When OnePlus launched the Nord Buds 2 back in April 2023, I was sure they had hit the gold standard of affordable audio. The device was so well-balanced across features and price point that it was a difficult act to follow. However, along with the new OnePlus Nord 3 smartphone, the company has also announced its budget buds - the OnePlus Nord Buds 2r. I’ve been plugged in for a couple of weeks and here’s how it fares.


Nestled in a pill-shaped case, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2r sports a design similar to its predecessors. The buds are fairly lightweight and sit comfortably in-ear for extended periods of time. The unit I got is plain grey, although there’s a nicer, brighter blue version as well.

The controls on the OnePlus Nord Buds 2r continue to be soft-touch based. The controls are intuitive enough - single taps to pause or resume playback, a double tap to skip to the next song, and a triple press to go back to the previous track. 


The OnePlus Nord Buds 2r features the same 12.4 mm drivers as its slightly pricier sibling. Across genres, from Prateed Kuhad’s Cold/Mess (Indian Indie) to Walker Hayes’ Fancy Like (Country music), the audio on the buds was well-balanced. Only when I pump up the volume much higher, the acoustic percussion starts to sound a little tinny. There’s no active noise cancellation on these buds. However, OnePlus says they’ve built in a wind noise reduction mechanism so that the user’s voice comes through clearly on calls. I was told my voice during calls and online meetings was clear enough when I was working from home. But most of the time when I was on the move, commuting to office in a cab, I was told that my voice didn’t come across very clearly.


While gaming, one could switch on the ‘Game Mode’ option to reduce game lag via Bluetooth. The app works for Nord Buds 2r only if you’re on an Android smartphone, and not on iOS.

While the setup was seamless, sometimes re-pairing didn’t happen very seamlessly. More often than I wanted I had to re-pair with a smartphone or tablet with which I’d already used the buds.

Battery life

The OnePlus Nord Buds 2r offers a decent battery life. I usually had it plugged in for an hour a day and I easily went through a couple of weeks if not more before having to charge the case again. On a full charge, the case can power the buds for 3-4 charging cycles. The buds have an IP55 rating, which means you’re good in case you get caught unawares by the occasional drizzle.


At this price tag, recommending the OnePlus Nord Buds 2r is almost a no-brainer mostly owing to the well-balanced acoustics and smooth touch controls it offers. You can consider this especially if you aren’t looking for a pair of earbuds that doesn’t have active noise cancellation.

Price - ₹2,199
Pros - Decent sound profile, sensitive touch controls, decent battery life
Cons - No on-device volume control, no ANC, occasional pairing glitches