OnePlus’ first fully wireless headphones on trial.
They have been made to pray, but OnePlus’ first fully wireless headphones are finally with us. The OnePlus Buds arrive accompanying the OnePlus Nord as the first bet within the segment of the Audio true wireless from Chinese company, after several years testing the audio field with the –more than convincing– models of the OnePlus Bullets series.
But, Are OnePlus Buds living up to expectations? We have been able to test the latest headphones from the Chinese company, and this is all we have to tell about them:
Index of contents:
OnePlus Buds datasheet
|Dimensions||Headphones: 18.8mm x 16.13mm x 37.89mm
b> Charging case: 52.2 x 59.6 x 37.8 mm
|Weight||Headphones: 4.7 grams
Charging case: 37 grams
|Battery||35 mAh per earphone|
|Autonomy and charge||Up to 7 hours of music playback. Up to 30 hours with case + headphones.
Fast charge (10 minute charge for 10 hours) via USB Type C
The best of OnePlus Buds
Autonomy and ultra-fast charging
OnePlus claims that OnePlus Buds are capable of hold up to 30 hours away from the charger if we combine the autonomy of the headphones themselves and the charging case. During my tests, I have been able to verify that, although perhaps the 30-hour figure seems somewhat optimistic, the reality is that the autonomy of these headphones is clearly one of its strengths, and certainly good enough that it is not a concern.
I was able to use the headphones for about a full week, about two hours a day, without having to resort to the charger until Sunday-Monday of the following week. Therefore, I highly doubt that autonomy will be a problem, even for those users who decide to make even more aggressive use of OnePlus Buds.
And, even if the autonomy of the headphones was not enough, it would have mattered little thanks to the impressive loading speed provided by the OnePlus Buds charging case through its USB Type-C connector: using any type of charger or cable capable of offering a power greater than 10W, the headphones will offer up to 10 hours of use with a charge of only 10 minutes.
A good price / experience ratio
In 2020, fully wireless headphones are going through a golden age. You no longer need to spend the 169 euros that the original AirPods used to cost, to enjoy a correct sound experience or functions such as touch controls, fast charging or noise-canceling microphones. OnePlus Buds have all of that – and a few other things – and cost 89 euros.
It is true that the audio quality is not the best on the market: the sound produced by the OnePlus Buds is balanced and pleasant, with not too saturated bass and good tone separation. The is not so good audio clarity, the support for modern audio codecs –we only have AAC, unlike the OnePlus Bullets Wireless that integrated aptX–, and due to its format lacking rubber tips, lack of insulation makes them not the most suitable for those seeking the highest audio fidelity that headphones of this type can offer. I am afraid that for that there are other models – much more expensive – like the Sony XF-1000XM3.
But the reality is that They are quite balanced headphones in terms of price / features / audio quality. Although, as I said, the quality of the sound produced is not its strong point, the audio captured with the microphone if it is of very good quality, and the noise cancellation system, based on a system of three different microphones in each earpiece, does a great job of reducing ambient sound, something that is especially noticeable when making calls or video calls with them on.
Also noteworthy is the inclusion of IPX4 protection It ensures some resistance to splashing, so you can wear your headphones to the gym or in the rain without worrying too much. On the other hand, the Fnatic Mode function It reduces latency to prevent video and audio from being out of phase, and it can be useful on certain occasions – in my experience, the difference between having mode on or off is not too noticeable.
Controls and integration with Android
The OnePlus Buds are the headphones with the more precise control system, and at the same time more wasted I’ve ever tried. But let’s talk about the positive part first: its touchpad, integrated into the back of each of the headphones, offers extremely fast and accurate touch detection, and its response time is among the lowest that you have experienced so far. Guilty of this operation is the detection system in-ear and touch control developed by Goodix, which OnePlus has decided to integrate into its first headphones true wireless.
Besides that, the sensor in charge of detecting whether to put or remove the headphones from the ear work perfectly, and pausing or resuming audio playback is almost instantaneous.
On the other hand, OnePlus Buds are among the first headphones on the market to integrate support for Android’s Fast Pair system. Thus, the process of pairing with a new device is extremely simple, and we have access to extra functions such as a interactive panel that shows the battery level of each earphone and the charging case itself, even if the headphones are not connected and ready for audio playback on the device itself. A own settings panel to configure different parameters from the headphones themselves. This feature is compatible with any modern Android smartphone that includes Google Play services, and no external application needs to be installed.
The worst of the OnePlus Buds
But, as I was saying, OnePlus Buds control system is excessively limited for some unknown reason. As of today, having installed the latest update available for the headphones, the touchpad only supports double-touch and long-press gestures, the first being the only one that can be configured. That means there is no way to control the volume level from the headphones. As if that were not enough, it is not possible modify the touchpad action on non-OnePlus mobiles, so it is only possible to skip songs with a double tap, or switch between connected devices with a long press.
Although that will not be the only problem you will encounter if you use the headphones with a non-brand mobile: it will only be possible to install software updates on the Buds if you connect them to a OnePlus mobile, so that any type of new function or error corrected by OnePlus in the future, will remain exclusively for the owners of their mobiles.
To end this section, I must say that during my tests I was able to experience frequent connection drops when using headphones. The problems seem to be typical of the Buds, since they have manifested themselves when using different types of devices, among them the OnePlus Nord, OnePlus 8 Pro or the Pixel 4 XL.
A design not too original (or comfortable for everyone)
There are two types of fully wireless headphones on the market: those whose design is inspired by that of the Apple AirPods, and those who choose to a totally different format to the Cupertino headphones. OnePlus Buds fall into the first category.
Like many other models on the market, The OnePlus Buds are headphones very similar to Apple’s AirPods, especially in the white finish that we have been able to test. Instead, OnePlus has decided to somehow combine the format of the AirPods with the design features of its OnePlus Bullets series, so that touchpad restores the classic look that OnePlus has been using in its headphones for years, with a shiny finish surrounded by a metallic ring.
Otherwise, the differences are not too noticeable: headphones are made of shiny plastic and they have a format in-ear, which as I mentioned in the audio section, offers rather poor insulation. Also, given its size – somewhat larger than AirPods – and the lack of interchangeable rubber tips, some users may do not find them completely comfortable, especially after spending several hours using them continuously.
This format does not make them the best for sports either: although normally they stay well restrainedWhen running or doing any other activity that involves sudden movements, it is not difficult to end up letting go of the ear. Again, this will depend on the physiognomy of each person.
Yes, I liked it, instead, the aesthetics of the charging case. It has a very similar appearance to that of the Google Pixel Buds, with a rounded format and a fairly compact size, so it will not bother carrying it in any pocket.
Also, unlike the headphones themselves, The charging case is constructed of plastic with a smooth matte finish, which prevents dirt from soaking up so easily. On the other hand, unlike other cases, the one of the OnePlus Buds gives the feeling of be robust enough so as to avoid that the cover that covers the headphones can be easily broken. To finish, mention that the charging case includes a button intended to check the battery level, which is reflected in a small LED indicator, whose color will be green or orange depending on the health of the battery.
OnePlus Buds, Andro4all’s opinion and final thoughts
The OnePlus Buds are a first approach of the company to the field of audio true wireless, after a couple of years offering semi-wireless alternatives with its Bullets series. This first attempt arrives with some pending subjects, as a better audio quality or more useful controls, but without a doubt they are positioned as an interesting alternative to the rest of totally wireless headphones available below the 90-euro barrier, although part of its charm disappears if not be a user of a company phone.
Price and where to buy the OnePlus Buds
OnePlus Buds can be buy through the OnePlus online store, at a price of 89 euros. They are available in white, black and blue.
|Should I buy the OnePlus Buds?|
|Conclusions||If you have a OnePlus mobile that allows you to take advantage of everything that this pair of headphones offers, and you have no problems with its design or with its limited controls, its price of 89 euros makes it a very balanced alternative to competing models , with correct audio quality and record autonomy, paired with ultra-fast charging.|
For all budgets, but not for all ears.
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