Hear from you: OnePlus Buds open review

  1. iharshjjain
    Ice Cream Sandwich Aug 10, 2020

    iharshjjain , via OnePlus Nord , Aug 10, 2020 :
    I won't dare on thinking to discriminate them..
    It's just they have given so much service to the community and for that they have different perks which we as a community member don't know. So I am just saying that let the community members win and not mods or staff. They are welcome to post there reviews and comments and even help others like me on how to write a review or how to improvise. Thats what I meant to say.

    luigimario likes this.
  2. AlienEye
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Aug 10, 2020

    AlienEye , via OnePlus 6 , Aug 10, 2020 :
    Actually they cannot according to the standard terms and conditions of OnePlus contests.

    luigimario likes this.
  3. luigimario
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Aug 10, 2020

    luigimario , Aug 10, 2020 :
    Ah, well I stand corrected. It's a shame, they do so much for the community. I'm not sure if they get other perks, but oh well.

    yashwant24 likes this.
  4. AlienEye
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Aug 10, 2020

    AlienEye , via OnePlus 6 , Aug 10, 2020 :
    I am sure they will...for such a hard work.
    To keep this community going forward....they are most important.

    luigimario likes this.
  5. Maximus Decimus Meridius
    Moderator Moderator Aug 10, 2020

    Maximus Decimus Meridius , Aug 10, 2020 :
    Lol, i hope so:eek:

    Basically we are forum-users with some extra perks and "digital broomes" to tidy things up around here.
    If there are some contests where we have some advantages, ofcourse, we can't take part of it.

  6. Hasibur Rahman BD
    Cupcake Aug 10, 2020

    Hasibur Rahman BD , via OnePlus 7T , Aug 10, 2020 :
    I was excited when I heard OnePlus buds coming, my expectations are

    Noice cancellation

    Better voice quality

    Pure Bass

    Comfortable Use

    But reading users review really upsets me ... sorry OP Buds

  7. obakesan
    Jelly Bean Aug 10, 2020

    Stickied Post
    obakesan , Aug 10, 2020 :
    OnePlus Buds Review

    Quick Facts

    Colour - Nord Blue
    Price: £79 (UK)
    Driver: 13.4mm
    Frequency Response: 20 Hz - 20 KHz


    These buds are for you, or are they? After much hype and fanfare, OnePlus finally launched their own TWS or totally wireless headphones called the OnePlus Buds. Unlike their previous wireless offering, the Bullets Wireless family, the Z being the latest revision, the buds aren't connected by a cable. They are independent and thus wire free since the left and right channels connect wirelessly. After the long wait and all the hype are they all that they are cracked up to be?

    Well let's dive in and find out. I'll be honest, I've been pretty happy with my current headphones the Bullets Wireless 2. I have seen many TWS brands and models come to the market, but let's face it, they are all just late imitators to a party created by Apple with their AirPods. Imitation is the highest form of flattery and it seems to have worked for Apple, but I've not been convinced on the clones. Anyway, as luck would have it I managed to get a hold of a pair of OnePlus Buds and try them out for myself, so without further ado, let's see what I thought.


    Do you know the old adage that great things come in small packages? Well, the OnePlus Buds prove this is to be true and it all starts with the packaging. We tend to focus on the item at hand, rip open the box to get are hands on the latest tech, but its worth mentioning the package too as the sum of the parts make up the whole experience.
    IMG_20200810_194417.jpg IMG_20200810_194547.jpg

    The box is smaller than I was expecting, quite small compared with the box the Wireless Bullets 2 came in. The buds are packed in a square box which features a hanging hook used for retail presentation. You can imagine these hanging on a hook at your nearest gadget shop. The front of the box we have the product image which features the buds and their charging case in Nord Blue. The new branding style is evident here, with red stripped logos on the left with a white main area of the product. The back contains the usual copyright, company info, etc.
    IMG_20200728_144733.jpg IMG_20200728_144701.jpg IMG_20200728_145152.jpg IMG_20200728_145135.jpg IMG_20200728_145230.jpg

    While the outside is rather dull, the opposite can be said for the inside. I was quite impressed with the little treasure trove of packaging which made opening the buds a nice experience. It's the first item in a new category so it's good to see a nice unboxing experience. Pull the top off and you are greeted to the buds in the middle of it's inner tray. It reminds me of some sort of pebble or precious stone and I found the symmetry rather pleasing. Taking the inner top out we find another box inside welcoming us more which contains manuals and the Warp charge USB-C cable. The cable is a small one, but it's nice it's included to charge the case and your buds. Removing this box we find another small little message from OnePlus, all lined in red. Once again, a pleasant experience.


    Let's get the elephant out of room first, yes the design of the buds looks like the design of a certain fruity company. Yes, Apple's AirPods are similiar in design, maybe it's hard to do an earphone attached to a stick any different but their must be a way surely. To be fair it seems every other TWS earphones out there burrow from Apple. Anyway, I wish they were more like the Wireless Bullets minus the cable.

    Critiques aside, the design itself is still nice. I especially like the build quality of the included carry / charging case. It has a nice feel and weight to it, bit hard to describe, but that pebble or stone analogy springs to mind. The lid of the case has a nice "snapping" sound so no worrying of them not closing propely for example. The case is simple, with just the USB-C charging port on the bottom and a small light in the middle used to represent pairing, power, status, etc.
    The buds themselves, feel nice too and there are some elements there from the bullets wireless like the circle element which is the touch control. The feeling of the buds is plastic but of a strong nature with a smooth texture to them. A bit of weight in hand but not too heavy to drag your ear. In other words, they are fine and despite my misgivings, I really dig the blue colour, they are different and stand out with the accented greenish yellow colour on the case and the buds.
    IMG_20200810_194245.jpg IMG_20200810_193954.jpg


    I only tested connecting these with 2 different devices; a OnePlus 7T Pro and a Nord. The Nord had a better experience, especially with recent updates, naturally then the 7T Pro. In theory, flip open the lid, turn on bluetooth and they magically pair with the device. This worked on the Nord, but it wasn't as smooth as it's made out to be. I must have waited ages for the phones to pair, flipping open / closed the lid, re-set the phones, etc. Maybe it's me or the phone or the buds but they weren't as instant as I had thought it would be. The 7T I found I had to manually pair the buds rather than the automatic method.

    Once thing I thought was odd was the buds require your email address, or rather they get linked to your google account. I am not sure why headphones need to register with your google account, but the only thing I can think of is for the find my buds feature. You can tap an option under bluetooth settings to "ring" your buds so you can find them. DON'T do this with them in your eats, cause it's loud and you could damage your ears. On a device with no google account, the buds paired fine with no account needed, so not sure what this is about.

    Some of the buds core features, like the tap settings seem to be OS dependent too which is kind of disappointing. On my 7T Pro, I could not set the tap function for each bud, making them pretty dumb, I also could not update the firmware of the buds. I did not face this on my Nord after OS updates. I hope in future, OnePlus moves these functions into a dedicated application that can be installed so anyone can benefit rather than limiting to a device or OS. Another worrying trend in the industry it seems.

    Anyway, once connected, via the bluetooth settings, you can get basic information like the battery status of the buds and case, plus a few other settings.


    ... Whats App Call

    The buds don't have earbud tips, so it's a one size fits all kind of affair here. For me, they seemed to fit fine in my ears and didn't fall out or anything like that. Since there are no tips to make a seal like on the bullets, they do let in ambient noise in. There is no noise cancellation for normal usage here, so you can hear that outside noise. If total escape an immersion is for you then these buds are not. I'm used to the bullets which make a nice seal and tend to block out the world leaving only the music I can escape in. With the buds, I found I could hear the music but everything else like the clock in my study which is actually quite loud. tick tick tick....

    What about calling though? They have ANC cancellation when calling? Well, I had a loong whatsapp video call with some friends and the buds worked fine, but I could still hear that tick tock of my clock. Either I was fixated on my clock or the so called ANC didn't drown it out as I thought. OnePlus claims this is active only when recording the voice and on the microphone, so perhaps my friends heard me ok, just I couldn't cause of the leak in the clock. I need to test this more, but the experience was kinda mixed. Overall the quality was fine during the long call and my ears didn't hurty. I would have thought they be more hurtful to your ears but they were not as bad as I thought. I did experience some drop out in the left ear, but it could have been a whatsapp wifi issue.

    ... Music

    I fired up my usual Spotify playlist and listened to some tune. I am no audiophile, but I was surprised that the sound was decent enough. I thought it might have been more tinnier somehow, but it was decent sounding enough. The same caveats with calls happen hear, which is the lack of a seal leak in ambient sound. The clock, yep, it was being mixed into my tricks. dum dum tick tock dum dum tick tick. Comparing the sound to my bullets, the bullets sounded more deeper. The buds sounded good, but not as good as the bullets and with the leaking I imagine on a noisy commute might be hard to even listen to the music.

    The touch controls also seemed a bit hit and miss for me. I had configured the usual next / prev track functions. Tapping on the bud would usually work but sometimes it wouldn't. I am not sure if this a hardware or software or some touch issue. I need to spent more time with them.

    Final Thoughts

    It's a tricky one here, I mean there is a lot of nice things going on here; the design, despite the Apple influences, decent sounding, small and lightweight, the price seems reasonable. In the UK the bullets wireless 2 are £99, so the buds are £20 cheaper, so ultimately the question would be is the lack of a wire worth the £20 and lack of sealing, AptX? Ok, seems the bullets 2 are out of stock now, but you can see where I'm coming from. If you don't have any bluetooth headphones and are in the market for something reasonable, then the buds are probably not a bad buy. I was surprised by them for sure, but there is a lot of competition out there. I wish took the best of the bullets 2 with these TWS to make the true OnePlus Buds, maybe OnePlus Buds Pro? soon?

    *the opinions of this review are totally my own and based on my own personal experience with the equipment I have at hand. There are some more areas where I'd like to do some more tests and to expand on this review.

    Thanks reading. @Fleming F. last minute entry haha ;) I hope good enough for consideration. Doing this rather late since hard find some time to do it proper.
    Last edited: Aug 10, 2020

  8. rarog
    Assistant Head Moderator Assistant Head Moderator Aug 10, 2020

    rarog , Aug 10, 2020 :
    Sadly I do not have the Buds or any proper reviews of products - the most reviews I did were film reviews in the past. So I'm not a likely candidate to be chosen, but I'll try my luck anyway.

    I wouldn't focus too much on the looks, though they aren't unimportant, because I like the look I know from pictures and because TWBs are usually looking nice and are at the same time limited in their design by the technology inside them (there is just so much space for the membranes, chips and the batteries) so there can't be an unexpected different concept. But I definitely have some interesting and important areas that I would test.
    • How good does the battery last with my usual and comfort loudness setting with occasional phone calls in-between?
    • How good is the microphone quality in different environments like home, echoing areas like staircases and loud outside environments with wind, loud people and loud cars driving by?
    • How good do the buds sit in the ears? I have a small condition that it can start to hurt in my right auricle if the headphones are too hard or formed in suboptimal way for my auricle, so I would test continuous usage.
    • How good do the buds sit in the ears in "extreme" situations? Are they staying in while I'm running fast to get the bus or the train or rotate my head? How good do the buds sit in the ears in gym environment, where I sweat a lot and clench my jaws during sets? The latter is quite important, as clenching jaws could push the buds (and any other headphones) out of my sweaty auricles, which is worse with buds, as they could fall to the ground as compared to normal wired or wireless headphones with a neck-strap.
    • How good is the sound quality with a lot of guitars and distortion like hard rock and all the different genres of heavy metal? And how good are they with electronic music? Those are the most prominent music macro-genres I'm listening to with different accents on the sounds and mixing.

  9. asishgrwl
    Ice Cream Sandwich Aug 11, 2020

  10. AlienEye
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Aug 11, 2020

    obakesan and AbhilashSaikia like this.
  11. luigimario
    The Lab - OnePlus 6T Reviewer Aug 11, 2020

  12. AbhilashSaikia
    The Lab - OnePlus 8 Pro Reviewer Aug 11, 2020

  13. suhantm
    Ice Cream Sandwich Aug 11, 2020

    suhantm , via OnePlus 7 Pro , Aug 11, 2020 :
    Thanks [e]1f60a[/e] Can't wait to get my hands on them!
    Of course we're gonna review them well haha. Also, thanks [e]1f601[/e]
    Thanks [e]1f60a[/e]

    I'll share a link here when the thread is up!

    AbhilashSaikia and yashwant24 like this.
  14. iharshjjain
    Ice Cream Sandwich Aug 11, 2020

  15. DarshanMeniya
    Jelly Bean Aug 11, 2020

  16. AlienEye
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Aug 11, 2020

    AlienEye , via OnePlus 6 , Aug 11, 2020 :
    That came true mann!!!!
    Assistant head moderator got to review buds.
    I am happy about that...

    suhantm likes this.
  17. Plenkske
    Assistant Head Moderator Assistant Head Moderator Aug 11, 2020

  18. fromsophie
    Honeycomb Aug 11, 2020

    Plenkske and suhantm like this.
  19. Shivam1326
    Donut Aug 11, 2020

  20. dsmonteiro
    Community Consultant Staff Member Aug 11, 2020