OnePlus has so far not made a splash in the audio segment with previous versions of the Buds and with the OnePlus Buds Pro, it aims to compete in the mid-range segment.

OnePlus Buds Pro in the case
Atom Review Saturday, October 02, 2021 - 17:20

The OnePlus Buds Pro is the company’s latest flagship audio offering and came soon after the Nothing (1) earbuds were launched. Arriving after co-founder Carl Pei’s exit (who went on to start Nothing), the OnePlus Buds Pro looks closer in design to the Oppo Enco X, following the merger of the two companies. OnePlus has so far not made a splash in the audio segment with previous versions of the buds and with the OnePlus Buds Pro, it aims to compete in the higher-end of the mid-range segment. 

In terms of design, the OnePlus Buds Pro comes in Matte Black and Glossy White. We reviewed the Matte Black one with a dual-tone finish, consisting of silicone tips, a matte body and a glossy stem. The earbuds weigh about 4 grams, and the box comes with three sizes of silicone tips to choose from depending on your comfort. In addition, the buds are IP5 rated, making them resistant to water/sweat and dust, and can withstand everyday use. The gloss design extends to the case of the OnePlus Buds Pro, which comes embossed with the OnePlus branding on it. The case is rectangular with rounded edges and is also moisture resistant. It has a USB-C charging port, and a small indicator, that’s for both battery as well as for pairing. There is also a 520-mAh lithium-ion battery, which supports wireless charging. 

The buds fit snugly and are very comfortable even during long periods of use. It holds up even while working out and going for a run. 

It comes with noise cancellation features —  faint, smart and extreme, depending on your surroundings. It blocks out most sounds such as fan noises and nearby traffic. It also has a feature to make this adaptive, where the noise cancellation is altered depending on your surroundings. There’s also a transparency mode, for when you are wearing the buds in a situation where you want to be aware of your surroundings. 

Battery life on the OnePlus Buds Pro comes in at 4.5 to 7 hours depending on ANC usage, and with the wireless charging in the case, it goes up to 30 hours. 

The stems of the Buds also double as touch controls, but not in the traditional sense — here you pinch either stem once to pause, twice to move to the next song, and three times to go back to the previous song. It is accompanied by a click sound to register the function, but can sometimes get a little tiresome, especially if your phone is nearby to help navigate. It also comes with wear detection sensors, where the audio stops when you take out one earbud and resumes when you put them back in. This works well most of the time but can get troublesome as well. However, there is the option to turn this off. 

There’s a nifty feature built-in, where when you long-press the stem for over three seconds it launches the Zen Mode Air, playing white noise in your ear. The default is Warm Sunrise, with sounds of chirping birds and insect noises. There are four others, including Summer Seashore (sounds of the sea), Nighttime camping (with sounds of crickets and a crackling fire). It takes some time to grow on you but is a welcome addition.

Microphone performance was comfortable as well, with no struggle during phone calls, and the person at the other end was able to hear me clearly. In terms of sound, the bass is punchy and is very likely to appeal to Indian audiences. However, it doesn’t sacrifice for bass, with audio being crisp, and mids and highs clear. 

Controls are built-in for OnePlus phones above the OnePlus 6 and can be accessed through the Bluetooth settings. For non OnePlus users, the buds can be managed on the Hey Melody app, available on the Google Play Store as well as Apple App Store. Both let you test the fit of the earbuds as well as show you the battery life of the buds. On a OnePlus phone, a pop-up tells you the battery life of the buds as well as the case as soon as it connects.

It does not have an equaliser, which may be troublesome to some users. The OnePlus Audio ID allows you to tweak some features based on the OnePlus Audio ID feature built-in, for a custom EQ based on individual hearing profile. 

If you’re an audiophile, the OnePlus Buds Pro may not be the perfect fit. But priced at Rs 9,990, it’s a good contender in the range.

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