Getting things right the first time requires a lot of precision and experience. For many companies, it might be about being first, but some would rather wait and thrive perfection. No, we aren't talking about Apple here. OnePlus has become a household name in the smartphone and accessory business and a new product lineup from the company has turned many heads.
OnePlus Buds, which mark the company's foray into the TWS sector, have managed to grab some attention despite the options available in the market. There are many factors that add to the attraction, but one cannot miss the brand's recognition here.
OnePlus sent us the Buds for review and here's what we think of them after having tested for an extended period. Before that, for those unaware, the OnePlus Buds are priced at Rs 4,990. They might not be one the ultra-affordable side, but they are not too pricey as well. We'd like to think of it as priced "just right" for India. But should you buy it? Let's find out.
OnePlus Buds: Design
OnePlus has always held high standards when it comes to designing its products. OnePlus Buds look absolutely stunning, especially the bold Nord Blue colour, its matching case and a contrast yellow interior. It's safe to say no other TWS in the market match the OnePlus Buds' outlook. The chic case has a USB Type-C port, making it easy to charge as it is the new standard. No wireless charging here.
The looks don't matter if they TWS earbuds lack comfort. Popping out the Buds out of their case is as easy as it gets. Putting them back in is just as simple. One might argue the Buds resemble AirPods, but it's not a bad thing to be honest. There are some elements unique to OnePlus Buds, like that flat surface at the upper end of the stem for gesture controls.
Now for the fit, OnePlus Buds reminded us of the original Apple AirPods minus the silicon tips. It took a while to get confident with the fit, but one gets used to it over time. Initially, the Buds felt like they might just fall off anytime But that's not going to happen unless you're running. The lightweight design makes it easy to wear for long hours without causing any discomfort. We wish there were silicone tips for a more secure fit. Nevertheless, there's something for OnePlus Buds 2.
OnePlus Buds: Performance
Given how OnePlus Bullets performed in the audio segment, the expectations were naturally high. The audio quality is not too great, but they are satisfactory to the point where one might not feel like they spent too much. The sound is balanced, the bass isn't too heavy and the highs don't cut deep into the ears. But deep house music or alt-rock fans won't feel that extra oomph. The ideal use is to watch movies or play games. Occasional music won't be disappointing. Mostly, use the Buds for calls, which is where we found its strength lies.
We used the OnePlus Buds with both iPhone 11 Pro and OnePlus 8 Pro. Interestingly, the ideal match for Buds is a OnePlus device. There was low latency and pairing was never a hurdle.
OnePlus also didn't miss the software optimisation bit. The little things like the notification animation on OxygenOS worked like a charm. Once paired, the phone would display the colour of the Buds. OnePlus always had love for finer details. You have these host of features to explore if Buds are paired with OnePlus phones.
OnePlus Buds: Battery
OnePlus claims Buds can last 7 hours on a single charge, but if you carry the charging case then there's an additional 23 hours on standby. Based on our testing, the Buds can last more or less the claimed time. We went two days on a single charge with extensive use of music, streaming, calls and gaming. With moderate use, you won't have to worry for days, and if you carry the charging case with you then weeks. It's pocket-friendly, so shouldn't be a problem.
But the best feature is the fast-charging capability of the Buds. With just 10 minutes of charge, you can make do with full day use. OnePlus claims 10 hours of playback with 10 minutes of charging, which works as claimed.
If we are counting the value-for-money factors, OnePlus Buds has plenty. If you own a OnePlus smartphone, the Buds are as important as buying AirPods when you have an iPhone.
They have great battery, they have a modern design, audio quality is quite satisfactory. There's room for improvement as features like ANC, wireless charging, limited gesture controls, and silicone tips for a better grip are missing. But the affordable price range makes OnePlus Buds one of the top five options while considering TWS earbuds.