While the Apple Airpods and AirPods Pros have become the default option on the iPhone side, there hasn’t been a definitive true wireless earphone option for those who use Android.
That’s where the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 comes in. Boasting a collaboration with loudspeaker manufacturer Dynaudio and tuning from renowned film score composer Hans Zimmer — can the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 be the default option for Android users?
Let’s find out in our full review of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2.
Table of Contents
Design and Construction
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 comes in two colors: Obsidian Black and Abror Green. The pair we have here is the Arbor Green colorway. Upon holding the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 case, you’ll immediately get a premium and luxurious feel out of the Buds Pro 2.
OnePlus says the case is made out of a smooth and tactile NCL matte coating and polished indium. As vague as that sounds, it seems like the Buds Pro 2 comes with a mix of plastic material housed with a metal-like coating and we very much like it.
The case size itself is just right weighing 47.3g and being easily storable in pockets and bags. It is IPX4 certified, which means they are splash resistant; while the earbuds are IP55 certified meaning they have limited resistance from both dust and water.
The hinge on the case also doesn’t feel flimsy but is also easily openable without any issue.
For the buds themselves, one can’t deny that they look just like Apple’s AirPods Pros. They have a similar shape to the earbud design and adopt a longer stem for controls as well. One differentiating factor here is that the Buds Pro 2’s stems have a shiny metallic coating that clearly indicates where the gesture controls will be found.
In our ears, the buds fit really well and gave us pretty good noise isolation off the bat. They don’t feel heavy and the stems are able to wrap around the lower part of the ear, making them less likely to fall off. The caveat here, of course, is that we all have different ear shapes so your mileage may vary. To mitigate this, OnePlus does include a set of replaceable ear tips of different sizes.
Overall, while they are eerily similar to the AirPods Pros, we really can’t fault the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 for adopting a tried and tested design that gives users their money’s worth in terms of offering a premium but a still light-enough earbud and earbud case combination.
Audio Quality and Microphone
For audio quality, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 comes with what OnePlus calls MelodyBoost Dual Drivers which are comprised of 11mm woofer + 6mm tweeter dual drivers at 10Hz-40KHz frequency response. The Buds Pro 2 has Smart Adaptive noise cancellation of up to 48db, a transparency mode, a frequency range of 4kHz, and a rated power of 10mW.
The sound quality on the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is conventionally good or, in other words, V-shaped in tuning. The bass on the Buds Pro 2 is definitely the most emphasized part, with the bass booming at even more subtle and lowkey songs.
With noise cancellation on, this bias towards the bass is even more apparent. Because of this, vocals and instruments in tracks feel weak, a bit subdued, and less pronounced in comparison. With noise cancellation off, you do get stronger performance from the mids and a less fatiguing bass response but the bias is definitely still there.
Genres that are bass heavy like Hip Hop or EDM played nicely with the Buds Pro 2 but other than that, the bass was a bit much for our tastes.
In terms of volume, the Buds Pro 2 has no problem. They get reasonably loud with me being able to listen to my songs adequately at 60% volume.
What does all of this mean? If you’re not an audiophile, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 gives you bass-biased tuning that will be perfectly fine for the average user. If you’re an audio enthusiast, however, you will be disappointed with the lack of performance from other non-bass aspects of the Buds Pro 2’s tuning.
Meanwhile, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2’s microphone was average. It does a good job of drowning out background noise such as cars in the street or air conditioning noise.
However, we do wish voices sounded clearer and less muffled but the Buds Pro 2’s mic will be fine for the occasional call and online meeting. For the mic, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is not the best in the game but not the worst either.
Noise Cancellation and Software Features
As mentioned earlier, the Buds Pro 2 has Smart Adaptive noise cancellation (NC) of up to 48 dB and a transparency mode. The “smart” part of the Buds Pro 2’s noise cancellation is that it adapts depending on the noise in your environment.
In our experience, this adaptive NC actually worked reasonably well. You can actually hear the noise cancellation levels change and rise as you walk next to say an electric fan for example.
While this may be a bit weird at first, as other noise-canceling earbuds usually have more consistent noise cancellation, it may also serve as a pro since your ears won’t have to feel that “noise-canceling pressure” for long as you listen in quieter environments.
This gives the listener a more comfortable experience overall given that the NC levels aren’t always turned up to 11. The great thing about it is that you can actually use the OnePlus Buds Pro 2’s partner app (which we’ll dive into later) to choose whether you want this Smart NC feature on or you just want a more conventional and steady NC mode.
The transparency mode on the Buds Pro 2 was decent, as it was able to adequately lessen noise isolation and let in some sounds for those instances you want to talk to someone near you or want to be more aware of your surroundings.
For software, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 will be the most fully featured when used with a OnePlus device like the OnePlus 11. OnePlus devices have software baked into the device that will play along with the OnePlus Buds Pro 2.
All other Android users will have to download OPPO’s HeyMelody app via the Google Play Store (which is what we did in our testing).
The HeyMelody app is simple and easy to use. We like that, at first setup, the app will prompt to give you a rundown of all the main features and gestures that you’ll have with the OnePlus Buds Pro 2.
Once you’re in the app, you get battery indicators for both the left and right earbuds as well as the Buds Pro 2’s case. You’ll also have the ability to switch between NC mode, NC off, and Transparency mode from the app.
We appreciate that the HeyMelody app gives you the option to adjust the NC modes from Smart, Max, Moderate, or Mild.
You will also be able to adjust what each gesture does within the app. Also, the battery levels of each bud and the case will be prominently displayed in your notification tray for easy viewing.
In terms of noise cancellation and software features, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 gets a good grade from us. With a really cool smart NC feature you won’t find in other TWS earbuds and a simple but still useful companion app, the Buds Pro 2 gets a win in this category.
Connectivity and Battery Life
For connectivity, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 has LHDC, AAC, SBS, and LC3 Bluetooth Codecs, Bluetooth Version 5.3, and Google Fast Pair. It has BLE, SPP, HFP, A2DP, and AVRCP transmission protocols and is rated to have a 10m connectivity distance.
Pairing the Buds Pro 2 with your device is pleasantly quick and simple. Using the small button inside the case, you put the Buds into pairing mode and they will appear on your partner device’s Bluetooth screen. Once paired, the Buds Pro 2 will automatically connect to devices once you lift open the case which is really convenient.
We didn’t experience any connectivity issues with the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 in our testing. We were able to move around the room without any drops in connection so the 10m. rated connectivity distance seems about right.
We also didn’t have any latency issues with the Buds Pro 2. Audio from YouTube videos never went out of sync and playing games gave us an almost instantaneous response with every audio cue.
For battery, OnePlus says that the Buds Pro 2 can give users 6 hours of listening with ANC On, 9 hours with ANC off, 25 hours with the case and ANC on, and 39 hours with the case and ANC off.
For the time we had it, the Buds Pro 2 met all these claims with no problem. We only really had to charge the buds after a few days of use. With the Buds Pro 2 case’s fast charging technology, topping up was quick and easy. Even just charging the case for around 15 minutes gave us a full charge good for a full day or two.
At a price of Php9,990 in the Philippines, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is a good option if you’re looking for a sleek and smart TWS pair for your Android device. The smart adaptive noise cancellation feature works surprisingly well, and we really liked the smart integration it had with the HeyMelody partner app.
We just wished that the overall sound tried to move beyond the usual bass-heavy sounds of most TWS earbuds in this price range. At an almost Php10k SRP, you’re warranted in expecting more out of the sound tuning in our honest opinion.
But if you don’t care much about audio quality and just want TWS earbuds with good noise canceling and a long battery, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is a good buy.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Specs and Price
11mm woofer + 6mm tweeter dual drivers
10Hz-40KHz frequency response
-38 dB microphone sensitivity
3 mics per side
10mW rated power
Up to 48dB smart adaptive noise cancellation, 4kHz frequency range
4.9g earbuds weight, 47.3g charging case weight
LHDC/AAC/SBC/LC3 Bluetooth Codecs
BLE, SPP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
10m connection distance
Google Fast Pair
IP55 rating for earbuds
IPX4 rating for charging case
Earbuds: 60mAh battery
Charging case: 520mAh battery
Arbor Green, Obsidian Black
Official Price: Php9,990 in the Philippines
What we liked:
- Sleek and premium design
- Smart adaptive noise cancellation that actually works
- Long battery life; fast charging
What we didn’t like:
- Conventional, bass-heavy audio tuning
- A bit pricy
Co-Authored by: Luis Millares