Just a couple of years back, buying an inexpensive pair of wireless buds meant settling for severely diminished audio quality. More recently, the budget TWS segment has grown by leaps and bounds in India, with players like Truke, Mivi, and others putting out spec-heavy products at very competitive prices. The newly launched Nord Buds 2r from OnePlus are priced slightly above Rs 2,000, but may just be the pick of the lot. Let’s dive into the OnePlus Nord Buds 2r review.
Table of Contents
OnePlus Nord Buds 2r review: Design
OnePlus Nord Buds 2r come packaged in the signature black box with blue highlights. Inside the box, you get the charging case (with buds inside), a USB Type-A to Type-C charging cable, some extra ear tips, a sticker, a user guide, a safety and warranty card, and a red cable club card.
The design of the OnePlus Nord Buds 2r is consistent with the more expensive Nord Buds 2 (our review here). The proportions of the charging case are slightly smaller, but it retains the cylindrical, lunch box design. The OnePlus branding is engraved on the lid of the case. There is a small notification light just below the lid and a USB charging port below the hinge. The hinge is quite strong and contributes to the overall sturdiness of the device. Unlike the Nord Buds 2, the Nord Buds 2r lack a dedicated pairing button.
The case can be flipped open with just one finger, even though there is no dedicated notch under the lid. The in-ear buds have a boxy design with curved edges. There is a slight indentation on either earbud for the touch panel. These indentations receive a glossy finish, making it easier for the user to recognise the touch-sensitive areas and eliminate any accidental touches. A clever use of design that we don’t really see in many TWS products.
The earbuds were the perfect fit for us and did not cause any fatigue to the ears even after prolonged use. There are a couple of extra ear tips inside the retail box, catering to common ear sizes. The earbuds are rated IP55 for dust and water resistance. We wore the Nord Buds 2r on long runs and they were totally unfazed by any amount of sweat. Once locked in, the earbuds don’t need to be adjusted often.
OnePlus Nord Buds 2r review: Performance
Delivering the audio output on OnePlus Nord Buds 2r are 12.4mm titanium drivers. There’s support for Bluetooth 5.3 along with SBC and AAC codecs. However, the AAC codec is only available for OnePlus devices. Non-OnePlus users are limited to the SBC codec. Once connected, the earbuds have a range of 10 metres.
Getting down to the brass tacks, the audio quality offered by the OnePlus Nord Buds 2r is certainly a cut above the rest. As is the case with most budget TWS, the audio output is bass-driven, but the mid and the highs were nicely tuned in the mix. The 12.4-inch titanium drivers deliver punchy sounds, leaving very little room for complaints. What really impressed us was the minimal distortion even on higher volumes. The overall mix is packed with details – something that is often lacking in other products in this price segment.
We even used the Nord Buds 2r for audio calls and virtual meetings. The earbuds do a good job of relaying the audio perfectly in indoor conditions when there is minimal surrounding noise. The AI Clear Call algorithm ensures that the background noises do not impede the quality of the call whatsoever. However, in outdoor conditions, the surrounding noises are far too overwhelming for the earbuds to extract the speaker’s voice properly.
Gamers will be pleased to know that the Nord Buds 2r offers a low latency mode as well. This feature is nestled away in the Hey Melody app, which is OnePlus’ official app for its TWS products. OnePlus smartphone users do not need to install this app, as they can natively access all the TWS functions on their phones. Using the Hey Melody app, you can customise the touch controls on the earbuds, select different equaliser presets, and even create a customised equaliser profile. OnePlus users get a couple of additional features like Find My Earbuds and Camera Control.
The charging case is equipped with a 480mAh battery unit, while either earbud is capable of holding a charge 36mAh. OnePlus claims 8 hours of playback on a single charge, with 38 hours of charge stored in the case. This amounts to almost 5 full charge cycles. We used the earbuds for 4-6 hours every day and it took us a week to completely deplete the charge in the case. After 4 hours of continuous use, the earbuds were left with a 50-60% charge.
OnePlus Nord Buds 2r get the basics right, without focusing too much on the bells and whistles. We enjoyed the bass-centred approach to tuning that OnePlus has taken on these earbuds. The Hey Melody app offers all the vital customisation features without overcomplicating things. Compared to other budget TWS on the market, you may have to pay a premium of a couple hundred bucks for the Nord Buds 2r, but the clear difference in audio quality more than makes up for it. At Rs 2,199, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2r are a rock-solid purchase.
OnePlus Nord Buds 2r: Pros
- Excellent sound quality
- Premium design
- Good pricing
OnePlus Nord Buds 2r: Cons
- Diminished call quality in outdoor conditions
For the latest gadget and tech news, and gadget reviews, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. For newest tech & gadget videos subscribe to our YouTube Channel. You can also stay up to date using the Gadget Bridge Android App. You can find the latest car and bike news here.