OnePlus’ Nord series is often associated with budget value offerings, whether it is phones or audio products. The OnePlus Nord Buds is a decent start to the company’s audio offerings under the Nord moniker; and now we have its successor in the Nord Buds 2. While the Nord Buds was launched at Rs. 2,799, the Nord Buds 2 are priced at Rs. 2,999 and come with a few new features and improvements.
Let us see if the new pair is worth it.
Design: The Nord Buds 2 comes in white and grey colour options and is very similar looking to its predecessor with stem design generic looking buds that don’t exactly stand out from the crowd. The buds are IPP55 water and dust resistant, but the case is not. The earbuds have silicon eartips and you get extra tips for two different sizes in the box. There are mics on each bud and each bud weighs about 4.7 grams while the charging case weighs nearly 38 grams.
Coming to the case, it is a matte-finished plastic case with rounded off edges that have OnePlus printed on the top, the USB type C port as well as the physical button to switch on the pairing mode located on the back, while on the front you have a small LED indicator for charging and pairing mode. The case doesn’t seem like a very well-made premium earbuds case with a slim, flimsy-feeling lid, but then these are not very high-end pair of wireless earbuds, so it is kind of expected.
In terms of fit, my biggest complaint with original the Nord Buds was the discomfort in wearing, which seems to be slightly better in the case of the Nord Buds 2. Of course, this depends on your ear shape and size, but I found the Nord Buds 2 slightly more comfortable to wear continuously for over an hour without having to pull out the earbuds as compared to the original Nord Buds.
Audio quality: The pair sports 12.4mm drivers plus SBC, AAC audio codecs and support Bluetooth 5.3, including Fast Pair (for only OnePlus and no Swift Pair for Windows, too). You can use the HeyMelody app to customize EQ, change touch options, switch between noise cancellation and transparency mode or just switch them off. In terms of audio quality, there seems to be an effort made on bass and mids here. The bass, especially, is deeper and a bit cleaner than before, while mids have also been tweaked giving clearer output along with vocals in your track.
Treble is a little squeaky at times when listening to some genres though it is still fine for the price point. Also, there is a bit of lag if you use the earbuds for gaming, and using the gaming mode didn’t help too much either.
Coming to active noise cancellation, OnePlus seems to have done a decent job of cutting out external noise for your listening experience, something not many brands can say at this price point. You can notice low and mid-pitched noises cutting off on your commute while wearing these on.
Touch controls, on the other hand, are just about okay in terms of reliability. You can control the buds for playback pause or resume, skipping tracks or switching between ANC and transparency mode, but a lot of times I found the control to not work as intended. For instance, a single tap would at times go to the previous song instead of playing or pausing the current track as intended.
Battery and other features: The battery life of the Nord Buds 2 seems to be just about satisfactory, giving around 4.5-5 hours of usage plus about 25-26 hours with the charging case if using ANC all the time, and 7 hours plus 35-36 hours with ANC switched off.
Verdict: The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 clearly have a lot of things going right for it – good enough audio quality for many first-time true wireless earbuds, decent active noise cancellation and satisfactory battery life. While its touch controls and build quality could have been a bit better, it more than makes up for it what all the pair delivers at this price point.