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OnePlus Nord Buds: two-minute review
The OnePlus Nord Buds continue OnePlus' tradition of value, but now in the true wireless headphone market. They may not have a lot of style or fancy features, but they offer the basics very well.
With substantial drivers for the earbuds and a Bluetooth 5.2 connection, the Nord Buds do their main job well: deliver clear audio. They get surprisingly strong bass and rarely muddy the audio. On some music, the soundstage even seems quite wide, considering the price. Busy music can feel a bit cluttered, but overall the listening experience is great for such a cheap pair of wireless earbuds. Even the incoming audio through the microphones is good, not broadcast quality, but clear and without background noise.
OnePlus articulates almost all of the button aesthetics in shiny, concave planes on each button, giving them a fun little mirror for visual intrigue. It's not much, but it keeps them from looking boring. Otherwise, everything is based on a pill form, including the charging case. This shape makes it a pain to keep the case in a pocket, unfortunately. It comes with a healthy dose of 23-hour battery life, and the buttons themselves can rack up up to 7 hours of battery life, a fact they proved to us.
While some features are limited to OnePlus phone users, they hardly seem essential and shouldn't mean non-OnePlus mobile device users will avoid these outbreaks.
Ultimately, if you're on a budget and want inexpensive wireless earbuds that provide an overall quality experience, the Nord Buds are a safe bet.
OnePlus Nord Buds: price and release date
- Released June 9, 2022
- Priced at €39 / €49 / around AU$55
The OnePlus Nord Buds were released in early June 2022. They are competitively priced befitting the Nord brand. In the US they are just €39, while in the UK they are €49.
This kind of price really becomes the sweet spot for a lot of budget wireless headphone models – we're seeing quite a few hitting this price point, and we're even seeing the price of headphones like the Sony WF-C500 drop to that level. kind of price sometimes.
But for the most part, the models launching at this price point come from lesser-known names, so having a reassuring brand like OnePlus behind them is welcome news.
The OnePlus Nord Buds have a thick case and oval ear cups. (Image credit: Future)
OnePlus Nord Buds: design and features
- No fear of sweat
- fast charging case
- Special features blocked on OnePlus phones
The OnePlus Nord Buds keep things pretty simple from a design and feature standpoint. They have an aesthetic touch with a slightly concave reflective plate on the short pill-shaped stems. Those shiny little platters double as a touch control, making it easy to feel where to push when it comes to controlling playback. Beyond that, the buttons have a fairly classic design with a small speaker port wrapped in a silicone sleeve. There are two microphones in each earcup, one at the end of the stem and one inside the buds, obviously to pick up and remove background noise.
OnePlus opted for a rather blocky design on the Nord Buds. Although there are many rounded edges on one axis, there are flat edges on the other. Not really a problem for the buds themselves, but a sour point for the case. The Nord Buds fit into a fairly thick case, and the hard edges of the bulky design clumsily pull them out of pockets and prevent them from going in the first place.
Otherwise, there's not much to complain about the charging case. Holds earbuds securely in place with magnets. There's a charging light on the front, though it doesn't provide as much nuance as multi-light cases. The rear houses a USB-C charging port. Given the economy of this product, it's no surprise that Qi wireless charging is missing.
Although the earbuds have an IP55 dust and water rating, making them a good choice for workout headphones, they do tend to get a bit slippery from sweat.
Some of the buds features are inconveniently locked only on OnePlus devices. Support for OnePlus Fast Pair and Dolby Atmos for headphones only comes with OnePlus phones, although the latter is only needed once, and the value of the latter is questionable for a cheap pair of headphones.
While the Nord Buds connect via Bluetooth 5.2, they only offer support for the SBC and ACC codecs, which aren't the best when it comes to audio quality or latency. OnePlus suggests that a low latency of 94ms is available in Pro Gamer mode, which is again limited to OnePlus phones, but it's not incredibly low anyway.
For the price, the Nord Buds sound very impressive. (Image credit: Future)
OnePlus Nord Buds: Performance
- 12,4mm titanium drivers
- two microphones
- 7 hours of reading
Where the OnePlus Nord Buds impress is in their performance. For €40 worth of headphones, it's really not bad. When listening to a podcast or video that is just voice, the poor signal-to-noise ratio is most apparent, with the high-frequency noise, but when listening to music or anything with fuller use of the sound range, these are the headphones impress.
The 12,4mm titanium discs live up to OnePlus's suggestion that they can deliver deep bass. It's amazing every time a big bass punch comes in and it doesn't have some of the weaknesses one would expect from such a small speaker.
The performance, however, depends a bit on what is going on. With music that's a bit sparser, without loading bass, mids and treble at the same time, the soundstage can feel surprisingly large. But it does play some dense melodies, like pretty much any Of Montreal track, and the Buds soundstage comes pretty close. With a lot of action in the mids, it gets particularly tight. The sound quality may not be up to what you might get from a $40 pair of over-ear headphones, but it's still impressive with a $40 pair of headphones.
Button latency is noticeable, however, they may not be the best choice for those who want to do a lot of video and are sensitive to it, let alone gamers where audio latency becomes a distraction. particular.
On the other hand, the microphones are surprisingly clear and do a good job of reducing background noise. Even with an air conditioner and fan running in the background, the Nord Buds only pick up our voice effectively. It's not rich, like a quality boom mic in a headset, but it's clear enough for calls and voice chat.
After audio quality, the Nord Buds' most impressive performance is battery life. They offer seven hours of charge from the buttons and an additional 23 hours from the case, with 10 minutes of charging promising to return an additional 5 hours on the case and buttons. We see that the battery life claims fall short of the specs, as a day's work away from the one-button charging case (an accident, we'll admit) got us through the day without the button unique never give up.
Nord Buds have intermittent connectivity issues. Sometimes there will be a popping sound, probably a sign of confusion, sometimes the stereo audio will be out of sync for a while, each time it's clearly noticeable, but they're rare enough not to be a major issue.
When it comes to budget budgets, they're hard to beat. (Image credit: Future)
OnePlus Nord Buds: value
- Competitive price
- Good quality for the money
OnePlus' Nord sub-brand is all about value, and the OnePlus Nord Buds deliver that. While these $40 earphones lack some of the key features of popular earbuds, like active noise cancellation or a wireless charging case, they offer plenty of value with solid enough audio quality and battery life that they can. help you get through a busy day.
Should you buy the OnePlus Nord Buds?
Buy them if...
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