ONEPLUS Buds - Cheap Alternative or a True Contender? (Accessory Review Challenge)

  1. IamIRONSman
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 1, 2020

    IamIRONSman , Sep 1, 2020 :

    So what do we have here....finally a truly wireless set of earbuds.

    Dropping with the AR announcement of the ONEPLUS Nord many speculated the design, the price, the quality. If you have used the Bullets Wireless 2 or Z you know ONEPLUS make pretty good earphones, so you'd expect a design similar to those earphones but just wireless right? Well...not quite.

    What's in the box?


    If you decide to purchase yourself a nice shiny new pair of ONEPLUS Buds what can you expect?
    • One Plus Buds and charging case
    • A 0.5m USB C charging cable
    • User guide
    • Warranty guide

    They can be quick paired to your device by opening the case and pushing the button on the rear of the charging case as with all previous ONEPLUS devices.

    The buds support the ONEPLUS 6 upwards for the touch function of the buds.


    In the impressively small and pocketable design of the case you will find at first glance a very familiar looking, very un-ONEPLUS looking design.

    So your first thought would be "Airpod clones" seen many many times in the forums, whats so special about this design?

    I purchased the Nord Blue variant however the buds are also available in white and grey.
    The buds are IPX4 rated for splashes (tested and can confirm they survive short accidental submersion)

    Environmental noise cancellation with a unique noise cancellation algorithm, OnePlus Buds filter out background noise to make your calls and voice recording clearer.

    Touch functionality on the side of each bud allows out of the box the ability to skip forward or back the songs being listened to, with an update I manually had to do to get the increased customisation the touches can be changed to features such as play/pause and summoning the Google Assistant instead.

    The top of the earphone mirrors the Bullets Wireless design minus the silicone tip:
    The "stalk" houses another microphone bringing the total to three microphones per earbud, so the design although similar has been considered for the more urban noisy environment such as a city.

    A 13.4mm dynamic driver has been squeezed into the compact design compared to the 10mm in the Bullets Wireless 2.

    The buds are held in the charging case by magnets so unless you throw the case those buds are safe.

    Instead of the silicone fit creating a seal in the ear a half open ear design has been used. The fit was for me at first confusing and I constantly (and needlessly) re-adjusted the buds as they felt like they were not correctly in my ears being used to silicone tips in my ears it took some time to find my fit.

    I'm not going to say they fit amazing because not everyone has the same size ears but, they fit mine better than expected and after a week of using them I find myself reaching for them on my way out of the house.


    For £79 you'd expect something a bit special in the sound department to make you part with your money.


    I like my music loud, I like to drown out the noise around me like the conversations on the train or when walking. At first I was sceptical having no experience of a half in ear design but, you don't realise the benefit of being able to hear the traffic when crossing a busy road or being able to hear an announcement that your train has broken down.


    The bass is not bad if a bit over-saturated, the treble and lows are pretty good but that is just my preference they aren't going to block out an air plane engine or loud traffic.

    If ONEPLUS went for a separate let's call them "Pro" version they should develop a way to customise the sound of the buds like the Jaybird Run's I own via an app.

    But this is not the intended market, this is a test, a first shot at an idea and they did good.

    I have found from constant use the "Environmental noise cancellation" doesn't really become noticeable unless you have the earbuds at 70% upwards. This isn't a deal breaker for me as I've never had it before in any earphones I own and being as this is ONEPLUS's first attempt at noise cancellation they haven't done bad.

    Battery Life

    The buds themselves if used individually claim seven hours each or seven hours total together for music or for the talkers four hours of phone calls and if you throw in the 420mAh charging case which for the Nord Blue version has a yellow/green inside (below) you can potentially have thirty hours of listening time.

    As with all previous ONEPLUS earphones quick charging is included. For a ten minute charge you can have two hours of playtime with the buds or ten hours altogether using the charging case.

    I fell asleep with the buds in a few nights ago watching media and they were still going strong several hours later so the battery life so far is very good so much so I forgot to recharge them this morning.

    Conclusion - Are they worth your money?

    There are plenty of quality earbuds out there for this price range I myself have a couple of sub £50 earbuds that have served me well.

    I thought about this for a while, if i didn't have a ONEPLUS device would I buy the buds?

    If I was looking for this particular half in ear design probably yes but if I wanted a sealed off experience with full noise cancellation the answer is no, I'd probably go for a mid range pair of Jaybird's or Bose with some customisation options.

    This doesn't take away from a solid pair of half in ear earbuds they sound great, half the price of Airpods shouldn't be ignored by Apple or Android users alike but my preference, my individual opinion is that they are for casual use. I wouldn't work out in them but i'd use them for my commute they are an everyday earbud for the casual user.

    I believe ONEPLUS will keep going with this product and being as this is their first jump into this area they can only improve.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020

  2. yashwant24
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 1, 2020

    Oreo. and IamIRONSman like this.
  3. Karun Deep
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 1, 2020

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  4. IamIRONSman
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 1, 2020

    IamIRONSman , Sep 1, 2020 :
    Thanks guys, appreciate it :)

    Oreo. likes this.

  5. #5
    Oreo. and IamIRONSman like this.
  6. Oreo.
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 1, 2020

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  7. Girish.Pranav
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 1, 2020

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  8. ashwinguy
    Gingerbread Sep 8, 2020

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  9. Bouncer71
    OnePlus 7 Pro Sample Shot Photographer Community Expert Sep 8, 2020

    razzor228 and IamIRONSman like this.
  10. IamIRONSman
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 9, 2020

    IamIRONSman , Sep 9, 2020 :
    Admittedly the mic is not as good as the Wireless 2's or Z's as it is further from the users mouth and even with the "stalk" design to bring a mic closer it's not perfect.

    My testing has been within as many different environments the current situation allows and I have found the mic quality to be OK, not amazing just OK but everyone's use case is different.

    Thank you for commenting, I did have a look around the forums before I wrote this and chose to not mention the mic quality because opinion varied so much. If I get a chance to review anything like earphones or even a phone from this I'll make sure to include a mic test.

  11. IamIRONSman
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Sep 9, 2020

    IamIRONSman , Sep 9, 2020 :
    To be honest I didn't want white :eek:, as clean as it looks the garish blue of the Nord Blue colour spoke to me.

    My initial thought was how could I lose them when they are so bright (I've lost the case 3 times) and the grey not being available at launch in Europe anyway.

    Bouncer71 likes this.
  12. ashwinguy
    Gingerbread Sep 9, 2020

    ashwinguy , via OnePlus 6T , Sep 9, 2020 :
    Please do a proper mic test or it will be misleading buyers it's too bad all my other side audience are complaining and One plus has to stop producing substandard products which has critical use cases on people's daily life and tust in brand is now lost.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020

    IamIRONSman likes this.
  13. tp3cka
    Eclair Sep 9, 2020

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  14. dinakaran.sensor
    Froyo Sep 11, 2020

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  15. asishgrwl
    Ice Cream Sandwich Sep 11, 2020

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  16. TheGadgetGirl
    The Lab - OnePlus 8T Reviewer Oct 1, 2020

    IamIRONSman likes this.
  17. R1586880446711
    Froyo Nov 27, 2020

    R1586880446711 , Nov 27, 2020 :
    Avoid them!

    There seem to be a broad hardware issue with Oneplus buds: if you seek for "left bud not working" on Oneplus forums, you'll see that many people share this issue. I got it as well (no music coming from the left bud), contacted the chat and they offered me a remplacement. I got it today and... same issue. I contacted the chat back, they said it's an hardware issue, not software and offered me a 2nd remplacement. But I see where it's going: remplacement over remplacement... Oneplus must investigate the issue and make a statement.

    Starcommander likes this.
  18. IamIRONSman
    OnePlus Accessory Tester Nov 28, 2020

    IamIRONSman , via OnePlus 7T , Nov 28, 2020 :
    I understand your frustration continuous hardware issues need addressing and the batch should be recalled. This does not affect all users and for a first attempt at this there are always going to be problematic batches, I hope they resolve this for you.

  19. Bittoo06
    Ice Cream Sandwich Nov 30, 2020

  20. Kashyapsk
    Cupcake Dec 1, 2020