OnePlus Buds Price
Set your music free
30 hours of battery life
Environmental noise cancellation
Powerful Bass Boost
Low latency mode
30 hours of powerful sound
Fully charged, the earphones can listen to music for up to 7 Hours
The case is a power bank, allowing up to 30 hours of listening time
Charging for 10 minutes enables your earphones to be listened to for 10 hours
Equipped with a unique noise cancellation algorithm and three microphones to improve clarity, OnePlus Buds will filter out background noise for clear voice recordings and easy-to-hear calls.*
Enjoy richer tones, clearer vocals and deeper bass thanks to a 13.4mm dynamic driver. Experience 3D stereo with Dolby Atmos* or stunning sound quality with Dirac Audio Tuner* support.
Enjoy richer tones, clearer vocals and deeper bass thanks to a 13.4mm dynamic driver. Experience 3D stereo with Dolby Atmos* on OnePlus Nord devices.
Tailor made for intuitive taps
Choose how you manage your music. Customizable double tap and long press functions give you more control over your OnePlus Buds.
Press for 3 seconds
Press for 5 seconds when receiving a call
Skip the fuss. Connect your OnePlus Buds to your device in an instant with Fast Pair.
Synced for real-time sound
Experience industry-leading low latency pairing when you connect OnePlus Buds to your OnePlus phone while you are playing games. In Fnatic Mode, minimum latency of 103ms*, keeps you in sync with the action on screen.
With an IPX4* rating your OnePlus Buds are safe from splashes so you can stay focused on your active life.
OnePlus Buds incorporate the same seashell-inspired CD-pattern as the OnePlus Bullets Wireless series for an instantly recognizable OnePlus design.
Earbud: 18.81*16.13*37.89 mm
Charging box: 52.21*59.62*24.4 mm
Earbud: 4.7 g
Charging box: 37 g
97 dB ± 3dB @ 1 KHz
Frequency response range
20 Hz - 20 KHz
-38 dB ± 2dB
Wired: USB Type-C
Time to fully charge
Earbuds+Charging box: ～80 mins
Charging box: 420mAh
35 mAh (per earbud)
Playtime (fully charged)
Up to 7 hours (music playback)
4 hours (phone call)
Up to 30 hours (music playback)
10 mins for 10 hours (charging box+earbuds)
10 mins for 2 hours play time for the earbuds
OnePlus Buds review
Phone manufacturers are releasing true wireless earbuds in droves, and today we’re looking at the OnePlus Buds. For just $59 USD, you get a pair of uncanny valley AirPods with a limited feature set—unless you’re using a recent OnePlus smartphone. Do these earphones have anything to offer for those of us independent of the OnePlus ecosystem?
Editor’s note: this OnePlus Buds review was updated on August 26, 2021, to address the OnePlus Buds Pro as an alternative.
Who should get the OnePlus Buds?
The OnePlus Buds quickly re-connect to the last used device.
- OnePlus smartphone owners were initially the only, long-term beneficiaries of the proprietary true wireless earbuds. OnePlus expanded firmware update access to all Android 6.0 and later devices with the HeyMelody mobile app.
- Budget listeners who are okay with compromise may like the OnePlus Buds’ playful style. You also get other useful features like some of the best fast-charging on the market, a very good microphone system, and an IPX4 water-resistant build.
What’s it like to use the OnePlus Buds?
A front-facing LED glows green when battery levels are healthy, and flashes white when the headset enters pairing mode.
The true wireless experience begins with the charging case, and the OnePlus Buds makes a great first impression. Its matte finish feels more premium than the pedestrian plastic lets on, while the rear design makes no attempt to distinguish itself from the Apple AirPods case. Aside from the pairing button on the backside, the underbelly houses a USB-C input for fast charging. Just below the lid seam sits one LED that flashes white when the headset is in pairing mode, and displays a green or red color after the lid is closed to communicate healthy or low battery life, respectively.
OnePlus users benefit from Fnatic Mode, which is great for gaming and reduces audio-visual latency.
An audible snap emanates from the metal reinforced hinge which seems resistant to breakage. Inside are two precisely scooped out inlets for each earbud, and the earbuds are raised above the case, so removing them doesn’t require great small motor skills. The Nord Blue colorway is a fun shade and is accented by a loud neon yellow, so the whole thing screams of whimsy. Too bad OnePlus didn’t apply an accent color to the white variant’s interior like Samsung did to its Galaxy Buds 2, but I suppose some people love a classic all-white look.
The Nord Blue color variant has a pop of color lining the case’s interior but isn’t available in the US (Europe and India only).
The earbuds look like a mashup of the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z and the Apple AirPods with their stick-like shape and nozzle-free design. Apple may have popularized this semi-open build, but it does a disservice to both sound quality and comfort. Having this hard, round, and large plastic object hang onto my outer ear was only comfortable for 30-minute stints. If I moved too much (e.g., skateboarding or general workouts), the earbuds fell out. When they managed to stay in longer than 30 minutes, I manually removed them to calm outer ear pain. Fit is a highly subjective matter, so you may have better luck than I when wearing the earbuds.
Does the OnePlus Buds come with a mobile app?
The OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 8 Series smartphones support Dolby Atmos, which is compatible with the OnePlus Buds.
Upon the headset’s release, the OnePlus Buds automatically received updates only with OnePlus smartphones, but now all Android 6.0 and later devices can access updates for the OnePlus Buds and other headsets via the HeyMelody app. It’s not yet available for iOS devices, though. The OnePlus 7 and OnePlus 8-Series smartphones, however, are the only devices to receive an update enabling Dolby Atmos support through the headset: earlier OnePlus handset models don’t support Dolby Atmos.
Onboard controls are limited
CD-inspired touch panels allow users to take control of skipping songs, answering calls, and more. The default controls are as follows:
- Hold either touch panel for three seconds to alternate between the current and last-used device
- Hold either touch panel for five seconds to reject a call
- Double-tap either touch panel to skip tracks
- Double-tap either touch panel to answer or end a call (when applicable)
After the initial OTA update, the double-tap function can be customized to play/pause music, skip to the next and go back to the previous track, answer or end a call, and activate your smartphone’s voice assistant.
How to enable Fnatic Mode from your OnePlus smartphone
Fnatic mode is great and reduces latency to 103ms, which is great for Bluetooth technology. Here’s how to enable Fnatic Mode from your OnePlus, so you can watch YouTube videos, stream from Spotify, and more.
- Open the Game Space app.
- Tap the “+” in the top-right corner of the screen. Select the apps you want to add to Game Space.
- Slide up notification card that reads, “Gaming mode is on.”
- Tap the first slider to enable Fnatic Mode. A pop-up will appear, warning you that all notifications and calls are blocked while in this mode and more.
- You may now select the app from which you wish to listen or watch video from with the lowest latency settings.
Your OnePlus smartphone will then know that these apps are designated for Game Space, and will notify you that “Gaming mode is on” when you open them from your phone’s app drawer or home screen. From there, you may enable Fnatic Mode by pulling down the notification shade and selecting the Android System card. From there, tap Fnatic Mode for low-latency streaming.
How is the OnePlus Buds connection strength?
The earphones dropped connection with non-OnePlus devices at an unusually high rate.
The earbuds use Bluetooth 5.0 and have a 10-meter range, which is pretty common for true wireless earphones. Bluetooth multipoint isn’t supported, so you must manually switch back and forth between devices via the touch controls.
Our OnePlus Buds review units failed to maintain a consistent connection, and complete dropouts occurred multiple times over my 10-day test period. This happened whether I was using a Samsung Galaxy S10e, Macbook Pro, Google Pixel 3, or HP Omen desktop computer. While this was frustrating, the earbuds immediately re-connected and resumed playback before much delay.
This is something that can easily be remedied in future firmware updates. Connection drops seldom occurred when I used the headset with a OnePlus 7 Pro.
How do you pair the OnePlus Buds with a smartphone?
OnePlus’ true wireless case uses the same Warp Charging technology as its smartphones and neckband headsets.
When pairing the OnePlus Buds to a OnePlus phone, you may use Fast pair to immediately establish a connection between the two devices. Any Android device running Android 6 or later may use quick pairing; otherwise, pairing the OnePlus Buds with your iPhone or old Android device is easy, too, and only requires a few steps:
- Enable Bluetooth on your mobile device.
- Open the OnePlus Buds charging case, and keep the buds in place.
- Press and hold the button on the back of the case until the external LED flashes white.
- Select “OnePlus Buds” from your phone’s Bluetooth menu.
After the headset has been paired with your smartphone, it will automatically reconnect for future uses. If you’ve paired multiple devices to the earphones, they will automatically reconnect to the last-used device.
What Bluetooth codecs does the OnePlus Buds support?
The charging case is quite pocketable and provides an additional 3.28 charge cycles.
Only one high-quality Bluetooth codec is supported: AAC, which was a bummer seeing how the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 and Bullets Wireless both support aptX. Given AAC’s somewhat inconsistent performance on Android, some Android users may want to force SBC streaming depending on their handsets
Firmware updates can now be accessed by any Android 6.0 or later device with the HeyMelody app.
While this may seem disappointing, it isn’t a devastating specification because sound quality has more to do with audio engineering than Bluetooth codec support alone. Plus, the earphones’ semi-open fit means that your media is constantly subjected to auditory masking; in other words, loud environmental sounds make it hard to perceive the relatively quiet sound of your music—this particularly affects low-frequency notes.
How long does the OnePlus Buds battery last?
Upon subjecting the headsets to our testing—a constant 75dB output from 100-0%—the OnePlus Buds lasted 6 hours, 12 minutes on a single charge. This falls short of the listed 7-hour battery life, but most listeners will get closer to that by listening at lower volumes. Bear in mind that using the headset for phone calls is much more demanding: you’ll get 41% less usage out of the headset when using it for calls alone, compared to streaming music.
The charging case uses the same Warp Charging technology as OnePlus smartphones.
When the earbuds’ batteries are depleted, you can instantly top back up thanks to the company’s fast charging technology. All you have to do is leave the buds in the case for 10 minutes to be rewarded with 100 minutes of listening. You may also fast-charge the case: 10 minutes of charging via USB-C cable yields 10 hours of battery life. It takes 80 minutes to complete a full charge cycle of the earbuds.
True wireless earbuds battery life: not great, but improving
Perhaps you’ve heard that true wireless earbuds aren’t built to last. That sentiment still rings true: no matter how durable your earbuds are, there’s a persistent problem relating to the constant charge-and-deplete cycle of the battery cells. Although the OnePlus Buds didn’t release with Optimized Battery Charging, as seen with the AirPods on iOS 14, there may be room for improvement in the future.
Can the OnePlus Buds block out noise?
Unclear audio is a problem with all semi-open earbuds, because of a phenomenon called auditory masking, which is when a loud sound makes it difficult for you to perceive a relatively quiet sound. This open build is a big reason the exaggerated bass response exists to this extreme degree.
You’ll hear everything going on around you with OnePlus’ true wireless earphones.
We experience this every day. Think about the times you’ve been listening to music while standing on a train platform. As the train pulled into the station, it was hard for you to hear your music. It’s not like you manually decreased the volume right as the train pulled up. Instead, your brain focused more energy on processing the loud, potentially threatening, sound of the train car compared to your quieter music. Our brains are only afforded so much bandwidth for processing auditory stimuli, so it prioritizes sounds that could threaten our lives. This is great for survival, but not so great for registering instrumental detail from your favorite ballad. If OnePlus opted for dedicated nozzles and ear tips to create a proper seal to the ear, auditory masking would be much less prevalent.
Related: How to read charts
As you may have already guessed, all this means that passive isolation is very poor. OnePlus’ decision to run with a nozzle and ear tip-free design, means that background noise is always heard. This isn’t great for audio fidelity, but is good for listeners who want to remain aware at all times. It’s a lot easier to prevent getting hit by a car if you can hear it coming, for example. You can prioritize safety without compromising fit as the Plantronics BackBeat FIT 3100 and Jabra Elite Active 45e have demonstrated.
How does the OnePlus Buds sound?
The bass response is heavily exaggerated to account for the nonexistent seal, and bass notes sound twice as loud relative to midrange notes.
The earbuds feature Dirac Audio Tuner support, and emit a consumer-friendly bass-heavy sound. As the frequency response chart shows, the 13.4mm dynamic drivers emphasize bass notes under middle-C pretty aggressively. When you listen to these earphones, this emphasis is immediately noticeable and renders vocals a little tough to make out. This is fine for casual consumers but listeners in search of accurate audio reproduction won’t find it with the OnePlus Buds (though this type of user probably isn’t going to look for sub-$100 TWS earphones to begin with).
Lows, mids, and highs
The song Sour Candy by Melt lacks clarity. It opens with an electric keyboard rotating through the chords Fm-G-Bb, which sound okay during the intro. Once Veronica Stewart-Frommer begins singing, auditory masking becomes apparent. If you already have the OnePlus Buds, skip ahead to 1:32; you should notice lost detail as she sings, “… but I guess you can’t control those damn cards we’re dealt!” This is especially apparent as the instrumental accompaniment ramps up during the last three words of the phrase.
External noise masks the OnePlus Buds' bass response, making it seem like bass is lacking when it's, in fact, emphasized.
Due to a combined lack of clarity and extreme bass emphasis, instruments can be indistinguishable from one another in certain situations. This may be heard in Sour Candy once the bridge ramps up at 3:00. The kick drum makes it hard to hear the cymbal hits, and the primary electric guitar is very hard to hear anytime the horns come in.
While this sound isn’t pleasing to me, many listeners coming from cheap pharmacy earphones will love how these buds sound in comparison. OnePlus’ bass boosted tuning makes songs more engaging because of the added oomph. Again, if you’re okay with a loss of perceived detail in favor of a loud low-end, then these earphones will be right up your alley. For the price, however, you can find better sound quality simply by looking for a pair of buds with ear tips.
Can you use the OnePlus Buds for phone calls?
The OnePlus Buds’ microphone system is very good at relaying clear, accurate audio, and even uses noise cancelling technology to combat background noise. Each earbud has the same three-microphone array, so you can take calls with either earbud in mono mode. Not only did the headset do a great job of limiting background noise in my apartment, it also effectively reduced wind noise outside.
OnePlus Buds microphone demo:
OnePlus Buds vs OnePlus Buds Pro
Despite its small size, the OnePlus Buds Pro charging case provides a ton of battery.
The OnePlus Buds Pro is the company’s most premium headset to date and it includes active noise cancelling (ANC), IP55 rated earbuds, and an IPX4 rated USB-C/wireless charging case. OnePlus retains the stems with the Buds Pro, and the earphones use Bluetooth 5.2 and support SBC, AAC, and LHDC. LHDC support is a bit funny since not all OnePlus smartphones support it, but an improvement is an improvement.
OnePlus Buds vs OnePlus Buds Z
You can enjoy Dolby Atmos content when you use the Buds Z with a OnePlus 7 or 8 series smartphone.
OnePlus walked its open-fit design back, and went with a sealed fit for its cheaper OnePlus Buds. These earphones still rock a stemmed design, but are even more durable than the original OnePlus Buds as the IP55 rating denotes. OnePlus includes three sets of swappable silicone ear tips, which feel a bit flimsy but effectively block out some background noise. Like the OnePlus Buds, the Buds Z amplifies bass notes for a consumer-friendly sound.
Unless you absolutely need wireless charging, we recommend the OnePlus Buds Z over the OnePlus Buds when it comes to sound quality and value.
OnePlus Buds vs OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z
Android Authority The OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z is the company’s budget neckband headset.
Both the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z and the true wireless buds in question target the budget audio market. This makes sense as OnePlus is attacking all budget-friendly fronts as the Buds accompany the OnePlus Nord’s release. Both headsets are water-resistant but the Wireless Z is more durable than the totally wireless earbuds (IP55 vs IPX4). What’s more, battery life is more impressive with the company’s wireless neckband headset, and controls are more comprehensive and intuitive.
Related: Best wireless neckband earbuds
If you value sound quality, go with the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z over the OnePlus Buds: the former has dedicated nozzles that physically block the ear canal from the outside world, making it easier to perceive accurate audio from the headset. Then again, if you value constant vigilance, the semi-open design may be more appealing to you. In which case, the OnePlus Buds could be a better buy.
Should you buy the OnePlus Buds?
Owners of OnePlus smartphones may well enjoy the OnePlus Buds, but other mobile device owners should consider the abundant alternatives floating around.
If you’re a dedicated OnePlus fan with one of the company’s smartphones, these buds will serve you well.
I appreciate the effort OnePlus put into the case’s fast charging capabilities, but that’s not enough to compensate for the poor fit and finicky connection. I loathe seeing the growing trend of phone manufacturers making headsets that only receive firmware updates with their particular brand of smartphone. We’ve seen it with Apple, Huawei, and temporarily with OnePlus. It felt like a shortsighted money grab, and one that only shortens the life cycle of a headset. It is, however, nice to see that OnePlus righted its wrongs by allowing nearly all Android owners access to firmware updates.
If you’re someone who finds seal-less earbuds comfortable, then the OnePlus Buds have some redeeming features such as microphone quality and fast charging. In that case, go ahead and nab a pair of earbuds for $59 USD. But for most of us, there are better options available.
Read on: Best true wireless earbuds under $50
OnePlus Buds Z
Go with the flow and set your music free
Boost your bass
Each earbud incorporates an advanced 10mm dynamic driver, delivering deep bass definition. With Bass Boost, feel enhanced depth and detail with every beat.
Press play every day
20 hours of music
A full charge provides a class-leading 20 hours of battery life. Combined with efficient power management, keep your favorite tracks flowing for even longer.
Charge for minutes, listen for hours
With the OnePlus Buds Z, just 10 minutes of fast charging lets you connect to an impressive 3 hours of vibrant, lively audio. Top up and chill out effortlessly.
Go beyond your limits
An impressive IP55 rating provides outstanding water and sweat resistance. The hydrophobic nano-coating repels water providing protection from corrosion. From working out to walking in the rain, the OnePlus Buds Z are built to last.
Visit this space to learn more about how to use the OnePlus Buds Z.
Charging case: 7.5cm*3.59cm*2.905cm
Charging case: 40g
10 mm dynamic
'97 dB ± 3dB @ 1 KHz
Sweat and water-resistant
Wired, USB Type-C (for charging case)
Playtime (fully charged)
Up to 5 hours (music playback)
Up to 3 hours (phone call)
Up to 20 hours (combined playback)
10 mins for 3 hours (charging case + earbuds combined)
Per earbud: 40 mAh
Charging case: 450 mAh
In the Box
Pair of OnePlus Buds Z earbuds x1
OnePlus Buds Z charging case x1
User guide x1
Silicone eartips x3 (S, M, L)
Safety and Warranty card x1
USB Type-C charging cable x1
OnePlus Buds Pro review: The comfiest ANC wireless earbuds I’ve ever used
We live in extraordinary times. It’s now much harder to find bad wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation (ANC) that cost between $100-200 than good ones.
Almost any reputable brand now sells wireless earbuds within this price range that are either as good or better than AirPods Pro. Aside from Apple-specialties like spatial audio, hands-free Siri, and better iOS connectivity that (still) make AirPods Pro attractive, there are so many more affordable options to pick from like the OnePlus Buds Pro.
Priced at $150, the OnePlus Buds Pro compete hard with AirPods Pro ($250), Galaxy Buds Pro ($200), Galaxy Buds 2 ($150). Unless you have a strong aversion to its AirPods Pro-ish design (squeezable stem and all) or can’t live without features like spatial audio (in which case AirPods alternatives aren’t even a consideration), the OnePlus Buds Pro are a kick-ass pair of wireless earbuds.
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OnePlus makes good products, but lately, it’s felt like the tech brand, which is now even more integrated with sibling Oppo, has lowered its quality bar substantially in pursuit of global expansion and building out a wider ecosystem of devices.
The budget and mid-range Nord phones come to mind. So do the OnePlus Buds and Buds Z wireless earbuds (the latter was such a snooze I never reviewed them). And, who can forget the OnePlus Watch, which while not as terrible as many reviewers made it out to be, was average at best.
The OnePlus Buds Pro feel like a return to a higher standard for OnePlus earbuds. They’re the first earbuds since the OnePlus Bullets Wireless released many years ago that feel like they offer more value than the sticker price.
Light as a feather
It’s pretty obvious that the OnePlus Buds Pro are inspired by the AirPods Pro. If you dislike the stem design, there are tons of other solid ANC wireless earbuds to get instead: Amazon Echo Buds 2, Galaxy Buds Pro, or Galaxy Buds 2.
I’ve long come to terms with the stem design and in the matte black (also comes in glossy white), I think the OnePlus Buds Pro look handsome and stealthy. The matte black plastic has held up in over a week’s use, but I can’t say I’m not concerned it might show visible scratches with more use. The stems aren’t just for show. Just like AirPods Pro, you can squeeze them — a single squeeze for play/pause, double-squeeze to skip a song, and triple-squeeze to return to previous song. A slightly longer squeeze switches between noise cancellation and transparency modes.
The OnePlus Buds Pro are unbelievably comfortable.
More importantly, the OnePlus Buds Pro are unbelievably comfortable — arguably the most comfortable wireless earbuds I’ve ever used. They’re so light — each earbud weighs 4.35 grams — that I sometimes forgot they were in my ear even after I stopped playing music. In comparison, an AirPods Pro bud weighs 5.4 grams, Nothing Ear (1) bud is 4.7 grams, Galaxy Buds Pro bud is 6.3 grams, and Galaxy Buds 2 bud weighs 5 grams. Some wireless earbuds like the Master & Dynamic MW08 can be slightly uncomfortable for hours of wear — this is why some wireless earbuds like AirPods Pro have vents to equalize discomfort — but I never felt any pressure in my ears or head with OnePlus Buds Pro.
If comfort is at the top of your list, the OnePlus Buds Pro is way up there; including the pre-installed ear tips, there are two additional ear tip sizes in the box. Definitely use the earbud fit test with the HeyMelody app (iOS or non-OnePlus Android devices) or the OnePlus Buds app (OnePlus phones) to ensure you’re using the right size ear tip for each ear.
And the charging case: it’s barely larger than an AirPods Pro case. A+.
My biggest criticism of the sound quality on the OnePlus Buds Pro is that they can go overboard with the bass. That’s not necessarily a bad thing if you’re a bass head. All I’m saying is you’re going to hear the fuzz in songs like “Need To Know” by Doja Cat or The Weeknd’s “In Your Eyes” especially at louder volume levels. (Don’t judge me. It’s Hot Vax Summer out here!)
Generally, the strong bass profile on the OnePlus Buds Pro doesn’t bother me. There’s good clarity in the mids and highs that vocal-strong tracks or orchestral symphonies come through with lots of definition. AirPods Pro and Galaxy Buds 2 produce slightly wider dynamic range in my opinion, but OnePlus Buds Pro sound nearly as good.
I’d have no complaints about the bass sound if only there was an EQ within the HeyMelody or OnePlus Buds app. But alas, there’s no feature in the app. Hey, OnePlus, wink wink!
Like AirPods Pro or Galaxy Buds 2, the OnePlus Buds Pro come with active noise cancellation. I didn’t have expectations for best-in-class ANC that would dethrone the Sony WF-1000XM4, but I gotta say, the ANC on the OnePlus Buds Pro is quite good for the money. I’ve used wireless earbuds that cost twice or three times as much (*cough* $400 Bowers & Wilkins PI7) *cough*) with weaker ANC. The ANC blocks out just about as much noise as AirPods Pro or Galaxy Buds Pro/Buds 2. At around 50 percent volume I couldn’t hear a spinning fan that was 10 feet away from me. At 75 percent volume, the noisy traffic on a busy intersection in Queens, New York was virtually silenced. Just like any other ANC wireless earbuds, the OnePlus Buds Pro won’t block out everything, especially loud sounds at close range, but they block out plenty.
There are three levels of ANC (faint, smart, and extreme) for the OnePlus Buds Pro that are all self-explanatory, except maybe the “smart” mode, which really means adaptive. When set to “smart” the earbuds control the amount of ANC based on the sound in the environment. I didn’t feel smart mode did much so I mostly turned up the ANC to extreme for maximum sound blockage.
As for Transparency, the mode that mixes music with ambient sound, it’s one of the better implementations I’ve experienced on non-AirPods Pro wireless earbuds. Ambient sound doesn’t sound staticky or tinny like on some other wireless earbuds, though you can still hear the strong bass from music. Microphone performance is excellent as well. My colleagues and family said I sounded just like I normally do with my AirPods Pro — nice and clear.
There’s a “Zen Mode Air” feature that activates when you hold either of the earbuds’ stem for three seconds. You’ll know the mode is on when you hear birds chirping around. Don’t like the default birds? You can change it to other white noise like the sound of waves or a flickering fire in the woods or a gentle meditative melody within the HeyMelody app. While I never used the feature, it’s a nice bonus if you want it.
A single charge gets you 5 hours of listening time with ANC (28 hours with the case) turned on and 7 hours with ANC turned off (38 hours with the case). For continuous listening, this is right in line with Galaxy Buds Pro, Galaxy Buds 2, and Echo Buds 2 and 30 minutes more than AirPods Pro.
At volume lower than 50 percent, I’m definitely stretching battery life to at least 6 hours of ANC listening time. Not that battery anxiety was ever a concern. A 10-minute charge in an outlet gets up to 10 hours of listening time.
I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but the OnePlus Buds Pro really are almost as good as AirPods Pro. The Apple stuff it’s missing (spatial audio, hands-free Siri, etc.), OnePlus makes up with its own offerings like Zen Mode Air, Dolby Atmos support, and 94ms “Pro Gaming” mode synchronization to minimize lag when gaming. The OnePlus Buds Pro are also IP55 dust and sweat-resistant and the charging case is IPX4 water-resistant and supports wireless charging.
The few complaints I have are relatively minor: heavy bass at higher volumes, no EQ in the apps, and no support for Google Fast Pair for non-OnePlus phones. Everything else? Terrific for $150 wireless earbuds. If you’ve got a OnePlus phone, the OnePlus Buds Pro are a no-brainer. It’s no surprise that OnePlus wireless earbuds work best with OnePlus Buds. If you’re on Android, these are strong contenders to the Galaxy Buds 2. iOS users… you either live within Apple’s walls or break out and save yourself a good chunk of money.
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A big leap forward from the original OnePlus Buds, the new OnePlus Buds Pro offer an excellent audio experience, effective active noise cancellation, good battery life, and comfortable fit. While they might not beat the Apple AirPods Pro, the OnePlus Buds Pro represent good value for money and are a great alternative to the Oppo Enco X and the Galaxy Buds Pro.
- Great sound quality
- Effective ANC
- Good battery life
- Wireless charging and IP55 rating
- No volume control
- Some features are limited to OnePlus phones
- Boring case design
The OnePlus Buds Pro are the third pair of true wireless earbuds from the company and these are undoubtedly the best. While OnePlus is best known for its premium smartphone offerings, the company entered the world of wireless earbuds last year with the OnePlus Buds (which didn’t impress us much). Later in the year, the budget-friendly Buds Z were announced, which offered excellent value for money.
The third iteration of the true wireless earbuds from the brand, the OnePlus Buds Pro are by far the most expensive audio product from the company. However, we think they more than justify their price, offering an impressive audio experience, good battery life, and effective noise cancellation – along with additional features like Zen Mode Air, quirky yet functional controls, fast charging, and a handy companion app.
As for the active noise cancellation? The OnePlus Buds Pro do an excellent job at blocking out external noise by up to 40dB and you get to choose from three ANC modes 一 noise cancellation, max ANC, and smart.
The accompanying app, Hey Melody, is available for non-OnePlus phones and iOS devices, bringing a few customization options and the ability to update the earbuds. In terms of battery life, the OnePlus Buds Pro last up to 24 hours with the case and ANC turned off. With ANC turned on, it drops to 20 hours 一 which is still respectable, if not class-leading. A quick 10-minute charge offers up to 10 hours of playback which is quite handy, and there’s also support for Qi wireless charging.
For $149.99 / £139 / Rs 9,990 (about AU$200), the OnePlus Buds Pro are a great choice for anyone looking for noise-cancelling earbuds without a huge price tag. If you are looking for alternatives, earbuds like the Oppo Enco X and the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are worth considering.
OnePlus Buds Pro price and release date
Announced alongside the OnePlus Nord 2 in July 2021, the OnePlus Buds Pro cost $149.99 / £139 / Rs 9,990 – that works out at around AU$200, though Australian pricing is still to be confirmed.
That relatively low price puts the OnePlus Buds Pro in competition with the likes of the Oppo Enco X, Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro, and Sony WF-XB700 – though cheaper noise-cancelling earbuds are available, like the EarFun Air Pro.
The OnePlus Buds Pro are available in two color options 一 Matte Black and Glossy White. The stems on both these options are silver giving it a dual-tone finish.
The charging case reminds us of a tiny mint box, with a rectangular body with curved edges, and the OnePlus logo on the top. The case weighs 52g 一 which isn’t the lightest we’ve come across. At the back of the case, is a USB-C charging port, though it’s compatible with Qi wireless charging, too.
Like the Apple AirPods, the OnePlus Buds Pro feature protruding stems, and with each bud weighing just 4.35g, they’re comfortable to wear for long periods of time. In the box, you also get additional eartips in case the default ones aren’t right for your ears.
An IP55 water-resistance rating means you can use the Buds Pro for working out without the worry that a little sweat will break them.
The buds and the case are made up of soft plastic material that doesn’t attract fingerprints or dust like glossy materials – which is definitely a plus if you want to keep your buds pristine.
Audio performance and noise cancellation
The OnePlus Buds Pro impressed when it came to their audio performance. Tuned with an emphasis on the treble and bass frequencies, they support SBC, AAC, and LHDC codecs, and come with Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity.
There’s also Dolby Atmos support, though it’s limited to certain OnePlus devices (7/7 Pro/7T/7T Pro/8/8 Pro/8T/9/9 Pro) and the same goes for the low-latency mode, which brings down latency to 94ms on select OnePlus devices.
Thanks to large 11mm drivers, you get an extremely enjoyable listening experience from these earbuds, with thumping bass that drives your music without overwhelming the other frequencies overpowering the vocals.
OnePlus Buds Pro review: these earbuds get a lot of things right
The new $150 OnePlus Buds Pro are the company’s most elegant, polished set of true wireless earbuds so far. And there’s a lot of value packaged together for that price: they include active noise cancellation, wireless charging, IP55 dust and water resistance, and solid battery life. OnePlus also tosses in extras like a low-latency mode for gaming and Zen Mode Air, which plays soothing relaxation audio. They go on sale September 1st in either matte black or glossy white.
The OnePlus Buds look quite sleek and less blatantly AirPods-esque (particularly the black version) than the company’s prior earbuds. Hopefully that’ll be enough to avoid any snags at US customs. They’ve also proven dependable and consistent in my testing so far, which couldn’t be said of the $99 Nothing earbuds when I looked at those a few weeks ago. I bring up the Nothing buds because they’re the first project of OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s new company and, at least on paper, have similar capabilities, so there will inevitably be comparisons between the two.
- Lightweight, comfortable design
- Good controls, sound quality, and ANC
- Both earbuds and case are water resistant
- No EQ adjustments in app
- Fit isn’t perfect for large ears
Buy for $149.99 from OnePlus
The earbuds have a shortened-stem design with a metallic finish on the stem portion. That’s a nice touch of style, and it’s also a marker of where you’ll pinch for controls. Like the AirPods Pro force sensor, the OnePlus Buds Pro have identical controls on either side: pinch quickly with two fingers to pause, twice to skip songs, three times to go back, or hold to switch between ANC and transparency modes. There’s even the same faint little audio click in your ears whenever a pinch is registered. Unlike the AirPods, there’s no indented area of the stem for the sensor, but I found OnePlus’ approach to work reliably without it. It’s very much a borrowed idea, but one that’s at least copied well.
I found the OnePlus Buds Pro to be airy and comfortable in my ears; they weigh 4.35 grams per earbud, lighter than both the AirPods Pro and more recent Galaxy Buds 2. But I never found a perfect fit with the three sets of silicone tips in the box: the large size was best, but I could still remove either earbud with the slightest pull. Their lightweight design helped mitigate this issue somewhat and kept them in my ears — they didn’t come loose when I shook my head or ate with them in — but OnePlus really could’ve used a more accommodating selection of ear tips.
Thankfully the less-than-perfect seal didn’t take away from their audio quality. The OnePlus Buds have 11mm drivers that the company says were “tuned for bass reproduction,” and that bears out when you listen to them. There’s a powerful, smooth foundation to tracks like “Don’t Go Dark” by Bleachers, and the OnePlus Buds Pro avoid becoming a bloated jumble of bass thanks a pleasing, non-harsh high end with ample detail.
The mids are a bit recessed, which is fairly common for earbuds at this price, and unfortunately OnePlus’ HeyMelody app (available for both Android and iOS) doesn’t include EQ adjustments. But I’ve been largely happy with how these sound, and they hold their own against the Amazon Echo Buds 2, Galaxy Buds 2, Jabra earbuds, and others in their price range. And I think they outrank the Nothing earbuds, but perhaps that should be expected for the $50 price difference. OnePlus includes an audio test to personalize your audio profile based on your own hearing. Like most other attempts at this, I wasn’t blown away by the difference and left this off.
ANC performance has also been satisfactory, though I think it’d be more impressive if the earbuds sealed in my ears better. As is, the OnePlus Buds Pro let you manually pick between “extreme” and “faint” modes for noise cancellation. OnePlus says these range between 40dB (extreme) and 15dB (faint) of noise cancellation. There’s also a “smart” mode that automatically adjusts the level of ANC based on the loudness of your environment.
That’s where I left it for portions of my review, and the earbuds did seem to dial back their noise-canceling powers when I was in my living room, where the only noise was the whirl of a nearby fan. On the street and at my local coffee shop, it seemed like the OnePlus Buds Pro defaulted to cranking the ANC, which is precisely what I wanted. The OnePlus Buds Pro are quite good at ridding your ears of low-frequency noises and distractions, and they did a respectable job on New York subways. I think Amazon slightly bests them, and pricier buds like the AirPods Pro and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds definitely still win out on the whole, but for $150, there’s not much to take issue with.
The same holds true of battery life. It’s rated at up to five hours of straight playback with ANC on, and that extends to 23 hours including the case’s extra juice. Leave noise cancellation off and those figures grow to seven hours and a claimed 31 hours, respectively. I wasn’t able to fully test out the last estimate there, but in general the OnePlus Buds seemed faithful to the others and I didn’t have any unexpected battery issues or uneven discharging. The case can be charged wirelessly, and it’s even rated IPX4 for water resistance, which is pretty rare to see. The earbuds have a more durable IP55 rating for dust and water resistance, so as long as your fit is right, they’re a fine pick for workouts.
Microphone performance was sufficient for voice calls, and those I spoke with could make me out clearly. But despite three mics in each earbud and wind noise reduction algorithms, I think it’s just a reality that as the stems of these earbuds get cut down in length, we’ll need to settle for “good enough” when speaking to people through them.
Then come the miscellaneous features. The earbuds have a low-latency “Pro Gaming mode” where their response is 94 milliseconds, but only when paired with a OnePlus phone running OxygenOS 11 or above. (This is another example of the earbuds lock-in that my colleague Jon Porter recently wrote about.) Even then, competitors like Razer are capable of hitting lower latency numbers like 60ms. Another OnePlus-exclusive feature is Dolby Atmos audio, which the earbuds don’t support on other devices.
More useful to me personally was the Zen Mode Air feature, which aims to help you relax by playing soothing sounds through the earbuds. You can pick which audio track you like best in the HeyMelody app — with options like warm sunrise, meditation, summer seashore, nighttime camping, etc. — and then it’s downloaded directly to the earbuds’ memory. This has the benefit of keeping the relaxation sounds available when you’re switching between different paired devices. OnePlus isn’t alone in offering this type of functionality: Jabra includes something similar with its earbuds. It’s not the sort of thing I’ll use frequently, but I like knowing this little trick is there if I need a minute or two of calm during a hectic day. Unfortunately the OnePlus Buds take after many competitors in that they currently lack multipoint pairing, so they can only connect to one device at a time. However, OnePlus says it aims to add multipoint through a future firmware update.
Compared to its past wireless earbuds, the refinement and strong performance of the OnePlus Buds Pro demonstrate that OnePlus has grown confident and comfortable in this market. There’s no shortage of competition at this price, but OnePlus has brought together a compelling mix of features and an attractive design with relatively few weak spots. They’re another reminder of just how much you can get for $150.
Photography by Chris Welch / The Verge
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