OnePlus Buds Pro review: one of the best alternatives for full wireless headphones

The OnePlus Buds Pro is the Chinese company’s third true wireless headphone. We were able to check for ourselves that the products are definitely convincing in the test of the first OnePlus Buds.

However, the addition of Pro lets us expect even more. We clarify how the headphones perform in the sound test and whether the active noise cancellation works well.

Design and comfort

OnePlus Buds Pro review
image credit: Trakin Tech

OnePlus opts for the stick construction with the Buds Pro with quite voluminous earphones and exchangeable silicone pads.

The headphones look in the white color variant with a silver-colored control unit that we tested very noble and are quite noticeable.

If you prefer something more subtle, opt for the black version. With dimensions of 2.5 centimeters in width, 3.3 centimeters in height, and 1.3 centimeters in-depth, the Buds Pro has a normal true wireless headphone size. They are neither too filigree nor too expansive and sit very comfortably in the ear canal.

OnePlus includes a total of three pairs of silicone pads. All users should find the right variant here. A good fit is also important for active noise cancellation.

The earphones sit very firmly in the ear canal and do not fall out even when you move quickly. They are a loyal companion in our sporting activities.

The low weight of 4.3 grams per earpiece also plays a major role in making it comfortable to wear. The charging case is pleasantly compact, it fits easily into any trouser or shirt pocket.

Build quality

OnePlus Buds Pro review
Image Credit: OnePlus

The processing quality is in a good range. The earphones as well as the silver-colored bridges are made of solid plastic.

Accordingly, the housing protects the technology inside well. It’s not a problem at all if the headphones fall to the ground once. The transitions between the individual components are quite clean.

We feel a very slight ridge, but it is negligible in practice. We did not discover gaps that were too large. The case is also made of hard plastic and offers good protection.

The hinge looks very high quality and should withstand countless folding processes. Thanks to the IP55 certification, the OnePlus Buds Pro can withstand sweaty activities or rain.

However, they have no business underwater. The charging cradle comes with IPX4 certification and is therefore also well protected.

Service

OnePlus Buds Pro
image credit: Trakin Tech

There is a touch surface on each side facing forward. In practice, it is best to press the bars lightly with your thumb and forefinger to create counter-pressure.

It’s not that easy to find the right pressure point, especially at the beginning. But even after several weeks of use, it happens to us again and again that we have to play something with the bars.

The big advantage, however, is that there is no risk of incorrect entries, for example when inserting the device into the ear canal.

The headphones confirm with a slight click, that they have recognized our input and implemented it. The possibilities are quite limited and both earbuds offer the same functions.

A single press stops or resumes playback. Pressing it twice jumps forward one song, pressing it three times goes back one song.

Holding the button for one second switches from transparency mode to active noise cancellation (ANC) and back again. With a 3-second press, users switch to the so-called Zen Mode Air.

When the ANC function is activated, natural sounds such as the chirping of birds or the rustling of the wind can be heard – a very practical bonus.

If you want to dig deeper into the settings, you have to pick up your smartphone. Owners of a OnePlus mobile phone can do this directly via the Bluetooth interface, all others also need the free HeyMelody app for Android and iOS. But then you can also enjoy the full range of functions.

Here, for example, we carry out a hearing test that actually improves the sound quality a little and adapts it to our needs. In addition, active noise suppression can be regulated in three stages: normal, maximum, or smart.

The latter adjusts the intensity depending on the ambient noise. The effect is not particularly strong, but it is definitely there.

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Noise cancellation and Bluetooth connection

oneplus buds pro features
image credit: Trakin Tech

Overall, we like the active noise cancellation a lot. The Buds Pro do not ensure complete peace and quiet, but they take normal background noise, for example from the train or a fan, very well.

Other noises are at least strongly muffled. OnePlus states that the headphones block noises up to a volume of 40 decibels, which we can confirm in the practical test.  

A few problems with older smartphones emerged with the Bluetooth connection in the test. We often notice dropouts, especially when the cell phone is in our trouser pockets. With more recent smartphones, on the other hand, we only noticed very seldom minor dropouts, but that doesn’t matter.

The Buds Pro use the current Bluetooth version 5.2. Pairing is very easy. When connecting for the first time, open the charging case flap and press the corresponding button on the shell. The small status LED then slowly flashes white and the buds are in pairing mode.

Battery life

image credit: Trakin Tech

OnePlus states the battery life with activated noise cancellation with up to 5 hours. We didn’t quite reach this value in the test; the headphones have to be put back in the charging case after about 4 to 4.5 hours.

Those who can do without ANC can look forward to 2 hours longer music enjoyment. The charging cradle offers an additional 4.5 charges. Accordingly, the headphones can do without a socket for a very long time. Thanks to Fast Charging, they can be recharged very quickly.

OnePlus speaks of 10 minutes for 10 hours of running time. The case alone fully charges the headphones in under an hour. Inductive charging using the Qi standard is also possible.

The included USB-C charging cable is not exactly long at just under 24 centimeters, which is why the case must always be close to the socket.

Sound quality

OnePlus Buds Pro
image credit: Trakin Tech

The OnePlus Buds Pro uses 11-mm drivers that deliver convincing sound. All frequencies come into their own, even if the low tones are a bit too dominant for our taste. That fits perfectly with bass thunderstorms like Ruff Riders Anthem from DMX but can be a bit annoying in other genres.

On the other hand, the low frequencies are pleasantly crisp and do not tend to be bass muddy. In addition, they do not roar uncomfortably on the ear even at high volumes. In terms of impulse fidelity, the headphones do not do anything to fault.

Overall, the Buds Pro delivers a rather warm sound but one that also has analytical traits. They score with a fine detail drawing in the mid-range and high-frequency range and even work out minor errors in the recording.   

Hip-hop fans and friends of electronic music get their money’s worth thanks to the rich bass reproduction. But the voice reproduction is also clear, which is especially important for spoken singing.

However, the OnePlus overemphasize nasality and sibilants, but this is still within an acceptable range.

Overall, they’re also good for podcasting. Pop music benefits from the rather warm sound and rockers should also have friends with the Buds Pro. The distorted guitars in particular sound nice and crisp. The headphones also have their strengths in the classic segment. The audibility is excellent, they go well with quiet as well as loud passages. In addition, they offer a fairly wide stereo panorama and good spatiality.

Conclusion

The OnePlus Buds has definitely earned the Pro edition. The sound quality is convincing and provides a coherent picture in all frequency ranges.

The headphones collect additional plus points with their good noise suppression. From our point of view, the operation is not optimal, even if it works after a bit of getting used to it.

The Bluetooth connection also shows weaknesses, especially when the smartphone is in your pocket. If OnePlus gets this under control through updates, we can give an unreserved purchase recommendation.

Jamex Afolabi

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