Alongside the new OnePlus 8T smartphone, the company has just announced its second pair of true wireless earbuds. At just $49.99, the OnePlus Buds Z are priced even more aggressively and are more affordable than the OnePlus Buds. And they also feature a different design — now with silicone ear tips instead of the AirPods-like hard plastic, one-size-fits-most style. Hopefully that’ll be enough to prevent any problems at the border. The OnePlus Buds Z will be available directly from OnePlus starting on November 2nd, and Amazon will also be selling them.
Despite the budget price, OnePlus says it has packed a lot into the Buds Z, including “bass boost technology for heart-pounding audio” and virtualized 3D audio, thanks to Dolby Atmos support. The earbuds are powered along by 10mm drivers, utilize Bluetooth 5.0, and are IP55-rated for sweat resistance.
OnePlus says “on a full charge, the OnePlus Buds Z provide an impressive 20 hours of playback time, while a quick 10-minute top-up provides three hours of vibrant audio.” That 20-hour number includes the case; on a single charge, the buds will last for up to five hours. They’ll be available in white and “a special-edition colorway by Steven Harrington,” with three sizes of silicone tear tips included in the box. The Buds Z should also fare well at voice and video calls, as OnePlus says they feature environmental noise reduction to help boost your voice over background noise around you.
OnePlus built a “quick switch” feature into the earbuds that’ll help you quickly switch back and forth between the two most recently paired devices. You can just hold down on either earbud for three seconds to hop between them. It’s a nice little trick, and it’s just that much faster than having to go into Bluetooth settings.
The case cradles the earbuds horizontally like some others we’ve seen from Anker and other brands. At this price, you’re not going to get wireless charging, but it does look very compact and pocketable. Stay tuned for more on the OnePlus Buds Z in the weeks ahead. As someone whose ears don’t love the hard-plastic OnePlus Buds, I’m looking forward to seeing if these end up being a better option (and for less money).