The Buds Z2 build on last year's OnePlus Buds, which also launched at a surprisingly low price, reprising a low-cost RRP, long battery life, and slick integration with OnePlus handsets.
The new model has a few new tricks up its sleeve, including active noise cancellation (rather than passive), and an increased 38-hour battery life (rather than 30). OnePlus has now gone on record (via GSMArena) as saying they will offer 40dB of noise reduction to help block out the outside world.
The prior Buds were also only sweatproof, with an IPX4 water resistance rating, whereas the Z2 buds have "IP55-rated internals and a hydrophobic nano-coating that provide resistance against water and sweat". The case keeps the same IPX4 rating too, so try not to keep that out in the rain while you're listening in a downpour.
What am I paying?
They launch for most in December 20, though members of the Red Cable Club – a discount club that also nets you a 10% price cut on the Z2 buds, if you joined before today – can order them ahead of time. If you aren't a member already? You'll have to pay full price, just like the rest of us.
Both the Pearl White and Obsidian Black versions launch on Amazon on this date, though the latter colour won't come to OnePlus.com until January 2022, for some reason.
We weren't hugely in love with the original Buds, with some issues around in-ear comfort and the limited noise isolation. However, if you're after relatively cheap earbuds with a decent battery life, this new iteration is well worth a look. Anyone with a OnePlus phone, like the OnePlus 9 or OnePlus Nord, too, will find they also integrate seamlessly together – much like the Apple AirPods syncing up with an iPhone.
If you don't have a OnePlus phone, you can gain some customization features from the HeyMelody app, too.
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Henry is a freelance technology journalist, and former News & Features Editor for TechRadar, where he specialized in home entertainment gadgets such as TVs, projectors, soundbars, and smart speakers. Other bylines include Edge, T3, iMore, GamesRadar, NBC News, Healthline, and The Times.