Sound controls

Features, sound quality, design and more

It was only a matter of time before OnePlus added TWS Bluetooth headphones to its Nord lineup which was unveiled in 2020. Buying a budget pair of headphones in 2022 has almost become like buying a fashion accessory or a pair of jeans ; an impulse buy for a growing number of buyers. It also underscores how ubiquitous TWS headphones have become. A week ago we put OPPO’s new Enco Air 2 Pro buds under the scanner, and now the Nord Buds are even cheaper. Are the first Nord-branded buds the best you can snag under Rs 3K?

Clean lines

It’s becoming increasingly impossible to design buds that stand out in a crowded market, and that’s why OnePlus deserves praise for its fresh design aesthetic. The buds are sleek with their handy stem design and look much more expensive than their asking price. The default silicone tips worked well for me; I didn’t need to swap it out with any of the three sets of tips in the box. However, I didn’t think the default ones offered an exceptionally tight ear seal. The buds weigh less than 5g (each) and are comfortable to wear, even for long hours; I had them for about 2 hours. The case is also lightweight – just over 40g. It looks good but is not thin and may bulge when you wear your skinny jeans. We’re big fans of the slim OnePlus Buds Pro case which sits at the higher end of OnePlus’ earbud portfolio and costs around 3.5 times as much.

OnePlus Nord Buds - review

A sound that does not disappoint

If you’re an audiophile, you’re clearly not in the target audience for this pair that costs less than jeans at H&M. These buds are fitted with 12.4mm titanium drivers that deliver decent sound for the price. Pairing is pretty straightforward, even if you’re not using a OnePlus device; I tried with a Samsung smartphone and it was quick to hook up. You can use the Hey Melody app (I tried the Android version with those buds) but it doesn’t really give you too many controls outside of a bundled Sound Master EQ with a few modes. For example, Bass mode gives it an extra boost. These buds sound almost as good as its more expensive rivals. You can also edit earphone controls and assign controls through the app.

OnePlus Nord Buds - review

Close to the essential

Battery life is a big issue for consumers looking for TWS headphones. This is an area where the OnePlus Nord Buds score points. OnePlus claims 7 hours for the buds and 30 hours for the case, which matches our experience. There’s no ANC (active noise cancellation) but my callers could hear me when I was walking down a quiet street. There are a few thoughtful inclusions at this price point, such as IP55 certification for dust and water resistance. There’s also super-fast charging (we’d expect that from OnePlus) which gives you 5 hours of playtime with a 10-minute charge. OnePlus has packed enough of them, aside from their unique form factor, to make the Nord Buds a smart buy at its sub-Rs 3K price.

the Buds One Plus North are available in black slate and white marble for Rs 2,799.