Technophile

OnePlus Buds: Several pluses, including the price

Mala Bhargava | Updated on August 24, 2020

The OnePlus Buds freely lift off the design of the AirPods, but put in nuances to look a bit different.

It’s come to the point where no phone making company can afford ignore true wireless earbuds. OnePlus isn’t about to either. How can they not move on from the partially wired Bullets earphones and bring out their own TWS buds? So, of course, they’ve done so at the time that they launched the budget Nord smartphone and the buds are quite simply called OnePlus Buds. We got a pair in the same cyan blue as the Nord phone. The Buds come in grey, white and a youthful playful blue and lemon yellow to cater to different tastes.

Like so many other wireless earbuds, the OnePlus Buds freely lift off the design of the AirPods, but put in nuances to look a bit different. The case for these is in a nice matte finish which will keep them looking clean and fresh for longer. On the inside, the case is lemon yellow (or green, depending on your perspective) and the blue buds sit firmly in their slots.

As you take them out and place them in your ears, the pairing status appears as a drop-down notification. Touch to pair. From then on, just wearing them will connect them and show battery status on the phone. The buds detect when you’re wearing them. Take even one out and the music will stop. Take out a single bud from the case and you can use them one at a time.

Open design

The OnePlus Buds don’t use ear-tips and aren’t totally in-ear but of the open variety — that means you don’t get a big seal but at the same time, they’re more comfortable for those who really hate that feeling of something sticking right into their ears. At the same time, they’re not universally comfortable and definitely not all the time. After about two hours of listening, I certainly felt my right ear feeling a bit sore from having been stretched in a position I wasn’t accustomed to.

These buds fit quite well even though they’re hard plastic with no soft ear-tips. They have an IP4 rating so can take on accidental minor splashes and sweat. At a pinch they can be worn for workouts except that they could fall out for some people since they’re not wedged in.

They work with both Android and iOS but it’s with a OnePlus phone that the various nuanced features work best and it’s with this that you get software updates. Only on a OnePlus can you have the phone ring one of the buds to find them, if they’re misplaced.

The OnePlus Buds sound quite good — surprisingly so, for their price — with enough bass to suit those who like it. Only one codec, AAC, is supported though. There’s strong volume and an overall pleasant sound. In fact, they’re frequently being compared with Apple’s AirPods which are three times the price and that’s quite a compliment. In my experience calls were very clear and people I spoke with often seemed surprised when I asked them how I sounded since they couldn’t tell I was on earphones. The on-Buds controls are on the flat circular part of each bud. They’re much as usual and involve a sequence of double taps. These can be seen isn’t he Bluetooth settings when they’re in use.

Battery life is one of the strengths of the OnePlus Buds. You get about 7 hours of play time on a charge and with additional charge cycles using the case, 30 hours. Quick charge is supported for when you need to top up in a hurry.

Price: ₹4,990

Pros: Good sound and call quality, strong volume, splash resistant, great price,

Cons: Not a premium look and feel, no full seal, can fall out, firmware updates only on a OnePlus, no noticeable noise isolation, no codecs supported other than AAC

Published on August 24, 2020

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