To sum up this OnePlus Buds Pro 2 review: if you own a OnePlus phone, or you’re planning on buying the shiny new OnePlus 11 anytime soon, then these stunning little earbuds are a no-brainer because they’ll pair very easily with your handset and you’ll be able to manage their settings without taking up space with a separate app.
In comparison to the best true wireless earbuds in the world, these stand up well with solid sound quality and loads of extra features like preset equaliser settings, noise cancellation, spatial audio and a handy earbud fit test, among others.
In this OnePlus Buds Pro 2, you’ll be able to find out everything you need to know about this pair of earphones with details on their design and fit, my take on their performance and features, and ultimately whether these will be right for you or not.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 review: price and what’s new
Priced at £179 in the UK, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are a pair of premium earbuds and they’re a fair amount more expensive than the OnePlus Buds Pro were at launch back in 2021 (they only cost £139).
So what’s different about them? For starters, while they do look similar with a matte body and a glossy stem, you can actually buy them in two new colourways, Arbor Green and Obsidian Black, made to perfectly match the new OnePlus 11 phones. They come in a matching charging case which is a little lighter than before and you get a USB-C charging cable in the box.
When it comes to performance these should be a notch above their predecessors adding a second 6mm driver to the 11mm driver already there, and this time around the audio setup was co-created with Danish audio brand Dynaudio. To add to that, you’ll get brand new spatial audio as well as an 8dB boost to the noise cancellation from 40dB to 48.
New Bluetooth 5.3 boosts the reliability of the connectivity, and the battery life is ever so slightly better too, but only by a couple of hours here and there.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 review: design and fit
If I had to pick one word to describe the design of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, it would have to be slick - these ooze sophistication and they’re small enough to sit pretty discreetly in your ears.
You can buy them in two colours, Arbor Green and Obsidian Black, both of which match the tech company's latest flagship smartphone. I checked out the green model and thought that the two-tone design looks really polished and high-end.
In the box, these earbuds come with 3 sizes of silicone ear tips to help you find the right fit. The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 also have an earbud fit test available in the app. You don’t need to do anything just activate it and the app will let you know whether you’re using the right size ear tips.
When you’ve chosen the right ones for you, you should find these quite comfortable. I certainly did. I wore them for a few hours without any discomfort and they didn’t budge when I wore them out and about.
I did have one minor issue with the ear tips, though, because when you pull an earbud out, the tip turns itself inside out which makes me worry that it might come off entirely at some point.
Thanks to their IP55 rating, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 can resist damage from both water and dust meaning you’ll be able to use these in more treacherous conditions, and they’ll survive dirtier day trips like out to the beach. Plus they’ll make a good pair of workout headphones because they’ll cope just fine with sweat.
Controlling the music without reaching for your phone couldn’t be easier, it’s just a case of squeezing the stem once to pause the music, twice to skip to the next track and holding it for a second to switch between noise cancelling modes. To turn on the Zen Mode Air you hold one of the stems for about 3 seconds.
I found the controls were responsive without being overly sensitive. But if any of the default actions don’t make sense to you then you will be able to change them over in the app or if you’re using a OnePlus phone inside the Bluetooth section of the settings menu.
In terms of battery life, these sit towards the top end of what’s possible, boasting 39 hours of music in total with the charging case, and 9 hours at a time from the earbuds - both of those are with ANC switched off.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 review: performance and features
Designed by Dynaudio, the new setup consists of an 11mm driver and a 6mm driver. As a result the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 have rich, extensive sound with lots of focus on the low end giving them a nice punch that doesn’t totally overwhelm the other frequencies.
You won’t quite find the level of detail here as you would in a pair like the Bang & Olufsen Beoplay EX but you’ll still be able to hear most instruments clearly, that’s demonstrated well in Pencil Full of Lead by Paulo Nutini where the trumpet riff and drum beat are just as recognisable as his distinct vocal performance.
At times, the bass took over a little, particularly in upbeat dance tracks such as Falling by Daphni where it most definitely took centre stage outshining everything else. Some people will definitely prefer things that way but plenty of others would rather have a more clean-cut experience.
To adjust the sound to better suit you and your taste, there are a few preset sound settings as well as the default Dynaudio profile including Bold, Serenade, and Bass. There aren’t any manual settings here, though.
One feature, Golden Sound, personalises the audio quality to your specific ear and hearing. It’ll first scan your ear canal before playing you a series of beeps, prompting you to let the app know when you can no longer hear them. After which, it’ll use all of that information to generate your very own profile.
A high-res toggle in the app allows you to prioritise sound quality over connectivity which is a great feature for listening to music, although could mean there’s some lagging when you’re streaming video or playing mobile games. You’ll also get Spatial Audio settings which will give you a more immersive sound experience particularly when you’re using it with a OnePlus 11 smartphone.
Not in the mood for music? The Zen Mode Air can be activated by a long press on the stem and will stop the track in favour of your chosen white noise instead.
Active noise cancellation is a must-have feature, particularly on pricier earbuds like these. I was actually quite impressed at how much sound these were able to cut out. I could barely hear my own keyboard taps when the music was playing, and I had almost no chance of hearing someone calling my name. You can choose how much noise the ANC cuts out in the app, from Mild to Moderate to Max, or choose Smart to automatically cut out sounds based on where you are.
You’ll also get a Transparency mode which lets sound in and balances it with your music. It worked fine, I could just about hear conversations happening next to me and with music dialled down I could hear announcements on the train or voices that were a little further afield. In saying that, it wasn't the best version of this I've ever used because it worked best with the music dialled all the way down.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 review: verdict
All in all, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are a really solid offering. Not only do they look really nice but they manage to deliver in terms of performance as well, especially if you’re someone who enjoys rich punchy sound.
The array of features is another big draw to these earbuds, it’ll take you a good while to explore them all fully. If I were to pick one to shout about, it would be the ANC which does a great job at cutting out sounds helping you concentrate on the music.
So what are the downsides? Well, there aren’t many. Admittedly the sound could be cleaner and have better balance, and the transparency mode could do a better job at boosting noise from your environment. And of course, these will work best with OnePlus phones, but any Android phone user will get on with them just fine.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 review: also consider
No matter which phone you use, the Sony WF-1000XM4 are still the top choice of true wireless earbuds thanks to their extensive features and solid sound. Now that they’re a couple of years old, you’ll be able to pick them up for a lot cheaper than they were at launch, although they are still a little pricier than the OnePlus Buds Pro 2.
Another similarly priced pair of earbuds to consider are the Apple AirPods Pro, they’ll be most suited to iPhone users. In T3’s review we said that they ‘sound great, the noise cancellation is strong, and the secure yet comfortable fit means they work very well for when you're exercising too.’