OnePlus has released the Nord Buds 2 alongside the OnePlus Nord CE 3 Lite as companion earbuds. Retailing for RM329, it features a large dynamic driver, active noise cancellation and transparency mode.
OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Specifications
|Earbuds: 27.5 x 21.05 x 24.4mm
Charging case: 67.99 x 28.9 x 35.5mm
|Earbuds: 4.7 g (±0.2 g)
Charging case: 37.5 g (±1 g)
|12.4mm dynamic driver
Titanized vibrating diaphragm
|20 Hz – 20,000 Hz
|4 (2 per earbud)
|ANC on: 5 hours (earbuds) / 27 hours (with charging case)
ANC off: 7 hours (earbuds) / 36 hours (with charging case)
|ANC Modes / Depth
|ANC on / ANC off / Transparent mode
SBC, AAC codecs
What’s In The Box
- OnePlus Nord Buds 2
- Charging case
- Charging cable
- Silicon ear tips
The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 comes in a pill shaped charging case that is relatively compact and lightweight. You can access the earbuds by opening the flap at the top. There is an LED indicator light at the front, while the USB Type-C charging connector is at the back. You get two colour options: Lightning White and Thunder Grey.
The earbuds are made of plastic, with a mix of matte and glossy finish. The stem itself is short and flat when compared to the AirPods. There is a circular cutout in a gloss finish in each earbud that houses the touch controls. The earbuds also have an IP55 water and dust resistance rating.
Each earbud comes with two microphones, one for noise cancellation, and one for recording your voice during calls.
By default, the left earbud mirrors the right earbud’s controls. A single tap will play/pause your content. Double or triple tapping will skip to the next or previous track respectively. Touching and holding the button will switch between ANC modes.
Users can customise the earbuds’ touch controls via the Hey Melody app or their OnePlus smartphone. Options include, activating Game Mode, or turning on the Voice Assistant. Removing a earbud also pauses the track you are listening to too.
The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 is lightweight and fits very well in my ear canals. There are two pairs of spare ear tips in different sizes to accommodate different users. They are relatively comfortable and fit snugly even during my morning jogs and gym sessions. As the noise cancellation is not adaptive, turning it on may cause discomfort for some as I felt a constant pressure in my ears.
The noise cancellation performance can only be described as middle of the pack. 25 dB of noise cancellation is not a lot, and the earbuds can cancel out ambient noise in quieter settings such as a café or in the office. The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 struggles to keep the noise down in noisier settings such as a train, or in a crowded area.
On a side note, the earbuds come with a transparency mode if you want to be aware of your surroundings while listening to your music.
The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 delivers decent sound quality straight out of the box. It has a warm V-shaped sound signature and it leans towards the bass-ey side. Being a pair of earbuds, the sound stage is quite narrow.
Bass response is decent and does not overpower the mids and highs. The earbuds use the BassWave bass enhancement algorithm, which expands the bass balance. Users can adjust the level of bass boost, but I recommend keeping it at default as cranking it up will result in a muddy bass response.
It does however, lack a bit in detail and technicality, as the earbuds are stuck with either SBC or AAC codecs. Latency can be an issue too. OnePlus claimed that the earbuds have a latency of 94ms, which can be reduced via Game Mode. This however, reduces the audio quality a little bit. Another thing to note is that not all devices support Dolby Atmos, while Dirac Audio Tuner is limited to OnePlus smartphones.
Call quality is what you would expect of TWS earbuds in this price range. The microphone did a decent job a picking up my voice, however it sounds a bit tinny.
The battery life is pretty decent for a pair of earbuds this size. With ANC off I got just under 7 hours of battery life, and about 4.5 hours with ANC on. The charging case provides 36 hours of battery life but your mileage may vary.
All things considered, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 does not excel in any particular category, but I don’t think its a bad thing. You get a pair of bass-focused earbuds that does provide decent sound quality and active noise cancellation. It is also relatively affordable at RM329.
That being said, to get the most out of the earbuds, you should get a OnePlus smartphone that supports Dolby Atmos and Dirac Audio Tuner.
For more information, please visit OnePlus Nord Buds 2’s official product page.