adidas Z.N.E. 01 Earbuds Review
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It seems like everywhere you look, everyone is wearing some type of earbuds. It seems only natural that we would get branded earbuds much like we see branded shirts and pants. With these adidas earbuds, the branding is not overly done: there is a subtle white adidas logo on the left earbud only, while the right earbud has no logo at all.
The earbuds are plastic with a silicone sleeve near the top of the earbud to help keep the earbud in place. This is a good idea as one of the most common complaints with truly wireless earbuds is that they become “slippery when wet.” So once you’ve worked up a sweat, your earbuds can be more likely to slide out of your ear, but the silicone pads on the adidas Z.N.E. 01 earbuds help reduce that issue.
Music sounds very good on these earbuds, but the bass is not quite as strong as you would find on the Apple AirPods. However, the music quality is still very good and the earbuds are enjoyable while I’m working, working out, or just going for a walk.
The open design (similar to the original AirPods) allows you to hear what’s going on around you, making them ideal for outdoor workouts. However, this particular model does not feature Active Noise Cancellation, so they’re less ideal for traveling by plane or mowing the yard.
- Auto-pause: Like the Apple AirPods, these adidas earbuds will automatically pause your music when you remove one earbud.
- One earbud use: You can use one earbud at a time by returning the unused earbud to the charging case.
- IPX4 splash- and sweat-resistance: While the AirPods (gen 1 and 2) didn’t have an official rating for water resistance, these adidas earbuds have an IPX4 rating meaning they should stand up against sweat and splashes, but they are not made for submerging in liquids. If your earbuds do get sweaty, I would make sure to wipe down the metal contacts with a clean, damp cloth and thoroughly let them dry before returning them to the charging case.
- Touch controls: Some may prefer a physical button, but the touch controls seem to work fairly well on these earbuds. A single tap will play and pause your music. Two taps will skip forward. Three taps will rewind. The controls are the same on both earbuds, so it doesn’t matter which one you tap. Unfortunately, there doesn’t appear to be a way to adjust the volume with the touch controls, so you’ll need to use the volume control on your phone.
- Phone calls: Call quality is decent on these earbuds and they do a good job of picking up my voice while minimizing background noise.
The earbuds can get up to 5 hours of playback on a single charge, with the charging case providing 3 additional charges for up to 20 hours total before the case needs to be recharged. The battery level does display in iOS, however it only shows one battery level that presumably represents both earbuds combined. The charge level of the case does not show on iOS.
The case can be charged with a standard USB-C cable or wireless Qi charging. The charging case uses a single LED to indicate the charge level (red, yellow, then green) to indicate from 0-100%.
The adidas Z.N.E. 01 earbuds are a good alternative to the Apple AirPods at a slightly lower cost. While these earbuds do miss some of the tight iOS integration features of the Apple AirPods (such as Find My location features), they still offer very good sound quality and decent battery life, along with IPX4 splash resistance.