In the realm of wireless earbuds, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 emerges as an enticing option for audio enthusiasts. While it may not be the most budget-friendly choice with a price tag of $179, it still stands as a more affordable alternative compared to the Sony and Bose 2. Boasting premium specifications and a range of innovative features, I’ve had the opportunity to thoroughly test the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 for several weeks. Now, it’s time to know OnePlus Buds Pro 2 review.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Design
Now, just like the fresh new OnePlus 11 smartphone, you can grab the Buds Pro 2 in your choice of two different colors: black or green. These earbuds sport a design that closely resembles the original Buds, featuring an airpod-style stem that extends from the main body. However, the stem is relatively short, so it doesn’t protrude noticeably. The earbuds come with rubbery silicone tips, and you’ll find three different sizes bundled in the box. This allows you to determine which size fits snugly in your particular ear canals. Additionally, with the OnePlus app, these earbuds can even analyze your ear shape to ensure you have the right size of tip fitted.
I must say, the fit of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is pleasantly comfortable. Even during extended usage of three, four, or even five hours, I never experienced any ear fatigue—unless I had to constantly remove and reinsert them. However, there is a convenient built-in transparency mode that can be activated quickly and easily. This means you don’t need to take them out completely to engage in a conversation. Once I found the right size of silicone tips for my ears, I found that the earbuds fit snugly, providing a secure hold without any risk of them falling out at any point. To further demonstrate their reliability, I conducted a watch test, and the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 proved to be IP55 splash-resistant, just like their predecessors. So, there’s no need to worry if you find yourself caught in a torrential downpour—they should hold up just fine.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Setup
Now, as one would expect from a pair of true wireless earbuds launching in 2023, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 comes with Bluetooth 5.3 support. This means, like most other premium earbuds, they can be connected to two different devices simultaneously. I have encountered absolutely no issues with pairing whatsoever. However, I did notice a peculiar occurrence when I connected them to my OnePlus 11 before its official launch. Even when I placed the buds back inside their lovely little case, they were still registered as connected to the phone. This might be attributed to some early bug, which I hope will be resolved soon. Nevertheless, I have experienced no such problems when connecting these earbuds to any other smartphone.
Hey Melody App
If you’re using a OnePlus smartphone, all the earbud controls are conveniently built into the Bluetooth menu. However, for everyone else, you’ll need to download the Hey Melody app, which is thankfully available on the Google Play Store without any hassle.
This app brings forth a plethora of controls, toggles, and features. For instance, you can easily and quickly check the battery life of your earbuds (unfortunately, not for the case itself). Additionally, you can delve into noise control settings, including personalized noise cancellation modes (more on that shortly). There’s also an EQ (equalizer) that allows you to experiment with various presets, as well as a slider for precise adjustments.
Furthermore, you’ll find features such as Golden Sound, Zen Mode Air (which I’ll discuss later), and Game Mode, which is supposed to improve audio and video synchronization. However, I personally didn’t notice a significant difference with Game Mode enabled, as the synchronization was already flawless without it.
Another handy feature is the ability to connect the earbuds to two devices simultaneously using the dual connection feature. And, of course, you can perform an earbud fit test to ensure optimal comfort and fit.
Now, you can’t actually customize the touch controls on the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, but fortunately, they work exceptionally well regardless. A quick squeeze on either stem will pause or play your music. A double squeeze allows you to skip forward to the next track, while a triple squeeze takes you back to the previous track. These functions work identically on both the left and right earbuds. Additionally, a long squeeze enables you to swiftly switch between noise cancellation modes and the transparency mode.
Unlike the original OnePlus Buds Pro, I didn’t encounter any issues with the touch controls on this model. I didn’t accidentally activate the controls while simply adjusting the earbuds or performing other actions. My only real complaint is the absence of volume controls, which could have been implemented through touch-sensitive stems, for example.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Audio
When it comes to the audio quality delivered by the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, there are no complaints to be made. These compact earbuds are equipped with an 11mm woofer and a 6mm tweeter, ensuring a well-rounded sound experience. They support all the usual codecs like SBC, AAC, aptX, and LHDC (if your device supports it). Moreover, with the Golden Sound feature in the Hey Melody app, you can create a personalized soundscape. This feature plays sounds of different pitches, and you can adjust an on-screen slider until the noise becomes inaudible. After this calibration, you’ll have your very own audio profile that enhances areas you may struggle to hear otherwise.
If you happen to own a Snapdragon HN2 smartphone with the latest Snapdragon Sound technology, you’ll also benefit from spatial audio support. This feature works seamlessly with supported content on platforms like YouTube and Disney Plus. As you move your head, the audio shifts around, creating a sense of spatial awareness. Personally, it’s not a feature I would use regularly, but if you desire it, the option is available for you to enjoy.
Now, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 offers 48-decibel noise cancellation support. When you activate the Smart ENC mode, the level of noise cancellation adjusts according to the ambient noise in your surroundings. Furthermore, there’s an option for personalized ANC, which supposedly adjusts the noise cancellation to suit your unique auditory canals. Personally, I didn’t notice any noticeable difference between using the non-personalized and personalized versions. I typically kept the noise cancellation at the maximum level to block out as much noise as possible.
While it’s true that the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 may not match the noise cancellation capabilities of Sony or Bose true wireless earbuds, I found them to be quite effective. I put them to the test during rides on noisy tube trains, including the bustling Northern and Central lines. In general, the noise cancellation was able to dampen down the unpleasant screeching sounds, allowing me to comfortably listen to podcasts. However, in instances of particularly piercing screeches, I did find it necessary to slightly increase the volume to compensate. Overall, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 performed well in reducing external noise and enhancing the listening experience.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Other Features
One of my favorite features from the original OnePlus Buds Pro has made a return: Zen Mode Air. This feature comes in handy when you’re feeling stressed and on the verge of losing your cool. By simply long-pressing one of the stems for around four or five seconds, the earbuds will begin playing calming sounds directly into your ears, helping to soothe you. Personally, my favorite is the Summer Seashore option, as it gives the sensation of relaxing on a beach with a refreshing piña colada in hand. However, I would advise against choosing the Nighttime Camping option if you’ve watched Friday the 13th or any other horror movie set in a creepy, forested area known for its murderous activities.
When it comes to the built-in microphones of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, there are absolutely no issues when it comes to taking calls, even while strutting down a bustling and noisy high street.
To demonstrate the microphone’s performance, I’m currently recording this audio sample in a quiet studio environment. However, let me switch things up for a moment. I’m now recording this section of the microphone test with my head positioned next to a roaring, obnoxious, and tremendously loud passing traffic.
As you can hear, my voice becomes slightly muddled, making it a bit harder to discern what I’m saying. Nevertheless, these earbuds are doing a commendable job of reducing the most intrusive background sounds. This allows for a decent chance of hearing me clearly amidst the noise.
Overall, the microphone performance feels quite familiar with a few minor improvements.
And now, let’s talk about the battery life, an area where the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 has shown significant improvement. On a single charge, I now get around six to seven hours of continuous streaming, even with the active ENC (Environmental Noise Cancellation) feature enabled. If you disable noise cancellation, you can expect an additional hour or two of usage. Personally, I kept noise cancellation active most of the time because I prefer to block out everything around me.
When you need to recharge or you’re finished listening, simply place the earbuds back into the compact OnePlus Buds Pro 2 case. Although it’s not the smallest true wireless earbud case I’ve encountered, it has a pleasingly slender design that easily slips into a pocket. The case charges the earbuds quite rapidly, and you can expect to get a couple of full recharges before needing to recharge the case itself. The case features a USB-C port for wired charging, and it also supports wireless charging if you have a Qi-standard wireless charging pad.
To summarize, this concludes my comprehensive review of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2. While they may not represent a groundbreaking leap or evolution compared to their predecessor, they offer a solid all-round package and provide good value for money. Although they may not be the most budget-friendly option available, if you’re seeking reliable value for your investment, alternatives like the Soundcore Liberty series might be worth considering. Personally, I would be more than happy to use the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 as my everyday earbuds.
So, what are your thoughts on the OnePlus Buds Pro 2? Comment Below.