You probably haven’t heard of Treblab, but if you’re looking for a cheap pair of over ear headphones and don’t want to skimp on quality, then the Treblab Z2 headphones might be the answer to all your problems. In fact, we’re convinced that they’re some of the best headphones (opens in new tab) you can buy for under $100 right now.
Treblab is pitching the Z2s as a pair of workout headphones, and it’s certainly easy to see why. They’re lightweight, IPX4 waterproof, comfortable to wear and have an excellent battery life. But in truth, the Treblab Z2s are an excellent pair of headphones for anyone that’s hunting for a good pair of headphones that won’t break the bank.
Will these outcompete something like the Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones 700 (opens in new tab)? No, of course not, but they also cost around a third as much. For the price, these are some seriously impressive headphones that are comfortable to wear and offer good audio quality and active noise cancellation.
Treblab Z2 review: Design
- Good looking, but not quite premium
- Comfortable to wear
When we first got our hands on the Treblab Z2s, we have to say that we were impressed with their design and feel. These headphones feel robust and well-built, without the cheap, tacky feeling that you usually find in budget headphones. The outer shell is a matte black hard plastic, with a fancy vinyl design on the outer edge of each earcup to give them a bit of visual flair. The ear cups and top of the headband are cushioned for added comfort. We found them very comfortable to wear, and easy to adjust to your head size.
There are controls on the underside of each ear cup, which means you don’t need to be messing around with your smartphone or music player if you’re working out, running, or even just cleaning up in the kitchen. The left earcup has the on/off switch for the active noise cancellation mode, while the right ear cup has three buttons for playing, pausing, and skipping tracks, along with volume controls. You can tap the forward and backward buttons to adjust volume, and hold them to skip a track.
The shape isn’t quite as sleek as you’d find on more premium models like the Bose QuietComfort QC35 II headphones that this reviewer is accustomed to using, with more harsh angles and chunky sections, but they’re still a decent looking pair of cans.
The Treblab Z2 headphones don’t fold up much beyond being able to rotate the cups, which lets them fit snugly inside the included case. The protective case is nice if you’re shoving them into your backpack for a trip, but it’s too bulky to be carrying around with you on a day-to-day basis though.
Treblab Z2 review review: Features and performance
- Decent, balanced sound for the cost
- ANC is a nice addition, but not mind blowing
It’s all very good that a pair of headphones looks nice, but they also need to sound good too. Fortunately, the Treblab Z2 headphones do sound good. You get a nice, balanced audio profile from them that maybe leans a bit in favor of the highs, which means you’ll get the best results from things like podcasts and YouTube videos, but they’re still great for music too.
The bass is decent, though maybe not quite as punchy as you’d like. It’ll do a reasonable job on those bass heavy tracks like Muse’s Hysteria or Rush’s YYZ, especially when you crank the volume. The mids can get a bit lost on some tracks, but overall, we’re impressed with what the Z2’s can do.
Impressively for a pair of headphones in this price range, the Treblab Z2 headphones also come with active noise cancelling technology. Now, we’ve had mixed results with the ANC in the Treblab Z2 headphones, and it’s certainly not as advanced as you might find in a pair of premium headphones. You do get a slight improvement in sound quality with it turned on, but it’s not going to completely block out background noise.
We’ve used some premium noise cancelling headphones where you could be shouting at the wearer from the other side of the room and they wouldn’t hear you when music is playing - that isn’t the case here, but it’s still a nice little boost to audio quality in busy environments. You do get that kind of static, white noise sound when the ANC is on and music isn’t playing too, which can be noticeable during quiet sections of songs or gaps in speaking during podcasts.
Treblab Z2 review: Battery life
- 35 hour battery life
- Can’t operate when battery is drained, even when wired
According to Treblab, you can get up to 35 hours of playtime when it comes to battery life. That’s certainly nothing to be sniffed at, and after having used them for several weeks we have no reason to doubt the accuracy of that claim.
There is one downside to the Treblab Z2’s when it comes to battery life though - they won’t work at all when the battery is dead, even if they’re plugged in via a 3.5mm headphone jack. This isn’t a deal breaker, but there are plenty of wireless headphones out there that work just fine when plugged in, regardless of battery charge so it can be frustrating.
When your Treblab Z2s do finally run out of juice, you can recharge them via a micro-usb slot at the bottom of the right ear cup.
Treblab Z2 review: Price
- $119.97 MSRP, but often cheaper
- One year warranty
The Treblab Z2 headphones technically have an MSRP of $119.97 and can be bought via Amazon (opens in new tab), Walmart (opens in new tab), and through the Treblab (opens in new tab) website itself. While that’s the MSRP, in reality they can usually be found at around $90 on most retailer websites.
While certainly not the cheapest headphones you can find, Treblab Z2 are probably the best over-ear headphones out there in terms of bang for your buck. You’re getting good audio quality, a robust and comfortable design, and excellent battery life.
You also get an official one year warranty when you purchase the Treblab Z2 headphones, so you’re covered in case yours develop a fault. There is also a 30-day returns policy should you be unhappy with your purchase.
Should you buy the Treblab Z2 headphones?
If you’re in the market for a cheap pair of over ear headphones, you’ll struggle to find better value for money elsewhere. The Treblab Z2 headphones are comfortable, well-built, and look great. The sound quality is about as good as it gets in this price range too, with a balanced audio profile and reasonable bass.
The active noise cancelling does an admirable job, even if it’s not quite as sophisticated as the technology you’ll find in premium headphones. It’s certainly good enough to drown out exterior noises when you’re blasting tunes during a workout at the gym.