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I'm an audiophile, and these $150 headphones had me fooled

The Treblab Z7 Pros have a surprising clarity of sound that could easily run you twice the price. Recommending them couldn't be easier.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
The Treblab Z7 Pro headphones.
Jack Wallen/ZDNET

ZDNET's key takeaways

  • The Treblab Z7 Pro headphones are available now on Amazon for $150.
  • They offer a surprising amount of clarity and an impressive soundstage for their price.
  • Unfortunately, the Treblab Z7 Pros don't look as good as they sound.

Back in the day, cheap headphones delivered cheap sound, midrange headphones delivered midrange sound, and high-quality sound was limited to products with sky-high prices. 

Also: I'm a fan of Marshall speakers, but I didn't expect its $150 headphones to sound this good

Today, that's no longer the case. You can now find bargain headphones that produce sound way above their price range, as is the case with the Treblab Z7 Pros. When I first unboxed these headphones, I assumed they'd sound like typical $100 headphones, but upon first listen, they took me by surprise. 

View at Amazon

Before I dig too deep into the review, let's talk specs.

Treblab Z7 Pro headphones tech specs

  • Driver: 40 mm
  • Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Bluetooth chipset: QCC 3034
  • Signal range: 33 feet
  • Multipoint connection: 2 devices connected simultaneously
  • Battery: 300 mAh 3.7 V
  • Play time: Up to 20 hours with ANC
  • Noise cancelling: Active, Hybrid ANC
  • Mics: 2 mics with ENC
  • Dimensions: 3.14 x 7.87 x 6.50 in
  • Weight: 0.55 lbs
  • Controls: Touch control for playback, call answering, and physical button for On/Off, ANC, and Bluetooth
  • Price: $109 on Amazon

My experience

As I mentioned earlier, these headphones' sound quality took me by surprise. I prefer to not rely on apps for sound customization because, ideally, they should nail the sound profile out of the box. With the Treblab Z7 Pros, I was surprised to find no mention of an app at all in the user's manual, which immediately led me to assume they were going to have sub-par sound.

Was I ever wrong.

As soon as I connected them to my Pixel 8 Pro, I cranked up my go-to test track (Rush's "Analog Kid") and let the sound of the Canadian power trio wash over me. To my surprise, the music was alive, agile, and offered a decent soundscape. The bass was punchy, but not overbearing in that Beats headphones kind of way. 

Also: One of the loudest Bluetooth speakers I've tested is also one of the most affordable

Mids were clear, and highs were crisp. The sound was overall smooth and blended in neutral way (that's a good thing). Ultimately, these headphones reminded me more of studio monitors because the sound isn't overly processed.

After giving the headphones the Bluetooth treatment, I decided to plug them in (via the included 3.5 mm wired connector) to my amp and listen to some vinyl. The first album I spun up was the original soundtrack of Ghost in the Shell by Kenji Kawai. I test this score specifically because it tends to be exhausting to listen to with the wrong speakers/headphones. 

With the Z7 Pros, it was an enjoyable experience. The detail of each track came through with clarity and I didn't have to ride the volume like I usually do with this soundtrack. The quieter moments put me in just the right frame of mind, such that when the jarring moments hit, they were even more effective.

After Ghost in the Shell, I opted for a little Sevendust and found the Z7 Pro's perfectly capable of delivering the necessary power the band deserves. What tends to sound a bit muddy with cheaper headphones was perfectly clear.

Other reactions:

  • Ozzy Osbourne's "Bark At The Moon" had me banging my head as soon as Jake E. Lee's incredible opening riff started.
  • OU's "Frailty" had a clarity I'm not used to hearing through headphones at this price point. This album was produced by Devin Townsend, so it's very layered, so to have it sound so clear was impressive.
  • Pink Martini's take on "In Stiller Nacht" was gorgeous. Every breath had my heart rising in my chest.
  • Nubya Garcia's "The Seer" did suffer a bit of distortion in the mids but I think that's a fault of the recording and not the headphones.
  • Concrete Blond's "Caroline" washed over me like a sweet comfort, with Johnette Napolitano's voice as sultry as ever. What really jumped out at me on this track was the bass line, which I'm not used to hearing with such clarity.

My only complaint was after pulling the plug on the wired connection, the headphones didn't automatically reconnect via Bluetooth. That should come as no surprise, but it would have been a nice touch. All I had to do was press the Bluetooth button on the headphones and the connection was reestablished.

Also: How to improve noise canceling on Google's Pixel Buds Pro

Another nice thing about these headphones is the outside of the entire left ear cup serves as the touch interface for play, skip, pause, etc. This makes for very easy music and call control.

ZDNET's buying advice

If you're short on cash but still want a pair of over-the-ear headphones capable of delivering near studio-quality sound, the Treblab Z7 Pro headphones deliver. No, they aren't on the level of, say, Focal or Beyerdynamic headphones, but those who can't afford the high cost of those cans will be thrilled with the sound these $150 dollar headphones produce. 

They might not look the part of high-end headphones, but the sound delivered by the Treblab Z7 Pros comes as close as you can get without spending the money.

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