For let’s get it straight – there is a lot of Pro about these buds. They might look like an exact copy of their predecessors with the same flat case and the dual-toned buds with metallic-colored stems, but these buds are unlike their older bros. And the biggest difference is the sackful of smarts that accompany them.

oneplus buds pro 2 review

OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Review: Look familiar

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are almost indistinguishable from their predecessors, which is not a bad thing. The case does have Dynaudio mentioned clearly on the front and inside, but apart from that, it is design business as usual. You get the dual-tone buds placed on their side inside the flattish case. There is a button inside the case for connectivity, which we find a little irritating because it means we have to open the case every time we need to connect the buds to a different device rather than just hit an external button, as in the case (pun intended) of the likes of the AirPods.

We got the Obsidian Black variant of the TWS. Buds and case looked smart enough and are lightweight too – the buds are 4.9 grams each and the case 47 grams. The buds come with an IP 55 rating, which means they are good enough to survive sweaty gym sessions but will drown in every sense of the word in a swimming pool.

OnePlus Buds Pro 2: Behind those familiar looks lurk new smarts

oneplus buds pro 2 specs

It is when you start setting up the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 that the smart side of the TWS hits you. Pairing them is a simple enough process – you press the button in the case (with the buds still inside) and then locate them on the phone or notebook’s Bluetooth places. You can also use the Hey Melody for pairing them with iPhones and non-OnePlus Android devices. OnePlus phones come with support for the TWS baked into the Settings section. We had a few issues with pairing the buds with the iPhone using the Hey Melody app (only the left bud was recognized), but this got sorted out when we paired it directly through the iPhone’s Bluetooth setting and then opened the Hey Melody app for more control.

The controls revolve around tapping the stems of the buds – a single tap to play or pause sound or to accept or end a call, two taps to move to the next song or reject a call, three taps to go to the previous song, tap and hold for a second to change noise cancellation modes, and tap and hold for a bit longer to enter the Zen Air mode with relaxing white noise. Rather oddly, one cannot control the volume of the buds.

OnePlus Buds Pro 2: Tweak audio, tweak ANC…and it all works!

oneplus buds pro 2 review sound

Opening the Buds on an Android device reveals a plethora of options. There are four types of active noise cancellation: Max, Moderate, Mild, and Smart (which automatically sets ANC as per the noise outside). You can also turn off ANC totally or opt for a transparency mode that lets you hear external noises – a welcome change from those buds that have only ANC and transparency modes. You can also personalize noise cancellation, in which case the buds work as per the structure of your ear. The noise cancellation is actually rather good and is more than enough for noisy metro rides and cafes. Maxing out ANC does make the audio a little “thick” at times, though.

Audio quality can also be tweaked as per your ears by using a Golden sound test which lasts about three minutes. There is also an EQ with three settings (Bold, Serenade, and Bass) and the option to customize settings as well. You can check your earbud fit with an Earbud Fit Test (there are tips in the box to try out). Of course, you can access Dual Mode, in which the buds connect to two devices at the same time and switch between them depending on which plays the audio, and also access a low latency gaming mode as well as get firmware updates.

oneplus buds pro 2 anc

OnePlus users get even more smarts. They get not only spatial audio but also the option for activating head tracking, which makes it feel as if the sound is coming from a fixed location no matter how you move your head. One also gets access to playing audio in high resolution using the High-Res mode (the buds will get LHDC codec support in an update shortly), control your device’s camera through the buds, and also use the Find My Earbuds function when they get lost. This is some pretty heavy-duty functionality here.

The best part is that a lot of it works. The differences in ANC levels might not seem obvious straight away, but spend some time with the buds in your ears, and you will notice subtle variations. We actually liked the Smart ANC option, which sometimes took a little time to adjust to external sound levels but inevitably fixed matters – it is definitely a whole lot more convenient than pressing the stems and counting how many times you have done so.

oneplus buds pro 2 sound quality

The Earbud Fit test actually seems to work and does not seem as token as on some other TWS, where you can do the test one more time to get a totally different result, even if you have not adjusted the tips themselves in your ears. We are not too sure about the Golden sound test as the difference in audio quality was not apparent, but head tracking certainly works and gives you a cinema hall-like feel, although it is not in the same class as the AirPods Pro!

Call quality is a very pleasant surprise on the OnePlus Buds Pro 2. We are used to TWS getting a little iffy in the call zone, but these buds handled calls very well indeed and got close to the AirPods gold standard. None of the folks we spoke to using them had any complaints or even realized we were calling them from TWS – something that is a rarity.

OnePlus Buds Pro 2: Adding a touch of treble to good bass

oneplus buds pro 2 price

These smart features, however, are only part of the bud package. A major component of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is the audio these buds deliver. OnePlus has collaborated with renowned audio from Dynaudio (the folks who helped OnePlus’ partner Oppo make the excellent Oppo Enco X) for a dual driver (11 mm and 6 mm) setup. The result is some very good quality sound, although with a very definite bass accent. Unlike the previous OnePlus Buds Pro, the new buds also have a slightly increased treble. The result is a slightly V-shaped sound, though bass gets significantly more stress than treble. Volume levels are impressively high – we almost never had to max out the volume, and most content sounded very good at 80 percent volume. And spatial audio does make a difference, especially while watching shows and films.

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are great for listening to dance, pop, and underground trance music. The bass touch and low latency make them very good for watching films and playing games as well – you will feel some of those explosions. Mind you, that stress on bass and enhancement to treble can sometimes mean that vocals can get a little lost, especially in songs with lots of instrumentation. Those who prefer a slightly more balanced sound might prefer TWS from Sennheiser or the Oppo Enco X, but if you are looking for mainstream sound, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are very good. What’s more, they could get better – a special EQ designed by the legendary Hans Zimmer is expected to be delivered via an update.

OnePlus Buds Pro 2: No battery or connectivity blues

oneplus buds pro 2 battery
In terms of battery life, the Buds Pro 2 last a little over six hours on their own, and the case lets you top it up to three times or so, giving you about 25 hours in all. Turn off the ANC, and OnePlus claims the battery life goes to nine hours, with another 30 coming from the case. Those are decent figures. Also, ten minutes of charge through the USB Type C port can get you up to three hours of music, which is very handy.

There is also wireless charging, although that is a little sluggish. We wish there had been more indicator lights on the case instead of the single one – right now, you only get to know when the battery is very low. The Buds come with Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity. You can connect to two devices at the same time and switch easily between them. We had no connectivity problems as long as a wall did not come between the buds and the device they were connected to.

OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Review Verdict: Pro type? Go for it!

oneplus buds 2 pro review verdict

At Rs 11,999 ($179 / £179 / €179), the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 get right into the premium zone of the TWS market. But they bring a mix of good smarts and sound that is difficult to find at this price point. The Sennheiser CX Plus True Wireless TWS and the Oppo Enco X might offer better sound for those who prefer strong mids (vocals), but they do not have the sort of smart functionality that the Buds Pro 2 bring to the table – the Sennheiser buds also have an odd interface.

The Amazon Echo Buds (2nd generation) do have some smart features at around the same price but lose out on battery life. Go a little up the price ladder, and the likes of the new AirPods, the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro, the Sony WF-1000XM4, and the Pixel Buds Pro come into the picture, but at their current price, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 have hit a very good balance between audio experience and pro features, especially for the Pro bros who have OnePlus devices.

Buy OnePlus Buds Pro 2

  • Good ANC
  • Good call quality
  • Spatial audio and head tracking
  • Decent audio quality
  • Head tracking only with select OP devices
  • No volume control on the buds
  • Design same as OnePlus Buds Pro
Review Overview
Battery Life
Audio Quality
Extra Features

At Rs 11,999 ($179 / £179 / €179), the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are looking to hit the middle ground between great audio for mainstream users and super smart functionality for the professional crowd. Do they hit it?

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