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OnePlus Buds Pro 2 review: Bold sound and style
The perfect audio companion to the OnePlus 11 5G
4/5 Medals of Yavin: Recommended for those who want to experience Spatial Audio and own earbuds that aren’t white or black
Excellent audio quality
Supports fast wired charging and wireless charging
Not secure for exercising with heavy sweaters
Less expensive that Apple and Jabra models
OnePlus is best known for its Android smartphones, but the company also makes accessories that are optimized for its phones. These include fast wireless chargers, cases, and earbuds. The OnePlus Buds Pro earbuds were launched in 2021 for $149.99 and are a solid set of earbuds.
This year’s OnePlus Buds Pro 2 provides improvements across the board and includes some of the latest and greatest functions available in Android 13 smartphones. While the earbuds may be optimized for the OnePlus 11 5G, they also work well with other Android phones, the iPhone, tablets, and computers.
As explained in my palmsolo’s Refresh Rating Scale post, I’m awarding the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 four (4) Medals of Yavin. Over the past couple of weeks, the earbuds performed almost flawlessly with an attractive design, solid battery life, super spatial audio, and comfortable fit.
I had to place one earbud in the case and reconnect from time-to-time and none of the silicone tips worked well enough that I could use the earbuds while running and sweating.
The Good and the Bad
Despite all of the internal testing and trials, it’s rare to find a perfect product. Reviewers tend to push things to the limits and find unique situations where things may not perform perfectly. Software updates can also come later to fix some cons.
Attractive, lovely color and design
High quality, clear audio performance
Cool Spatial Audio functionality
Wireless and fast wired charging support
Earbuds sometimes lose the default connection
Don’t stay in my ears well while running and sweating
Since phone makers killed off the 3.5mm audio port to make room for larger batteries, more advanced cameras, and other internal components we all had to move to using wireless headphones for audio. Most of the headphones are available in black or white with a few companies making earbuds with a splash of color and style.
The first thing that struck me when I opened the review package from OnePlus was the lovely matte finish and Arbor Green color of the charging case. I was very pleased to see that the earbuds inside the case sported that some color and matte finish on the earbuds with a cool glossy green finish on the stem.
While having earbuds that are colorful and stylish is great, the audio quality and battery life are aspects that define whether or not the headset is worth consideration. The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 does very well with both characteristics.
There is a lot going on in the small package of the Buds Pro 2 when it comes to audio technology and performance, including:
MelodyBoost Dual Drivers: 11mm and 6mm drivers were co-created with Dynaudio (branding found on top of the case). The drivers are designed to help provide dynamic bass and a range of clear audio.
Spatial Audio: Google includes support for Spatial Audio in Android 13 and OnePlus incorporated a spatial rendering algorithm to put you at the center stage of your audio.
LHDC4.0 Lossless Hi-Res Audio: This codec is used to help maintain uninterrupted connections between the earbuds and your streaming device. It will be coming to the earbuds with a future software update.
Audio ID 2.0: Within the settings on your phone, you can create a fully personalized audio profile using a listening test and ear scan.
Adaptive Noise Cancellation: The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 has TUVRheinland-certified adaptive noise cancellation up to 48dB. Three levels are available and it is effective at blocking out unwanted noise.
Transparency Mode: This mode is nice for commuting when you want to hear your audio and noises around you. The mics collect the audio and play it back in your ears.
Zen Mode Air: Sometimes you just need a break from the world around you and that is where Zen Mode Air comes into play. Five white noise alternatives are available with one being downloaded and saved to the earbuds. I’m a fan of listening to Nighttime Camping while riding the train to work.
Spine Health Detection: Sensors in the earbuds can detect your posture position and settings on the phone can be toggled on to remind you to straighten up.
In addition to all of these advanced features, the earbuds are designed with IP55 dust and water resistance so you can wear them in light rain without any worry. Even the case has a bit of water resistance so a splash won’t destroy it.
Dynaudio worked with OnePlus on the driver technology and also provides the default Dynaudio equalizer setting - labeled Balanced in the settings. Three other custom equalizer profiles - Bold, Serenade, and Bass, are also included with the earbuds.
Three mics are positioned on each earbud with AI integration to filter out wind and other background noise. In my experience, callers said I sounded very good on the phone and on my end they sounded clear with good volume.
OnePlus stated that you can experience up to nine hours of battery life with the earbuds with ANC turned off while the charging case provides another 30 hours of playback life. In my testing, I’ve recorded about five to six hours with ANC turned on. The case likely can add another 20 hours of listening time. OnePlus also stated that three hours of listening time is provided with just 10 minutes of charging.
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 supports a dual connection to switch between two devices that you are connected to at the same time. This is a toggle in the settings and it is nice if you have your phone and a computer both connected to the earbuds.
There are no buttons on the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, but squeezing of the stem on each earbud is used to control playback. Options for quick, double, triple, and long holds are available. Available options include play/pause, previous/next, voice assistant, and game mode.
The squeeze-and-hold option lets you switch between listening modes, including noise cancellation on/off and transparency mode.
You can even capture photos with the camera with a double tap on either earbud. This option can be toggled on or off in the earbud settings on your phone.
If you misplace your earbuds, there is a find my earbuds option in the settings. An audible tone plays on the earbuds to help you find the missing earbud, assuming it is within range of the connected device.
Specifications alone don’t mean much, but they are useful for comparing similar devices and checking that you are getting value for your money.
Driver: 11mm and 6mm dynamic driver
Microphones: Three mics on each earbud
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3 LE
Water resistance: IP55 for earbuds and IPx4 for the charging case
Battery life: 9 hours with earbuds and 30 extra hours with charging case (ANC-off). About 5-6 hours with earbuds and 20 extra hours with the case (ANC-on)
Weight: 4.9 grams (earbud) and 47.3 grams (case)
Colors: Obsidian Black and Arbor Green
With 3.5mm audio ports no longer found on smartphones, truly wireless earbuds are my preferred option for enjoying podcasts, music, and audio content while watching videos on my devices.
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 in Arbor Green stands out as the best looking pair of earbuds in my extensive collection and they perform as good as they look.
Audio is crisp and clear with good bass — Spatial Audio is fantastic and everyone must experience this type of audio experience. The battery life is solid and the controls are reliable. Sometimes I had to place an earbud back into the case for the phone to recognize it, but that kind of connectivity may be fixed with a software update.
The full retail price is $179, but if you buy the earbuds from Amazon you can also get a $20 Amazon gift card. If you purchase the OnePlus 11 5G, then you can save $50 on the Buds Pro 2 when purchased from the OnePlus site together.
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is a rock solid product and some may even say it’s a more compelling offering than the OnePlus 11. When you compare it to the $249 price of the AirPods Pro, it’s a pretty convincing option.
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*Disclosure: I only recommend products I would use myself and all opinions expressed here are my own. OnePlus sent the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 for evaluation purposes as a long-term loaner, but has no influence over the content in this review. All opinions are my own. This post may contain affiliate links that add no additional cost to you and I may earn a small commission.