Wireless earbuds have just been popular in the last five years or so, but they are now so commonplace that it can be confusing to know where to start when purchasing a pair (unless you just go and buy AirPods, of course).
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 include features you don’t typically see at this price range, such excellent active noise cancellation (ANC) and Hi-Res Audio compatibility, making them among of the finest wireless earbuds under $200/£200/€200.
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 feel a touch flimsy in construction, and I had some connection problems, but when it comes to sound quality and ANC, the Buds Pro 2 are a triumph.
- great sounding overall
- Excellent bass response Excellent noise cancellation
- HD support
- built of cheap plastic
- Just a few phones can support high resolution.
- Irritating in-ear detection software issues
Build and design
- flexible stems
- glossy plastic
The slightly flimsy-feeling plastic casing covering the Buds Pro 2 opens up to reveal matte-plastic black buds. As with the casing, the buds are readily scratched. Yet, they are very light—4.9g—and comfortable to wear.
With a few grilles on the buds’ heads, mics on the bottom of each stem, and two silver connections for charging in the case, each bud has a glossy metal accent on its stem to give it a little extra flair.
The casing is fairly small and scarcely detectable even in a front trouser pocket, which is normal fare for earphones. Although the colours match the two shades of the OnePlus 11 phone, my testing unit was black, but you can also purchase green.
- excellent bass response
- outstanding soundstage
- HD support
The Buds Pro 2 have amazing sound quality right out of the box, and the more I used them, the more satisfied I was. Dynaudio, an audio business, co-designed its twin 11mm and 6mm drivers, and it seems like the collaboration was successful.
Several songs have the drive that was present in the original recording but was lost on inferior earphones thanks to their excellent, powerful bass response that doesn’t overrun the mix.
Days by Television stands out thanks to the bass guitar’s strong representation and the guitar arpeggios’ clear distinction. Although the song is busy, the buds provide a clear soundstage.
Jazz on the Autobahn by The Felice Brothers has well-produced bass guitar, percussion, and horns with the proper focus on all the necessary frequencies and with good stereo field.
Smart features and noise cancellation
- Excellent ANC
- incorrect in-ear detection
- supporting spatial audio
The headphones’ noise cancellation is excellent. The only pairs I’ve personally used that I believe outperform the OnePlus are the Bose QuietComfort 2 and the second-generation AirPods Pro from Apple. The WF-100XM4 from Sony are equally excellent, although I had trouble with the fit.
These rivals can effectively block out the outside world just as well as the top over-ear ANC headphones. Nonetheless, OnePlus is almost there, which is quite amazing given their pricing.
Just the unavoidable rattling of the loudest rail sounds on the city’s Tube system could be heard in the background when I was listening to my favourite Interpol album on a crowded London Underground train.
Charger & battery
- dependable daytime battery
- several charges in the case
- Bluetooth charging
OnePlus guarantees a battery life of 25 hours with ANC and 39 hours without it, which takes into account charges from a fully charged case. A little USB-C cable is included in the box, but there isn’t a wall plug as normal.
The buds never ran out of battery all at once, but I only ever wore them for about an hour at a time and never continuously for more than eight hours without a break.
The case can recharge on a Qi wireless charging pad as well. The case (and buds) may be charged for 10 minutes to receive three hours of playing.
Cost and availability
When you examine the OnePlus Buds Pro 2’s sound quality and noise-canceling capabilities alone, their $179/£179/€179 pricing is a really excellent deal.
In the US, the UK, and Europe, you may purchase them directly from OnePlus.
The buds are a far better option if you use an Android phone than the $249/£249/€299 second-generation Apple AirPods Pro. The OnePlus earbuds may not be considered completely premium due to their price undercutting of the $299/£279.95/€299.95 Bose QuietComfort Earbuds 2 and the $250/$280 Sony WF-1000XM4; nonetheless, I believe they compete well because to their superb ANC and high-res audio compatibility.
At $229/£219/€229, Samsung’s Buds 2 Pro also offer high definition (with the proper setup).