OnePlus Buds Z Review: The Bangin' Budget BudsOnePlus Buds Z wireless earbuds have great audio quality, good battery life and a low price of just $50. They lasted me more than 2 weeks.

OnePlus Buds Z

OnePlus Buds Z

We like this

  • Amazing value

  • High quality sound

  • Battery life is excellent

  • Tips that can be interchanged

The Things We Hate
  • Fits slightly loose.

  • Only for Android

  • An unceasing connection with iPhone

These are excellent, affordable wireless earbuds that are best for OnePlus and Android phone owners—and way better than you'd expect for $50.

This article explains.
  • Design and Comfort
  • What's new
  • Installation
  • Sound and software
  • Battery life
  • Prices
  • Apple AirPods 2nd Gen vs. OnePlus Buds Z
  • Final Verdict
  • Specifications

The OnePlus Buds Z was purchased by us so that our reviewer could test them. Continue reading to see our complete product review.

Apple wasn't the first company to make true wireless earbuds, but it set the standard and price point with the original $160 AirPods—and then opened up the floodgates for competitors to produce their own oft-similar renditions. While Apple's price has not been affected, competitors have produced strong products at lower prices.

OnePlus started with its $80 OnePlus Buds. But now, they have the more desirable OnePlus Buds Z. With silicone tips added to the Buds Z, you can expect improved comfort and a more affordable price of $50. They are great wireless earbuds that offer superior quality and a price tag comparable to those of more expensive competitors.

OnePlus Buds Z

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Comfort and design: The familiar form

The OnePlus Buds Z look familiar. They have an in-ear bud that connects to a nearly inch-long stem sticking out of the ear. They look like the AirPods Pro and the Standard AirPods, but with the interchangeable silicone tips (included), it looks more like the mix of the Pro AirPods Pro and the higher-end AirPods Pro.

OnePlus gave them a more angular appearance with a smooth outside and a disc-like, silver outer. This disc-shaped touch button can be personalized to perform different tasks on Android devices.

They don't seem to have the same seamless fit or stability as Apple's AirPods Pro. It's possible.

Even though they don't have any noise cancellation technology, silicone tips can help you close your ears better than hard plastic buds at the entrance point. However, you should try different sizes. The standard/medium-sized tips are what I use, however I find that Buds Z fits better in my ears if I have the Buds Z with a larger tip. They felt slightly loose even though they were small.

It is highly subjective, and your experiences may differ. Although the Buds Z felt very comfortable in my ears I was finding myself having to adjust them more often. They don't fit my ears as well as Apple's AirPods Pro. It's possible.

OnePlus Buds Z

They are IP55 water and sweat resistant, which means you won't need to worry about them getting damaged during your workouts. They were easy to use during exercise bikes. The earbuds are also equipped with sensors that detect when they're in the ear, ready to go, as well as when they need to be taken out. They also recognize when it is time for them stop playing and will notify you when. You can choose from a white standard Buds Z or the more expensive Steven Harrington Edition, which features bold graphics on top of green and purple backgrounds.

Although the charging case's pill shape is larger than Apple's, its size of less than three inches makes it pocket-friendly. Flip the top open and you'll find slots to store your earbuds inside. They will stay charged when they aren't in use.

The back of the case has a USB-C port to charge the device. There is also a Bluetooth setup button right next to it. The case's front light shows the charge level and a small green light when it is full. The box includes a short USB-C-to-USB-A cable.

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A new approach

Buds Z is not intended to replace the original OnePlus Buds. The OnePlus Buds have a feature set that is closer to Apple's AirPods Pro and they are a little more durable than the Buds Z. The standard OnePlus Buds offer environmental noise cancellation and provide up to 30 hours of total battery life, including about 7 hours per charge—both figures are notably higher than the Buds Z offer. You can wirelessly charge the standard OnePlus Buds cases using a charging pad.

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The setup process: These pair wirelessly

Bluetooth wireless accessories are compatible with the Buds Z. They can be used on smartphones, tablets and computers. Just open the case containing the earbuds and press the button to set it up for 2 seconds. You should now see your Buds Z as a Bluetooth accessory. Tap or click the button to finish the connection.

OnePlus Buds Z

High quality sound and software

The Buds Z are affordable and deliver excellent audio quality despite their 10 millimeter dynamic drivers. They were extremely easy to use, and I listened to a variety of podcasts and music for 30+ hours.

The music playback is balanced and robust with a solid bass and a pleasing treble. The sound quality is better than my first generation AirPods Pro, which cost $250. However, it sounds more crisp.

The OnePlus Buds Z are affordable and deliver excellent audio quality thanks to the 10-millimeter dynamic drivers.

You can modify some settings in the operating system, such as the function of the touch buttons. You can play/pause or skip tracks and bring up the voice assistant. The OnePlus 9 also allowed me to see the battery level of each bud and the case.

You can customize firmware and update other Android devices by downloading the HeyMelody free app from Google Play Store. While the Buds Z can be used with either an iPhone or iPad to customize or update the earbuds, the current iOS app is not available. If you don't have an Android phone, the default settings will be used.

While I was outside listening to my iPhone 12 Pro Max music, connectivity dropped on several occasions.

When stationary, the Bluetooth 5.0 connection held the device in place across several devices, such as the OnePlus 9, iPhone 12 Pro Max and a 2019 MacBook Pro. The Bluetooth 5.0 connection was easy to pair with the MacBook Pro. I was able to pop my headphones in and start listening to music immediately. OnePlus recommends a range of connectivity up to 10 metres from your device.

While I was outside listening to my iPhone 12 Pro Max music, connectivity dropped on several occasions. It would happen that the signal would suddenly drop and then resume in a matter of seconds. This was very distracting. However, similar signal drops have been experienced when I used AirPods with Android smartphones, which is essentially the reverse configuration. It's not surprising.

Batteries last a long time.

Buds Z can last for five hours on a single charge. The charging case provides another 15 hours. This means that the battery can last 20 hours on a single charge. In my testing, the official figure held up when paired with the OnePlus 9. I was able to easily track the battery levels of the individual buds. After a listening session of two hours, the remaining charge on both buds was around 60%.

While there are many wireless earbuds that claim to offer longer play times and more durable backups, I believe the Buds Z provide enough power for the price. My personal experience is that I don't go longer than 2 hours with my earbuds in. They will also charge up when they aren't in use.

OnePlus Buds Z

OnePlus claims that a 10 minute charge of your buds with a USB cable attached will give you three hours of music.

The price is great!

The Buds Z wireless earbuds aren’t cheap. You can find them for as low as $20-30 on Amazon. Customers seem to be happy with their value. The Buds Z aren't cheap, and they feel great. They are wireless, high-quality earbuds for a great price. If you have an iPhone you may want the best connection.

These wireless earbuds are amazing, both for their eye-popping cost and when compared with the high quality of comparable products.

Apple AirPods 2nd Gen vs. OnePlus Buds Z

AirPods Pro or AirPods Pro may be the best choice for you if your Apple obsession is strong. These pods can be easily paired with Apple devices and provide excellent playback quality. They are also excellent at maintaining an iOS device connection.

The OnePlus Buds Z, particularly for Android users, are a great alternative if you don't feel comfortable with the ecosystem. These earbuds are strong and can be used with all Bluetooth-compatible devices.

Final Verdict

Balanced buds with a tight budget.

Aside from a bit of looseness to the fit—which may or may not be a problem for you—and a less-than-perfect connection to iPhones, I am really impressed with the OnePlus Buds Z. The company’s smartphones were designed on the assumption that they can compete with more expensive rivals for a cheaper price. They have done this here with wireless headphones.


  • Buds Z is the product name
  • Product brand OnePlus
  • MPN 54811100053
  • Prices from $50.00
  • Oct 2020 Release Date
  • Weight 6.4 oz.
  • Product dimensions 2.95x1.41x1.14in
  • Steven Harrington's Color White Edition
  • 1-year warranty
  • Batteries 20 Hours with the case
  • Bluetooth Connectivity
  • Waterproof IP55

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