Good sound quality, cheap price

OnePlus Buds Z is one of the latest Bluetooth headset models from the Chinese manufacturer. Unlike the previous generation headphones, the OnePlus Buds, the OnePlus Buds Z has an In-ear design with IP55 water and dust resistance standards.

The battery life of the pair of headphones is estimated to be about 5 hours, lower than the 7-hour battery level of the previous headset line. However, the OnePlus Buds Z is sold at a cheaper price point, making it an interesting choice in the Bluetooth headset market.

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OnePlus Buds Z Specifications

  • Headphone type: Earbuds, True Wireless
  • Drivers: dynamic, 10mm
  • Headphone size: 33mm x 22.4mm x 21.8mm
  • Headphone volume: 4.5g (black version), 4.6g (white version)
  • Box size: 73.15mm x 36.8mm x 29.1mm
  • Estimated battery life: 5 hours (20 hours if charging case included)

OnePlus Buds Z

OnePlus Buds Z: Design

OnePlus Buds Z owns a distinctive design language that the company has applied to previously released audio product models. This design includes a slim silhouette, with softly curved edges. OnePlus Buds Z uses silicone tips, providing a comfortable wearing experience for users.

Located near this pair of tips are 2 contact pins, used to charge the battery when the headset is placed in the box. The area around the pair of tips is equipped with different types of sensors, which check to see if the pair of headphones has been securely worn in the user’s ear or not. This method is less accurate than the optical sensor used on other Bluetooth headsets on the market.

Overall, the OnePlus Buds Z is a pair of headphones with a modern design and very good build quality. The design of the pair of headphones also meets IP55 water and dust resistance standards, helping to prevent the internal components from being soaked in water when used in the rain, and so on.

Although the OnePlus Buds Z is designed with a long stem, the storage space of the case is designed in a horizontal form, instead of being placed vertically like the Apple AirPods line of headphones. However, the box itself has a relatively compact appearance compared to the price segment.

On the outside, the box is made from hard plastic and has a glossy finish. On the front, the box has a small LED light, which turns red when the box is charging and green when it’s fully charged. On the back of the box is a USB Type-C charging port along with a Bluetooth pairing button. The box does not support wireless charging.

OnePlus Buds Z offers a comfortable wearing experience during use. The pair of headphones has an extremely light weight, harmoniously combined with the in-ear design, significantly reducing the amount of pressure exerted on the ears during use. Users can use the pair of headphones throughout the battery life without feeling fatigue or discomfort.

Also, thanks to the compact design, the headphones won’t protrude too much when worn, so you can use them while lying down if you want.

OnePlus Buds Z

OnePlus Buds Z: Software and Features

OnePlus Buds Z is supported by 2 different applications on the Android platform, with 1 for OnePlus phones and 1 for the rest.

For OnePlus models, users can interact with the headset’s functions through a pre-installed app, called OnePlus Buds. This app won’t show up unless your phone has been paired with one of OnePlus’ Bluetooth headset products. Once the pairing is done, you can go to the Bluetooth settings and interact with the software.

Here, the application will display the current battery life of the pair of headphones, and also allow users to change the function of the controls, change the codec format (AAC or SBC), change the Bluetooth settings, and so on. The application also supports the location search feature of the pair of headphones.

OnePlus Buds Z has the same touch controls as in the previous version of the headset. Specifically, users can only press twice in succession on the front of the pair of headphones to activate 1 of the 4 previously set features. These features include playing/pausing music, activating the voice assistant, skipping to the previous song or skipping to the next song. Users can also press and hold for about 3 seconds to switch between the currently detected source device to the previously paired device.

The touch operation feature of the OnePlus Buds Z is not very complete, largely due to the lack of basic functions such as changing the volume level. Users also cannot interact with the pair of headphones through operations such as pressing 1 or 3 times like other headsets on the market.

If you are currently using one of the other Android models, you can install the HeyMelody app through the Google store. This app has support for Oppo and OnePlus Bluetooth headset models. Similar to the OnePlus Buds app, this app lets you change the pair’s touch controls.

OnePlus Buds Z: Sound Quality

OnePlus Buds Z has good sound quality for the money. The pair of headphones has a characteristic warm sound and plenty of bass, harmoniously combined with a bright high range to give listeners a comprehensive musical experience.

Buds Z has the ability to express the low frequency range strongly. Specifically, bass is consistently emphasized throughout the entire tonal range, making every track you hear more vibrant.

The mid-range of the Buds Z has a few pluses and minuses. Specifically, the low-mid range is very well represented, helping male vocalists become full and influential in the music. This mid range also helps string instruments shine, especially bass guitars and cellos. However, the volume level of the high-mid range shows signs of indentation compared to the standard level, somewhat reducing the influence of female vocalists.

OnePlus Buds Z: Bluetooth Connectivity

Powered by Bluetooth 5.0 version, Buds Z has stable connection performance during our test listening. The pair of headphones has a wide connection range, up to 10 meters from the source device.

OnePlus Buds Z: Battery life

According to the manufacturer, the Buds Z’s battery life is estimated to be about 5 hours when used continuously. This battery level can be extended to 20 hours when your charging case is fully charged.

During our actual use, the Buds Z had a slightly worse battery life of about over 4 hours. When included with the charging case, the total battery life of the Buds Z is about 16 hours and 30 minutes.

Buds Z has a fairly fast charging speed, with only 10 minutes will recharge 1.5 hours of usage time.


Sold in the mid-range price segment, OnePlus Buds Z gives users a high level of use value for money. The pair of headphones has a good build quality and a high level of finishing, with an IP55 water resistance standard. In terms of sound quality, the OnePlus Buds Z offers warm sound, suitable for many different genres of music. Overall, the OnePlus Buds Z is a good choice if you’re looking for a cheap and good-quality pair of headphones.

See more: OnePlus Buds Z2 review: High-end features, mid-range price

Plus mark

  • Comfortable wearing experience
  • The level of use value is high compared to the money range
  • Meets IP55 . water resistance standard

Minus point

  • Limited in terms of control by touch operation
  • The app has some minor bugs

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