which are better.

This also has Transparency mode that allows you to listen to ambient sound so that you can recognize the surrounding situation and any potential risks. This is a useful feature that every headset should have. It can turn on the transparency mode automatically when you remove a single earbud. It offers low-latency experience as low as 94ms that is useful when gaming, but it again limited to OnePlus phones since you have to turn on the Pro Gaming mode or Fnatic Mode. Without the gaming mode, the gaming experience on other phones are cent, but the latency is clearly visible.

Coming to the call noise cancellation, it uses 3 MEMS microphones on each earbud that work together to filter out unwanted noise. This does a brilliant job in cutting down wind and traffic noise. During my run, wind noise and traffic was complete cut out to the receiver.

Battery Life

The earphones pack 40mAh battery that promises about 7 hours of standalone battery life and 5 hours with noise cancellation enabled. During my run with AAC and noise cancellation on and off rarely, I got about 5 hours of battery life in about 60% volume, so it is good. For calls, it lasts for less than 4 hours since it uses call noise cancellation tech.

With the 520mAh charging case, it promises up to 38 hours of total battery life without ANC and 27 hours of total battery life with noise cancellation enabled. I got about 32 hours with mixed use, which is decent. The green light in the case indicates that the battery is high, and it turns red when it is low. You can also see the charge left in the case in the HeyMelody app when the earbuds are placed in the case. Charging the case fully with the earbuds takes about an hour.

It also has fast charge, so that you get 5 hours (charging case + earbuds combined) of playback with 10 minutes of charging with ANC off, and 2 hour listening with 5 min charge with earbuds alone with ANC off. The Buds Z2 doesn’t have wireless charging, which is present in the Buds Pro and the Nothing Ear 1.


Overall, the OnePlus Buds Z2 offers a good audio quality that is bass heavy, if you like it. It has with good noise cancellation and brilliant call noise cancellation for the price. It also has a compact design, but the glossy finish might not impressive everyone. The battery life is decent, but some features like Dolby Atmos and ultra-low latency gaming is locked to OnePlus devices. Priced at Rs. 4,999 it is available from, Flipkart,, OnePlus Experience Stores and partner stores


  • Decent audio quality
  • Good call quality and call noise cancellation
  • Up to 40dB ANC is good
  • Comfortable fit
  • IP55 ratings for the headset and IPX4 ratings for the case
  • Good battery life with fast charging


  • Bass-heavy audio might not impress everyone
  • No volume controls
  • Glossy case and headset
  • No aptX
  • Dolby Atmos and 94ms ultra-low latency work only with OnePlus phones

Author: Srivatsan Sridhar

Srivatsan Sridhar is a Mobile Technology Enthusiast who is passionate about Mobile phones and Mobile apps. He uses the phones he reviews as his main phone. You can follow him on Twitter and Instagram