Dizo, a Realme TechLife brand, has been around for a few months now, and has a growing range of affordable audio products. This focus on affordability has kept the product range simple and straightforward, with earphones such as the Dizo GoPods D offering excellent value for money for budget buyers. The connection to the much larger and more established Realme brand has helped Dizo's credibility, particularly when it comes to design and app support.
The latest audio product in Dizo's range is the Buds Z Pro true wireless headset, which is priced at Rs. 2,599 in India. With active noise cancellation, app support, and a promise of up to 25 hours of battery life, is this the best pair of true wireless earphones you can buy for around Rs. 2,500? Find out in this review.
The Dizo Buds Z Pro earphones are IPX4 rated for water resistance
The Dizo Buds Z Pro looks good for a budget headset
A pair of true wireless earphones with active noise cancellation for around Rs. 2,500 still sounds too good to be true, even going into 2022, despite a handful of brands having made it possible in 2021. Dizo follows in the footsteps of its parent brand Realme, and the Buds Z Pro succeeds in offering this key feature (ANC) even at this very affordable price.
Dizo has also made a good-looking pair of true wireless earphones with the Buds Z Pro. The earphones are available in two colours, ocean blue and orange-black. Dizo sent me an ocean blue unit for review. The charging case is dark blue and the inner sides of the earpieces match. The outer sides have a reflective blue finish that goes well with the rest of the headset and charging case. Interestingly, even the black-orange version has this reflective blue finish, which stands out awkwardly, so I'd definitely recommend the ocean blue variant.
Although there are some telling signs of these being affordable earphones, such as the two-piece moulding, I quite liked how the Dizo Buds Z Pro looked and felt. The earpieces weigh just 3.9g each, are comfortable to wear, and have a proper in-canal fit with customisable ear tips (a total of three pairs of ear tips are included in the box). The charging case, although a bit larger than some comparable options in this price range, isn't too big and is reasonably pocketable. There is a USB Type-C port for charging on the case.
The earpieces of the Dizo Buds Z Pro have touch control surfaces on the outer sides, which can be customised through the Realme Link app. The app is available on both iOS and Android. The options for customisation cover playback controls, invoking your phone's voice assistant, cycling between active noise cancellation and transparency modes, and activating Game Mode for low-latency audio.
The functions you choose are triggered by double-tapping, triple-tapping, or touching and holding the sensitive zone on the earpieces. Although the tap controls worked fine, the touch-and-hold gesture took a while to respond, and I often mistakenly lifted my finger off the zone thinking I had made a mistake.
Touch controls on the Dizo Buds Z Pro let you control playback, the ANC and transparency modes, and more
Apart from letting you customise the controls, the Realme Link app also displays the battery levels of the earpieces (but not the charging case). You can switch between ANC, normal, and transparency modes, and choose between three equaliser presets. You can also use it to activate the 88ms low-latency Game Mode, and update the firmware. As I've mentioned in previous reviews, Realme Link is an excellent app and it works well with the Dizo Buds Z Pro too.
The Dizo Buds Z Pro earphones have 10mm dynamic drivers, with Bluetooth 5.2 for connectivity and support for the SBC Bluetooth codec. Active noise cancellation promises noise reduction of up to 25dB, and there is also environmental noise cancellation for improved performance on calls. The earpieces are IPX4 rated for water resistance.
Battery life on the Dizo Buds Z Pro is decent, considering the price. The earpieces ran for a little over four hours per charge, and the charging case added just over three full charges to the earpieces, for a total runtime of around 18 hours per charge cycle. I had active noise cancellation on and the volume at around the 60 percent level for most of the review period, so you should expect slightly better battery life with ANC turned off. There is also fast charging, so a 10-minute charge is claimed to provide two hours of listening time on the earpieces.
Good ANC for the price, ordinary sound quality on the Dizo Buds Z Pro
Active noise cancellation on true wireless earphones that cost less than Rs. 3,000 remains the main selling point, and indeed, the Dizo Buds Z Pro has a significant leg up over most of the competition thanks to this feature. That said, the biggest competition comes from Realme itself, with the Buds Air 2 and Buds Q2 offering similar features and specifications at similar prices.
Where the Dizo Buds Z Pro headset stands out, is with active noise cancellation, which is decent for a headset in this price range. On the other hand, sound quality is acceptable and largely inoffensive for an affordable true wireless headset, but far from exceptional. This is partly because of support for only the basic SBC Bluetooth codec. I used these earphones with an Apple iPhone for this review, listening to music and audiobooks as well as taking phone calls.
I started with Music Makes Me High by The Avalanches, and although the sound was comfortable, I found it a bit ‘cloudy' and muffled – almost like listening to a live band through a thick curtain. The earphones simply weren't able to get the nuances of this sample-based disco track right. They only managing to offer a basic, budget listening experience that I'd consider appropriate for around Rs. 1,500 or less.
Sound quality on the Dizo Buds Z Pro is ordinary; there is nothing special about the sonic performance of these earphones
There wasn't much detail and character even with more exciting tracks such as Butterflies by Skrillex. The bass felt a bit subdued, the mid-range was dull and unexciting, and the treble lacked any feeling. This is what I'd describe as a ‘vanilla' listening experience; there's nothing wrong with the sound of the Dizo Buds Z Pro, but there's nothing particularly exciting either.
The Dizo Buds Z Pro earphones are reasonably loud, and I was able to comfortably listen to music at around the 50 to 60 percent volume level indoors, and around 70 percent outdoors with ANC on. The sound was comfortable till around the 80 percent mark, after which some harshness was evident in the mids and highs, and hints of distortion could also be heard.
Active noise cancellation on affordable wireless earphones is usually basic, and that is the case with the Dizo Buds Z Pro as well. However, performance is slightly better than on similarly priced alternatives, offering a noticeable reduction in ambient sound, both indoors and outdoors. A reasonable level of wind-noise reduction was particularly useful outdoors, making listening to music and audiobooks a lot more comfortable even at low volumes. Transparency mode works decently well, and doesn't sound too artificial or piped. Although it's possible to get considerably better ANC performance by spending around Rs. 5,000, the Dizo Buds Z Pro does manage to justify the presence of this feature at its price level.
Connection stability was decent on the earphones at distances of around 4m from the source device, and call quality was acceptable both indoors and outdoors. The low-latency Gaming Mode didn't seem to make much of a difference with basic or even fast-paced, multiplayer titles; I still noticed some latency issues with this mode enabled.
Dizo's latest pair of true wireless earphones is its most expensive and advanced yet, but firmly sticks to the affordable price category that has defined the company thus far. With a focus on offering the best value for money, the Dizo Buds Z Pro is a good-looking pair of earphones with decent active noise cancellation, app support, and acceptable battery life. The only parameter at which it falls short is unfortunately the most important one – sound quality.
The Dizo Buds Z Pro has a very ordinary sonic signature that has no real redeeming qualities save for the fact that it isn't bad, and ends up being a little disappointing on the whole. As mentioned, the sound is inoffensive and might make sense for casual listening, particularly for budget buyers looking for an affordable headset with decent ANC for use while commuting or for outdoor listening. It might be worth checking out the Realme Buds Q2 instead, which offers a similar overall experience for a bit less money.
Realme India CEO Madhav Sheth joins Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast for an exclusive wide-ranging interview, as he talks about the 5G push, Make in India, Realme GT series and Book Slim, and how stores can improve their standing. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.