Despite their affordable price point, the Treblab Z2 headphones still manage to pack in a good array of features. Thick, comfortable ear pads complement the fairly decent active noise cancelling, which is made even better by a surprisingly robust sound quality. Sure, the premium experience is always going to be better but if you’re on a tight budget, the Z2 headphones are the way to go.
- Very comfortable to wear
- Long battery life
- Decent ANC
- A little too big
- 35-hour battery
- Bluetooth 5.0 aptX
- IPX4 water resistance
Audio specialist Treblab is back with another affordable entry in its headphone range in the Treblab Z2.
With the amount of attention afforded to premium products like the Sony WH-1000XM4, it can be easy to get caught up in FOMO. Unless you’ve got money to burn, price doesn’t always reflect quality, and Treblab’s range of products have been a great example of this.
At £35, the Treblab xFit earbuds packed plenty of features to make them a decent buy for fitness enthusiasts on a budget. With the Z2 over-ears, Treblab has gone for a similar approach, bundling active noise cancellation and a quoted 35-hour battery life for £80.
It’s certainly tempting on paper, but do the Treblab Z2 over-ears usurp expectations?
- UKRRP: £79.79
- USARRP: $89.97
While you might expect the Treblab Z2’s design to be compromised in order to reach its affordable price, I was pleasantly surprised to find it’s not quite as clear cut.
Compared to a premium pair of headphones the Z2’s lack a certain amount of heft in the quality of the build. The Z2 headphones are definitely lightweight – lighter than you may expect – but this contributes to the ease of which you can wear them, especially at the gym.
Given that the Z2 headphones are marketed specifically for workouts, a heavy build would be an immediate red flag. It’s for that reason that I’ve avoided wearing over-ears headphones, preferring the less obtrusive nature of wireless earbuds. With the Treblab Z2 however, the padded cushioning provided by the ear pads and the headband make for a pleasant experience.
There are three physical buttons on the right ear pad for playback, while a slider on the left that toggles active noise cancellation. I much prefer physical inputs for workouts as they’re a lot easier to use when your hands get sweaty. Treblab has also used a vinyl surface on the outside of the ear pads, giving the Z2 an extra bit of flair.
The one point I will make is that the Z2 headphones are slightly less comfortable when sat around your neck. The ear pads are so chunky that it actually restricts a fair amount of manoeuvrability, particularly when looking left or right.
One of the Z2’s biggest selling points is active noise cancellation. Being able to nab the typically premium feature in a pair of headphones costing less than £100 sounds too good to be true, but I have to say I’m impressed with what Treblab has achieved here.
If you’ve played around with Sony or Bose’s flagship headphones you’ll know that there’s better ANC out there, but the Z2 manages to hold its own.
At the gym, and even on the tube, the Z2 did a decent job of blocking out ambient noise and letting me focus on the music. As soon as you toggle ANC the difference is discernible, and feels like you’re getting a boost in volume in the process.
You can’t fine-tune it to reach a level that works for specific needs as it’s either on or off. Still, for the low asking price and the fact that the ANC works as well as it does, that’s only a minor gripe.
For the audiophiles out there, there’s an auxiliary port included for wired playback sat next to the micro-USB port. If this was a much pricier kit, I’d lament the absence of USB-C, but can understand its inclusion here would likely increase the Z2’s price.
Treblab quotes 35-hours of battery life with its Z2 headphones, and after two weeks of gym workouts, zoom calls and some casual listening – there’s still juice left in the tank.
That particular period of testing was also conducted with the ANC on at all times, meaning the Z2 headphones can safely see you through a day’s work or even a marathon without breaking a sweat.
When you’re shopping in the £100 and under aisle, the conversation regarding sound quality shifts from nuance to overall performance. That extends to the Treblab Z2 – don’t expect to be wowed by what’s on offer here, but instead be impressed with its competency of for such a low price tag.
Listening to Heads Will Roll by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and the song is every bit as punchy as you remember piped through the Treblab Z2. The highs undoubtedly fair better here, but it doesn’t feel as though anything’s being left behind. There might not be any discernible level of separation, but you can definitely enjoy the experience.
The same can also be said for the level of bass. Diving into the track Friday 13th by Gorillaz, the song’s throbbing bassline doesn’t hit with quite the same prowess intended, but it’s unmistakably there.
The slight preference towards highs also means the Treblab Z2 are a pretty solid pair of headphones for listening to podcasts, as voices come through clearly and without error.
Should you buy it?
If you’re after comfort With nice, big, comfy padding, the Z2 are very comfortable to wear during gym sessions
If you’ve got a small head The Z2 are fairly big so if you’re someone with a smaller head they may not fit as well
For just £79.97, the Treblab Z2 headphones are a steal. Despite the price, they pack a surprisingly robust sound that’s further complemented by the comfortable ear pads and long-lasting battery.
If you’re in need of a solid pair of workout headphones but don’t want to break the bank, the Treblab Z2 are one of the best options available.