[Accessory Review Challenge] OnePlus Buds : Best buds for life?

  1. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 12, 2020

    Starcommander , Sep 12, 2020 :
    Hey everyone,
    On 21st July, OnePlus launched one of the most requested and highly anticipated device: A true wireless earbuds a.k.a. OnePlus Buds. Having never used a True Wireless Earphone before, I was super excited to try these. However, due to lockdown, it took over 2 months for me to get hands-on them. In this thread, I will be sharing my experience of OnePlus Buds.

    Unboxing :
    With OnePlus buds, they did something that I always asked for: A smaller packaging! This box can easily fit anywhere if you are one of those who loves to preserve the packaging :p

    Box Contents :
    • OnePlus Buds
    • Type c to Type-A USB cable
    • Safety Information card
    • Warranty card

    Technical Specifications:
    • Model: E501A
    • Bluetooth v5.0 non-Qualcomm Chipset.
    • 13.4mm audio driver.
    • 420mAh battery capacity for the case.
    • Warp Charge.
    • Triple Microphone.
    Design :

    1)Earbuds :

    Like the previous generation bullets, OnePlus has kept the unique circular pattern found on the magnetic part of their earphones. The only difference is that it now serves as touch control.
    I personally love this design implementation because it truly separates OnePlus Buds from its competition. However, I am not a fan of the glossy finish on the buds.

    Comfort: I will be honest about this. On the first day, my ears hurt a lot. I really wish OnePlus added silicon tips. It took me two days to adjust to these buds. However, once you get used to it, it won't hurt your ears.

    I tried jumping, running and even did a workout to test how firmly they are stuck to my ears and to my surprise, they hold up quite well. It almost passed 8 out of 10 tests.

    2)Case :

    I personally feel the case is the most underrated aspect of any true wireless earbuds. OnePlus has nailed its implementation. No sharp corners, proper weight distribution, matte finish are the key highlights that I liked the most.
    However, the most satisfying part is the snap. I wish I had an ASMR microphone to record that snap. It is oddly satisfying.
    In summary :
    • Beautifully designed Case.
    • Strong and sturdy Hinge.
    • The touch panel of earbud looks beautiful.
    • Not as comfortable as previous bullets wireless.
    • Matte finish on the earbuds would have been better.

    Battery :
    (One word: Amazing 🔥)​
    When I received this unit, the case had 90% battery. I decided to fully charge and start using it. Here are my usage details :
    Day 1:
    1 hour of YouTube.
    45 mins of music.
    30 mins gaming.
    Amount of battery left in the Case: 90%

    Day 2 :
    30 mins of music.
    1-hour gameplay.
    A 2 hour movie.
    Amount of battery left in the Case: 70%

    Day 3 :
    6 hours of Google meeting.
    Amount of battery left in the case: 30%

    I did not consider the battery in earbuds because I was never bothered about them. Whenever I placed the buds inside the case, they started charging.
    In Summary :
    If you are a person who is often worried about battery life, these are the best buds for you!! ;)

    Sound quality :
    (tested with OnePlus 6T)​

    This is the most critical aspect of any earphone. It is the heart of an earphone. Fortunately, OnePlus Buds don't sound bad. In this review, I will compare the sound quality of OnePlus Buds with OnePlus wireless 2 because they are similarly priced.
    Both of them have different internal architecture. BW2 has triple drivers while OnePlus Buds are equipped with a bigger driver. However, BW2 supports AptX HD which is missing in OnePlus Buds.

    1)Music Test :
    I have tried different genre of songs: Hip hop, electronic and classic songs.

    First song :

    Overall, the Buds have a more warm sound and better bass whereas BW2 have more treble and clear sound to it. I personally prefer a clear sound over a bass-heavy sound.

    Second song :

    For electronic music, I preferred OnePlus Buds over BW2. This kind of music needs a punch to charge you up and Buds have a great punch in them!

    Third Song

    BW2 clearly outperformed buds when it comes to vocal clarity. It doesn't mean that I understood every verse spitted out by Eminem but whatever he said, it felt good while using BW2:p

    2)Gaming Test (Buds only) :
    Initially, I never believed the claim that Fanatic mode will reduce latency but then I tried the Audio Tester application.
    1. Without Gaming mode: Latency > 190ms
    2. With Gaming mode: Latency was just above 100ms
    3. With fanatic mode: Latency was less than 90ms
    Great work OnePlus! :cool:

    3)Call quality :

    OnePlus boasts about its triple microphone quality which I decided to test by calling my favourite person ONEPLUS CUSTOMER CARE! :p
    Having used BW2 for over years now I was used to hearing "Sorry I can't hear you" but surprisingly with OnePlus buds, I had no such issues. The in-call audio was loud and clear. Environment noise cancellation, however, did not work for me.


    In Summary:
    • Amazing call quality.
    • Mic quality is better than BW2.
    • Rich in bass.
    • Low latency mode works as described.
    • Low on treble.
    • Environmental noise cancellation doesn't work.
    • No static noise issue that was present in some bw2 models.
    Software Optimisations:

    1)One tap pairing process :
    Super easy pairing process!

    2)Battery display UI:

    3)Find Device :

    To be honest, I found the ringing feature to be useless. I will explain it with a video which tries to highlight the low audio coming out of buds while finding them.

    Unless you pay focus on the sound, you won't be able to hear it.

    All the gestures work as they are supposed to. However, the absence of Volume control on the buds is a big deal-breaker for me. On my regular usage, I found that google assistant was quick to respond when triggered with OnePlus buds than bw2.
    Available Gestures :
    1. Double-tap left earbud.
    2. Double-tap right earbud.
    3. On-ear detection for play and pause.
    4. Long press for 3 sec to connect to other devices.

    In Summary
    • No audio optimisations for OnePlus 6 series.
    • Very easy pairing process.
    • Ringing the device to find them is not a practical feature with such low volumes.
    • No inline volume controls.
    • Simple and clean UI.
    • Ability to connect to another device on long-press is an underrated feature.
    Issues :

    No major issues apart from few software glitches and auto disconnect(sometimes).

    Edited on 17th September
    : left earbuds stopped working suddenly and had to reset my bud's connection.

    Feedback for next version :
    1. Volume control on the buds
    2. Silicon tips.
    3. A better battery Indicator on the charging case.
    4. A Matte finish on the buds.
    Conclusion :
    OnePlus Buds is a bold step by OnePlus in TWS territory. It has a lot of great features at an amazing price. But, it does have some scope for improvements. OnePlus Buds will be a perfect buy for those people who needs the portability of TWS, good battery life and bass-rich earbuds.

    Thank you for reading.
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020


  2. #2
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  3. anunayC
    Honeycomb Sep 12, 2020

  4. TibiTibi
    Photography Expert Sep 12, 2020

    drl431, Mr. BG, G_plusone and 6 others like this.
  5. yashonagori
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Sep 12, 2020

    Mr. BG, G_plusone, Batman360 and 4 others like this.
  6. jlasensiofi
    KitKat Sep 12, 2020

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  7. Cakepips
    User of the Year 2020 Sep 12, 2020

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  8. fragargon
    Jelly Bean Sep 12, 2020

    fragargon , Sep 12, 2020 :
    Awsome review @Starcommander .
    I like it, easy to read, straigh to the point.
    Left some improvements perspective as conclusion.

    Lol kudos to your friend CS 😁

    Mr. BG, G_plusone, Batman360 and 2 others like this.
  9. SRD.
    KitKat Sep 13, 2020

    SRD. , Sep 13, 2020 :
    Great review 🌟. So crisp, to the point & honest words.
    Good work 👍

  10. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 13, 2020

    Starcommander , Sep 13, 2020 :
    Thanks guys!! 🤗
    Thank you!! 😁
    😂😂 I don't even know if CS team knows about this 🤣
    Thanks though.
    Thank you!

  11. AbhilashSaikia
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Sep 13, 2020

  12. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 13, 2020

    Mr. BG, G_plusone, Batman360 and 2 others like this.
  13. asishgrwl
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 13, 2020

    asishgrwl , Sep 13, 2020 :
    Nice review @Starcommander:)
    Having the smallest possible ear canals:p, this is why I didn't upgrade from my Enco W31 to OnePlus Buds because I heard & read that it's good for people having medium and/or large ear canals.:D
    Agreed. But if they add silicone ear tips and wireless charging then it would be killer I guess..:)

  14. Batman360
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 13, 2020

    Batman360 , Sep 13, 2020 :
    Wooot wooot!!! 🔥🔥🔥 A fire review 😍😍🔥🔥 You definitely going to get selected 🔥🔥

    Mr. BG, Helder_DAlmeida, SRD. and 3 others like this.
  15. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 13, 2020

    Starcommander , Sep 13, 2020 :
    Thanks and I agree with you 💯

  16. Dhruv Kashyap
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 13, 2020

    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020

    Mr. BG, G_plusone and Starcommander like this.
  17. Starcommander
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 13, 2020

    Starcommander , Sep 13, 2020 :
    Thanks buddy

  18. Shubham_Ag.
    Jelly Bean Sep 13, 2020

  19. G_plusone
    Nougat Sep 13, 2020

  20. JelleZon
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 13, 2020