OnePlus came out with their brand new smartphone, the Nord, a few weeks back. The smartphone, in my opinion, had some great PR done to create a tremendous buzz but is just like a lot of the other budget midrange smartphones already out there. But there was something else that OnePlus did. They brought back the teal color in trend. I was a user of the Nokia Lumia 510 and I loved the cyan, which was pretty close to teal and I love the color of the Nord. Today, we are not going to be looking at the OnePlus Nord, because that’s what everyone is doing. We will be looking at their truly wireless OnePlus buds, and that too, in Nord Blue, as they like to call it.
It is the usual OnePlus color scheme here, with the white and red box. Inside it, you get all the regular stuff, nothing fancy going on here. There are the earbuds, some documentation, and the charging cable. The packaging is pretty sturdy and doesn’t feel cheap by any means. It sort of looks like an eggshell, and you’ll know it when you see it.
If you’ve seen the AirPods and the Pixel Buds, you will feel like the charging case is more of a cross between the two of them. It is of the perfect size and is not too small nor too big. It is circular and I adore the color. They have this sort of lime green accent inside, which is a nice touch. If you don’t like the Nord Blue color, you can go for the classics (black or white).
The case has an indicator light in the front, the USB Type C port at the bottom, and the pairing button at the back. The OnePlus buds need to be inside the case for you to pair it, so keep that in mind. But apart from all that, these look very similar to the AirPods and it’ll be hard to differentiate it in a crowd unless you have the Nord Blue variant of course.
OnePlus have made some bold claims regarding the sound and mic quality of the OnePlus buds. To be fair, I wouldn’t say all of those claims hold, but some of them do. For starters, their site mentions that the buds use a unique noise cancellation algorithm and have three microphones for top-notch call quality and clear voice recordings. In my experience, this wasn’t entirely true. The calls were pretty clear if you don’t have a lot of background noise going on, and that is good. It is almost comparable to the AirPods, which is almost double in price.
But, with background noise, it is a very different story. The sound was muffled and the voice was not very good. You can still hear the voice and make out what is being said, but the background noise is also prevalent. Another issue that I had was that there were frequent connection drops with my Honor phone, but not with my OnePlus 7T Pro. Not sure why OnePlus is working differently with non OnePlus phones.
I wanted to keep the sound quality and microphone sections separate because there is a huge difference between the two. A lot of people want good sound quality and don’t worry about the mic quality. The sound quality is INCREDIBLE. It is kept in bold because you need to listen to understand how good it is. There’s literally nothing that separates these bad boys from the AirPods in terms of sound quality. There are several reviews out there that say otherwise, but I don’t know if it is because of a faulty product that they received.
It is slightly bass heavy, but not too much. Due to this, and the slightly loose fit of the earbuds, the sound quality feels better, because the extra bass is not so prominent. Like I said, the loose fit of these earbuds might be a big no for some people because it can easily come off during heavy workouts. When the hype around the Nord was skyrocketing, I was honestly expecting a very innovative product, but the OnePlus buds is just another pair of wireless earbuds in a sea of them.
You might be wondering why I put a software section for a pair of wireless earbuds. This is because I have some bad news for you. Unless you are a OnePlus user, you will not get any firmware updates for the buds. Yes, you heard that right. What this means is that the microphone quality is not going to improve for you, the frequent connections drops are not going to go away and you’re basically left with the buds in their stock condition. Even the touch controls are lackluster on these buds for non OnePlus users and they will not be able to customize them.
On a full charge, the OnePlus Buds give you around 7 hours of continuous music playback. What’s even better is that the case can charge the buds and give you almost 30 hours of total playback time. It also supports the famous Warp Charge technology to give you fast charging times and shorter breaks between your music. There’s no wireless charging, but that is pretty obvious considering the price point.
At $79, the OnePlus buds are a great alternative to the AirPods, only if you don’t have the extra money to get the AirPods. Does that sound confusing? To be frank, there’s nothing about the OnePlus buds that stand out and I feel that there are several other cheaper alternatives in the market that perform similar to this one. If you’re a OnePlus fanboy and want to compliment your new OnePlus Nord or OnePlus 8 with the buds, you sure can. If you haven’t checked out our list of the top 10 wireless earbuds of 2020, please go ahead and check them out.
- Great sound quality
- Perfect for OnePlus users
- Nord Blue grows on you
- Not friendly to non OnePlus users
- Could’ve had a slightly better fit
- Frequent connection drops
- Lacks anything innovative