India's TWS market is booming and every tech company wants a piece of it. OnePlus managed to make a roar with its affordable Nord Buds series, reserving its Buds Pro-series for premium buyers. The original OnePlus Buds Pro was well-received by critics and consumers alike, and the company builds on its popularity to deliver an improved and refined Buds Pro 2.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 has MelodyBoost dual drivers, which feature an 11mm + 6mm design co-
created with Dynaudio for deeper and more dynamic bass and clear highs. We get to choose from one default Dynaudio equalizer setting (EQ) and three custom equalizer profiles - namely Bold, Serenade, and Bass. But what's interesting is that the Buds Pro 2 now has Spatial Audio in collaboration with Google, which offers an immersive listening experience. There's more though. Let's dive in.
Design & Comfort
Designed for long-wearing sessions, the Buds Pro 2 has a matte coating and chromium stem. The earbuds are available in two shades, Obsidian Black and Arbor Green. The earbuds are IP55 rated for water resistance and have the usual touch controls. Having used the Buds Pro 2, it is safe to say they can be worn for long hours and the touch controls are much refined. Each earbud weighs just under 5 grams. The ear tips securely fit the ear canal, but there are different sizes for you to test to get that perfect fit.
The earbuds come in a slightly larger case compared to the previous model. But that doesn't mean it is pocket-friendly. They fit comfortably in the jeans pocket but get compact if you're carrying the phone and the case of the earbuds in the same pocket. The case has a USB Type-C port at the back and a physical button inside. There's an LED indicator to alert for battery and pairing status. For added convenience, the case supports Qi-certified wireless charging, which came in quite handy for us.
The pressure-sensitive touch controls are responsive, which doesn't make the earbuds pop up while interacting. The lack of volume control is a missed opportunity here.
The Buds Pro 2 look great when worn. The blend of matte and glossy finish is in perfect coordination.
Audio and ANC performance
Notably, OnePlus has upgraded the codec to LHDC 4.0 Lossless Hi-Res Audio. The earbuds offer adaptive noise canceling and there's a transparency mode if you'd like to stay aware of your surroundings. There are also three mics on each earbud for clarity during voice calls. The earbuds can also connect to two devices simultaneously.
There are two interesting features worth mentioning, one is that the built-in IMU sensors nudge you to maintain a good head and cervical spine posture and the other one is Zen Mode Air.
Coming to the performance, the dual-driver setup paired with an 11mm driver in each bud delivers lows and mid tones with good accuracy. Even the high frequencies are handled well, thanks to the dedicated tweeter. To customize the settings, you'll need the HeyMelody app. Having used the earbuds with OnePlus 11 and other phones (iPhone 14 Pro in our case), we found the former to be the best option. The earbuds don't perform as well as they do with OnePlus 11, the output is clear, with punchy notes that are bass-heavy. Overall, the earbuds deliver balanced audio and OnePlus' signature tuning is evident. Without the HeyMelody customizations, you'll find the performance underwhelming.
The preset profiles help switch between different sound profiles, but you get to create your unique Audio ID called Golden sound, which targets a fuller sound suited for your ears. The 'Hans Zimmer Soundscape Tuning' preset and BassWave bass enhancement adds a nice punch to the audio,
The Buds Pro 2 also come with ANC, which is good, but not as good as AirPods Pro 2. The transparency mode works as advertised, and the complete noise cancellation blocks unwanted noise to an extent, and with music, you won't hear outside noise. We liked the smart ANC mode, which adjusts to the ambiance quite well, and it remained our default mode unless we had a preference to listening to something specific.
Finally, the Zen Mode Air has been retained to deliver the white noise of your choice. It is something you can easily get used to for falling asleep.
The call quality on the Buds Pro 2 is slightly improved. We didn't have any complaints while using the earbuds for calls while driving. It surpasses the traffic sounds and wind noise well.
Spatial audio works only with OnePlus 11 and OnePlus 11R and it works with precision. We loved how the head tracking worked while streaming movies on the TV. The surround sound during racing scenes and action sequences took us right into that moment. The fixed spatial audio is more suited for binge-watching content. To see the difference spatial audio makes in the Buds Pro 2, just turn it off and it is night and day.
For the price that the Buds Pro 2 come in, the spatial audio it offers is quite remarkable.
Finally, the Buds Pro 2 is said to last 25 hours with ANC and 39 hours without noise canceling. The charging case, which has a flat and compact design, stores three additional charges. The battery on the Buds Pro 2 is a strong USP. With 60 percent volume, the earbuds can last six hours while using ANC and close to 10 hours if you choose to turn off ANC. Since the case stores three charges at least, we could easily use the earbuds for anywhere between 20 to 30 hours before plugging them in.
At Rs 11,999, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is a solid investment for OnePlus 11 and OnePlus 11R buyers. There are no bundle offers like what Samsung offers, but that's alright considering the phone's price is almost half. If you want to save some cash, the OnePlus Buds 2R costs Rs 2,000 less, but you lose out on wireless charging and head-tracking, which are quality features to be missed.
The audio performance is lively and punchy, and the level of customisation you get with the Buds Pro 2 is impressive. Due to the dependency on HeyMelody app and Spatial Audio being an exclusive feature, it is hard to recommend to non-OnePlus 11-series phones.