Average for the most part, good for OnePlus users

OnePlus’s relatively impressive range of audio products, including the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z and OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2, is one of the first entrants into OnePlus’s growing real wireless segment. Priced at a competitive price of Rs 4,990, the earphones are reminiscent of the AirPod due to its half-in-ear design that takes away the silicone tips. OnePlus Buds are best used with a OnePlus device so that users can make the most of the features available. Nevertheless, they can still be used with all the other smartphones available in the market. The OnePlus Buds is available in three colors – white, gray and a colorful Nord Blue variant that perfectly matches the OnePlus Nord phone of its name. Check out our review to see how OnePlus Buds rents.

Construction and comfort

The half-ear design was pioneered and popularized by Apple AirPods, and since then numerous companies have incorporated this relatively polarizing design into their true wireless offerings. OnePlus Buds has also adopted this one-size-fits-all approach, and while a large number of people find it adequately secure and comfortable, some people who have ear canals or odd-shaped ear canals are out of luck. The reviewer, whose ears were shorter than usual, experienced moderate discomfort and the fit was also extremely unstable.

OnePlus Buds

Fit is often unstable for a sufficient number of users who do not feel confident about using these earphones while at the gym or running, although they do come with an IPX4 sweat resistant rating. In addition, OnePlus’s own website, OnePlus Buds, has issued this warning at the bottom of the page – “Please refrain from using earphones during strenuous exercise or in humid environments.” However, this design allows companies to fit larger drivers into their earphones, while the OnePlus Buds employs a huge 13.4mm dynamic driver.

OnePlus Buds

Another downside to the half-ear design is that passive isolation, often not, takes a significant toll. One ton of background sound easily penetrates and it can be confusing if you listen to your music at a low level. However, the 13.4mm drivers add a considerable amount of volume and pressure to the bus which makes for a ridiculous amount of ambient noise due to the design.

OnePlus Buds

Going beyond the ear half design, the OnePlus Bud’s charging case is low and pocketable. The matte texture feels great to the touch and the lid has a hard metal-reinforced hinge and strong magnets that inspire confidence to the extent that you can drop the case into your bag without having to worry about accidentally spilling the contents. Buds are available in three colors – white, gray and nord blue. We’ve got the Nord Blue variant for review and the Blue and Lime dual-tones are definitely eye-catching, however, some may find it a little too cartoonish or proud.

OnePlus Buds

The front of the case has a small LED indicating the battery status of the case, a USB-C port at the bottom and a pair of buttons at the back of the oval, relatively flat case. The earphones are equipped with wear-detection which works quite well and automatically pauses the music when the buds are removed from the ear and plays again when they are re-inserted. The housing on the back of the bud has a CD-like pattern that doubles as a touch sensor. However, non-OnePlus users can only double-tap the next track using this touch control, which is alarmingly limited.

OnePlus Buds

On OnePlus devices, double-taps can be customized to go to the previous track, play / pause, or wake up the voice assistant. You can also apply firmware updates and check battery levels through the OnePlus smartphone’s settings menu. It is again missing on non-OnePlus devices, you are stuck with the version you got and can’t update the buds any further. However, there is a Nifty control (for all devices) where pressing and holding the touch panel for 3 seconds will switch between paired Bluetooth devices, which is quite effective. Overall though, we were extremely disappointed with the lack of controls and the absence of firmware updates for non-OnePlus users because even AirPods allow non-Apple users to use most basic controls.

Features

In addition to the touch control, wear detection, and IPX4 rating we mentioned in the previous section, OnePlus Buds also supports Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity, SBC and AAC codec support (sadly no aptX), USB-C charging, fast charging, Google Fast Pair and Mono mode (both earbuds). Can be used individually when the other is in the case). Although models like OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 and Bullets Wireless support high-quality codecs, it’s disappointing to see OnePlus Ditch aptX support on these bands. With OnePlus devices, you get access to a wide range of features like supported Dolby Atmos support with supported OnePlus devices (7/7 Pro / 7T / 7T Pro / 8/8 Pro), and Dirac audio tuner support on OnePlus Nord devices.

OnePlus Fnatic mode

You will also experience super low-latency mode of 103ms in Fnatic mode on OnePlus devices (after OnePlus 6). We were unable to test these features since our test device is a Samsung Galaxy S20 Ultra, however, the delay in watching YouTube and Netflix videos without low latency support was quite acceptable. Still, it’s a bit frustrating that other smartphone users can’t use the wide-ranging features on these buddies as Realmy Buds Air Pro allows features like low-latency support and customizable controls across all devices and they naturally become more valuable for users to buy. The price of the devices is almost the same.

Performance

The sound quality of the OnePlus Buds is nothing like writing at home, but it is quite consumer-friendly. 13.4mm Dynamic drivers aggressively push bus notes that sometimes fit half the inside of the ear and compensate for the resulting detachment. However, this bias, which is clearly heard on such tracks Uptown Funk By Bruno Mars, Occasionally and can cover the voice. There is not much detail in any range of frequencies but the base and lot must have a thumping drive that can make bashheads happy. Harder audiofiles would be better with the Lypertek Tevi, which costs a few thousand more, but it has a much more neutral sound profile.

The vocals are decently reproduced, but some tracks such as Sour chocolate By Melts Some parts of the voice show a lack of clarity, especially at the 1.33 mark. Inside Pull me down By Dream Theater, The vocals sound a bit unlisted and move in the background due to the height of the drums on the track. Even on soft tracks, low and alloy are definitely more prominent than other frequencies. Yet, the bass is not muddy or distorted which creates an overall decent listening experience. High-resolution FLAC music files, however, reveal some missing details that would otherwise be present on streaming services like Spotify and Google Play Music.

OnePlus Buds

Now coming to connectivity, Bluetooth 5.0 offers quite solid connectivity, however, the buds randomly disconnected once but almost as soon as disconnected it reconnects to the paired device. The wireless range is also quite good, the buds maintain connection even if there is a wall between the source device and the earphones. The microphone quality in these earphones was great and they relayed decently, accurate audio and compact background noise quite decently.

Battery life

OnePlus claims that the OnePlus buds combine a charging case and buds to provide 30 hours of battery life, while the buds have about 7 hours of play time. In our tests, about 50 percent volume and AAC codec active, we achieved about 6 and a half hours of play time, which is close to the estimate. The charging case was approved for 3 additional full charges and there was still some juice left. Keep in mind that calls will significantly reduce earbuds playing time, and you’ll get about 4-5 hours of continuous play time on a single charge call.

OnePlus Buds

The charging case of OnePlus Buds is equipped with OnePlus’ famous warp charging technology. Buds are capable of charging fast where 10 minutes of charging earphones is enough for 100 minutes of play time. The case is also fast charge, where 10 minutes of battery life is available on a 10 minute charge. The buds also work well with fast chargers from other companies and in our tests, we can top up earphones for about 2 hours with just 20 minutes of charging.

The last row

Priced at Rs 4,990, the OnePlus Buds are definitely attractive on paper, with features like low latency mode, customizable controls, fast charging, IPX4 rating and more. However, a number of these enticing features are reserved for OnePlus users only, which limits these buds fairly to users not OnePlus. However, if you can deal with limited control, inability to update firmware and lack of aptX support, then these earphones give you decent sound, good battery life and fast charging ability. But, if you’re a OnePlus user, go ahead if you don’t mind the base-boosted sound profile. However, it is difficult not to recommend earphones like the Realmy Buds Air Pro, which are priced the same and are not limited to any user in terms of available features.

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