Treblab Z2 Review
Treblab Z2 headphones try to do many things at the same time. They offer comfort, active noise cancelling, and water resistance all in one package.
The overall score: 3.9 out of 5 points.
Treblab Z2 are very interesting Bluetooth headphones. They appeal to bass lovers and purists searching for details in songs. However, you don’t need an app to change the sound. You simply turn on the ANC.
These provide a very comfortable wearing experience, with great noise isolation. Though, active noise-cancellation performance is a bit underwhelming.
They’re well made, with soft feeling plastic and lightweight design. 3.5mm jack is a nice bonus when the battery dies (that will rarely happen since they hold up to 35 hours of charge), but the micro-USB port should stay in the past.
PROS & CONS
- Comfortable, plush earpads
- Great noise isolation
- Good build quality
- IPX4 water-protection
- Great sound performance
- Hard carrying case
- 35-hour battery life
- Micro-USB port
- Average ANC performance
- Earpads get a bit sweaty
- What’s in the Box?
- Comfort & Fit – 4.5/5 Almost Perfect
- Noise Isolation – 4/5 Great
- Bluetooth – 3/5 Good
- Battery – 4/5 Great
- Durability – 4/5 Great
- Features – 4/5 Great
- Sound – 4/5 Great
- Why Buy Treblab Z2?
Type: Over-ear headphones
Connection: Wireless Bluetooth 5.0
Driver size: 40mm drivers
Frequency response: 20Hz – 20,000Hz
Cable length: Charging cable 66cm/26 inches
Microphone & controls: Yes (built-in)
Battery life: Around 35 hours per charge (20h 14 minutes with ANC on)
Charging time: from 0-100% in 3 hours
Active noise-cancelling: Yes
Charging cable: Micro-USB
Bluetooth codecs: SBC, aptX
Wireless range: 33ft (10m)
Mic design: n/a
What’s in the Box?
- Treblab Z2 headphones
- Carrying case
- Micro-USB cable
- 3.5mm cable
- User manual
- Treblab sticker
- Insert card
Comfort & Fit – 4.5/5 Almost Perfect
Beautifully soft ear pads make for a very comfortable experience, only to be ruined by getting too hot.
Despite the big cup that houses 40mm drivers, ear pads barely go over the ears. However, the padding is so soft that you don’t mind pads touching the sides of your ear lobe. Even after 2 hours of continuous use, you don’t experience any discomfort.
Z2 uses soft pleather, and it feels premium to the touch. The headband is padded with the same material. Headphones are mostly plastic, making them extremely lightweight.
You can confidently use them on your workouts. You can do weight lifting, running, or even rope jumping. Although the clamping force is relatively loose, you don’t feel like they’re about to fall off your head.
In spite of superb comfort for the price, you’re getting a regular issue with pleather earpads: they are not breathing. Consequently, your ears get sweaty.
Noise Isolation – 4/5 Great
Upon placing them on your head, you can feel the outside noise getting drowned out by passive isolation. Weirdly, activating noise-canceling doesn’t amplify the experience.
Since the ear cups are so soft and plush, they squeeze nicely onto your ears, sealing any potential holes where the sound might come through. That is why the most obvious sense of isolation comes with simply putting Treblab Z2’s on your head.
When you turn on the active noise-cancelling, you feel slightly underwhelmed, since the difference isn’t that noticeable. When trying out some ambient sounds on YouTube, we found out that these headphones actively eliminate only the low-end spectrum, while high frequencies stay the same.
That is still good if you plan to use these on a plane or a bus, where you remove the constant sub-bass hum. But for everyday use, the difference is minimal.
Thankfully you don’t get any pressure sensation when activating the noise-canceling, but there is a tiny hiss in the background.
Bluetooth – 3/5 Good
Wireless coverage is quite average. They start to distort much sooner compared to other Bluetooth 5.0 headphones. At least they offer aptX for better audio and video experience.
The promise of Bluetooth 5.0 left us with mixed feelings. Somewhere in between the first and second brick wall, the audio started to distort, becoming unlistenable. That happened at least 16 feet (5 m) sooner, as with other headphones that we tested.
If you’re using them in the same room, there shouldn’t be any problems. But if you want to go to the next room, prepare yourself for regular audio cuts.
Pairing them with your Bluetooth enabled device is very simple. You need to press and hold the play/pause button on the right earcup. Once the female voice says, “turning on,” you need to hold the button for an additional few seconds until you hear “pairing.” That is when they appear on your device’s menu.
You can register these headphones with 2 devices at the same time, so you can use them with both a mobile phone and a tablet. Just disconnect them from one device and reconnect them with another.
What Bluetooth Codecs Do They Support?
They support SBC ( all Bluetooth headphones do) and aptX, which is great if your phone runs on Android. That means you don’t have to worry about the audio delay when watching videos on YouTube. Headphones also work fine with iOS, but in that case, they only use the SBC codec. More about Bluetooth codecs here.
Battery – 4/5 Great
With casual use, you can expect around 35 hours of battery life. Of course, enabling the noise-cancellation eats your battery much faster. We managed to run them for 20 hours and 14 minutes, with ANC still running for a full extra hour after headphones turning off.
You can’t complain about the battery. 35 hours can get you at least through a few days of use. That said if you listen to them without ANC.
There is no option for quick charging. Once at 0% battery, you need to plug Z2’s for around 3 hours to charge them fully. Of course, you can always use them in wired mode, with 3,5mm cable already included inside the box.
You have to charge these with micro-USB cable, which is a bummer if you only have USB-C devices at home. Fortunately, you get the charging cable with packaging, but it’s quite short.
Durability – 4/5 Great
Incredibly lightweight, with premium feeling plastic, and IPX4 water protection.
Treblab Z2 are mostly made from plastic, with an aluminum frame inside the headband. That makes them extremely light, which gives the impression of being cheaply made.
But that is far from the truth. Plastic has a rubberized texture that feels nice to the touch. There is also no rattling sound when you shake the headphones. Or squeaking noise when you stretch out the cups.
All in all, they do appear trustworthy, although you don’t want to drop them on the floor.
Ear cups rotate up to 100°, so you can place them flat on your shoulders when not in use. However, they don’t fold for extra portability. That can also be a good thing since those folding mechanisms are usually the first to break.
To prevent any damage caused by transport, they come with a hard shell carrying case. There are small pockets inside to store your cables if you even need them on the road.
If you want to use Z2’s at the gym, you can absolutely do so. They offer an IPX4 rating, which makes them sweatproof. That is good to know since your ears do get a bit sweaty during usage, even when you are not working out. But that’s quite normal for pleather pads.
Over-ear workout headphones are rare and the Treblab Z2 offer a unique set of features that are suitable for sports.
Regarding the warranty, you can get different information. The model that we got offers 1-year of warranty.
Features – 4/5 Great
These headphones seem reasonably well specced for the price. You’re getting aptX codec, ANC, long-lasting battery, and 3.5mm port for wired listening.
Let’s start with the controls. To navigate Treblab’s, you need to rely on physical buttons. There aren’t many of them, so you quickly learn where they are and what they do. They’re nice and clicky and are not uncomfortable to use.
Whereas physical controls on earbuds can be irritating, full-sized headphones don’t share the same problems. It might even be an advantage over touch controls. For example, Sony WH-1000XM3 suffers from “ghost touches”, an involuntary touch being registered during use in cold weather.
If you end up with a dead battery and no charger nearby, you can plug these with the 3.5mm cable to your portable device. However, that might be a bit tricky nowadays since many phones don’t have the jack.
There is no way to know how much charge is left in the headphones. There is also no voice telling you the percentage, nor is there an app that could offer more information. Only when the battery is about to run out, you get a continuous message telling you that the battery is low.
Treblab Z2 controls:
- Power On/Off – press and hold the Play button
- Play/Pause – press the Play button
- Volume up – press the Volume+ button
- Volume down – press the Volume- button
- Next track – press and hold the Volume+ button for 1 second
- Previous track – press and hold the Volume- button for 1 second
- Answer/end phone call – shortly press on Play button
- Reject call – press and hold Play button for 1 second
- Voice assistant – double press the Play button
- Active noise-canceling – switch the ANC tumbler
Treblab Z2 wireless headphones come with a decent microphone, that picks your voice very nicely when in a quiet room. There is a slight hissing noise audible in the background, but nothing major.
Quality does degrade a little bit when the outside noise gets too loud. Overall, they perform well in multiple scenarios.
Sound – 4/5 Great
They can sound very bassy and overwhelming, or slightly brighter and detailed.
As with many ANC headphones, the sound quality can completely change when the active noise-cancellation is turned on. Treblab Z2 are a prime example of that. Interestingly, the sound is, in our opinion, better when the feature is turned on.
When you listen to your music without ANC, the bass overtakes the mix. Not only is it sometimes boomy, but it also hides fine details in the midrange and treble. It’s still listenable if you prefer your songs to have more bass. But the lack of resolution in all frequencies makes them sound too dark.
Thankfully, turning on the noise-cancellation solves many of the problems in sound quality.
Low-end takes a few steps back to balance itself with the rest of the frequency response. The result is a much more controlled bass, with a good kick and speed, even for heavy genres like metal. However, it does lose quite a lot of sub-bass rumble, which is necessary if you want to enjoy pop, hip hop, and classical music.
The midrange improves significantly when noise-cancellation is turned on. You can hear details that were previously hidden beneath the bass bleed. Instruments and vocals are also more natural.
Treble is what gains the most energy, making the overall signature slightly brighter, but not too much. That brings a better sense of clarity while making sure sibilance is well tamed.
It comes down to preference. If you want a more laid-back, warm and boomy sound, go with ANC off. If you like a more focused, brighter presentation, turn the ANC on.
Why Buy Treblab Z2?
These are a great pair of headphones for commuters, who want to have it all in one package: construction that feels nice to the touch, comfortable earpads, ANC, and IPX4 swear-protection.
Sure, they’re not the best at what they do, but for the price of under $90, it’s hard to argue against them.
Sound-wise they can appeal to both bass lovers and purists, with a simple switch of the ANC button. Although we didn’t like the overpowering bass, there are people out there who want just that.
And of course, they come with a hard carrying case, which protects them during transport. There are nifty pockets inside the case where you can store all the cables if you even need them.
Treblab Z2 Alternatives
Sennheiser HD 4.40: Regarded as one of the best wireless options under $100, Sennheiser’s headphones provide great sound reproduction for the price. However, they don’t offer IPX4 water-resistance, and ANC like Treblab Z2’s do.
House Of Marley Positive Vibration XL (review): Marley’s have a much cooler design, with wooden emblems and thick foam earpads. With its ANC feature, Treblab Z2 can isolate better. While both output enjoyable sound, House Of Marley feels fuller and more lifelike.
TaoTronics TT-BH22 (review): These two wireless headphones are going neck to neck when it comes to ANC performance, doing a good, rather than amazing job at eliminating outside noise. They’re also very similar when it comes to build-quality and Bluetooth coverage. You’re getting more laid-back sound with Treblab Z2’s, with less treble energy.