The new $150 OnePlus Buds Pro wireless earbuds from the company are sleek and refined. These earbuds offer great value, with active noise cancellation, wireless charging, IP55 dust resistance, and waterproof resistance. OnePlus also offers additional features such as a low latency mode that allows you to play games and Zen Mode Air, which can be used for relaxing audio. Available in matte black or glossy white, they will be available from September 1.
The OnePlus Buds look sleeker and more AirPods-esque (especially the black version). This should be sufficient to avoid any US customs problems. The earbuds were also consistent and reliable in my testing. This is in contrast to the $99 Nothing earbuds that I reviewed a few weeks ago. Carl Pei, cofounder of OnePlus, created the Nothing buds as his first project. Both have similar capabilities, so there will be comparisons.
The earbuds have a shorter stem and a metallic finish at their stem. This design detail is great and serves to remind you where to pinch to access controls. The controls on the OnePlus Buds Pro are identical to those found on the AirPods Pro force sensor. To pause, skip tracks twice, three times, or go back, you can quickly pinch the button with your two fingers. You can also hold the button to switch between transparency and ANC modes. The same sound can be heard when you pinch. The stem is not indented like the AirPods sensor. However, I found OnePlus’s method to work reliably without it. It’s a borrowed idea, but it’s still a great one.
I found the OnePlus Buds Pro to be light and comfortable in my ears. They are lighter than the AirPods Pro and the Galaxy Buds 2, which weigh 4.35g each. Although the three sets of silicone tips in the box were good, they weren’t perfect. The larger size was my preference, but you could still remove either earbuds by pulling slightly. They were light and held my ears in place. They were lightweight and didn’t require me to eat or shake them in. However, OnePlus could benefit from a wider selection of ear tips.
Their less than perfect seal did not affect the audio quality of OnePlus Buds. The OnePlus Buds come with 11mm drivers that the company claims are tuned for bass reproduction. The OnePlus Buds Pro are a solid foundation for tracks like “Don’t Go Dark” by Bleachers. They have a nice, low-key, high end that is full of detail and has a non-harsh sound.
For earbuds of this price, the mids are slightly recessed. Unfortunately, the HeyMelody app on Android and iOS doesn’t allow for EQ adjustments. These earbuds are great and comparable to the Jabra and other earbuds within their price range. These earbuds seem to be superior to the Nothing earbuds. This could be because of the $50 price difference. OnePlus offers an audio test which will allow you to personalize your audio profile based on your hearing. It was not a pleasant experience so I decided to leave it be.
Also, the ANC performance is satisfactory. It would be even better if my ears were more sealed. You can choose between “extreme” and “faint” to cancel out noise with the OnePlus Buds Pro. According to OnePlus, these modes can cancel out noise from 40dB (extreme) to 15dB (15dB(faint). The environment can be used to adjust the volume and level of ANC.
I left the earbuds in this location for a portion of my review. When I was in my living room, the only noise-canceling fan was nearby, the earbuds seemed to decrease their power. The OnePlus Buds Pro seemed to automatically turn on the ANC while I was out and about, just like it did at the coffee shop. This was exactly what I needed. The OnePlus Buds Pro can remove low-frequency noises and distract you. They were able to perform well in New York subways. Amazon is slightly ahead. Although the AirPods Pro and Bose QuietComfort Earbuds cost more, they do a great job. There’s not much to be unhappy about at $150.
The battery life is the same. With ANC on, the battery life is rated at 5 hours of uninterrupted playback. If the case has extra juice, this can be extended to 23 hours. These numbers go up to 7 hours and 31 hours if you disable noise cancellation. The OnePlus Buds worked well, even though I couldn’t test the most recent estimate. There were no unexpected battery problems and I didn’t experience any uneven charging. It can be charged wirelessly, and it is IPX4 water resistant, which is rare. They are IP55 rated for dust and water resistance.
The microphone performance was sufficient for voice calls, and I could communicate clearly with the people I spoke to. We will need to accept that these earbuds are not as good as we would like.
The miscellaneous functions are next. Next, the miscellaneous functions. The earbuds are capable of responding in a low latency mode called “Pro Gaming Mode” (94ms). However, this function only works when paired to a OnePlus smartphone that runs OxygenOS 11. Jon Porter, a colleague, recently shared another example of earbud locking-in. Razer and its competitors can reach lower latency numbers such as 60ms. OnePlus earbuds also support Dolby Atmos audio, which is an exclusive feature.
Zen Mode Air, which sends soothing sounds to your earbuds via Bluetooth, was more helpful for me. HeyMelody allows you to choose the best audio track. You can choose from warm sunrise, nighttime camping and meditation. The downloaded file is saved to your earbuds’ memory. This allows you to retain the relaxation sounds even if your device isn’t paired with another. This functionality isn’t limited to OnePlus. Similar functionality is also offered by Jabra’s earbuds. It’s not something that I use very often but I do appreciate the fact that it is there in case I need some quiet time during my busy day. The OnePlus Buds cannot be used with multiple devices at once. This issue is common for many competitors. OnePlus claims it will add multipoint via a future firmware update.
The OnePlus Buds Pro’s improved design and performance is a major improvement on its wireless earbuds. This shows that OnePlus has become more confident and comfortable in the market. OnePlus is able to offer a compelling combination features and a stunning design that has very few flaws, despite the fact there are many competitors for this price. These devices serve as a reminder of the value you can get for $150.