To cut to the chase of this OnePlus Buds Pro review, these buds have great sound and effective Adaptive Noise Cancellation. If you already own a OnePlus smartphone then these will be the best true wireless earbuds for you.
You'll be able to make the most out of features like Dolby Atmos support, fast pairing and high-definition audio streaming through LHDC, and you’ll also be able to manage the buds from your Bluetooth settings page - you won't be clogging up your phone with yet another app.
If you don't own a OnePlus phone then this is a less obvious choice but they do fit well, look good and they give you plenty of listening time. You can still make changes to the earbuds' settings, you'll just need to download the HeyMelody smartphone app.
Are these a little on the pricey side for you? Take a look at T3's guide to the best cheap headphones you can buy.
OnePlus Buds Pro review: price and what’s new
Available to buy now from a number of retailers including OnePlus and Amazon, the OnePlus Buds Pro will set you back $150 in the US and £139 in the UK. Take a look at the widgets on this page for more retailers from across the web.
The OnePlus Buds Pro improve on the OnePlus Buds in a few key areas. Firstly, these new wireless earbuds are in-ear headphones that come with three sizes of silicone ear tips as opposed to being one-size-fits-all.
They have noise-cancelling technology and are sure to isolate noise better even with it switched off thanks to the new in-ear design. They also offer more battery life, now 38 hours of total listening time where the original buds only offered 30 hours.
Naturally, the sound has improved too. That's partly because of the seal created by the silicone ear tips which should fit the buds securely in your ear canal and help to direct the audio better.
OnePlus Buds Pro review: design and fit
You can buy the OnePlus Buds Pro in Glossy White or Matte Black - both look really smart and discreet with metallic detailing on the short dangling stem. I tested out the white buds, and they very much give off a similar vibe to Apple AirPods Pro so if that’s the sort of style you’re after then they certainly tick that box.
They come in a small matching square charging chase with OnePlus written across the top. It’s very light, weighing just 52g and it’ll easily fit into your pocket or small bag because it only measures 60.1 x 49 x 24.9mm. It’s not the most imaginative design for a case but it does the job.
In the box, you get three sizes of silicone ear tips, once you've chosen the right size for you the buds are actually really comfortable and they feel secure. I used them for my commute and for workouts, they never fell out or even felt like they could fall out. They’re IP55 water and sweat resistant as well so will survive an intense gym session or light rain, although I wouldn't dunk them in water.
This time around, OnePlus has done something a little different with the controls. They’re now placed on the stem as opposed to on the bud itself. What that means is that you don’t need to push them further into your ear when you use them, you just squeeze the stem. I did find that this new placement meant I sometimes accidentally knocked the bud out of place when I went to skip through tracks, it wasn't a major problem though.
Through the controls on the earbuds, you can pause or play the music, skip to the next song and answer your calls but you won't be able to adjust the volume. You'll have to do that on your phone.
When it comes to the battery life, you get about 7 hours of music from a single charge while the charging case provides 38 hours in total. That meant that I didn’t actually need to charge the case very often at all. When you do go to charge it, you get 10 hours of playback from just 10 minutes of the case being plugged in. In my experience, the buds took about an hour to fully recharge. If you own a compatible charger, the case does support wireless charging as well.
OnePlus Buds Pro review: performance
Because of the 11mm dynamic drivers, the OnePlus Buds Pro sound fantastic. With a strong balance between the punchy bass and crisp treble, your music will sound accurate and energetic no matter what you’re into. You won’t get the quality you would get from a pair of buds that cost twice the price, like the Sony WF-1000XM4, but if you don’t want to break the bank then these will deliver more than satisfactory sound.
One downside when it comes to the audio is that there are no manual equaliser settings to personalise the sound. OnePlus has tuned them well enough that it won’t really matter for most people though.
To tailor the sound to your hearing, the OnePlus Audio ID puts you through a short hearing test: you get played a series of beeps in each ear and you just need to say whether you can hear them or not. Once complete, the sound on the buds is adjusted and enhanced to suit your individual hearing, you can compare the sound before and after before choosing whether to apply the changes or not.
If you use a OnePlus flagship device above the OnePlus 7, you’ll get Dolby Atmos surround sound support with the OnePlus Buds Pro which will be great for streaming TV shows and movies.
The OnePlus Buds Pro have a few noise-cancelling modes which you can switch on in the app or from your phone's settings. These include the standard Noise Cancellation, Smart Noise Cancellation, Max Noise Cancellation and the Transparency mode which lets in a small amount of sound happening around you.
With any of the noise-cancelling modes switched on, the buds manage to cut out a fair amount of outside distractions like office chatter, keyboard taps or the sound of traffic. To test out how they would fare on an aeroplane, I used a clip from YouTube as I couldn’t get on an actual plane - on the maximum noise-cancelling mode, the sound of the engine was dulled out making it much less annoying, although admittedly the buds weren’t able to cut it out entirely and I could still hear it past the music.
Not only do these buds sound great, but you’ll get crystal clear calls as well. The AI-powered noise reduction algorithms and three ENC noise-reducing microphones meant that the person on the other end can hear you loudly and clearly.
Another feature worth talking about is ear detection. When one of the buds falls out or is taken out, the music will automatically pause so you won’t miss a second of the song, nor will you be as likely to accidentally lose one when you’re out and about.
For those using the buds with recent Oneplus phones, the latency is reduced to as low as 94ms to reduce lagging, this will be particularly useful when it comes to fast-paced mobile games. On top of that, the buds support SBC, AAC audio formats as well as LHDC high-definition audio on compatible Android devices, including the OnePlus 9 Pro/9.
OnePlus Buds Pro review: verdict
For owners of OnePlus phones, the OnePlus Buds Pro do seem like a no-brainer. As well as having fantastic audio quality, loads of battery and fast charging, they pair quickly and easily to your phone, you can manage them through your phone's Settings page and you'll get Dolby Atmos surround sound.
If you don’t own a recent OnePlus flagship then you won’t be able to make the most of everything they have to offer which is a shame, but that doesn't mean they aren't worth considering as these are still a solid pair of headphones.
The OnePlus Buds Pro are by far OnePlus’ best true wireless earbuds to date - that’s not to say they are perfect because they aren’t. When it comes to quality, while these earbuds are really good, I wouldn't say they are phenomenal. What you do get here though is excellent value for money which is what makes these worth adding to your shortlist.
OnePlus Buds Pro review: also consider
iPhone users should consider the Apple AirPods Pro instead. They are slightly pricier but they look similar to the OnePlus Buds Pro and they are made to work incredibly well with iPhones. For day-to-day use, they’re comfortable and have detailed well-balanced sound as well.
For a cheaper option, take a look at the Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus. They may not have everything you could want from a pair of true wireless earbuds but actually, they sound incredible considering their price tag.
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