OnePlus may not be the most obvious brand to buy earbuds from. Yet it surprised friend and foe alike with the Buds Pro. Does the company know how to do that again with the OnePlus Buds Pro 2? WANT editor Dennis Mons has the answer.
Of all the editors, I may somewhat be considered the biggest audiophile. And no, I don’t have my house full of absurdly expensive amplifiers and boxes with gold cables, but I can certainly appreciate good sound for a nice price tremendously, but am critical of it.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 prettier than the OnePlus Buds Pro?
What immediately stands out about the second edition of the Buds Pro is the sleek design. They hardly differ from the first edition, but what charms me is that both the caps and the case have a matte finish. The first buds had stems that were even more shiny than these and that was a little too glitzy for me.
The box is otherwise quite small and flat, although that of the Apple AirPods Pro 2 is smaller. Still, the Buds fit perfectly well in the so-called watch pocket of your jeans. Furthermore, the box feels robust, as does the hinge. The same goes for the Buds themselves.
The battery life of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 has also been greatly improved. The first version lasted up to five hours, but that has now been boosted to nine hours (without ANC). If you use the box to charge, you’ll get 38 hours out of it (also without noise cancellation).
Extra caps would be nice
One of the first minor drawbacks I encountered was the fact that no extra rubber caps were included. The standard size was too big for me. Not hard to solve by putting caps from other in-ears on it, but if you don’t have those then you have to dig them up somewhere. Useful tip: for about 7 euros you can find these at Bol.com, but chances are that you can score cheap in-ears for even less at Action, for example, which do come in multiple sizes.
Eleven and the rest goes… (Image: Mark Hofman / WANT)
If they do fit properly, by the way, they fit superbly. You never feel like they fall out of your ears, and they don’t irritate even with extended wear. They also seal well, and when you combine that with ANC (active noise cancelling) you displace quite a bit of sound from the outside world. In fact, OnePlus claims that the earbuds do a decent job of quelling annoying noise up to 45dB.
Incredible room for the price
The most important aspect of the Buds Pro 2 is of course the sound, and there is really seriously lol about that. Thanks to the collaboration with Danish company Dynaudio (which also works with Oppo), the sound is formidable.
Thanks to Bluetooth 5.2, the support of the LHDC 5.0 you get a very clear and balanced sound with lots of mids and highs. If you really want to know what the earbuds can do: just set the equalizer in the HeyMelody app to powerful and throw some on with a big beat, because the bass is absolutely impressive.
Earlier I mentioned that the sound is very spacious, as that is also due to the fact that you can make use of Spatial Audio by enabling it in the app (HeyMelody). This sometimes makes live music feel like you are in the audience. It’s similar to Apple’s effect. I myself am not a huge fan, but can well imagine that others are.
Buds (Image: Mark Hofman / WANT)
Anyway, there are many options found in the settings on the app. Not only can you find presets there, there are also custom presets to create. If you want the sound to be even better and tailored specifically to your ears, you can choose the Golden Sound option. The earplugs then scan your ear canal and test how sensitive your hearing is and therefore provide the best sound per ear.
Here, by the way, you can also switch between the different noise reduction modes. These range from Max to Mild and there’s even a Slim option that lets your earbuds use ambient noise to estimate the amount of suppression.
As for calling with these earbuds, don’t expect shocking results. They sound clear enough, just like many other headsets in this segment. They are also fine for gaming, but you certainly can’t use them for streams on Twitch.
So are these OnePlus Buds Pro 2 perfect?
So nothing but praise for these best affordable premium in-ear buds from OnePlus. Really nothing but praise? No. Personally, I find them a tad too expensive. They absolutely measure up to the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro, for example, but they are 20 euros cheaper. On the other hand, the recommended retail price of the Huawei FreeBuds 2 is 199.99 euros.
Also, it’s a touch irritating that you can control a lot via touch control on the stalks, except the volume. Not a drama in my case because I then control it on my Apple Watch, but for others it means constantly having to take their device out of their pocket.
Duration single charge
Battery with case
Type and appearance
Either way, these Buds Pro 2 are absolute must-haves. And if you like a little more “oempf,” better than competition in the same segment.
Also check out our video about the Samsung Galaxy S23 Ultra that came out last week.