Oneplus Buds Pro Review: Bass-tastic

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OnePlus Buds Pro review summary:

Editor’s rating: 3.70/5

Design

Fit and Controls

Connectivity

Noise cancellation

Audio

Battery

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Pros

  • Good sound output
  • Powerful ANC
  • Comfortable to wear all-day
  • Good battery backup

Cons

  • LHDC codec music streaming not available
  • Smart mode of ANC unreliable

Oneplus Buds Pro is the company’s yet another attempt to capture TWS earbuds segment in India. These are Oneplus third TWS earbuds after Oneplus Buds and Oneplus Buds Z which did moderately well in the segment. Oneplus has hoped to further consolidate its position with active noise cancellation, wireless charging, and premium design.

Oneplus Buds Pro is priced at Rs. 9,990 in India and the company calls it to be the most advanced pair of TWS earphones from their side, but does it really offer bang for the buck? We will find out in my review.

Navigate this review:


Specs | Design, Fit & Control | Connectivity, ANC and Companion app | Audio | Battery | Should you buy? | Pros – Cons |


Oneplus Buds Pro Specs and Highlights

  • Smart Adaptive Noise Cancellation: Up to 40 dB hybrid noise canceling with automated environmental noise detection & adjustment.
  • OnePlus Audio ID: Personalize your audio via a simple listening test at the first time setup. This unique hearing profile ID allows one to enjoy the most optimal listening experience best suited to him or her by compensating for mild hearing loss and related aural deficiencies.
  • Worry-free Battery Life: Enjoy up to 38 hours of music and a quick Warp Charging of 10 minutes for 10 hours of playtime.
  • Full charged earbud: up to 5h (music playback; ANC ON); up to 7h (music playback; ANC Off) Full charged earbud: 3.5h(phone call)
  • Powerful, Punchy Bass: Drop the bass with dual 11mm dynamic drivers, delivering a precisely boosted sound profile designed to move you.
  • Zen Mode Air: 5 pre-sets of white noise can be played alongside adaptive noise cancellation – e.g., Meditation, Summers, Seashore, Night-time camping, etc. Now keep calm, relax, and stay focus.
  • Seamless connectivity: Instantaneous pairing with a OnePlus smartphone, as soon as you open the charging case lid.
  • IP55 Water, Dust, and Sweat resistant
  • 3-mic ENC call noise reduction

ONEPLUS BUDS PRO REVIEW: DESIGN, FIT AND CONTROLS

Oneplus Buds Pro is very different in design from its predecessors. The Buds Pro resembles Oppo’s Enco X in certain elements but it’s more or less a fresh design. Clearly, Oneplus engineers have designed a premium-looking charging case and earpieces. The earpieces weigh 4.35 grams whereas the case weighs 52 grams. The buds come in black and white color options and are comfortable to wear all day. They feel light and aren’t itchy to be worn even during workouts in the gym.

The earpiece casings have a matte black finish while its stems have a glossy dark grey finish. OnePlus has made some distinctive choices here. If you observe, there is no logo or “L” or “R” markings on earpieces to signify which goes in which ear. OnePus logo can be found only top of the case while “L” and “R” markings can be spotted easily inside next to the function button.

The stems are touch-sensitive but not when swiped or tapped. Like Apple’s AirPods, the stems have to be squeezed. When you squeeze a stem, a light clicking sound is made which gives the impression of pressing a button. The touch controls are different and way better than many other earphones.

To Play/Pause, I needed to single-press, for the next track there’s double-press and call controls are fixed too. Triple-press and long-press can be modified through Bluetooth or through Hey Melody App, which is available on Android and iOS phones.

The charging case has a premium look and feels with an indicator light at the front just below the lid. At the back, it features a USB Type-C port for charging. The earpieces are IP55 rated for dust and water resistance whereas the case is IPX4 for water resistance. One of the added features is the Qi wireless support for the case which was very useful. There’s a pairing button and perfect grooves to fit earpieces inside the case, which are sized to be pocketable and easy to carry around.

Overall, I find the OnePlus Buds Pro look and feel most premium among TWS Buds priced below Rs 10,000.

ONEPLUS BUDS PRO REVIEW: CONNECTIVITY, ANC & COMPANION APP

No points for guessing that the Oneplus Buds Pro works best with Oneplus smartphones. Although there’s no multi-point connectivity or quick switching between paired devices, Oneplus Fast Pair helps them pair swiftly with compatible devices. When I paired it with a  Oneplus Nord 2 smartphone, I found that the settings for it were accessible through the Bluetooth menu. For other devices, like my Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, the Hey Melody App offers the same functions. The app gives plenty of control over the specifics of the earphones.

Both these methods can be used to customize the controls, conduct earbud fit and Audio ID personalization tests, toggle the in-ear detection settings and update the firmware. Switching between active noise cancellation and transparency modes is easy. I could also set the intensity level of the ANC between normal, maximum, or a smart setting that can adjust itself according to surroundings. The Audio ID personalization doesn’t give good results, so I preferred it to be disabled.

ONEPLUS BUDS PRO REVIEW: AUDIO

Oneplus Buds Pro has 11mm dynamic drivers unlike many of its competitors who have dual-driver setup, but they provide good tuning and optimization for the AAC Bluetooth codec. The audio quality is detailed and precisely clear in both high and low notes. One strange thing is that although the LHDC Bluetooth codec is supported by Oneplus Buds Pro, it is not yet supported by non – Oneplus smartphones. Very few devices from a handful of brands support this codec for now. This didn’t allow me to test these buds with LHDC codec but all I could do was borrow iPhone 12 Pro from a cousin of mine to listen to Dolby Atmos tracks on Apple Music.

The bass quality of the Oneplus Buds Pro is really impressive. Since I am a fan of Hindi music, I found some songs on my playlist standing out, when listened to using Buds Pro. These include Dhunki by Neha Bhasin and Taal Se Taal by Alka Yagnik and Udit Narayan. The drumbeats in the latter were crystal clear without affecting the soulful voices of the singers. One other song that stood out was Breathless by Shankar Mahadevan, it sounds powerful yet soothing. One good quality about the audio was that even the minute details in the tracks were highlighted while hearing. In the under 10,000 price range, Oneplus Buds Pro offers decent audio quality.

Whether it was faced paced tracks or slower ones, these buds did not hamper any of their qualities but only made them sound clearer. The buds can handle high volumes without any deterioration in the sound quality.

Zen Mode Air is a new feature of the Oneplus Buds Pro, which lets one listen to any of five ‘white noise’ clips of calming nature sounds. It can be activated by pressing and holding the stem for 3 seconds. When you do this, it stops playback and turns on the active sound clip saved to the earpieces. These sounds helped me relax my mind after a tiring day and sometimes even sleep at night.

Active Noise Cancellation is a very important feature in today’s times when schooling and office work are being done at home and meetings/classes are being held via the internet. The background noises didn’t disturb my office meetings and I didn’t have to look for a quiet spot in the house with guests. ANC performance helped it easier to listen to music, hear dialogues, audiobooks, or speeches in crowded areas. ANC comes with 3 levels of intensity, out of which the smart mode (which adjusts itself) was not helpful. This was because it changed the level abruptly sometimes, which was a bit problematic.

Call and connection quality is ok and I did not face any issues while using Buds Pro to have voice calls. The connection was stable at distances up to 4.5m between the earphones and my smartphone at home.

ONEPLUS BUDS PRO REVIEW: BATTERY

As for battery life, they lasted for about 4.5 hours on a single charge and an additional 28 hours with the case.  This was when I wasn’t keeping ANC on all the time. When I didn’t switch on the ANC at all, it lasted about 7 hours and an additional 31 hours with the case, delivering a total of 28 hours of playback, which is good. The charging case has a 520Mah battery while each earpiece has a 40mAh battery with warp charging also available.

VERDICT: SHOULD YOU BUY ONEPLUS BUDS PRO?

Oneplus Buds Pro is the company’s most impressive TWS offering to date as it provides premium features like Noise cancellation and wireless charging in under the 10k price range. It is good in looks and easy to carry around. The Audio quality is also impressive despite featuring a single driver in each bud. It also works well with non-Oneplus smartphones too and can give competition to many high-range wireless earbuds. There are some drawbacks too like the unreliable smart mode of ANC and limited LDAC support but these can be overlooked if you look at the pros of the device. I would recommend it to those who want to buy TWS earbuds on a mid-range budget with smart features.

Reasons to buy

  • Good sound output
  • Powerful ANC
  • Comfortable to wear all-day
  • Good battery backup

Reasons to not buy

  • LHDC codec music streaming not available
  • Smart mode of ANC unreliable
Shivangi AgarwalShivangi Agarwal
Shivangi is an honours graduate in English from Delhi University with a passion for reading and writing. Always keen to know more about the latest gadgets, when she is not reading about tech, she loves listening to Hindi music and grooving to the latest Hindi beats.

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