OnePlus Buds

Fast-charging True-Wireless headphones with touch control

Smartphone manufacturer OnePlus is expanding its headphone division with the addition of True-Wireless headphones that support Bluetooth standard 5.0 and, with the AAC format, a high-quality audio codec. The running time of this compact pair of headphones is respectable, especially since the transport case, which also serves as a charging station, has a pocket-friendly format.

The fact that these buds are not positioned primarily in the ear canal like classic in-ear systems, but in the outer part of the ear, makes them ideal for pressure-sensitive people. However, this depends upon the plastic housing not causing any problems because the firm material means that the fit is not flexible. If this condition is met, these earphones are very comfortable to wear; this is enhanced by their low weight of five grams per side. As the buds are worn well embedded in the ear and only protrude slightly, they can be worn under a cap if necessary. At the same time, there is sufficient stability, even during a quick sprint, to make them suitable for sports use. For outdoor activities, the earpieces are also protected against weather-related moisture in accordance with IPX4.

When used at a higher volume, these True-Wireless headphones offer a running time of six and a half hours, and the buds are fully recharged after about 35 minutes. An optional quick-charge function is also available, which allows up to two hours of use after just ten minutes of power. The extremely handy and portable case has enough batteries to fully charge the headphones three times and to use the quick charge function once, so the total running time is around 28 hours. However, the fact that it is not possible to tell when the buds are fully charged can be a nuisance. Although the transport case has an LED, this only serves as a charge level indicator for the case itself, which can be restored to full capacity in 45 minutes using the USB-C to USB-A charging cable supplied. The advantage is that the case’s battery is also fast-chargeable, which means that a running time of almost ten hours can be achieved if the charger and the headphones are charged for ten minutes. The reserve gained in this way enables both a full charge cycle and an additional quick charge of the buds.

Device control

These Bluetooth headphones offered a stable range of eight to nine metres in combination with various Android and iOS devices, and they can be coupled straight away when the case is opened. This turns the system on and puts it into pairing mode when it is used for the first time. As soon as a wireless connection has been established, the system is automatically paired with a recognised device. When you need to connect a new device, pressing a button on the back of the case can reactivate the pairing mode. However, there is no provision for switching the headphones on and off manually, which means that the buds can only be switched off by placing them back in the charging case.

The device control offers comparatively little functionality. Although the headphone touch control reacts very precisely, it only supports jumping forward to the next track, and answering and ending phone calls by double-tapping. Other functions are probably available when using a OnePlus Smartphone, although according to the manufacturer assignment has to be individually configured. Sensor-based ear recognition also controls the playback, automatically pausing when the headphones are put down and resuming use if no more than three minutes have passed. If a longer period of time has elapsed, playback must be started on the device, which seems cumbersome. Speech intelligibility on the phone also left us with a mixed impression. While the person on the other end of the line can be heard clearly, your own voice is reproduced quite softly. The noise suppression system used noticeably reduces street noise, but voices do not appear to be present, but rather displaced into the depths of a large room.

Sound

These buds have a very clear and bright sound, do not use any effects and are quite neutral. The bass foundation is slim and compact rather than voluminous and sets accents primarily in the mid and upper bass range. If you prefer bass-orientated music, you may miss some presence in the low bass range, but otherwise, the dry bass reproduction sounds well defined. The representation of the mid and high frequencies is precise, so that voices are nicely intelligible. In the high-frequency range no drop can be perceived, however, at higher volumes, this can particularly be felt as sharp and may have a touch of harshness. Films and audiobooks, on the other hand, benefit from the direct, clean and crisp tuning, which, with its universal orientation, covers a wide range of applications. Unfortunately, we could not (yet) include 3D stereo with Dolby Atmos in this test due to our lack of a OnePlus Nord Smartphone.

Maike Paeßens
1 month ago by Maike Paeßens
  • Rating: 4
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

With these buds, OnePlus offer lightweight True-Wireless headphones that have fast-charging batteries with endurance, which are characterised by a compact, portable format. If you are looking for inexpensive, cable-free all-rounders and prefer a bright sound image with high speech intelligibility, you should take a closer look at these buds. However, a headphone charge level indicator and extensive device control options are not included.

  • comfortable, stable fit
  • light, handy format
  • case and headphone with quick charge function
  • USB-C connection
  • supports the AAC format
  • no aptX codec
  • touch control offers little functionality
  • headphones without charge indicator

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingEarBuds
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20 - 20.000 Hz
  • Sound pressure level (SPL)bei 1 kHz: 97 dB ± 3 dB
  • Weight without cableje 5 g, inkl. Case: 48 g

What's in the box

  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • Charging case

Special features

  • available in grey, white and blue
  • BT codecs: SBC, AAC
  • BT version: 5.0

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