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OnePlus Buds review: Good budget option, especially for OnePlus users

OnePlus Buds 2020 review: While OnePlus claims to offer something it called Environment Noise Cancelling, it appeared to be more of noise isolation that happens when you have something in your ears that cut off ambient noises.

Rating: 4 out of 5
Rs. 4,990
Written by Nandagopal Rajan | New Delhi |
Updated: August 3, 2020 8:39:11 am
OnePlus Buds OnePlus Buds review: OnePlus Buds comes in three colours. We got the Nord Blue for review. (Express photo by Nandagopal Rajan)

OnePlus has been quite serious about its audio range over the years, coming up with a pair of earphones with each series of phones it has launched over the past few years. This year after launching its Bullets Wireless 2 along with the OnePlus 8 series it has launched the OnePlus Buds, its first truly wireless model, along with the OnePlus Nord.

The OnePlus Buds follow the Apple AirPods design, though the charging case has a more curved base and the earphones themselves have a flat back where you tap for controls. Also, the charging case comes in multiple colours and I got the Nord Blue for review. Inside the charging case there is a different colour — light yellow in the case — which is a unique design among the truly wireless sets I have used.

OnePlus’ first Truly Wireless earbuds (Express Photo: Nandagopal Rajan)

The OnePlus Buds pair easily with all devices, though they work best with OnePlus phones. With the OnePlus range you can see the battery life of the earbuds as well as the charging case from Bluetooth settings. Also, there are regular software update on offer and I liked how the settings even showed the colour of the model I had. Also, you can use this to customise what the double taps on the sides will be and I set the left to voice assistant and right to skip songs. But only double taps are recognised. Also, you to stop or pause you have to take the earphones from your ears and taps don’t work. Another interesting aspect is the find Buds feature where you can get either of the earbuds to ring in case you lose them somewhere.

OnePlus buds, OnePlus earbuds, OnePlus TWS earbuds, OnePlus truly wireless earbuds, OnePlus earbuds review, OnePlus earbuds price, OnePlus earbuds battery, OnePlus earbuds sound quality OnePlus Buds settings (Express Photo: Nandagopal Rajan)

The design of the Buds are similar to the first AirPods. The issues are similar too. When the first AirPods came I was not sure there will stay in place in my ears, even though a combination of gravity and design kept them well in place. With the OnePlus Buds too, I keep fearing they will fall off, especially the right bud as my ear seems to be a bit extra large on that side.

The OnePlus Buds are still comfortable and don’t irritate you one bit. And with time you get used to the design and the Buds seems to fade away leaving you with just the convenience of truly wireless audio.

The audio quality of the OnePlus Buds is more on the neutral side and not very partial to bass as most of the earphones are these days. Anyway, they do pack a bit of oomph when you are listening to tracks with a bit of bass, though they don’t amp up the bass unnecessarily. My regular playlist with its share of Leonard Cohens and Western Classical gelled well with the Buds and at no point did I feel these were not up to the task. It could handle even a bit of techno that has ended up in folders inadvertently. I noticed that the sound stage is roomy and there is no clutter of the vocals and instruments trying to fight for the same space.

OnePlus Buds OnePlus Buds work best with OnePlus devices. (Express photo by Nandagopal Rajan)

ALSO READ | OnePlus Nord review: Who needs the OnePlus 8?

At this price point, the OnePlus Buds offers a decent audio profile. But it lacks the bite of the OnePlus Bullets when they first came on the scene. OnePlus is known to push the experience in whatever it does, with the Buds it is not doing that with the audio quality in my opinion. While it is good for this price point, I was maybe expecting OnePlus to offer more.

While OnePlus claims to offer something it called Environment Noise Cancelling, it appeared to be more of noise isolation that happens when you have something in your ears that cut off ambient noises. But still while listening to a bit of Yesudas I could hear the hum of the fan in the background in the background and WhatsApp alerts on the laptop.

The battery life is decent and will able to last you a couple of days with full usage. OnePlus claims it can go up 30 hours and I don’t doubt that claim with what I have seen.

Overall, at Rs 4990, the OnePlus Buds is one of the best truly wireless options available at that price point. The audio quality will not disappoint you and there are enough new features like find the Buds to make you feel good. It makes more sense for those already owning a OnePlus device. I recommend the OnePlus Buds for those buying the OnePlus Nord or the OnePlus 8 series this year.

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