OnePlus Buds Z2 vs OnePlus Buds Pro: Which should you buy?

9 months ago 143
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(Pocket-lint) - OnePlus has been successful the true wireless earbuds crippled for a fewer years now, and conscionable precocious launched a travel up to its fund OnePlus Buds Z called - unsurprisingly - Buds Z2.

With it, the institution brought successful a batch of the features you’d find successful the much costly OnePlus Buds Pro. So the question is, should you walk the other connected the Pro, oregon prevention immoderate currency connected the cheaper ones? 


  • Z2: 33 x 21.9 mm buds - 73.2 x 36.8 x 29 mm case
  • Pro: 32 x 23.2 mm buds - 60.1 x 49 x 24.9 mm case
  • Z2: 4.5/4.6g buds - 42g case
  • Pro: 4.35g buds - 52g case 
  • Both: IP55 water/dust resistant buds - IPX4 case

Starting with the design, and portion of the crushed the Pro exemplary has its Pro naming is that its plan does person that much premium look and consciousness to it. Where the Z2 has rather a basal shaping and plan - featuring each 1 alternatively plain decorativeness successful either achromatic oregon achromatic glossy integrative - the Pro exemplary has a spot much of a flourish. 

Both person the aforesaid basal look successful that there’s a stem that sticks down from the receptor buds themselves, but the Pro has a much rounded, sculpted look, and the bottommost fractional of the stem has a polish metallic finish, giving it a spot much of a luxury splash. 

Similarly, the charging lawsuit has a nicer matte decorativeness to it which - on with its signifier - means it feels nicer to clasp and rotation astir successful your palm, it’s besides slimmer truthful doesn’t consciousness arsenic bulky successful the pocket.  

Still, the Buds Z2 lawsuit is compact enough, and the lid opens and shuts easy enough, but not truthful easy that it conscionable pops up of its ain accord. The lone happening that goes against it is the glossy finish, which makes it a batch much prone to collecting digit grease smudges implicit its surface. 

One different insignificant happening is the mode the earbuds are stored successful their respective cases. It’s not a immense deal, but with the mode the Pro exemplary sits connected apical with its stems pointing downwards, we recovered it easier to drawback the buds retired and enactment them backmost successful again. The Z2 felt a tad much fiddly successful comparison. 

As for acceptable and comfort, it whitethorn beryllium surprising, but we recovered it was the Buds Z2 that acceptable easier. Of course, this is an incredibly idiosyncratic constituent that depends connected the signifier and size of your ain ears, but the Pro’s somewhat rounder and much bulbous shaping meant we couldn’t get it to acceptable arsenic as easy successful our receptor arsenic the non-Pro model. To get a bully fit, we had to wriggle and propulsion a small much to marque it acceptable securely, and get it to registry that it was the ear. 


The result:  we were much assured successful putting the cheaper Buds Z2 in, and knowing the seal wouldn’t travel escaped and impact the dependable oregon sound cancelling, wherever the Pro would often wriggle escaped and successful truthful doing would negatively interaction the passive sound isolation. To clarify, they ne'er felt similar they’d autumn out, we conscionable ne'er felt similar it had a peculiarly bully seal, particularly successful the near ear. 

Sound and sound cancelling

  • Both: 11mm dynamic drivers
  • Both: up to 45 decibel sound cancelling
  • Pro: Bespoke dependable illustration and astute ANC mode

Now, connected to dependable and sound cancelling, and the 2 are akin present to, some featuring an 11mm dynamic operator and some featuring ANC that tin chopped up to 45 decibels of outer noises out. 

There is simply a quality successful the dependable capabilities, with the Pro exemplary capable to enactment LHDC codec lossless audio, wherever the Buds Z don’t. However, not galore phones enactment that codec, adjacent among OnePlus’ ain instrumentality portfolio lone the 9 and 9 Pro enactment it, and it’s not the codec utilized by Spotify, Apple Music oregon Tidal

To perceive to, there’s not a monolithic quality successful existent regular use. They don’t dependable identical, but some present tons of bass and plentifulness of volume. If I had to picture the difference, I’d accidental the Pro exemplary conscionable sounds that spot much full, similar the cheaper exemplary misses a small of the warmth and flavour, sounding a tad emptier and harsher than the Pro. There’s not a batch successful it. 

Pro besides has the vantage of a personalised dependable illustration you tin load onto them by utilizing a frequence proceeding test, either utilizing the Hey Melody app connected a non-Oneplus telephone oregon utilizing the built successful settings successful the onePlus settings menu. 

Noise cancelling seems amended connected the Pro arsenic well, doing a amended occupation of cutting retired outer noises during calls and euphony playback. It besides features a astute sound cancelling mode that tin perpetually accommodate to your surroundings, wherever the Z2 has 2 levels of sound cancelling to take from. 

Battery and performance 

  • Both: 40mAh buds and 520mAh lawsuit battery
  • Both: 5 hours euphony playback (ANC) - 7 hours playback (ANC off)
  • Z2: 27 hours full playback (ANC) - 38 hours full playback (ANC off)
  • Pro: 28 hours full playback (ANC) - 38 hours full playback (ANC off)
  • Z2 - 10 infinitesimal accelerated complaint = 5 hours playback
  • Pro: 10 infinitesimal accelerated complaint = 10 hours playback - wireless charging compatible

One country the 2 pairs of buds are identical is the artillery capableness connected some the earbuds and successful the case. Each earbud features a 40mAh battery, with a further 520mAh successful the lawsuit to refil them erstwhile docked successful their cradles. 

That means that show is beauteous overmuch identical too. OnePlus says you tin get astir 5 hours of euphony playback with ANC switched on, oregon 7 hours with it switched disconnected connected some pairs. With some the lawsuit and buds combined, you get astir 27/28 hours of ANC playback, oregon 38 hours with it switched off. 

In our experience, we didn’t rather get them to that benignant of level, but it wasn’t excessively acold off, and watching our percent driblet portion we listened to music, it seemed to america that they some devour artillery astatine astir the aforesaid pace, truthful it’s nary crushed to take 1 implicit the other. 

As for charging, you get the versatility of some wireless charging and accelerated wired charging with the Pro. if you person a telephone with reverse wireless charging similar the OnePlus 9 Pro, you tin complaint the buds pro disconnected the backmost of your phone. Or, if you usage a cable, 10 minutes of charging tin get you 10 hours of euphony playback. Whereas the Buds Z2 volition springiness you lone 5 hours with the aforesaid charging time. 


  • Both: Ear detection for car pause/play
  • Z2: Touch fastener for control
  • Pro: Touch delicate stem for control

So what astir further features. Both are akin successful this regard. For instance, if you region 1 from your ear, it’ll intermission euphony and past resume it erstwhile you enactment it backmost in. The Pro - again - seemed to execute amended here, much reliably resuming euphony erstwhile placed backmost successful the ears. Most of the clip with the Buds Z2 we had to physically pat the interaction power to resume music. 

For different controls, they some diagnostic interaction controls, but successful antithetic ways. The Buds Z has a azygous interaction fastener connected the extracurricular for the single, double, triple and agelong portion controls, wherever the Pro requires you to compression connected the stem. 

As for latency, if you usage them with a OnePlus flagship successful Game Pro mode, you’ll get 94ms latency with Bluetooth 5.2. 


  • Z2: £99
  • Pro: £140 

At afloat retail terms - successful the UK astatine slightest - the Pro exemplary of OnePlus' Buds is astir £40 much than the much affordable Z2. However, with it being a somewhat older model, you'll apt beryllium capable to find the Pro discounted from its archetypal price, making the quality betwixt them overmuch smaller. 


In the end, it’s wide which the champion wide brace of buds is here, but past again, successful bid to get the Pro you bash request to wage a spot more. But for that other disbursal you get nicer buds with amended sound, sound cancelling and faster charging, arsenic good arsenic the convenience of wireless charging. 

If you’ve acceptable yourself a strict fund though and don’t privation to walk much than £100, past the Buds Z2 volition get you astir of the features of the Pro to a decent level, and you don’t person to wage each that overmuch for them. But if you can, and it won’t outgo you overmuch more, the Pro is simply a amended choice. 

Writing by Cam Bunton. Originally published connected 16 December 2021.

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