Looking for a pair of workout buds? This Adidas Z.N.E 01 ANC review is a good place to start. The stylish design is comfortable and secure with water resistance so they’re some of the best true wireless earbuds for workouts, whether you’re a runner or a weight-lifter.
Adidas might not be the first brand you think of when you start your search for a new pair of headphones, but that doesn’t mean they’re not worth considering. While these earbuds may not have the sound quality of Sony or the sleek style of Bose, they are made for moving about so everything about them keeps that in mind.
In this Adidas Z.N.E 01 ANC review, you’ll be able to find out everything you need to know about them, from details on the design and fit to my take on their performance and features.
Adidas Z.N.E 01 ANC review: price and availability
You can buy the Adidas ZNE 01 ANC right now for £170 in the UK and $190 in the US, find out where you can pick up a pair in the widgets on this page.
Adidas Z.N.E 01 ANC review: design and fit
Stylish little earbuds, you can buy the Adidas Z.N.E 01 ANC in a few different colours: Night Grey, Light Grey and Indigo. Each earbud has three sporty stripes across the stem, and a crisscrossed pattern ingrained into the plastic. They come housed in a matching charging case with grippy ridges across each side and a small LED light to let you know the battery level.
The build quality of these earbuds doesn’t feel as premium as elsewhere but it does feel durable, and they’re IPX5 water resistant which means they’ll be protected against a small amount of rain or sweat.
I found these very comfortable to wear over long periods of time, they come with 3 sizes of silicone eartips to help you find the right fit and because they weigh 4.2g each, you can barely feel them in your ears. They stayed secure no matter what, I could exercise in them and they wouldn’t budge.
You’ll be able to use them for a while too, the earbuds last about 4.5 hours of music with ANC, and that goes up to 6 hours without. The charging case then gives you a total of 20 hours with ANC and 26 without. That'll be perfectly fine for most, even if it's not best-in-class.
When you do go to recharge them, the earbuds will need about 3 hours for a full charge. Or a quick 15 min gives you an hour of playtime. There do have wireless charging as well.
To control the music hands-free, you can tap the outside of the earbud. The controls let you pause or play the music, skip to the next track or go back to the last one. You do have to quite forcefully press them for the gesture to be registered.
Adidas Z.N.E 01 ANC review: performance and features
You can’t complain about the sound quality here, it’s clean and crisp allowing the treble to come across just as clearly as the mids and highs.
Some people might be looking for a much punchier bass for their high-energy workouts, but I personally liked how well-balanced they were. It meant that whether I was listening to soulful music like You Make Me Feel Like A Natural Woman by Aretha Franklin, bass-heavy tunes like Used To This by Wilkinson or even a podcast like Stephen Bartlett's Diary of a CEO, I could hear everything with plenty of precision.
What’s more is that in the adjoining smartphone app, there are preset equaliser settings to tailor the sound to better suit you. You get the choice of Adidas which is the default tuning, Rock, Pop, Electronic, Hip-Hop, and Vocal Boost. It’s a shame there’s no manual EQ, but presets give you plenty of options all the same.
To keep your focus entirely on the music, the Adidas Z.N.E 01 ANC come with noise cancellation as well. You can switch it on through the Adidas headphones smartphone app, and adjust it along a scale. At maximum, the ANC was fine, it blocked out a lot of sounds even though it couldn’t quite cut everything out. I certainly found they were able to dull the world around me though. There’s also a scale for awareness, so you can choose how much sound gets purposefully let in from the outside as well, so if you wanted to hear announcements on the train or conversations happening nearby.
Also available in the app, are over-the-air firmware updates as well as an option to turn on eco-charging which extends the battery's longevity by limiting charge to 80%. You can use the app to turn off the touch controls if you’d rather not have them, and you can see the battery percentage of each earbud in the app too.
Admittedly, I did have a few issues when it came to connectivity. Getting them set up with the app took me quite a lot of time, and then once connected, they were easily interrupted. I couldn’t really leave my phone in the other room and stay hooked up to the music either.
Adidas Z.N.E 01 ANC review: verdict
The Adidas Z.N.E 01 ANC are true wireless earbuds that are very well suited to workouts, they’re comfortable and secure with a clean, crisp sound and they have active noise cancellation to keep you focused too.
Not everything about them is perfect - I would say that both the build quality and connectivity could use some work, especially given how expensive these are. But even so, these earbuds do what they need to and they do it relatively well.
Adidas Z.N.E 01 ANC review: also consider
The Beats Powerbeats Pro are still the ultimate workout earbuds, partly thanks to the ear hook which means they definitely won’t fall out no matter what you do. They sound great, they look great and they have great connectivity as well as easy-to-use controls, what more could you ask for?
If you’re after a pair of headphones that have it all then the Sony WF-1000XM4 are the very best of the bunch. They’re not necessarily made for workouts but they’ll stay put if you use them for that, and to add to that, they sound phenomenal.