Like many tech companies, OnePlus releases wireless earbuds when launching new smartphones. Whether it’s the flagship number series or the Nord line-up, OnePlus adds accessories such as cases and earphones in the mix. While these are meant to be companions to the phones they launch with, the earphones do work with any other device, both Android and from the Apple stable. Lately, the earphones have become too good to be dismissed as a footnote. That’s certainly the case with the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, released with the OnePlus 11 series.
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 may be unimaginatively named, but the improvements made to the gadget are well thought out. The buds come in a typical package with typical contents in the box - buds and case, cable, extra ear tips and general bits of paper. These are in Obsidean Black and arbour green. The case is nice and compact in a smooth lightly matte plastic that keeps itself clean and looks quite classy.
The case has an interesting weightiness to it, something that many feel is a reassurance of something of value under the hood. The buds nestle securely in the case and don’t show any haste to fall out and be a nuisance. The buds look good, though quite familiar, with their short stem-type design. The case is IPX4 rated for water resistance and the buds are IP55 rated. The device can charge wirelessly.
The Buds Pro 2 are very comfortable. There’s no stretching of the inner ear, no warming up, and no danger of the buds falling out. They’re good for long walks, a workout, a podcast session or tuning out the world to listen to music. Calls are clear and the person at the other end can’t even tell one has switched to earphones. Multipoint connectivity is supported so you can be connected to two devices and switch between them.
To pair, wait for the fast pair prompt or go to the Hey Melody app, which you need to download if you’re not on a recent OnePlus phone or Bluetooth settings where you’ll find plenty of other options to try out. You can select your level of noise cancellation (full on, off, or transparency mode) and opt for personalised adaptive noise cancellation, which auto-selects the level of noise permitted depending on where you are. You’ll need to go through the short test to allow for your noise profile to be set. The same can be done with the equaliser where a similar test will help configure the sound to match your hearing sensitivity and thereafter present the sound dynamically. There are four pre-sets and an option to set your custom sound profile.
As is typical, you can also set the actions you need from giving the stems of the buds a slight squeeze. Only adjusting volume isn’t supported on buds and you’ll need to use the playback device for that.
Noise cancellation performance is functional. It works adequately and sounds natural without being particularly dramatic and stark from one level to another.
Among its many features and highlights is the fact that the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 sound nice. As long as you’re not an audiophile and looking for something specific, the sound is configured to please the masses. Dual 11mm and 6mm drivers push out a lively head-filling sound with fairly equal attention to all frequency ranges. There is a pleasant well-rounded bass, strong mids, and clarity in the higher frequencies. For its price, the sound is excellent. These earbuds use the Bluetooth 5.3 standard with support for the SBC, AAC, and LHDC codecs. With all this, battery life is pretty good at 6 hours with ANC on. The case gives three rounds of charge.
At ₹11,999, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are no-budget earphones. But they do cost a lot less than TWS devices from the likes of Apple, Sony and Samsung while still sounding very good and offering a good crop of features.