OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are the latest addition to the company’s premium TWS portfolio, launched alongside the OnePlus 11 series in India. We already reviewed the flagship OnePlus 11 (Review) and the all-new mid-premium offering, the OnePlus 11R (Review) – both of which seemed rather aggressive products in their respective segments. However, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 isn’t as bold, at least in the price comparison, being slightly costly compared to the first-gen OnePlus Buds Pro.
Now, the all-new OnePlus Buds Pro 2 pack a ton of improvements, and when it comes to sound, I loved the first-gen Buds Pro for its balanced output and decent feature set. Conversely, the successor goes a notch above and gets co-created with Dynaudio branding alongside Spatial Audio in collaboration with Google. To top it off, OnePlus collaborated with Hans Zimmer, the legendary music and score composer behind movies like Interstellar, Inception, The Dark Knight, and more.
All of this does add up to the hype for the OnePlus Buds Pro 2. But does it live up to the expectations? We answer that in the review.
Table of Contents
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Review: Looks and ergonomics
OnePlus has nailed the design this year, at least on its phones, but for me, the original Buds Pro were perfect in every way, at least in design terms. So, why change something if that’s already decent?
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 look and feel a lot like its predecessor. If you remove the Dynaudio branding from the top of the new Buds Pro 2’s case, it visually looks like the first-gen TWS. However, look closely, and there are noticeable differences. Starting with the case, the Buds Pro 2 comes with a slightly chunkier case, and the buds feel somewhat bigger.
The Obsidian Black colour of the Buds Pro 2 looks classy with that matte coating. Everything about the design looks just great, and the best is the shut sound of the case. It is very reassuring and gives confidence in everyday use. The case’s hinge is solid, and the Buds Pro 2 also ships with multiple ear tip options.
Additionally, the Buds Pro 2 comes in Arbor Green colour, which slightly mimics OnePlus 11’s Eternal Green colour, so it would look like a great match if you’re already using the new 11 in that colour.
Like its predecessor, pulling out the buds from the case and keeping them back is easy and doesn’t get complex, even in a hurry. OnePlus has also done subtle branding on the inside of the case. The original Buds Pro came with Right or Left marking on the case, but this time, the Buds Pro 2 doesn’t have any markings. This indicates that the company is confident with its design progress and understands that unnecessary L or R markings may be redundant.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is portable enough, with buds weighing less than 5 grams each and the case less than 50 grams. Standard protection is also in place, sporting an IP55 rating for water and sweat resistance. The case, too, has an IPX4 rating, which means it can withstand a splash of water but nothing more.
There are touch gestures as well on board. For example, tap once to pause or answer incoming calls or to hang up; tap twice to go to the next song or reject a call; tap thrice for the previous song; tap and hold for 1 second to change the noise cancellation mode, and tap and hold for 3 seconds to activate Zen Mode Air. In addition, OnePlus has added five curated white noise modes- Warm sunrise, Iceland, Nightime camping, Summer seashore, and Meditation – all stored on the earbuds, so you don’t need to go to your phone. Instead, it can be done via tap-and-hold gestures on your buds. Surely a thoughtful touch.
The earbuds’ design is again more or less similar to the original Buds. The long stems give a good grip and are thinner than its predecessor. The black silver coating on the lower part of the stems adds to the character of the Buds Pro 2 and makes them stand out.
Additional features like multi-point support and Google’s Fast Pair are also in place. The Buds Pro 2 also support wireless charging. The buds fit snugly in your ears once you have found the perfect fit. The box has different ear tips for choosing from, just in case the default size doesn’t fit. The Buds Pro 2 is among a handful of TWS options in India that offers wearing comfort even if you use them for long hours. Overall, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 lived up to my design expectations.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Review: App support, audio performance
Much like the original Buds Pro, the new Buds Pro 2 also offers a much tighter app integration, depending on what device you’re using them with. OnePlus users can access most of the features of the Buds Pro 2, which are built-in and can be accessed via Bluetooth settings, while other users can download the HeyMelody app from Google Play for Android and App Store for Apple users.
Purely in terms of app integration, OnePlus has done excellent work. You get many features in the app and many customisation options. For example, you can now switch between noise-cancellation modes like mild, moderate, max and smart. While the original also offered three options, the new model provides an additional moderate mode. In addition, a custom calibration process built within the app, namely Golden Sound, lets you adjust the sound based on your hearing preference.
However, the big new addition this year is Spatial audio with head tracking. While it’s not a feature that’s unheard of but important here is the implementation. On that front, OnePlus Buds Pro 2 has truly delivered. The feature has been developed in collaboration with Google, and the good news is that Android 13 phones may offer this feature as standard, of course, if the hardware requirement is met. Unfortunately, it currently works only with the OnePlus 11 in India, which limits it for some time before it is rolled out for more devices.
Coming to the audio performance, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 comes with a dual driver setup – an 11mm dynamic driver and a 6mm driver. I liked the overall audio performance of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2. For bass lovers, there’s plenty of it on offer, while the BassWave slider in the app can help you customise bass output if you do not like bass too much.
The Buds Pro 2 was consistent and fun to use for most of the testing audio tracks. Talking about technicalities, the mids are handled well, while the low frequency is also apt. On music with high tones, the Buds Pro 2 feel overwhelmed, but that could be because of the selection of my testing tracks. For the most part, it fared decently.
The Sound Master EQ options offer a good selection of equaliser options, and my favourite has to be Hans Zimmer tuned one. You can also create your own if you want.
If there’s one department where I wish that Buds Pro 2 could have been more comparable to its rival is noise cancellation. During the review, I could feel ANC performing weirdly at times. There are four noise control modes – Smart automatically reduces noise based on ambient sound, while Max is best for noisy places like during metro and bus travel. The Moderate and Mild modes are ineffective in most situations, so for the best experience, I had to either turn on the max mode or turn off the ANC feature. This could be a unit issue as well.
Other highlight features worth mentioning are seamless, fast pairing, which works flawlessly every time. In addition, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 can connect and switch between up to two devices, and this is a time-saving feature, as during the review, I noticed that the TWS switched between the laptop and phone with just one tap.
OnePlus also claims ultra-low latency, and we could notice that while gaming. Though, I felt there was scope for improvement.
Coming to call clarity, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 can offer crystal clear calls, and the built-in three mics on each earbud ensure that every word is accurately picked up.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Review: Battery life
The battery life has to be one of the biggest strengths of the Buds Pro 2. In my testing, the buds offered up to 7 hours of music playback with ANC turned on without the case, while this duration extended when the case was added to the mix. The best is fast-charging support. In about 15 minutes of charging, I could notice the case charging from 25 to 65% while the buds in the case reached up to 70% in less than 15 minutes—pretty impressive figures for a device of this size. In numbers, the case packs a 520mAh battery, while the buds pack a 60mAh battery capacity. The cherry on the cake is wireless charging support which is slower than wired charging, but having that feature can come in handy.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Review: Verdict
OnePlus is improving its TWS options with every new iteration, and the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is a perfect example. At Rs 11,999, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 makes up for a great TWS if you already use a OnePlus phone. Moreover, the Buds Pro 2 becomes a more valuable proposition thanks to the improved app integration. It offers most of the bells and whistles you expect from a premium TWS.
Talking about the highlights, OnePlus Buds Pro 2 offers punchy bass and good low-end sound. I found it balanced in many genres, while calling was great on the TWS. The design will make you fall for this one, as it has a classy appeal. The easy-to-use controls and a great app integration ensure a decent overall user experience. The Buds Pro 2 also offers some gimmicky features like Hans Zimmer-tuned audio profiles, which did sound amazing. Then, there’s Spatial Audio onboard as well. Where the Buds Pro 2 performed slightly weak was in ANC.
For those not using a OnePlus phone, there may be better options out there than the Buds Pro 2. The HeyMelody app offers seamless integration, but features like Spatial Audio are reserved for the OnePlus 11, at the time of writing this review.
For alternatives, one can go for the Google Pixel Buds Pro 2 and Galaxy Buds 2.
OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Review11,999
DESIGN & BUILD8.5/10
VALUE FOR MONEY8.0/10
What Is Good?
- Signature design looks classy
- Comfortable to wear (even for hours)
- Offers excellent audio output
- Spatial audio
- Punchy bass
- Battery life
What Is Bad?
- Noise cancellation could have been better
- Slightly steep price (compared to its predecessor)