AirPods-rivaling OnePlus Buds Z leak in full ahead of October 14 announcement

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AirPods-rivaling OnePlus Buds Z leak in full ahead of October 14 announcement
OnePlus sure took its sweet time before joining the thriving true wireless earbuds market, but after getting the ball rolling just a few months ago, you probably shouldn't be surprised that the company is already prepared to unveil its sophomore AirPods-rivaling effort.

After all, this falls perfectly in line with the expected releases of not one but two new members of the mid-range OnePlus Nord handset family a few months on the heels of the original model's announcement. 

Of course, much like the undoubtedly affordable N10 5G and N100 smartphones, the OnePlus Buds Z are not tipped to bring any significant upgrades to the table compared to the company's rookie true wireless earbuds, instead aiming to further reduce an already incredibly reasonable price without making too many major compromises.

How low can they go?

Just in case the official teasers from the last week or so were not clear enough, the design revisions of the Buds Z over the original OnePlus Buds are now illustrated in a number of leaked renders showcasing white and silver color options. Instead of going with a "half-in-ear" fit, the ambitious China-based tech outfit will be opting for a design featuring silicone tips this time around, which should make it harder for these puppies to fall out of your ears while possibly impacting their comfort.

Yes, this means the OnePlus Buds Z look a little like Apple's premium AirPods Pro, but there are clearly more than enough differences to avoid a repeat of the embarrassing US Customs incident from last month

In terms of specs, features, and overall audio performance, the two products are obviously unlikely to have many things in common given that the AirPods Pro usually go for $250 a pair while the OnePlus Buds Z are expected to be even cheaper than the $79 "regular" Buds.

That being said, it's certainly impressive to hear passive noise cancellation, IP55 water and dust resistance, Dirac Audio Tuner and Dolby Atmos sound enhancements, and a combined battery life of 20 hours will be part of the $50 or so package. The teeny-tiny headphones themselves should be capable of playing your favorite tunes for up to 5 hours on a single charge, which may not sound impressive but it's exactly how long the AirPods Pro are expected to last with Active Noise Cancellation and Transparency switched off.

That number is even more remarkable when you consider the impending true wireless earbuds have already been confirmed to tip the scales at a measly 4.35 grams each, down from 4.7 grams for the pricier OnePlus Buds. Unsurprisingly, the drivers are essentially guaranteed to be downgraded from a 13.4 to a 10mm size, with fast charging technology promising 3 hours of uninterrupted playtime after just 10 minutes of charging case action.

True wireless earbuds are not everything

Believe it or not, the OnePlus Buds Z, N10 5G, N100, and 8T 5G might be joined by at least one more product at their virtual October 14 launch event. That's right, the company is not giving up on its Bullets earphones line either, planning to unveil yet another neckband-style wireless model.

The aptly named OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z Bass Edition should focus, well, on bass power while borrowing most of their other key features from the existing Bullets Wireless Z and slightly reducing the battery life from 20 to 17 hours. 

The price point is very much up in the air for the time being, but with the original Bullets Wireless Z currently fetching just 30 bucks, we have every reason to expect this Bass Edition to be pretty affordable as well.

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