The OnePlus Buds Z2 are a pair of earbuds that offer noise-cancelling technology to a price point under $100. These aren’t the kind of earbuds that can compete with the Sony WF-1000XM4, but they can certainly compete with the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 – and they might be cheap enough to justify the upgrade.
You can easily connect the OnePlus Buds Z2 to your Android smartphone or tablet using Google Fast Pair. They can also skip between devices because pairing works with the newest Android wireless networking. You’ll find the buds in your list of recognized devices on all other Android devices with that account logged in once you connect them to one device hooked into Google with your email.
These earbuds appear with battery life on each bud, as well as a convenient instantly-loading image of their hardware shape in Android Bluetooth settings, even without any OnePlus software. In the future, when this type of thing is more frequent, this may seem like a minor detail, but for now, it’s a wonderful touch.
If you’re not using a OnePlus smartphone, the software you’ll need to utilize with these earphones to get full functionality is called HeyMelody (as seen below). This is an app created by HeyTap, a firm that, as far as we can determine, is functionally independent of OPPO and OnePlus.
OPPO claims to have a “solid business relationship with HeyTap” and that this is “not an outsourcing collaboration” in a support document. Bravo Unicorn Pte. Ltd., a Singapore-based firm, owns and operates HeyTap (HeyTap). Even if we disregard any other concerns we have about OnePlus devices having a third-party app to work, optics still have to consider.
When I buy a product from one business, I expect the same firm to provide software support for that device. It’s possible that HeyTap is a great startup that creates software that’s better than anything OnePlus has done in the past for their devices, but first impressions are crucial.
My initial reaction to this issue is that if I need to use special software to operate a pair of headphones, I expect that app to be built by the company that made the earbuds. This is likely to be true for a large percentage of other potential OnePlus Buds consumers as well.
Once I’ve gotten beyond that, I can pick between two noise-cancelling settings on the OnePlus Buds Z2. I can also alter the buds’ “triple tap” feature and use the app’s own Find My Buds feature.
You can use the Find My Buds feature, switch between modes, and choose your triple tap feature without opening the HeyMelody app if you have a OnePlus smartphone. For these capabilities, any other phone brand requires the HeyMelody app.
The OnePlus Buds Z2 is a compelling value proposition once the HeyMelody app fully operates. For under $100, you can obtain a pair of earbuds with active noise cancellation in two modes: Faint and Extreme, with a range of 25dB to 40dB. The buds also come with OnePlus’ “Transparency Mode,” which transforms the buds into hearing aids – though not to the extent that they should be used in place of medical-grade hearing aids.
The 11mm dynamic drivers in these buds have a frequency response range of 20-20,000Hz. They’re still not there. The OnePlus Buds Z2’s entire audio transmission mechanism is quite good, especially given the price. The audio quality is more than good enough to justify the purchase price at launch.
If you’re hoping for the Dolby Atmos capabilities seen in advertising materials for the earphones, keep in mind that you’ll need a OnePlus smartphone to use it. These earphones will function with Dolby Atmos on any OnePlus device, starting with the OnePlus 7.
On December 16, 2021, the OnePlus Buds Z2 will be available for $99 on the OnePlus webshop. They’ll be available in Pearl White right away, but you’ll have to wait a little longer if you want them in “Obsidian Black.” The Obsidian Black model is expected to arrive in “early 2022,” according to OnePlus.