[The Lab] - OnePlus Buds Pro - A New Premium Competitor

  1. [email protected]
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Buds Pro Aug 23, 2021

    [email protected] , Aug 23, 2021 :
    [The Lab] - OnePlus Buds Pro - A New Premium Competitor


    Hello guys, let me introduce myself. I am Joyal, from Kerala, India. I am a Second Year MBBS student studying in Mangalore, India. I’m one of the few lucky people who had been selected to review the brand new Oneplus Buds Pro which marks the entry of Oneplus into the Premium Headset Market.

    First of all I would like to thank @Daniel D. , @Di Liu, @Jade D. and the rest of the team for giving me this opportunity. I had earlier given form for Oneplus 9 LAB program but was not lucky enough. This was my second attempt on the LAB program for Oneplus Buds Pro and was lucky enough to be a part of the team.

    Oneplus entered the truly wireless earbuds market last year and so far they have launched two products- Oneplus Buds and Oneplus Buds Z. Their third product is their entry into the premium segment bringing a tight competition in the Premium segment. The Oneplus Buds Pro Competition will be truly against the Apple Air Pods Pro, the Samsung Galaxy Buds and also against the Nothing Ear 1 which is the product of the former Co-Founder of Oneplus, Carl Pie.

    As this is the first time in the Lab program, I will try my best to share honest and detailed review of the device. Feel free to ask your questions regarding the product, I will try my best to help.

    Now lets get on with the review


    Unboxing Experience



    Initial Impressions

    OnePlus Buds Pro Vs Apple Air Pods Pro

    Lets Get Started...



    I was very excited to open the parcel when it arrived. But sadly my package was opened by customs. But I was truly happy to see the Oneplus Buds Pro. The packaging is similar to most of the the Oneplus products. The Oneplus Buds Pro came in a red box. The box looked premium and when I slowly opened the box there as the Oneplus Buds Pro- Glossy White. I was truly excited to know which color I would get as none of us Lab reviewers knew about the color. When I saw the Glossy White color the only worry that I had was of it being a fingerprint magnet. Removing the plastic cover, I slowly opened the Charging case and I should definitely say that seeing the buds in the Charging case looked more Premium than ever. The charging case felt very premium and the Glossy white finish didn’t let me notice any fingerprints. Thumbs up for that Oneplus.

    The case was just perfect for the size. Its made of very high quality plastic product . Even though Oneplus offers 38hrs of playback the case is still not heavy. The case is light weight and of good standard. Keeping the case aside I removed the upper layer of the box. The lower layer comes in 2 compartments with the additional ear tips, the charging cable(Type-A to Type-C), Safety and Warranty Information, Instruction Manuel and a Red Cable Club Subscription Card.


    The Unboxing experience was really Neat and Clean. The case, accessories, ear tips and booklets were kept in the right manner. The box does not come with charging brick. This is not such a issue as any charging brick can be used as it will provide fast charging even in low voltage.

    My overall first impression of the box was Premium and boy oh boy I couldn’t take my eyes of the Buds Pro.


    The Oneplus buds pro come with the following specifications

    · Driver Size -11mm Dynamic Drivers

    · Bluetooth Version -Bluetooth 5.2

    · Bluetooth Connection Range ~10M

    · Battery Capacity -Earbuds: 40mAh Lithium-ion

    Charging Case: 520mAh Lithium-ion Battery

    · Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation -Hybrid with AI Auto

    Scene Detection (3 Modes)

    · No. of Mic on Each Earbud -3 (MEMS Microphones)

    · Control - Force Sensors on Earbuds

    · Water/Sweat Resistant -Earbuds Only: IP55 Water and Sweat Resistance

    Charging Case Only: IPX4 Water Resistance

    · Zen Mode Air - ANC on + White Noise Audio

    · Latency - Pro Gaming Mode(For Oneplus Devices) Turned On: ~94ms

    · App Enabled -Hey Melody for Non-OnePlus

    Devices (Android & iOS)



    The OnePlus Buds Pro come in two classic colors —Matte Black and Glossy White. I really wanted to get my hands on the black variant but I was given the white variant. The charging case has a Oneplus logo on its front in a metallic texture and it truly stands out. There is also a Notification Light that indicates the charge of the case and also helps in pairing. There is Type-C port that supports Fast Charging beneath the Hinge of the case. Even though the charging case looks nice and premium let me get to most of our concerns regarding the case- The Hinge and The Weight. I should really say that I was really impressed by the hinge mechanism. I have used a lot of earbuds before and the main problem was that the hinge would stop functioning within 6 months of usage. My first impression of the hinge is very good. I can surely say that it will last longer. I will definitely give a more detailed review about it in the coming months. Now let talk about the weight of the case. Even though Oneplus offers high battery life, the case is very lightweight and easy to carry around. My concern of the case was that it would be a fingerprint magnet but the case still kept its good appearance.

    Now let talk of the design of the buds. On first look it looks like Apple Airpods Pro but in a more stylish and fashionable way. The metallic like finish in the stem surely helps us to separate the stem which makes it easy to know the pressures sensitive touch area. Some people asked me if it was a new airpods because on outside it really looks like one. But I should really appreciate the Oneplus team for making it look more fashionable and It fits in your ear perfectly. When I put the buds pro it really provided a passive sealing to the ear from the noise. The buds comes with three pairs of ear tips and the Earbud Fit Test helps us to choose ear tips that make a good seal with the ear canals for better noise cancelling.

    Overall I can say that the Oneplus Buds Pro looks Premium and Stylish in Design.



    The first thing that you notice when you put the earbuds in your ear Is that its LOUD, I mean really LOUD but still the audio is clear with no distortion. I have been using the Buds Pro for the past one week and this is just a rough review of the product. I have used a lot of earbuds and this is my new favourite. The sleek design and metallic stem finish do stand out. I am using Oneplus 7T and there is Oneplus fast pair and the animation looks really neat and clean. There were sometimes when I open the case the animation failed to show the battery percentage of the case, but showed that of the buds. I am using this device before the release date so there are small bugs here and there. The Buds team have said that it will be fixed with a firmware update before the release. So when we go to the Oneplus buds pro settings option in the Bluetooth, we can see a lot of options to toggle with the bud. We can change the ANC mode from Faint to Extreme. There is also a Smart Option which adjusts the ANC automatically. We can switch off the ANC, which is the normal mode and also switch to transparency mode. But there are some limitations to the touch controls, such as we can also play/pause when we pinch the earbud once, Change to the next track when we pinch the earbuds twice, pinch the earbuds thrice to either switch to previous track or play previous track, pinch and hold the earbud to change between ANC and Transparency. I was previously using Realme’s TWS and they had offered a lot of options to change control of the gestures. But I did get used to it yet I still wish there were more options.

    Now let me address the feel and comfort of using the buds Pro. Being lightweight I just forgot that I had the buds in my ear. I used it for 4-5 hrs straight. The Earbuds Fit Test do help us to get a secure fit. It can easily be used for workouts. My most worry was that it would come out of the ear during workouts, but it stayed in my ear comfortably. IP55 certification do help to get away from sweat and water.


    Now lets talk about the latency, the low latency do come in handy while playing PUBG. I wont say its mind blowing but it does the job. I played PUBG in IPhone too, but I couldn’t recognise any difference. Any way it gets the job done. Oneplus Buds Pro do offer LDHC Codec but unfortunately my device doesn’t support it. So I used my friends Oppo Reno 6 pro and I thought that I had to install Hey Melody app but the buds pro settings were just like my Oneplus device. Due to the recent collaboration between Oneplus and Oppo, I think the latest Oppo devices with Colour OS doesn’t need the Hey Melody App. Even though Reno 6 Pro supports LDHC, the audio Codec in the settings still showed AAC and SBC. I even went to developer option and changed it to LDHC, but still the result was same. A firm ware update can surely fix this.

    Now let me talk about one of my favourite features, Zen Mode Air. Its just like the Zen Mode in Oneplus devices, the only difference being that in Zen mode we can only use the phones after the time we had set but Zen Mode Air brings we can seemingly use the device and listen to the natural, smooth and meditating sounds. If we pinch the earbuds for 3 seconds we can switch to Zen Mode Air. The buds pro offers four modes or sounds for Zen Mode Air, Warm Sunrise, Meditation, Summer Seashore, Night time Camping and Iceland and we can also save any one of these sounds to a Another feature of the bud pro is that we can save any one of this to the buds, so next time when you switch to Zen Mode Air, it automatically plays the mode you have saved , also it even works if your buds is not connected to the phone, just pinch the stem for three seconds and you can listen to Zen Mode Air. Zen Mode has really helped me to relax and focus more on my studies before and this takes it to the next level with ANC. I just love it.

    Oneplus has introduced the Audio ID in Buds Pro. It really elevates your music experience but there is some sort of a bug and I talked to the Oneplus team and they have said that they are working on it and will be fixed in the next firm ware update. I have mentioned the battery life in the comparison below.

    Overall I can say that I am really impressed with the Oneplus Buds Pro. I have given a brief comparison with Air Pods Pro below, You guys will get a better idea about the Buds pro.

    OnePlus Buds Pro Vs Apple Air Pods Pro


    Now let me give you a brief comparison with Apples Air Pods Pro which is hundred dollars more than the Oneplus Buds Pro. This one week I have been using both of these buds to give you guys the best comparison

    · ANC - TRANSPARENCY- So talking about the ANC, its really tough to compare these two. Both of them provide excellent Noise Cancellation, and its really a tough decision for me to choose the best. Using it in my room, both of them cancelled the background noise of the Air Conditioner and Fan. For me both of them did a great job in cancelling the background noise. But when it comes to transparency, I think that the Airpods Pro did a little better. The transparent noises seemed quite natural but the Oneplus Buds also performed well but was a little behind.

    · BASS- I can quite confidentally say that the Oneplus Buds Pro is the Clear Winner in this. The bass is so punchy and deep such that airpods is far behind. No doubt Oneplus is the clear winner

    · AUDIO QUALITY- When it comes to audio quality both have their pros and cons. Oneplus really does a good job in the high and low end but is slightly behind in the mid. I cant clearly say which one is the best but as I am bass head I give this to the Oneplus. When you listen to Hunter By Bjork you can clearly see the separation in the instruments. But I did feel in some instances that Airpods Pro does a slightly better job in the vocals, But Oneplus is not so far behind and in some songs I felt Oneplus does a better job in the vocals. But for me the champ in audio quality is neither of these two, but is the Jabra buds.


    · MIC QUALITY – For this test I recorded my audio with both the earbuds and send them to five of my friends and told them to choose. I didn’t say to them which one was the apple and Oneplus. Three of them choose the Oneplus Buds Pro and the rest two choose Apple Air Pods Pro. When I called my friends using the Oneplus buds they were saying I sounded better and there was less background noise. But for me I feel like both of them did a great job.

    · BATTERY-Oneplus is the clear champ when it comes to battery and charging. Oneplus Buds Pro also offers wireless and warp charging which really comes in handy. Air Pods Pro lags behind charging the case and the buds in which Oneplus is far ahead. You can get an average of 3- 4 hrs with ANC on in Air Pods Pro and upto 4 hrs with ANC off . In the case of Oneplus Buds Pro I got about 4-4 ½ hrs with ANC On and about 5½ -6 hrs with ANC Off. And if the battery gets down just keep the Oneplus buds in the case for 10 mins you will have enough charge.


    So overall both of the earbuds did a good job. But taking the factor of the pricing, Oneplus buds Pro being 100 Dollars more cheaper than the Air Pods Pro, Oneplus is clearly the winner. But we have to take the fact that there are also less cheaper earbuds like the Nothing ear 1 ,the new Galaxy Buds 2 and Jabra buds. There is now a good competition in the TWS segment in all the price ranges and this is really good for us consumers.

    To conclude my initial impressions about the Oneplus Buds Pro I can say that it’s the beginning of a new venture for Oneplus in the Premium TWS segment. And offering so many features at a much lower price is really good. In the TWS segment I feel like Oneplus is staying with their core values like they did in the old days, Providing Premium and Flagship Features at an Affordable Pricing….

    That’s all for now , I will be updating this thread with a full review in a month……


    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Aug 30, 2021

  2. [email protected]
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Buds Pro Sep 5, 2021

    Stickied Post
    [email protected] , via OnePlus 7T , Sep 5, 2021 :
    Hey guys If anyone is buying the buds pro..Pls go for the black one..Iam using the white colour and after 1 month I can see scratches and marks...If you like the white colour Pls do buy a case....


    Also these are just minor scratches but within 1 month if it's like this I think it will be worse in future ..There is no scratches or marking for the buds till now....So pls do buy a protective case if u r getting the white colour

  3. obakesan
    The Lab² Reviewer - Insta360 GO 2 Aug 23, 2021

    obakesan , via OnePlus 9 Pro , Aug 23, 2021 :
    Interesting take, good stuff, I'm curious as you had white ones how's do they feel. If you use a fingernail do you feel like it would scratch on case? With the matte black it does so curious with the white.

    B1630376260682 likes this.
  4. [email protected]
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Buds Pro Aug 23, 2021

    [email protected] , via OnePlus 7T , Aug 23, 2021 :
    The white ones are less of a fingerprint magnet and scratches are also less.But I would do say that it's slippery..I prefer a case for them..

    obakesan likes this.
  5. Giovanni_S
    Honeycomb Writers' Club Aug 23, 2021

    Giovanni_S , Aug 23, 2021 :
    Great review and comparison 👍. Looking forward to your deeper dive!

    Interesting. I would personally go for the black design, but that's nice to know.

  6. [email protected]
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Buds Pro Aug 23, 2021

    [email protected] , via OnePlus 7T , Aug 23, 2021 :
    Wil update with full review within a month

    Giovanni_S likes this.

  7. #6
    [email protected] likes this.
    Honeycomb Aug 30, 2021

    IRSHAD.ABDULLAH , via OnePlus 9 Pro , Aug 30, 2021 :
    Great and congratulations for climbing the ladder up here in the OnePlus universe.

    Now please help me out with the colour as I am totally confused between white and black.....

    [email protected] likes this.

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    Honeycomb Aug 31, 2021

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  16. [email protected]
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Buds Pro Aug 31, 2021

    [email protected] , via OnePlus 7T , Aug 31, 2021 :
    Go for the black one...I have been using the white one during gym and it always gets dirty....But if you want them to stand out in the crowd go for white.But I personally love the matte black

    IRSHAD.ABDULLAH likes this.
  17. [email protected]
    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Buds Pro Aug 31, 2021

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    The Lab Reviewer - OnePlus Buds Pro Aug 31, 2021

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