The Buds Z2 in black and white. | Image: OnePlus
OnePlus’ latest pair of true wireless earbuds are the $99 OnePlus Buds Z2. They’re double the price of the $49.99 OnePlus Buds Z from last year but now benefit from active noise cancellation, a shorter stem, and a more lightweight construction. They’re available now in the US and will release in the UK and EU on December 20th for £99 and €99, respectively.
Although the Buds Z2’s price sits halfway between the Buds Z and OnePlus’ more premium $150 Buds Pro, it actually has better battery life than both of them. Battery life from the earbuds themselves is around five hours with ANC turned on, rising to seven hours when you turn it off, and combined with the case you get up to 38 hours total (dropping to 27 hours with ANC on). In comparison, the Buds Z offered five hours from the buds and up to 20 hours including the case. The Buds Pro offer seven hours of playback with ANC off, five hours with it on, and up to 31 hours when combined with the case.
Elsewhere, the Buds Z2 match many of the specs of the Buds Pro, despite their more affordable price. They offer the same 94ms of latency when used in their “Pro Gaming mode,” there are still three mics in each earbud, they come in either black or white, and they even have the same 11mm drivers as the Buds Pro. But the Buds Z2 don’t offer wireless charging, a feature present on the Buds Pro.
The $99 price point is proving to be increasingly competitive for true wireless earbuds equipped with noise canceling. Most notably, Nothing’s Ear 1 earbuds, which come from OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s new company, offer noise cancellation as well as wireless charging support at that same price point. Increasingly, you don’t have to pay much more than $100 to get a feature-rich pair of true wireless earbuds.