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OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Review

Introduction

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are the latest addition to the company’s arsenal of premium true wireless earbuds (TWS), launched alongside the OnePlus 11 series in India. While we’ve already reviewed the flagship OnePlus 11 and the mid-range OnePlus 11R, the Buds Pro 2 occupy a different space – one that promises a superior audio experience with a touch of sophistication. Let’s delve deeper and find out.

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 shares a striking resemblance to its predecessor in terms of design and feel. Without the Dynaudio branding on the top of the new Buds Pro 2’s case, it appears nearly identical to the first-gen TWS at first glance. However, upon closer inspection, noticeable differences emerge. The Buds Pro 2 features a slightly bulkier case, and the buds themselves feel slightly larger.

The Obsidian Black color of the Buds Pro 2 exudes elegance with its matte coating. The overall design is aesthetically pleasing, and a standout feature is the satisfying sound when closing the case. This adds a sense of reassurance and instills confidence in daily use. The case’s hinge is robust, and the Buds Pro 2 includes multiple ear tip options for customization.

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Price; $149

Design & Build

OnePlus has a knack for crafting elegant designs, and the Buds Pro 2 are no exception. These earbuds inherit the familiar look of their predecessor, the Buds Pro, with a slight touch of refinement. The charging case boasts a smooth, matte Obsidian Black finish that exudes a classy vibe. The satisfying snap when you close the case adds a touch of quality. The case itself is slightly larger than the original Buds Pro, but the weight remains comfortably portable at under 50 grams.

The earbuds themselves are lightweight too, tipping the scales at less than 5 grams each. They come with multiple ear tip options for a snug fit, ensuring comfortable use even during extended listening sessions. The iconic long stems are present here as well, featuring a black and silver dual-tone design that adds a distinct character. Both the case and the buds boast an IP55 rating for water and sweat resistance, making them ideal for workouts or everyday use.

App Support & Audio Performance

The magic behind the Buds Pro 2 truly unfolds with the accompanying app. OnePlus users get a seamless in-built experience through Bluetooth settings, while others can download the HeyMelody app. The app offers a plethora of features, including the ability to customize noise cancellation modes (mild, moderate, max, and smart) and personalize the sound signature with the “Golden Sound” calibration tool.

The star of the show, however, is the Spatial Audio feature with head tracking, co-developed with Google. This technology creates an immersive listening experience, placing you right in the center of the music or movie. However, a caveat exists – Spatial Audio currently only functions with the OnePlus 11 in India. While this might change in the future with software updates for other devices, it’s a limitation at launch.

Moving on to the core aspect – the audio quality – the Buds Pro 2 deliver a satisfying performance. Bass lovers will find themselves rejoicing, thanks to the powerful 11mm dynamic driver and the customizable BassWave slider in the app. The mids are well-handled, and the overall sound remains consistent for most genres. However, the highs can feel overwhelmed at times, depending on the music selection.

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 falter slightly when it comes to Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). During testing, the ANC performance felt inconsistent, with some modes offering minimal noise reduction. The “Max” mode did a better job in noisy environments, but even then, it wasn’t class-leading.

On the brighter side, the Buds Pro 2 excel in call clarity. The triple microphones on each earbud ensure clear voice pickup, making them a reliable companion for hands-free conversations.

Battery Life

One of the strongest aspects of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is their impressive battery life. With ANC turned on, the earbuds can deliver up to 7 hours of music playback on a single charge. The included charging case further extends this duration. Notably, the Buds Pro 2 support fast charging, allowing you to get up to 70% charge in the buds within 15 minutes – a lifesaver when you’re short on time. The case itself supports wireless charging, offering additional convenience.

Verdict

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are a compelling proposition for those seeking a premium TWS experience, especially if you’re a OnePlus phone user. They boast a comfortable design, a feature-rich app, excellent battery life, and powerful audio with a focus on bass. The inclusion of Spatial Audio adds a touch of innovation, but its current limitations hold it back.

However, the inconsistent ANC performance might leave some users wanting more. Additionally, at this price point, there are strong competitors offering similar features. If you’re not a die-hard OnePlus fan, it’s worth considering alternatives like the Google Pixel Buds Pro 2 or the Galaxy Buds 2 before making a decision.

Here’s a quick recap of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2:

  • Pros: Comfortable design, feature-rich app, excellent battery life, powerful bass, Spatial Audio (limited compatibility)
  • Cons: Inconsistent ANC performance, slightly expensive compared to rivals

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the OnePlus Buds Pro 2

1. How does the sound quality of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 compare to the original Buds Pro?

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 offer a similar sound signature to the original Buds Pro, with a focus on powerful bass. However, the Buds Pro 2 introduce a new 11mm dynamic driver that delivers richer overall audio. Additionally, the Buds Pro 2 boast the “Golden Sound” calibration tool within the app, allowing you to personalize the sound to your preference.

2. Is the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 comfortable for extended listening sessions?

Yes, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are designed for comfort. They’re lightweight and come with multiple ear tip options to ensure a snug fit. The long stems provide a good grip, and the overall design minimizes ear fatigue even during extended use.

3. How does the Spatial Audio feature work on the OnePlus Buds Pro 2?

Spatial Audio on the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 utilizes head tracking technology to create a more immersive listening experience. It simulates a surround-sound effect, making you feel like you’re in the center of the music or movie. However, it’s currently limited to the OnePlus 11 in India.

4. What are some alternatives to the OnePlus Buds Pro 2?

If you’re not a OnePlus phone user or prioritize strong ANC performance, there are compelling alternatives to consider. The Google Pixel Buds Pro 2 offer excellent sound quality, seamless integration with Google Pixel phones, and superior ANC. The Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 are another strong contender, known for their well-balanced sound, comfortable fit, and integration with the Galaxy ecosystem.

5. Is the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 worth the price?

The value proposition of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 depends on your individual needs and priorities. If you prioritize features like Spatial Audio, long battery life, and powerful bass, and you’re a OnePlus phone user, the Buds Pro 2 can be a worthy investment. However, if ANC performance is a dealbreaker or you’re open to exploring other brands, the available alternatives might offer better value for your money.

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