Tech reviews

OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Review – Great performer that more or less lives up to expectations


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At the end of February, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 was launched with the new OnePlus 11. Like the OnePlus 11, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is a high-end product. Created by Dynaudio, it’s a TWS model that clearly caters to audiophiles.

On paper, the OnePlus Buds Pro could be one of the better high-end TWS earphones now available. So, we had pretty high hopes for it. Read on to see if it lives up to expectations!

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Unboxing the Buds Pro 2

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Charging case

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Tadaa!

In terms of design, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 looks the same as its predecessor, except it has a different colour option. It also has a slim body, a nice two-tone finish with matte plastic on top, and a metallic-looking part around the stem to accentuate it. The build is of high quality, and its IP55 rating offers solid resistance against dust and water.

As for the charging case, it features an IPX4 rating for sweat and water resistance instead. It’s not too heavy either and has strong magnets that keep the lid closed tightly. Combined with its compact form, you could leave it in your pocket and barely feel it. This is great if you’re constantly on the go.

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Choice of silicone sizes

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Earbud fit test could help you find the best seal

Overall, the earbuds were quite comfortable for us. As usual, you get three sets of silicone tips. Don’t know which silicone tips to use? Well, the Earbud Fit Test can find the ones with the best seal and optimal performance for you. It’s available within the app and was quite accurate, as we managed to get a perfect fit almost every time we tested it. But there were a few times when the app told us to adjust the position of the earphones to achieve the best performance.

Moving on, the touch controls are activated through the stem. As you would guess, you can enable different functions by pressing and holding it. Overall, we found the controls very responsive, with a suitable touch sensitivity to touch. The functions are similar to the ones on the AirPods, consisting of gestures like play/pause (press once), next track (press twice), and previous track (press three times). In addition, it comes with a listening mode (press and hold).

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Touch controls via the chrome part

Besides that, you can press and hold for a few seconds to activate Zen Mode Air, which lets you listen to music already available in the My Melody app. Moreover, the Buds Pro 2 has a handy on-ear detection feature. Whenever you remove an earbud, the earbuds will automatically pause music playback and resumes playback once the earbud is back in place.

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 uses an advanced dual driver called MelodyBoost. It combines an 11mm and 6mm audio driver for bass and treble to deliver superior audio quality. Moreover, the Buds Pro 2 has four sound profiles – Balanced, Bold, Serenade and Bass – to cater to various listening needs. From our experience, Balanced was the most suitable for general use because it has a better frequency balance.

A quick look at the basic features

The sound quality of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 was solid, delivering excellent sound isolation with ANC activated. For most, the preset sound profiles should be good enough. But if you want a custom sound profile, you can use the Golden Sound feature to optimise your audio experience. It allows the earbuds to ‘scan’ your ear canals and uses a hearing test to tune the audio profile.

According to the app, the feature will create a more ‘natural’ audio experience for users. But from our perspective, it wasn’t all that effective. In particular, we found that the treble felt off, which probably means it wasn’t optimised well. Of course, it could be due to how the scanning works or is influenced by ear size, so your mileage may vary.

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You can even customise the sound profile with this automatic test

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You can also manually tweak the sound equaliser

For noise cancellation, the Buds Pro 2 can reduce background noise levels by up to 48dB and offers a Personal Noise Cancellation mode. The preset ANC settings include Max, Moderate, and Mild for general use. There’s also a Smart mode, which can adjust the noise cancellation effect based on your current environment.

As for the other modes, Max offers the best background noise neutralisation when your environment is noisy. Transparency Mode is also handy since it lets you hear your surroundings when activated, so you can have quick conversations if you need to.

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Smart mode is handy if you’re not always in one location

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Need a way to relax? Try Zen Mode Air

Another feature we want to highlight is Zen Mode Air, which has audio recordings with soothing sounds to help you relax. These tracks include Warm Sunrise, Iceland, Nighttime Camping, Summer Seashore and Meditation. Once you’ve downloaded your preferred audio track, it will play continuously even when your device is inactive.

Lastly, let’s touch on the battery for a bit. The Buds Pro 2 has a battery life of about 6 hours. This is with the volume level set at 50%, ANC enabled, and Hi-Res mode turned off. Disabling ANC extends listening time to about 9 hours, which should be enough for most people.

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With the charging case, you could get up to 39 hours of battery

Like the OnePlus Buds Pro, a 10-minute quick charge provides up to 10 hours of playback. Mind you, that’s with the charging case plugged in. With the charging case, you’ll get up to 39 hours of battery, depending on the mode used.

Other than music playback, we also tested how the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 performs with phone calls. The earbuds did well in this area, with callers confirming that voices come out loud and clear from our end. We were also satisfied with the voice clarity of callers on our side.

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Audio clarity during phone calls was good

Finally, we tested OnePlus Buds Pro 2 with some mobile games. The earbuds have a latency of about 53ms with gaming mode activated; not the lowest we’ve seen, but still pretty good. We experienced no audio desyncs when playing games like PUBG Mobile and Mobile Legends. This is good because you don’t want to hear an enemy only after they pop out from a corner.

To conclude, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 proved itself a great successor to the original. It improved various aspects like noise cancellation, battery life and latency performance. Moreover, it has the same design that makes it attractive. If there’s one thing that would make anyone pause, it would be its RM829 price tag. Also, it doesn’t stand out against the competition in a noticeable way aside from design and comfort.

In our opinion, you can find options that perform just as well at similar or lower price points. For example, you can now grab the Sony WF-1000XM4 (review) for just RM729. Not only is it cheaper, but it’s also the superior pair of TWS earbuds. Another option worth considering is the Samsung Galaxy Buds2 Pro (review), which has many high-end features like the Sony flagship. But it’s more expensive at RM899, and the battery won’t last as long.

So, what do you think about the OnePlus Buds Pro 2? Let us know in the comments and stay tuned to TechNave for more reviews like this.

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Tech specs and features

  • Drivers: 11mm bass + 6mm treble
  • Dimensions: 61 x 50 x 25.4mm (charging case), 24.3 x 20.9 x 32.2mm (earbuds)
  • Weight: 47.3g (charging case), 4.9g each (earbuds)
  • Water resistance: IP55 (earphones), IPX4 (charging case)
  • Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3, SBC, AAC, LC3, LHDC
  • Battery life: 6 hours with ANC on, 9 hours with ANC off, 25 hours with charging case or 39 hours with ANC off
  • Charging: USB-C, Qi wireless charging

 

Pros – Good ANC, Spatial Audio, multi-device connectivity, wide Bluetooth codec support, and an app with EQ settings

Cons – Inconsistent Spatial Audio performance, default settings are a bit too bass-heavy, and transparency mode isn’t great

Conclusion – Solid performance and great features, but may not be the best value compared to other options





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