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Part of the reason for the overwhelming success of Apple’s AirPods is their tight integration with the iOS software that powers the iPhone. Android phone manufacturer OnePlus has attempted the same kind of feat with their noise-cancelling OnePlus Buds Pro, and they’ve largely succeeded.
Designed to work seamlessly with OnePlus devices, the OnePlus Buds Pro offers many of the same features you’ll find on AirPods and Google’s Pixel earbuds, including ANC and transparency modes, along with an earbud fit test and “find my” functionality. And thanks to a third-party app, the OnePlus Buds Pro will work surprisingly well with iPhones and non-OnePlus Android phones, even if the experience isn’t quite as seamless.
But while the OnePlus Buds Pro are comfy enough for all-day wearing, their sound is a tad thin compared to the best earbuds in the OnePlus’s $150-ish price range, and they pale when stacked up against the pricier AirPods Pro and Pixel Buds Pro.
Available in glossy white, matte black, or radiant silver, each OnePlus Buds Pro earbud weighs just 0.15 ounces.
Even though they’re tiny, the Buds Pro are easy to get in and out of your ear thanks to their short AirPod-style stems, while IP55 dust and water resistance makes the buds great for working out.
Three sizes of silicone eartips and a USB-C charging cable are included with the earbuds and case.
The Bluetooth 5.2-enabled OnePlus Buds Pro earbuds deliver a frequency response from 20Hz-20,000Hz with their 11mm dynamic drivers (one in each bud). The SBC, AAC, and high-resolution LHDC3 codecs are supported, but not Qualcomm’s aptX high-res codec.
How much battery life do the OnePlus Buds Pro get?
The compact, roughly two-ounce charging case supports both Qi wireless and USB-C wired charging. Expect 5 hours of playback with noise cancellation turned on and 7 hours when ANC is turned off.
You’ll get up to 38 hours from a fully charged case (or 28 hours with ANC on). A 10-minute “warp charge” will give you 10 hours playback combined from the charging case and earbuds.
How do you connect the OnePlus Buds Pro earbuds to a OnePlus phone?
The best use case for the OnePlus Pro Earbuds is with a OnePlus phone. Open the case near your unlocked OnePlus device and you’ll get a prompt to connect. All controls for the earbuds are located in the phone’s Bluetooth settings and accessible by tapping “Earbud functions.”
You get a screen that shows the battery level for each earbud along with ANC on, ANC off, and Transparency settings. With ANC enabled, you can choose from “faint, “extreme,” and “smart” modes. The smart mode adapts the level of noise cancellation to your environment and was by far the most effective choice during my testing.
Users can adjust the EQ through the “Sound Master” settings, with choices that include balanced, bold, serenade, bass. There’s also a custom option that allows users to adjust settings to their liking and save multiple profiles for future use.
Do the OnePlus Buds Pro earbuds offer an earbud fit test?
There’s an earbud fit test that can be followed by the OnePlus Audio ID test, which then customizes the sound to match your hearing levels. I heard almost all the beeps during the test, but I still found the enhanced hearing setting to be superior to the default setting.
You can turn on in-ear detection, which pauses playback when you remove an earbud, and set up dual connection, which allows the buds to be paired with two devices at the same time.
There’s also a “find my earbuds” option that will play a sound on a missing earbud.
Do the OnePlus Buds Pro have touch controls?
You can tweak the earbud touch controls for two options. A triple squeeze skips to the previous track or summons your phone’s voice assistant. You can assign one gesture to the left and the other to the right earbud or make both earbuds support the same function. A squeeze and hold switches between noise control modes. Default is noise cancellation, transparency, and off, but you have the option to disable one of the choices if you prefer.
That’s an impressive list of functions, one that rivals what’s on offer from Apple’s AirPods Pro, Google’s Pixel Buds Pro, and Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro. OnePlus adds a unique feature with the Zen Mode Air, which plays either white noise or a selection of meditative background sounds when you press and hold the stem of either earbud for three seconds.
Can you use the OnePlus Buds Pro with an iPhone or Android phone?
If you don’t use a OnePlus phone, you can still use the OnePlus Pro Earbuds with any other Android phone or iPhone. You’ll have to use the device’s Bluetooth settings to make the basic connection (just like you have to with every other third-party headphone on the market), but then you can take advantage of a few features with the HeyMelody app for iPhone or Android.
HeyMelody is an app for headphone manufacturers who don’t want to build their own apps, and it works remarkably well for these earbuds. The home screen shows the battery level for each earbud and the case, and it allows you to change the noise control mode.
You can take the earbud fit test and take the OnePlus Audio ID hearing test for audio enhancement. You’ve also got access to Zen Mode Air and all its background sounds. You can make the same adjustments to the touch controls via the HeyMelody app.
What you don’t get is access to the EQ settings. You also can’t switch between the OnePlus-created soundscapes nor customize your own.
How do the OnePlus Pro Earbuds sound?
Margo Price’s 2023 album Strays finds the singer songwriter wandering away from the hardcore country that made her famous and into a late ’60s psychedelic rock sound that’s heavy on the roller-rink organ. The OnePlus Pro Earbuds do a fine job with her vocals and the effects-heavy guitars and keyboards, but the kick drum and bass guitars sound a bit thin when compared to what I hear with the AirPods Pro 2 or the Pixel Buds Pro.
Of course, both the Apple and Google earbuds are far more expensive than the OnePlus Pro buds. A better point of comparison might be the Soundcore Liberty 4, which sell for the same price as the OnePlus earbuds.
The Liberty 4s offer a far wider soundstage and vastly superior bass. However, the OnePlus Pro earbuds are comfortable to wear for long stretches, something that distinguishes them from the AirPods Pro and Pixel Buds Pro. They’re a solid choice for long days at your desk.
Should you buy the OnePlus Buds Pro Earbuds?
If you’ve got a OnePlus phone, the OnePlus Buds Pro offer a superior user experience from the initial pairing process to everything about their daily use. Like the phones they’re designed to work with, the OnePlus earbuds are reasonably priced and exceptionally reliable.
If you use another Android phone or an iPhone, OnePlus would certainly like to have you as a customer, but you’ll probably be better off with a pair of Google, Samsung, or Apple earbuds that offer tighter integration with your particular phone.
Meanwhile, bargain hunters will be able to find earbuds in the same price range that offer better sound for the price.