Truly wireless earbuds have been a popular form factor for a few years now, but OnePlus hasn’t jumped on board despite releasing new headphones every year. Alongside Nord, OnePlus is finally launching a pair of truly wireless earbuds. Here’s what you need to know about OnePlus Buds.
OnePlus Buds have some clear design inspiration using a “half in-ear” design that lacks silicone tips. This kills off hopes of noise cancellation and might end up with fit issues for some users, but it’s a common design choice. OnePlus also pulled over the CD-pattern found on Bullets Wireless for these new earbuds. Three colors are available — White, Gray, and Nord Blue — with matching cases on all three. The case has a smooth matte texture, but the buds themselves are glossy plastic.
For producing audio, OnePlus Buds use a 13.4mm driver in each earbud — both of which are also IPX4 water resistant. There’s no noise cancellation for you as a listener, given the device, but OnePlus does include environmental noise cancellation for phone calls. Using three outer microphones, that form of noise cancellation improves quality in calls and recordings.
OnePlus Buds also have a couple of software tricks embedded. For one, they support Google’s open Fast Pair standard. That means any Android phone, not just OnePlus, can connect to the Buds without entering the settings menu and they’ll be linked to your Google account.
Further, there are customizable touch controls, though those controls are only accessible when paired to a OnePlus smartphone — OnePlus 8, 7, and 6-series devices should see an update this month with these features. By default, a double-tap of either earbud skips tracks, but OnePlus smartphone users will be able to set controls on either earbud for play/pause, voice assistant, and skipping/rewinding tracks.
If you’re paired to a OnePlus smartphone, Buds can also have super-low latency. Starting up OnePlus’ special Fnatic mode for gaming will also reduce audio latency on the earbuds down to just 103ms, faster than even some aptX headphones can achieve. Of course, they’re using Bluetooth 5.0 to connect your phone. On OnePlus phones, too, the Buds support Dolby Atmos audio.
Each of the two buds can run for up to seven hours on a charge with an embedded 35mAh battery. The charging case houses 23 hours of battery life within, enough to recharge the earbuds a little over three times.
When it does come time to charge the case, there’s a USB-C port at the bottom that accepts a modified form of Warp Charge. Using any power source that outputs over 10W of power — there’s no charging brick in the box, just a cable — you’ll be able to fully charge the case in a little over an hour. Fast charge refills the case for up to 10 hours of power in 10 minutes while the buds can get 100 minutes of play time with a 10-minute charge.
OnePlus Buds will be launching worldwide including the United States, Canada, Europe (29 countries), India, China, and Hong Kong. There is still no news of launch date in Singapore, however we predict it will be soon around September 2020 to October 2020. Pricing in the US lands at $79 (~SGD $110). The white and gray models will be available worldwide, but “Nord Blue” is exclusive to India and Europe.