While definitely a first for yours truly in terms of reviews, this is par for the course when it comes to OnePlus as they churn out yet another quality audio device, this time for the ever-reliable Nord series. One can say I’m stoked.
As we got our hands on the recently released OnePlus Buds 2 Pro, we take a step into more budget-friendly territory with their Nord Buds 2. Make no mistake, though. While this isn’t on the top of OnePlus’ earbud food chain, it’s no slouch when it comes to delivering quality audio. As someone quite familiar with beats, cans, and the oft untamable beast that is “EQ,” these little beasts might just surprise you.
Straight out of a rather therapeutic unboxing, you’re treated to the buds in a sleek Thunder Grey colorway with a slightly speckled finish. Setting aside the treats which include extra ear-tips, a charging cable, and an emoji sticker amidst the documentation, we can get down to business.
You get a premium hard plastic body with some really strong magnets–both for the topside cover and the buds inside. Yes, neither the lid nor the buds will be popping off anytime soon. To the left of the USB-C port, you get the Bluetooth connectivity switch. It’s a bit nondescript, but you’ll spot it if you squint a bit.
The buds themselves fit snugly in your ears, and while the stems are quite thicc, as the teenagers say, they won’t be falling off your dome–no matter how intense you headbang at your desk. They’re also IP 55 rated for water resistance, so don’t hesitate to pump some industrial rock during your workouts.
Sound to Binge To
Now, onto the good part. Setting up shop and seeing how far and loud we can go. Setting up is easy. Open up the case, activate Bluetooth on your device, and then press the button on the Nord Buds 2 case while your device is scanning. Easy peasy.
You can also opt to download the HeyMelody App which serves as a nice shortcut to the Nord Buds 2 settings on your device’s Bluetooth. From there, you’ll have full access to tweak at will.
They did a nice job in combining the hardware of 12.4mm extra-large driver units with Dolby Atmos support. You get clear sound which stays clear even if you crank the volume up to maximum. You get 25 decibels of Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) if you wish to block out the world, and Transparency Mode which gives you a more “open-back headphone” experience. The latter is perfect for those who are always on the go.
It’s worth noting that in my initial testing, there was a bit of noise on the right earbud which had this warped sound–especially whenever there was percussion or heavy guitar distortion. As per a recent firmware update, it’s been fixed.
As for your viewing pleasure, I’m happy to report that there’s almost no latency at all. The lips are moving–and in sync with whatever’s being said. Now, what better way to test both audio and video than some good ol’ Bocchi The Rock?
Now, it’s great to be able to go on that well-deserved sound trip, but just how long will it last, you may ask. Well, the Nord Buds 2 guarantee a good 27 hours of playback with ANC on, and a whopping 36 hours by default. If that wasn’t good enough, you’ll be back to the usual playback after 10 minutes of charging–which will give you 5 hours right off the bat.
Your Sound, Your Way
There’s a bit of customizability to go around if you want your own signature sound. With BassWave and some Sound Master EQ, any audiophile can fine-tune their settings to get the right sound.
For those who want just a few options out of the box, don’t fret. You’ll have access to a few presets to suit your style. Balanced is on by default, giving you a clear and, well, soundstage.
Bold amps things up, producing a richer tone which sounds similar to adding a bit of compression. Serenade accentuates all the highs and mids, really bringing out the vocals in a mix and making the trebles pop. Bass does exactly what you’d expect–and it does it well. It provides hard thumping beats without muddying the music.
They’re pretty good as far as presets go.
However, if you’re an audiophile and you know what you’re doing, you can always create your own preset and load it up as you please.
BassWave is a matter of preference. Dialing it up to 5 (Strong) can muddy up the audio for some tracks, especially if they aren’t bass heavy to begin with. But for tracks like Blackpink’s BOOMBAYAH, Imanbek’s remix of Dua Lipa’s Love Again, or pretty much anything Hardwell released in 2012, you’re gonna have a good time.
Final Geek Lifestyle Verdict
You don’t have to be a OnePlus user to make great use of these earbuds. They’re compatible with just about any device, and they’re a darn good experience. With easy connectivity, customizability, and comfort, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 offer a pretty sweet deal. We’re talking sweet beats that don’t break the bank.
The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 is priced at PHP 3,990 and now available for pre-order at all OPPO and OnePlus authorized stores nationwide.
For more info, do check out their official site and social media channels.