OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review

OnePlus Nord Buds were a great pair of TWS earbuds that insinuated premium sound on a budget. However, the biggest drawback was the absence of the ANC.

The company has taken care of that and has offered the ANC on the OnePlus Nord Buds 2.

But the question is, should you buy the Buds 2 just because it now comes with ANC? How does it sound and performs in other areas?

To know that, we bought the Nord Buds 2, and here is our honest OnePlus Nord Buds 2 review with audio samples and all other tests.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Specifications

Before heading to the review, let’s have a look at what OnePlus Nord Buds 2 has to offer.

⦿ Half-Stem Style In Ear TWS
⦿ Bluetooth V5.3 with 10 meter range, AAC, SBC
⦿ 12.4 mm driver, 20 Hz – 20000 Hz
⦿ 4 mic in total (2 mic per earbud)
⦿ 41mAH battery per earbud, 480mAH in charging case
⦿ 5 hours of battery life (With ANC), 7 hours (Without ANC), 36 hours with the case
⦿ IP55 Rating, 5 g weight (per earbud), 48 g with case
⦿ Fast charging, Gaming mode, Touch controls, OnePlus Fast Pair, Dolby Atmos support
⦿ Check Best Price

For the price of under Rs 3000, the specifications are pretty attractive on the OnePlus Nord Buds 2.

But we all know that the advertised specifications are different from real-life experience. And that’s why you need to go through the real-life review.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review

What’s in the box?

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Box Content
  • OnePlus Nord Buds 2 earbuds in the charging case.
  • Extra two pairs of ear tips.
  • One USB Type-C cable.
  • Red Cable Club card.
  • A sticker.
  • User Manuals.

How’s the build quality?

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Build Quality

When we took the earbuds out of the case, we found their build quality to be good.

Although the case and earbuds are made of plastic, they feel sturdy and well-built.

We won’t call it the best or most premium build, but for the price, it’s pretty good.

Also, the case and the earbuds have a matt finish, so you don’t have to worry about cleaning them.

The earbuds feel a bit premium, and you will like the build quality, just like we do.

However, there is a very slight creaking sound when you press and drag the case’s cover in the horizontal direction. It’s minor and doesn’t affect the experience.

Verdict: The build quality of Nord Buds 2 will leave nothing to desire. It’s very good, if not the best.

Build Quality Rating: 4.0★

Can you use Nord Buds 2 for longer music sessions?

The moment we took the earbuds out of the box, we thought the earbuds and case were covered with dust. But that was actually a design pattern.

Talking about the design, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 are designed to fit perfectly in the ears.

The earbuds are tilted at 45° to ensure good grip and fit, and they do offer both.

But here is what you need to know.

The comfort is subjective because everyone has different size ears.

So when we wear the Nord Buds 2 for the first time, the ear canal gets warm after 10 minutes. It was a sign that the ears will start to hurt after some time.

Fortunately, that didn’t happen. And then, we started listening to music for straight 3 hours, and we didn’t feel any discomfort.

In between, we changed the ear tips and used the larger one. The larger ear tip gave a more secure grip and better isolation.

So after using the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 for hours, we can say that these earbuds are comfortable to wear for hours of music sessions.

However, if these feel uncomfortable, then make sure to change the ear tips for better grip and comfort.

Verdict: The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 fits perfectly in the ears and feels comfortable for longer music and movie sessions. However, if you have small ears, then you might face some problems.

Design and Comfort Rating: 4.0★

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How’s the sound quality?

First, don’t judge the sound quality right after you listen to the first song. Keep music ON for 4-5 hours and let the driver settle.

Coming to sound quality, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 supports SBC and AAC audio codecs. We have used the buds with both codecs and here is what we experienced.

In SBC mode, you get excellent bass. We were surprised by the bass quality. It was not boomy but deep and rich.

The vocals were good too, and we were able to hear the voice clearly.

However, the treble was compromised significantly. We could hardly hear those high-frequency beats.

What we also noticed is that the loudness was lacking when listening to music with the SBC codec.

In simple words, you get a very good sound with heavy bass in the SBC codec.

The actual magic begins when you start listening with high-quality AAC codec. Luckily, most smartphones support AAC codec, and these earbuds work with all of them.

The first thing you will notice in the AAC codec is the loudness. The earbuds get incredibly loud with almost zero distortion. You get clear and crisp sound quality.

Further, you get the same level of deep bass as you get with the SBC codec. The bass has a punch and depth.

What you will like with the AAC codec is that the vocals and treble get improved significantly.

The voice gets more clear and crisper. Also, you can clearly hear the trebles playing in the songs. Even the instrument separation gets significantly better.

One thing we have noticed is that the bass remains heavy, even in the balanced EQ mode.

If you want flat bass, you can switch to the Serenade mode from the HeyMeledoy app.

There are other EQ modes, too, and you can further customize the sound accordingly.

If you ask us, we were impressed with the audio output of the OnePlus Nord Buds 2. Just make sure your smartphone supports AAC codec.

Verdict: The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 sounds amazing for the price. The crisp sound quality with deep bass will make you fall for these earbuds.

Sound Quality Rating: 4.2★

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Audio Samples

Note that these audio samples won’t do justice because our mic couldn’t capture the exact sound coming from the earbuds.

But still, these audio samples will give you a little idea of how the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 sounds. Make sure to wear your earphones.

As said earlier, these audio samples will give you just an idea. You have to use the earbuds to know how they sound.


Is ANC good on Nord Buds 2?

ANC is the main highlight of the OnePlus Nord Buds 2, and we are confident enough to say that you won’t be disappointed.

When you turn the ANC mode ON, around 85% of the environmental noise gets blocked. It’s not 90% or 95%, as you get on some expensive earbuds, but it is still good.

In ANC mode, you can still listen to some noise of running vehicles, blowing horns, and those small sounds in the room, but all of these won’t bother you.

We know the ANC is not the best here, but aggressive ANC results in headaches because our mind is not used to a completely noiseless environment.

So the ANC on Nord Buds 2 feels more natural.

One thing to note is that when you play music above 50% volume, the ANC doesn’t make any difference in your music-listening experience.

While playing music, you already hear a lot of sounds from the songs, so the environmental noise remains the same, no matter if the ANC is ON or OFF.

However, during phone calls, watching movies, or listening to music at a lower volume, the ANC makes a big difference because you won’t hear outer noise.

Verdict: The ANC on OnePlus Nord Buds 2 is not just for the name. It’s actually there and makes a difference. It’s not mind-blowing, but considering the price, it’s worth appreciating.

ANC Rating: 4.0★

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Should gamers buy Nord Buds 2?

The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 comes with a dedicated Game mode.

Once you enter this mode, the audio lag gets reduced to as low as 25ms on OnePlus phones and around 40ms on non-OnePlus phones.

We are not very heavy gamers, but still, we played some games like COD and Free Fire, and we didn’t encounter any latency when shooting.

The game latency was really low and hardly noticeable.

However, if you are a heavy gamer, then you might notice the latency, but if you are in the middle of the road, then you won’t notice any lag while gaming.

So yes, gamers can consider the Nord Buds 2 for gaming. These are also ideal for extreme gaming if you own a OnePlus phone.

Verdict: We don’t like that the 25ms latency on Nord Buds 2 is restricted to OnePlus phones only. It should be available for every phone because everyone is paying the same. Putting this aside, the overall gaming experience is great on these earbuds.

Gaming Rating: 4.0★

How’s the call quality?

OnePlus-Nord-Buds-2-Call-Quality

Generally, we don’t like the call quality of earbuds because they don’t offer the best experience, especially the budget ones.

When we made the first video call to a friend, he immediately asked, “Which earbuds are these?

Upon asking, he replied that the voice clarity is so clear that he couldn’t resist asking about the earbuds.

It was a surprise for us because call was placed by sitting under the running fan, and there was traffic noise, too.

After further testing, we realized the indoor call quality is great on Nord Buds 2. Even if there is some noise, you won’t face any problems during calls.

However, if you are stuck in traffic, and the horns are blowing from every side, then it becomes impossible for every earbud to deliver clear call quality.

But still, the outdoor call quality was decent on the OnePlus Nord 2.

Verdict: If you sit indoors most of the time, the Buds 2 is an excellent option for calling. The mic picks clear sound, and the person on the other end can hear your voice clearly. However, in an extremely noisy environment, you might have a hard time on calls.

Call Quality Rating: 4.1

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What about battery life?

We don’t go by the company’s claims, but here is what we get in real life.

Music Playback (At 80% volume):

  • With ANC ON: 4 hours 15 minutes on earbuds, 20 hours with charging case
  • With ANC OFF: Around 6 hours on earbuds, 30 hours with charging case

Phone Calls (AAC at 50% volume):

  • With ANC ON: 2 hours 45 minutes on earbuds, 12 hours with charging case
  • With ANC OFF: 3.5 hours on earbuds, 14 hours with charging case

In our opinion, the battery life is pretty good. It’s not exceptional, but as TWS earbuds, it’s acceptable.

What we also like is the charging. Earbuds support fast charging, and you can get around 4 hours of music playback with 10 minutes of charge (with case).

Charging the case takes around 1.5 hours, and earbuds take around 45 minutes to fully charge.

Verdict: The battery life is pretty good on the Nord Buds 2. You will get around three days of combined battery life, which is great.

Battery Life Rating: 4.1

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Are there any other features?

The Nord Buds 2 has a few more features. For instance:

  • The earbuds have an IP55 rating that protects earbuds from accidental splashes and dust.
  • Although earbuds don’t have a multi-point connection, you can still connect to two devices. Tap and hold for five seconds on any earbuds, and the earbuds will connect to the last paired device automatically.
  • You can turn OFF ANC or switch to transparency mode.
  • If you have a OnePlus phone, then the earbuds connect seamlessly because of the OnePlus fast pair.
  • If your phone has Dolby Atmos, then you get the extra benefit of surround sound.

All these features make OnePlus Nord Buds 2 an even better option.

Is the HeyMelody app necessary?

There is no need to use the HeyMelody app to make Nord Buds 2 work. Simply pair the earbuds to your phone from the Bluetooth settings, and you are good to go.

Still, we highly recommend using the HeyMelody app.

Why? Because you can make a lot of customization from the app. Also, you get firmware updates from time to time, and to install them, you need the HeyMelody app.

You can customize the touch controls on each left and right earbud accordingly.

You can switch between different EQ modes and customize the sound profile further.

These are the primary reasons to use the HeyMelody app. However, if you have a OnePlus phone, then you don’t need the app because you get all these features in the Bluetooth settings.

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Is Nord Buds 2 better than Nord Buds 1?

The Nord Buds 1 is still great. The sound is almost similar on both, and one can’t tell the difference.

The only difference between these two is the ANC. If you want to experience ANC, the Nord Buds 2 is surely better.

However, if you don’t care about ANC, then Nord Buds 1 is a better choice. As the Nord Buds price has reduced, it has become one of the best TWS under 2500.

If you ask us, you should get the Nord Buds 2 because the ANC works well and you get better support. But the choice is always yours.

Pros and Cons of OnePlus Nord Buds 2

  • Solid build quality
  • Lightweight and comfortable design
  • Great sound quality
  • Clear vocals and soothing treble
  • Deep and heavy bass
  • The ANC works well
  • Good for gaming
  • Great call quality
  • Solid battery life
  • Seamless connectivity
  • The carrying case looks odd in the jeans pocket
  • You can’t change the volume from earbuds
  • No in-ear detection feature

Overall Rating: 4.06★


Final Verdict

Should you buy the OnePlus Nord Buds 2?

See, the Nord Buds 2 is not a significant upgrade over its predecessor. But the thing is, Nord Buds 1 was already an excellent TWS.

The Nord Buds 2 is a slightly better version of the Buds 1.

So based on our experience, we can say that Nord Buds 2 is worth buying. If you want the best TWS earbuds under 3000, just get the OnePlus Nord Buds 2.

It won’t disappoint you.

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So this is our honest OnePlus Nord Buds 2 review.

If you still have any doubts, feel free to ask us in the comments.

Do you agree or disagree with this review? Do share your thoughts.

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