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[Accessory Review Challenge] OnePlus Buds - are they worth it?

  1. JelleZon
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Aug 31, 2020

    JelleZon , Aug 31, 2020 :
    OnePlus Buds - Are they worth it?


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    As an entry for the Accessory Testers Recruitment I am happy to share my thoughts about the brand new OnePlus Buds! First of all: I am not an audio junky and would not describe myself as an audiophile. Despite 5-6 hours of music streaming every day, I am relatively simple. I prefer decent bass, clear sound and loud enough volume. That's it. So don't expect a professional review but expect an opinion from a typical average consumer like me and you. As a OnePlus user since the beginning, you could clearly call me “fanboy”. I have owned several devices like the original OnePlus One, OnePlus 2, 3, 5T, 6T, 7T, 8 Pro and also the brand new Nord. Nevertheless I will still review everything as objective and neutral as possible.

    The new Buds are the first truly wireless bluetooth headphones from OnePlus. Finally 🤩! I've been using the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 for phone calls at work for a long time, but the biggest disruptive factor with these headphones is the neck band/cable. Despite the bluetooth functionality, the Bullets Wireless 2 headphones are connected with a cable that is placed in the neck. I do not like that and think it is annoying. Even better that OnePlus finally goes truly wireless. My previous headphones of choice from Jabra are already completely wireless, which is why the new Buds have to push them out first. So far I have always preferred to use "In Ears" with rubber tips, because there is a passive noise cancelling and they fit perfectly. I always use the headphones on the go and especially during sports and working out in the gym.

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    Design

    Like the new OnePlus Nord, the Buds are coming in an eye-catching appearance. The Nord Blue colour is perfectly matching with the new smartphone. Nord = north in european languages = cold = blue. You get it. The case, which quickly charges the headphones within a few minutes, comes with a matte finish. I really like that. The buds themselves, on the other hand, have a glossy finish. All in all not the best looking design, but it is a personal preference. Looks like Fisher Price toys ... 👀🌚 I would have prefered the black variante, but they were not available at that time. As the Apple AirPods, which the Buds are obviously "based on", the earphones look like a toothbrush in the ear. But again: personal preference ;) They are definitely an eye-catcher thanks to the bright nord blue colour!



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    Pairing and Controls

    When you open the charging case for the first time, an option for pairing the OnePlus Buds pops up on your screen. Very convenient. No fumbling through settings or searching for a pairing button. Once the Buds are paired, they directly connect to your device every time you put them out of the cases. No need to switch them on separately or select anything on the phone. Comfort is the key here.

    The battery status of the case and the earphones themselves is also shown directly on the smartphone. In addition to the very fast connecting process, the Buds are able to be linked to your Google account. No matter which smartphone you use, as long as you are logged in with the same Google account, the device already knows the buds. Very easy to pair several devices. Again practical and convenient!

    screenshots-buds-engl__01.jpg
    The OnePlus Buds will receive software updates via your smartphone, which may offer new features and improvements. You can also configure the Buds more precisely in the bluetooth settings.

    Advantage and disadvantage at the same time: The Buds have a touch surface that can be activated with a double tap. Unfortunately, only with a double tip... No single tap or other touch gestures. This is definitely not the most customizable control option... maybe more with an update?

    Nevertheless you can select different control options for the right and left bud.

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    I am using double tap on the right to skip to the next track and double tap on the left to start the Google Assistant. The touch controls itself are very accurate and always reliable.

    Unfortunately you can not control the volume with this touch gesture. Another cool feature: The buds can tell whether they are in the ear or not. This means that when a bud is taken out of the ear, music pauses immediately. Putting it back in your audio will continue. This feature is also very comfortable and works reliable. For example if someone wants to talk to you and you can not hear him or her.

    Speaking of controls. The connected device and audio source can easily be changed by holding the touch surface for 3 seconds. This enables quick switching between the last 2 paired devices. You could easily switch between your laptop and your phone within seconds. The buds are paired with my OnePlus 8 Pro and my OnePlus Nord. Tapping for 3 seconds switches from one device to the other without having to disconnect and reconnect. Smart!

    Comfort and Fitting

    Although the buds are made out of plastic, they do not feel cheap. They are very light weight. Due to that they feel very good in my ears. Usually I prefer earbuds with a rubber tip, because they fit stronger and offer a nice passive isolation. Due to the lack of rubber tips on the earbuds and because of the plastic shell I was skeptical if the buds will stay in my ear? :nomouth: Sometimes they feel a bit loose, but they have never fallen out of my ear and are fitting very well! No matter if I am walking or running outside or doing my workout sessions in the gym - they are stucking in my ears. But this also depends on your ear size and shape so everyone has a different opinion on that. Regarding comfort and fit the OnePlus Buds feel very very similar to the Apple AirPods.

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    Battery Life and Charging

    Charging is quite simple. The case can be charged with the OnePlus styled USB C cable, which comes in the box. The buds themselves will be charged in the cases. On a full charge, the buds are able to last up to 7 hours with music playback and up to 4 hours in a phone call. In practical use I have never reached the full potential. My longest continuous listening time was 5 hours and the Buds had still 20% battery left. Amazing! Great results, if you compare it to other models. Usually the battery life is the most common disadvantage of truly wireless earbuds. But the Buds offer an amazing battery life which makes this feature to an outstanding selling point. In general the battery and endurance have never been a problem for my usage.

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    Both Buds and charging case combined provide a total runtime of 30 hours. So theoretically the Buds could be recharged up to 5 times before you need to charge the case itself.

    For me the charging and battery life is the best feature of these earbuds. Putting the buds into the case for only 10 minutes = almost 2 hours of playing time. WARP. Game changing!:sunglasses::smilingimp:

    Sound

    I am mostly listening to rock music. For example: Billy Talent, Skillet, Disturbed, Linkin Park, Blink 182. That information should help by understanding my opinion about the sound. Furthermore I am listening to a lot of podcasts.

    Like the design and comfort, the sound preferences are very individual. The music genre your are listening to can also make a difference in how you expierence the sound quality. So keep in mind that this is my personal review. I am not an audiophile but I can say that the buds sound good and solid. Due to the relatively open design without any in-ear rubbers they don't sound very bass heavy. So don't expect a powerful sound experience that blows you off your chair. For that experience you should probably buy some over-ear headphones. All in all, the OnePlus Buds sound neutral, balanced and offer a very clear sound. Not bass-heavy, but definitely not tinny either. They sound very good when it comes to music with more highs or with speech and text in the foreground. Overall solid and good, but nothing top notch (notch lol).

    Due to the open design without rubber tips there is no passive insulation. That means you will definitely hear some outside noise in the background. Maybe a disadvantage, because the music may be disrupted, but it can also be seen as an advantage, since you can hear enough around you. Especially on public transport or out on the streets. It only bothered me during my workouts when I have heard everyones talking and all background noises in the gym. Fortunately the maximum volume is loud enough. In everyday life when walking outside or traveling I like the lack of isolation because you are able to hear cars and everything around you.

    At the beginning I had some dropouts, lost connections and crashes while listening to audio. But this was fixed after the Buds’ first software update. The range, i.e. how long the connection remains stable over distance, was very good.

    Call- and Voice Quality

    All counterparts, no matter if on a call or with a voice message, confirmed that the voice quality was very good. Everything sounds crisp and clear. BUT... unfortunately it is not possible to accept incoming calls only with the One Plus Buds themself… It is alright for me, because I do not take that much calls, but I still wanted to mention that. Thanks to the noise isolation feature (NOT active noise cancelling when listening to music - there is no ANC) external noises like wind, cars or other conversations in the background are filtered out during a phone call. Sounds great and works fine. My conversation partners were able to understand everything and my voice was still clear even when there was a lot of background noise.

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    Conclusion

    Are they worth it?:hushed:
    For the low price of only 89€, I can definitely recommend the new OnePlus Buds. Please don’t expect a music orgasm though. I would describe them as well balanced, not too bass heavy, but clear and solid. The sound is very similar to that of the much more expensive Apple AirPods. So not only the design seems familiar :p The very good battery life and the fast charging are the strongest arguments to buy the OnePlus Buds. The controls are somehow limited, but can be configured individually . Pairing, connecting and switching between multiple devices works incredibly reliably and fast. The automatic in ear detection, which automatically pauses the music whenever you put out one earbud is very convenient for my usage. Perfect when someone speaks up to you and you quickly put out one Bud so you can follow the conversation.

    All in all, the OnePlus Buds are definitely a good choice for me both for phone calls at work and when listening to music and podcasts on the go! If you are looking for new headphones and you want some decent sounding earbuds the OnePlus Buds are a good option! The price, the awesome battery life and the great integration with accurate controls are the best arguments for buying the Buds!:innocent:

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    That was my review of the new OnePlus Buds. Thanks for reading, if you have any further questions or comments, just let me know :)

    See you and NEVER SETTLE :sunglasses:
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020

    #1
  2. yashwant24
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 1, 2020


    #2
    Oreo. and JelleZon like this.
  3. JelleZon
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 6, 2020

    JelleZon , Sep 6, 2020 :
    Thanks man :)
     

    #3
  4. Sin_of_Wrath
    Donut Sep 7, 2020


    #4
    JelleZon likes this.
  5. JelleZon
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 13, 2020


    #5
  6. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 14, 2020


    #6
    JelleZon likes this.
  7. hogwarts1982
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 14, 2020

    hogwarts1982 , Sep 14, 2020 :
    Its a rip-off of air pods. Why did you have to write such a big post?
     

    #7
  8. hogwarts1982
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 14, 2020

  9. JelleZon
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 15, 2020


    #9
    Starcommander likes this.
  10. Illegalfall
    Eclair Sep 15, 2020


    #10
    JelleZon likes this.
  11. Peki28
    Cupcake Sep 15, 2020


    #11
  12. JelleZon
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 15, 2020

    JelleZon , Sep 15, 2020 :
    Due to the hard shell material and loose fitting they don't fit for everyone.
    Look at the pictures in my review, they should just sit in your ear like that.
     

    #12
  13. JelleZon
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 21, 2020

    JelleZon , Sep 21, 2020 :
    Do the always fall off?
    Maybe try to really align them
     

    #13
  14. nicopsycho
    Cupcake Sep 22, 2020

    nicopsycho , Sep 22, 2020 :
    did you have any disconnections issues during video playback for example? multiple reviews mention intempestive disconnections of the buds even though they auto reconnected and resumed playback automatically...
     

    #14
  15. JelleZon
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 22, 2020

    JelleZon , Sep 22, 2020 :
     

    #15
  16. ShanjayDeep
    Eclair Sep 24, 2020

    ShanjayDeep , Sep 24, 2020 :
    Updates are seriously needed guys. Since battery indication connectivity issues still persists..
     

    #16
  17. JelleZon
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 24, 2020

    JelleZon , Sep 24, 2020 :
    What do you mean?
     

    #17
  18. ShanjayDeep
    Eclair Sep 24, 2020

    ShanjayDeep , Sep 24, 2020 :
    My buds gets audio stutters continuosly while playing vidoes on my laptop..And battery indication is sometimes gimmicky..
     

    #18
  19. JelleZon
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 24, 2020

    JelleZon , Sep 24, 2020 :
    Battery indicator works perfectly fine connected with my 8 pro

    I haven't used them together with something else besides my phone
     

    #19
  20. ShanjayDeep
    Eclair Sep 24, 2020

    ShanjayDeep , Sep 24, 2020 :
    It's actually good..But sometimes its tricky.
     

    #20