OnePlus has announced multiple new products under the Nord portfolio at its recent Summer Launch Event. This includes two smartphones, the Nord 3 and Nord CE 3, and a pair of TWS earbuds, the Nord Buds 2r.

oneplus nord buds 2r review

The Nord Buds 2r are the company’s latest entry-level earbuds. They are a stripped-down version of the Nord Buds 2, which came out a few months ago, with a reduced price tag.

At Rs 2,199, the Nord Buds 2r take on other offerings in the affordable TWS space. But should you pick them over others? Our OnePlus Nord Buds 2r review should help you decide better.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2r Review: Design , Build, and Fit

OnePlus’ Nord Buds 2r have a design that looks very similar to the Nord Buds 2, except for a few minor differences. It uses an oval-shaped case made of plastic with an LED on the front to indicate the battery level and a USB-C port at the back for charging.

oneplus nord buds 2r review

OnePlus has used soft plastic on the Nord Buds 2r, which feels plastic-ky—but not cheap. That said, this choice of material makes the case susceptible to scratches. My unit has accumulated multiple scratches in my couple of weeks of use. But considering the earbuds’ price, the build quality is good.

Opening up the case with one hand is possible, but it takes a little while to get used to before you can do it comfortably. The hinge feels strong and closes with a snap. Inside the case, you’ll find the earbuds seated in their cavities. They are held in place by decently-strong magnets, and you can easily take them out of the case and slot them back in without any hassle.

oneplus nord buds 2r specs

Coming to the earbuds themselves, OnePlus has done a really good job with the design: the earbuds are well-designed and fit snugly in the ear canal. What helps further is that they are lightweight, so you don’t feel uncomfortable wearing them for hours on a stretch. I also used the earbuds for runs during testing, and they didn’t fall off my ear even once.

Another thing OnePlus has done right is bring touch controls to these earbuds. For this, it has added circular indents on top of each earbud, which helps you determine the right spot to tap on (while the earbuds are in your ears) to perform the designated actions. Additionally, you also hear a sound when you perform a tap, alerting you that your tap is registered.

Lastly, the Nord Buds 2r are also IP55 rated, so you can use them for workouts or runs without worrying about damaging them.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2r Review: Performance and Features

oneplus nord buds 2r sound quality

The OnePlus Nord Buds 2r use Bluetooth 5.3 for connectivity and support Fast Pairing (only on OnePlus phones). It’s pretty easy to pair them with your smartphone, and the connection strength is also rock solid—I didn’t encounter any issues in terms of connectivity with these earbuds during my time. Similarly, there was no latency issue either.

Talking about the noise cancellation functionality, the Nord Buds 2r feature dual mics on each earbud which, combined with the AI noise cancellation algorithm, allows them to filter ambient noise accurately. It manages to block out noises even in noisy environments, and the phone calls sound clear and loud.

OnePlus offers support for a companion app—HeyMelody—on the Nord Buds 2r. Using this app, you can do a bunch of things. For example, you can go into the app to turn on Game mode, tweak earbud controls for each earbud, update the firmware (when one’s available), and change the EQ modes. Besides, if required, you can even set up a custom EQ setting through the HeyMelody app.

Sadly, though, the HeyMelody app for iOS doesn’t support Nord Buds 2r. So, if you’re an iPhone user, you’d need an Android phone to access these functionalities of your earbuds.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2r Review: Sound Quality

oneplus nord buds 2r features

Coming to sound, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2r are very bass-heavy—a little too overwhelming for my liking. Sure, having a good amount of bass is good, but unrefined, and too much of it can negatively affect the overall listening experience. Not to mention, it also makes the experience jarring, so you can’t enjoy your favorite tracks on a stretch.

Mids sound fine on the Nord Buds 2r, and listening to lyrical songs is still enjoyable. That said, the highs are a little too dull; had OnePlus managed to get this right, the earbuds would have sounded a little better than what they do currently. Another thing to note about the earbuds is that they are super loud, so you must keep a check on the volume.

Thankfully, it’s possible to change how your Nord buds 2r sound, so you can easily try and pick one of the preset EQs in the HeyMelody app to do so. Or, if you want more control over different frequencies, create a custom EQ that suits your preference.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2r Review: Battery Life

oneplus nord buds 2r battery

OnePlus claims a battery life of 8 hours on the Nord Buds 2r with a single charge. And with the charging case, it suggests up to 38 hours of uninterrupted use. For those interested in specs, each earbud includes a 36mAh battery, whereas the case itself has a 480mAh cell.

I found OnePlus’ battery claims to be quite accurate during my testing. The Nord Buds lasted more than 7 hours on a single charge, and with the case, I was able to use them for around 34 hours, which is pretty impressive.

When the earbuds run out of charge, the USB-C port allows you to quickly top them up, so you can go about using them again with just a few minutes of charging.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2r Review: Verdict

oneplus nord buds 2r review verdict

For Rs 2,199, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2r offer good design and build, decent sound, excellent battery life, and a few handy features, which makes them a good overall offering.

However, if sound quality matters to you the most, there are better options in the market you should consider. The Oppo Enco Buds, for Rs 1,799, is one such offering. Or, if you’re willing to spend more money, the Nord Buds 2, for a price of Rs 2,999, deliver better sound quality and noise cancellation. Similarly, another decent option to consider is the Realme Buds Air 3S, at Rs 2,499.

Buy OnePlus Nord Buds 2r

  • Good build quality
  • Nice and comfortable earbuds design
  • Good touch controls
  • IP55 rating
  • Excellent battery life
  • Useful companion app
  • Too much bass
  • No wear-detection support
  • Missing a pairing button
  • No support for iOS-version of the companion app
Review Overview
Build & Design
Sound Quality

The OnePlus Nord Buds 2r are another pair of affordable TWS earbuds from OnePlus, which feature a nice design and offer decent sound, a few handy features, and excellent battery life. But are they worth your money? Let's find out.

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