The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 are the latest addition to the OnePlus’ affordable audio accessory lineup. Designed to deliver premium sound quality at a not-so-premium price, here’s if it managed to make me dance to its tunes.
The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 are a fairly comfortable fit for extended periods of use, whether it be my 20-minute commute on the metro or two hours on a flight. The white-splatter pattern on the grey buds is barely noticeable as a design element, but the earbuds have a sleek and minimalistic look. The charging case isn’t drastically different from last year’s - just a tad bit more compact maybe.
Also read: A mellow melody: OnePlus Buds Pro 2 review
The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 features upgraded 12.4 mm drivers which deliver more resonant acoustics. There’s also a new BassWave algorithm that works to push deeper bass and crisp, clear vocals alongside. The overall sound delivery is truly well-balanced and not annoyingly bass-heavy in any way.
Another significant improvement from last year’s Nord Buds is the addition of active noise cancellation with up to 25 dB. While this may not keep a lot of the loud bustle around you away, it still manages to tune out the quieter office sounds and deliver a better “sealed” experience especially while listening to music. I could also choose to have the ambient sound mode on while listening to music or podcasts, especially at the workplace.
I was told my voice during calls and online meetings was clear enough. The only times there were some compaints was when I was either walking down a noisy, busy road while wearing a mask and talking.
Once paired with the HeyMelody app, I can quickly glance at the remaining battery life, toggle through ANC and transparency modes. While gaming, I could switch on the option to reduce game lag via Bluetooth.
I usually avoid in-ear buds that require a hard press as they push uncomfortable against the ear canal. Thankfully, the controls on the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 are gentle touch-based. The controls are intuitive enough - single taps to play or pause, a double tap to skip, and a long press to active ANC or transparency modes. Other functions include answering or rejecting calls, and activating the voice assistant.
While 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.
The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 offer a decent battery life of up to seven hours on a single charge, and the charging case is good for three-four charging cycles. The earbuds support fast charging, with ten minutes of charging giving you five additional hours of playback time. The buds have an IP55 rating, which means the pair is protected from small amounts of dust and low-pressure water jets.
Recommending the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 is almost a no-brainer, mostly owing to the well-balanced acoustics and smooth touch controls it offers. Along with it comes a decent seal, and effective-enough active noise cancellation, making them ideal for anyone who’s looking to invest in their first pair of well-priced earbuds with ANC.