In addition to a hot new high-end 5G smartphone most of our readers will probably never be able to order, OnePlus unveiled quite possibly its best AirPods alternative to date yesterday, but unfortunately, the availability news is not very encouraging as far as this particular product is concerned either.
Priced at an incredible equivalent of under $80 in China (499 yuan), the OnePlus Buds Z2 may or may not spread their wings elsewhere in the near future, and frankly, this uncertainty is killing us.
That’s obviously because we’re looking at a strong contender not just for the title of best cheap wireless earbuds
available in 2021, but the best true wireless earbuds money can buy
period. Equipped with “hybrid ANC” technology, which OnePlus weirdly defines as “active noise reduction” rather than full-on noise cancellation, the Z2 are unlikely to prove quite as competent as Apple’s AirPods
Pro or Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro at drowning out your surroundings.
Still, any degree of active noise-fighting functionality undoubtedly marks a substantial improvement over the first-gen Buds Z
while presumably closing the gap to the premium OnePlus Buds Pro
, which can be had stateside in exchange for $150 a pair.
Perhaps even more impressively, the ultra-affordable OnePlus Buds Z2 are ready to deliver up to 38 hours of battery life, starting with five hours of uninterrupted music listening time themselves and capping off at 27 hours of combined endurance time when taking their bundled wired charging case into account and when keeping “ANC” permanently turned on.
Those are AirPods
and AirPods Pro
-crushing numbers, mind you, not to mention they’re perfectly aligned with what the OnePlus Buds Pro are capable of.
In fact, you can basically think of these bad boys as a “Pro Lite” model, with a slightly less stylish design, the same winning IP55 water and dust protection, same top-notch 11mm drivers, Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity, Dolby Atmos support, blazing fast charging functionality, and triple microphone system. Now imagine if the Buds Z2 were to see daylight in the US at a recommended price of, say, $100. How unbelievably cool would that be?