OnePlus Nord Buds are the second iteration of the brand’s Nord-branded true wireless earphones. The Nord Buds offer large drivers, a four-mic design, and 30 hours of playtime with fast charging. I have been using the OnePlus Nord Buds for a while now and here’s my full review of the same with its pros and cons.
OnePlus Nord Buds Review
Initially, OnePlus priced the Nord Buds at Rs. 2899. However, they’re currently retailing for a discounted price of Rs. 2399. It comes in three colors; Blue Agate, Black Slate, and White Marble. We’ve got the black variant and here’s how it fares in real-world usage.
- OnePlus Nord Buds
- Type-C charging cable
- Two pairs of ear tips
- Red Club welcome card
- User Guide
- Warranty card
OnePlus Nord Buds: Design and Build Quality
The OnePlus Nord Buds case is very different from what you normally see these days on the market. While other brands are making the TWS cases more pocketable, OnePlus went with the opposite approach. The case has a very unconventional design, it has a very blocky design that is very uncomfortable to put in the pocket.
Looking at the buds, I can say that the case is too big for the buds and seems like it’s been done to cram a big battery. The case has a USB Type-C charging port and a pairing/reset button.
Surprisingly, the earbuds are small and very compact with flat-style stems. The buds are regular size with an angled tip to give you a firm fit into the ears. The buds have a glossy finish that looks great and it has a shiny dimple on the stem with a mirror finish.
That shiny dimple on the buds is a touch-reactive button to control music on the earbuds. It is very accurate and quick to register taps without any mistouch or lag whatsoever. You can also customize the controls from the Hey Melody app on other smartphones but these features are already baked into the Settings on OnePlus smartphones.
The earbuds are very lightweight. Each bud weighs 4 grams and the case combined with the two earbuds weighs 51 grams. The earbuds are very comfortable in the ears and they don’t fall off even during a light workout.
The buds are also IP 55 water and dust resistant to keep the buds safe from sweat and dust during workouts. The ear tips are also very soft to the touch and you get three sizes; small, medium, and large, one of which is already applied to the earphones.
Overall the build quality and design of the earphones are very satisfactory and comfortable. The case, on the other hand, is not very compact and you need to struggle to put it in your pocket. The build of the case is pretty solid and has a substantial weight.
OnePlus Nord Buds: Software and Features
The OnePlus Nord Buds are natively supported on OnePlus smartphones. The OnePlus 7 Pro immediately got the pop-up to pair the buds with the smartphone but I didn’t get any popup on my Galaxy S21. This clears that the Nord Buds’ fast pair feature doesn’t work with other Android smartphones.
And When I paired these with the OnePlus 7 Pro, I natively got the support for every feature right into the settings. But I had to download HeyMelody app on my Galaxy S21 and even on the OnePlus Nord 2 smartphone. When I paired the buds for the first time, I immediately got an update with the Game Mode feature. The update went fairly quickly and the buds were ready to use again in no time.
The HeyMelody app comes with a bunch of customization features for the Nord Buds including sound and controls customization. The app shows the battery levels for the individual buds and the case on the main page. Below that we see the Sound Master EQ to choose between different equalizer presets.
You also get to enable or disable the Game Mode on the main page but it barely made any difference in the latency of the buds. You also get to customize the tap controls of each earbud individually and you get a bunch of options to choose from.
Overall, I only used the app once to set up the controls and sound only once during my usage but it is always nice to see a supported app for your earbuds.
OnePlus Nord Buds: Sound Quality
OnePlus Nord Buds come with 12.4 mm dynamic drivers with titanium coating for better performance. When I played my first song on these earbuds I immediately noticed a very heavy bass that vibrates the eardrums.
I usually hear very bass-heavy songs during my commute and I very much enjoyed these earphones. Even during very bass-heavy songs, the highs and mids never faded under the bass.
The highs and mids of these earphones are also very crisp and clear. Even after blasting these headphones on full volume, I didn’t notice any crackling or ear-piercing sound at all. The vocals are very clear and if you listen to metal or rock music a lot, you are going to love the crispness of these earphones.
I am very surprised with the sound quality that these earphones provide at this price point. If you pick your earphones strictly based on sound quality then you should not miss these earphones at this price.
One complaint I have with these earphones is that the sound is not wide enough to give you a better surround experience- something that keeps me hooked up to the OnePlus Buds Z2 and Buds Pro. But again, I shouldn’t be complaining much looking at its price tag.
OnePlus Nord Buds: Battery and Charging
The OnePlus Nord Buds come with a large 480 mAh battery in the case and 41 mAh in the earbuds. OnePlus claims to give you 7 hours of playtime on the earbuds and a total of 30 hours of playtime including the case. The Nord Buds also come with a fast charging feature that can give you 5 hours of playtime with 10 minutes of charging.
In my testing, the battery backup is quite solid and I got more than a week of playtime on these earbuds. I mostly used these earphones for music and watching videos on my smartphone. On average, I used these earphones for about 2 to 3 hours daily. I even answered a few calls through the earphones and still got a pretty decent backup.
Another thing that I loved about these earphones is that when the battery runs low, you get a notification on the smartphone. Usually, brands put a very annoying “low battery” audio that hinders the overall experience.
Pros and Cons
Reasons to Buy
- Comfortable fit
- Great sound quality with heavy bass
- Long battery backup
- Accurate tap controls
- Fast charging
Reasons Not to Buy
- Boxy case with un-pocketable design
- No wear detection
- No fast pairing with non-OnePlus phones
OnePlus Nord Buds Review: Final Verdict
The OnePlus Nord Buds are great value-to-money earphones at Rs 2,399. You get a very comfortable design(except for the case), great audio quality, and a solid battery backup. These earbuds lack some features like wear detection and a pocketable case but we shouldn’t be complaining at this price point. If you’re planning to buy these earphones, it’s a green signal from our side.
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