New Delhi: We all have witnessed the true wireless stereo (TWS) segment growing by leaps and bounds in India every quarter and smartphone makers Oppo, OnePlus and Realme have been bringing multiple TWS headsets to the market at different price points that offer good features without the user having to spend a bomb.I recently tested the Oppo Enco Air2, a pair of budget TWS earbuds, and now, it is time to test the OnePlus Nord Buds, the first TWS buds under the Nord moniker and as the name suggests, it is a budget offering from OnePlus which claims 30 hours of total playback time.
However, there are a lot of budget TWS offerings in the market, especially under the Rs 5,000 segment from the likes of Oppo, Realme and Dizo hence it becomes important to provide something extra in terms of performance, design and battery life to stand out.
OnePlus itself has launched a couple of audio products so far, starting with the OnePlus Bullets, OnePlus Buds Z, Bullets Wireless, Buds and OnePlus Bullets Z2 which means the Nord Buds faces some competition within the brand itself, almost like a Xiaomi-Redmi situation.
Priced at Rs 2,799, the OnePlus Nord Buds is available on e-commerce sites Amazon India, Flipkart and OnePlus.in as well as OnePlus Experience Stores and the company’s partner stores. This pair of TWS buds comes with Nord branding that the handset maker uses for cheaper products — so how good is the Nord Buds and is it really OnePlus’ first step towards building a robust Nord ecosystem? Let’s find out.
OnePlus Nord Buds Design, Looks And Build
As mentioned, the OnePlus Nord Buds is the cheapest TWS headset from the house of OnePlus and the buds come in a traditional short and thick stem design that was popularised by Apple.
However, this one comes with silicon ear tips that ensures a snug fit which is good enough to prevent them from falling off the ears even if you exercise or your mood is to headbang to a good metal number. The silicon tips provided in the box are in three different sizes so that you can pick the one that fits you the best.
The Nord Buds comes in two colour options, white and black and I reviewed the latter which comes with a matte finish. The earbuds themselves have a mix of matte and glossy finish albeit for a mirrored circular spot in the middle of each bud that can be lightly pressed to activate controls. The tactile areas are large for controls and those with large fingers may not face difficulty using them.
The charging case is not the slimmest one out there. Even as the round charging case fit in the pocket it will bulge if your wear skinny pants. The charging case weighs 50.33g and comes with a matte finish too and hence does not attract fingerprints and smudges easily.
While it is not the most ergonomic TWS buds case out there, courtesy of the boxy design, but it is not something which is not manageable either. The weight of the Nord Buds is light and so is the size, with short, thick stems. Each bid weighs 4-gram and their fit is snug.
The charging case could’ve been made slimmer — I am a fan of the slim charging case of the OnePlus Buds Z and the OnePlus Buds Pro which of course costs way more than the Nord Buds.
The back of the charging case houses a Type-C charging port and a set-up key that sits flush with the body and is rather difficult to spot in the black coloured variant of the OnePlus Nord Buds.
Thanks to the set-up button, pairing the buds via Bluetooth with different devices was easy and did not take more than 2-3 minutes.The front side of the case houses an LED notification light that lights up while pairing or charging the buds.
OnePlus Nord Buds Sound Output
The OnePlus Nord Buds surprisingly exceeded my expectations and the sound output was loud and bass-heavy — something that should appeal to most Indian buyers. The Nord Buds houses 12.4 mm drivers that delivers bass-heavy sound for both higher and lower frequencies.
The mid-range frequencies were a little held back and could have been more clear as compared to the low and high ones. I did not have to increase the volume beyond 60 per cent as that was enough for decent listening.
The Nord Buds can be paired with the Heymelody app pretty easily and post that you can also customise the playback controls and summon the digital assistant as well as choose from the equaliser presets.
OnePlus Nord Buds Battery
The Nord Buds is capable of lasting a long time on a single charge and it lasted me for more than 25 hours, which is quite close to the claimed battery life of 30 hours. The battery life itself make it a compelling proposition under Rs 3,000. Support the flash charge makes it even sweeter and the company is also providing a red cable bundled inside the box.
While OnePlus claims that you would get five hours of battery backup in the case with just 10 minutes of charge, the reality is that it totally depends on the charging case you’re using. In my case, it tool me almost four hours when I used a Samsung charger and a little more than 10 minutes when I used OnePlus charger.
OnePlus Nord Buds Verdict
The OnePlus Nord Buds is a great pair of TWS buds that produces loud and clear sound under Rs 3,000 and is good for those looking for bass-heavy sound. It can be also paired with the Heymelody app, you can also customise the playback controls and even summon the digital assistant.
This pair of TWS earbuds is a good option for those who do not mind the absence of active noise cancellation (ANC) and can do with the bass-heavy sound output that the headset offers. Those looking for a more refined sound experience sound can consider the Oppo Enco Air2 that is also retailing under Rs 3,000.