Technophile

OnePlus Nord Buds: Energetic sound on a budget

Mala Bhargava | Updated on: May 17, 2022

Surprisingly good for casual undemanding listening and complete with a bunch of features

Looks like OnePlus’ Nord phones are getting an ecosystem of their own, starting with the newly launched TWS earbuds, the Nord Buds. To go with the more affordable Nord phones, it costs just ₹2,799; and for that amount, you get some nice sound and a bunch of features.

The Nord Buds live in a distinctively different looking case. It’s flat and shaped like a make-up case. Well, it reminds me of the big case my Dyson Air Wrap styler sits in. It’s made of some pretty nice plastic with the OnePlus logo on top, but is a bit chunky and won’t slip into pockets like the typical pebble-shaped ones do. It’ll cause a chunky bulge for sure.

The unit I have for review is white and glossy in a nice way. The OnePlus Nord Buds too are an interestingly different shape. The design involves a stem, but it’s short, flat and broad so doesn’t look anything like Apple’s AirPods. The buds look quite funky, and fit readily and very comfortably. In fact, these are among the few earbuds that I found I can lie down and listen to without the pillow or cushion dislodging them. There’s a metallic circular dot on the buds that makes the touch sensitive part easy to get to, and looks good as well.

The OnePlus Nord Buds pair easily with Android phones, but don’t support Google’s fast pairing. You download the Hey Melody app to get at various options. That’s not available for the iPhone, and it makes sense since anyone who can afford an iPhone won’t be using extreme budget TWS earbuds.

12mm Titanium drivers push out the sound from the OnePlus Nord Buds. It doesn’t sound bad at all for the price. The sound is loud and bassy, energetic and lively, and the mid and high frequencies are not specially suppressed or overwhelmed either. The sound quality is by no means finessed, but it’s perfectly usable for casual listeners. The audience it’s intended for will love it. It works with the Bluetooth 5.2 standard and supports the SBC and AAC codecs.

There’s no ANC, but AI is used to reduce noise, apparently. I couldn’t tell because the seal of the OnePlus Nord Buds is good enough to give passive noise isolation and I tend to listen to music at higher volumes. I didn’t have a good time with the buds’ connection on the HeyMelody app which identified them but refused to give me any options, even when the buds were connected and in use. If you have better luck, the app gives options for the on-bud controls, for noise handling and an equaliser.

The OnePlus Nord Buds are IP55 water resistant, so you can get them a little splashed when the rain comes — if it comes. The battery gives you 7 hour listening sessions and 30 hours overall. Ten minutes of charging will give you five whole hours of play.

Published on May 17, 2022
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