OnePlus has become one of the main names you hear in the smartphone industry nowadays and its for good reason. A sleuth of features but at a lesser price than the premium competitors. Now OnePlus wants to try their hand at wireless audio with the simply named “OnePlus Buds”. While they have headphones such as the Bullets Wireless Z which go around the neck, how does their first entry into truly wireless territory hold up?
When you first get your hands on the case it will look similar to the Pixel Buds by Google. It’s one of the smallest and lightest cases which is a plus. It comes in white which OnePlus has provided to us but is also available in Gray. There is a sync button on the back while a small LED indicator light is on the front. One gripe I have about the case is I wish it opened just a bit more. Sometimes feels cumbersome pulling out the earbuds.
The earbuds themselves are “pipe style” like Apple Air Pods. They have touch panels on each earbud and are hard plastic. Also, like Air Pods they do not have any silicone tips. Depending on your type of earbuds this may be fine but for others like myself, it will either cause to eventually come out or provide some form of discomfort. Earbuds are rated IPX4 (not the case) so you can do some working out or accidentally get caught in some light rain and be still alright.
OnePlus Buds come with a Type-C charging cable and charging case.
Buds are packing some decent features in its arsenal. It has 13.4mm dynamic drivers which are designed to give you Dolby Atmos or Dirac Audio Tuner support depending on your device and content. As mentioned earlier there are touch controls on each earbud. You can Double Tap and do either play options or voice assistant if you desire. I keep Play/Pause on the Left and Next Track on the right. They also have a “Find My Buds” option which will let you ring them until they are hopefully located.
These options for control changes and finding your buds is in the OnePlus Bluetooth menu. These are only available if you have an OnePlus 6 and up model. So, without an OnePlus device, you can’t upgrade or customize your Buds.
On the audio side, these Buds can sound good. Mids are there with vocals being decent. They feel like they could be lacking a bit in the bass department, so the lows are okay. They support audio codecs SBC and AAC which are the usual standard. I am surprised as OnePlus phones tend to support multiple codecs, they put something more hi-fi in the Buds.
Buds on the Daily
Battery life on these is on-par of the advertised 30hrs. That 10hrs of battery life in 10mins I feel is correct if it is a fast charger. One issue for me is wearing these that long. Since there is no silicone as mentioned they do start to hurt in my ears after a while. This isn’t just with Buds but any others that are designed like this with just hard plastic. This fits into that “One Size Fits All” category.
As far as any noise canceling, I feel it is non-existent. As I do my daily commute on the train, I couldn’t really hear the music whatsoever. Since there is no real seal on these you are going to have a ton of interference. In a quiet area such as my desk or at home they sound great but anything noisy and its no good.
Also, I found using them with multiple apps and switching back and forth from say a game like Candy Crush Soda to Spotify I would get that slight hiccup of interruption indicating that switch. I don’t think I have seen that with any earbuds I’ve covered before.
Buds or Bust?
OnePlus Buds are a nice first attempt by OnePlus. They sync up quickly to your OnePlus phone, have a great battery, and sound good in isolated areas. They could use silicone tips for comfort and you really only get the full benefits of the Buds if you are using an OnePlus smartphone. Otherwise, you are missing out and don’t get the full value. I do see OnePlus is constantly updating them which is good. Hopefully, they can push out some app support for non-OnePlus phones.
OnePlus Buds are available for an attractive $79.99 in White or Gray.