Saturday, May 21, 2022

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Affordable, but is it worth buying?

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Pros
  • Great sound quality
  • Smooth connectivity
  • Lightweight & Quirky design
  • Phenomenal Battery Life
Cons
  • Lacks ANC and Google Fast Pair

OnePlus Nord Buds go on sale on 10th May, should you buy it?

OnePlus is trying hard to expand its product lineup as much as possible by launching new phones, audio products and whatnot. Now, before Carl Pei left OnePlus he made the sub-brand Nord that solely focuses on providing better value-for-money products for its customers while still retaining the OnePlus branding.

Under the Nord lineup, the brand has been launching quite a lot of smartphones which in fact have become a fan favourite in countries like India. Now, they have expanded to launch the first-ever TWS earbuds under Nord branding and it turns out to be a great gadget for enthusiasts like you & me.

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Affordable, but is it worth buying?
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As OnePlus had its least expensive TWS earbuds OnePlus Buds Z2, which we reviewed as one of the best for its price, budget fans who wanted something under Rs.3000 had to settle for Realme, Oppo, or boAt TWS earbuds. However, now as OnePlus is increasing its AIoT lineup, this new OnePlus Nord Buds is a perfect addition for budget-minded people.

Launched at ₹2,799, this Nord Buds comes to challenge a lot of TWS makers and also provides another option to buyers who are looking for one at this budget. However, if it can be bought at ₹2.5k or less during sales or such, this is even better than any boAt or Xiaomi earbuds, Why? Let’s find out:

In The Box

OnePlus Nord Buds earbuds, OnePlus Nord Buds charging case, user guide, Silicon ear tips x 3, Safety and Warranty Card, USB Type-C charging cable, Nord Emoji Sticker

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You will notice that OnePlus is trying to make the Nord unboxing experience funkier with new emojis, and stickers and has created three cheeky Nord-themed inter-packaging designs.

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Affordable, but is it worth buying?

Specifications

The new OnePlus Nord Buds will feature 12.4mm large sound drivers, no compromise on this even though it has a compact design. The earbuds will have an ultra-low 94ms latency, ideal for those who love to hear fast-paced music or play games a lot, another signature thing these earbuds also features is the support for Dolby Atmos.

The case will have a USB Type-C to charge it and the overall battery life with the case is rated at 30 hours, thanks to a 480mAh battery, which is quite good for a budget TWS earbuds. Having the latest Bluetooth 5.2 support and IP55 water resistance, this new Nord Buds has got you covered in all the key aspects of TWS earbuds.

The case also supports fast charging, giving you 5 hours of playtime with just 10 minutes of charging. Like the recently launched OPPO Enco Air2 Pro, this OnePlus Nord Buds sports a 4-mic design along with AI Noise Reduction during calls, which comes very vital if you are someone who attends calls too often.

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Affordable, but is it worth buying?

Also, you have this Sound Master Equalizer built-in that lets you tune your TWS earbuds according to your taste or environment. With the OnePlus Fast Pair and HeyMelody app, it’s easy to connect your Nord Buds especially if you have an existing OnePlus phone. As previously told, this TWS earbuds have been priced at ₹2,799 and the first sale will be happening on 10th May: https://fas.st/mx8zM

Design and Build Quality

The new OnePlus Nord Buds has a simple design, a unique one with a rectangular shape that’s curved and it feels great to hold in your hands. It is lightweight though and can be carried easily as it rightfully fits anywhere, while I do like the satisfying touch to open and close the magnetic lid of the case.

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Affordable, but is it worth buying?

The design of the earbuds is somewhere between stick-shaped and pill-shaped, now, it’s the perspective which you will like or hate as per your choice. However, for me, it was easy to use the buds and both insert them back or take them out from the case, which is something many manufacturers lack sometimes.

Also, thanks to IP55 dust and water resistance, travelling anywhere at any time is pretty easy, well, in terms of build quality too it never looks or feels cheap. Additionally, the earbuds have a sweat-resistant hydrophobic nano-coating that protects them against corrosion.

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Affordable, but is it worth buying?

The earbuds come in Black Slate and White Marble colorways, here I got the black one for review but I am sure the white one will also look fantastic.

Each has a metallic look and feel thanks to non-conductive vacuum metallization – the same process used to create the OnePlus Buds Pro’s colorways. Also, I would say the earbuds are very comfortable to use even while using them for a prolonged period of time, credits to OnePlus for this.

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Affordable, but is it worth buying?

Audio Quality

The part you were curious about has to be the sound quality of the OnePlus Nord Buds, yes, to my surprise it does provide you with soothing sound quality. Well, honestly almost all earbuds these days have a similar sound signature at this pricing but the lack of Noise cancellation does highlight when you are in a crowdy environment.

Much like the OPPO Enco Air2 Pro, we reviewed recently, this one too features a 12.4 mm titanium dynamic driver that does produce rich sound than the 10 mm drivers you see in the same price range. Also, the sound signature and live effects were similar to the OPPO earbuds I have been using and why it won’t be because it’s made by the same parent company.

So, this is why the music generated by the Nord Buds is truly soothing and doesn’t hurt with higher volume while there are different modes in the HeyMelody app to fiddle with. I like the clear music you get thanks to the Dolby Atmos support for a crisp and clear sound, now your smartphone should support it to use the feature though.

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Affordable, but is it worth buying?

Also, the touch controls were accurate always and reliable thanks to its design unlike what I saw in the recent OPPO Enco Air2 Pro. If only Noise cancellation support was there then this would have been perfect but that would have increased the price anyways, overall, if I had to describe the audio quality of this Nord Buds in two words will be: reliable & effective.

Connectivity

Coming with the latest Bluetooth 5.2 and having ultra-low latency as low as 94 ms, I did notice that while hearing music I didn’t notice any lag or distortion which even some high-end earbuds do face. The swift connectivity because of the OnePlus Fast Pair is good and acts as a good substitute for Google Fast Pair.

This ultra-low latency can only be experienced with selected OnePlus smartphones and with
Pro Gaming Mode is enabled, so, while gaming doing so with the OnePlus 10 Pro we reviewed, I had no problems hearing the footsteps of enemies during my endless Call of Duty Mobile sessions.

The HeyMelody app is there for you to customize the sound effects, set different touch functionalities and much more. Also, I didn’t face any connectivity issues while I was using the earbuds during long periods of work or when I was outdoors, good job OnePlus.

Microphone & Call Quality

What I really liked about OnePlus or even the OPPO earbuds at the same price is that they are stressing the call quality and microphones used. Much like the OPPO Enco Air2 Pro, this OnePlus Nord Buds comes with a four-microphone design, helping to keep your calls clear and crisp while also reducing the effect of winds and background noise.

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Affordable, but is it worth buying?

To test this out I used it as my daily driver for a few days and I did notice that the Nord Buds do help improve the sound quality output when it reaches the other person during calls. The microphones work well, giving a clear sound and having used them multiple times during my long calls I got no complaints at all.

Battery Life

Last but not the least, the strong advantage this OnePlus Nord Buds has because of not having the ANC is that it can give you phenomenal battery life. When I got it for reviewing the charging level was 70-80% and I have been using it daily for over 4 days now (3-4 hours on average), but still there’s some battery left.

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Affordable, but is it worth buying?

The 480 mAh charging case does help to hold up with the battery life for almost a week if you are an average user like me. The best fact I like is the earbuds can hold up to 7 hours of continuous playback with a single charge, so the likelihood of charging it again keeping in the case is far less than the others I have tried at a similar price range.

The healthy 30 hours of playback OnePlus claims with the case is quite good and shall last a week for moderate listeners but for heavy users could last for 4-5 days.

OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Affordable, but is it worth buying?

Verdict

Drawing the verdict was pretty simple for me and in fact this is one of the most balanced earbuds which also looks as well as feels premium. The OnePlus Nord Buds is a must have for OnePlus fans who are looking for a budget TWS earbuds option, while if ANC was there this could have been out-of-the-box.

Still, for ₹2,799 the Nord Buds is a solid contender which is easily recommendable for its ease to use and reliability. While the market is filled with TWS earbuds, the one budget option from OnePlus speaks for itself and gets you covered in all important aspects you desire of.

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REVIEW OVERVIEW

Design and Build Quality
Audio Quality
Connectivity
Microphone & Call Quality
Battery Life
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Raunak Saha
Raunak Saha
A cs engineer by profession but foodie from heart. I am tech lover guy who has a passion for singing. Football is my love and making websites is my hobby.

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OnePlus Nord Buds go on sale on 10th May, should you buy it? OnePlus is trying hard to expand its product lineup as much as possible by launching new phones, audio products and whatnot. Now, before Carl Pei left OnePlus he made the sub-brand...OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Affordable, but is it worth buying?

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