OnePlus has been pushing itself deeper into the audio space with refreshing designs
and feature-rich earbuds. The Nord sub-brand was launched in 2020 with value-for-money smartphones, and now it has expanded to the TWS space with the Nord Buds.

The Nord Buds proved to be surprisingly good, considering the price it retails at. The design might not give the premium feel of the other TWS devices from OnePlus, but these are among the best-fitting buds we have reviewed recently. The stem is flat, helping the device to hug your ears, unlike the round stems that project outside the earlobes. The OnePlus Nord Buds are available in Black Slate and White Marble colors. The stem and the charging case have a matte finish, but the earpieces and touch surface are glossy. The charging case
is a bit bulky and a little inconvenient while carrying in your pocket.

The buds carry an IP55 rating for water and sweat resistance. The device also features hydrophobic nano-coating to protect against corrosion. The tight fit of the buds offers good physical noise reduction, which is quite important without ANC. If you think that a pair of entry-level earbuds come with compromises beyond tolerable limits, these buds will surprise you further.

The device uses 12.4 mm Titanium-coated drivers for a richer sound profile than most devices in this price range. The buds are built for bass, and there is a clear bias towards the lows as expected from entry-level earbuds. However, the mids and lows don’t disappoint either. Overall, the Nord Buds reproduce clean audio. It supports Dolby Atmos spatial audio, but only on premium OnePlus phones from the OnePlus 7 onwards (not supported on the Nord series of phones).

The buds house four microphones for filtering out unwanted background noise during calls and uses AI-powered algorithms for further noise reduction. The calls were clear indoors without much disturbance from the background, yet fan and wind noise are not suppressed fully. These earbuds use Bluetooth 5.2 and support only SBC and AAC audio codecs. It supports ultra-low latency as low as 94 ms with selected OnePlus smartphones.

The OnePlus Nord Buds offer excellent battery life, though it comes without ANC. The buds themselves provide up to seven hours of playback, while they deliver up to 30 hours playback in combination with the charging case. And the device is capable of Flash Charge, when charged with a 7.5W or higher capacity charging adapter. This feature lets you charge the buds for 10 minutes for 5 hours of audio playback.

The device supports OnePlus Fast Pair, and it is indeed a pleasure to use. Other Android phones can be paired using the HeyMelody app. With Sound Master Equaliser built into OnePlus phones, you can choose between Balanced, Bold, Serenade and Bass audio profiles or use the custom equaliser to fine-tune the audio profile to your taste.

VERDICT

WE’RE IMPRESSED Excellent value for money, clean audio, rich bass, equaliser with Android phones, fast pairing, great fit, battery life.

WE’D IMPROVE Bulky charging case, no iOS support for HeyMelody app

THE LAST WORD The OnePlus Nord Buds are a great pair of value-for-money TWS earbuds that exceed all expectations.

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