Berlin – What’s in the box: The earbuds magnetically dock into a strikingly slim charging case with rounded corners that should fit in even the tightest jeans pocket. Oneplus includes a short USB-C cable. However, most Android users will probably use their smartphone’s charger or a pad to charge the case wirelessly.
– Get started: The initial setup is very easy thanks to Google’s Fast Pair feature. Simply press and hold a button on the charging case and the Android phone will immediately display a prompt to connect. After that, the current battery charge level is briefly displayed for each connection, both that of the case and that of the two earphones. These notifications are designed to prevent you from running out of juice unnoticed.
The buds conveniently offer a so-called dual connection. For example, you can connect to a laptop and a smartphone. If you then listen to music from your laptop, for example, you can still get a call in without having to disconnect or reconnect devices first.
– Runtime: Oneplus promises a total playback time of up to 39 hours for the Buds Pro 2, including intermittent recharging via the battery integrated in the case. However, we noticed that the advertised length of time drops quite quickly to around 30 hours as soon as noise cancellation is activated, for example.
– Comfort: The Buds Pro 2 are not particularly tight and secure, but they are comfortable. That’s how you could sum it up. Once you have found the right attachment (S, M or L), the earphones can be worn quite comfortably for at least a few hours.
A downside to the not particularly snug fit, however, is that the earbuds offer little passive noise cancellation. In other words, the rather loose seal on the ear lets more ambient noise through than, for example, the Sony WF-1000XM4 earphones or the Airpods Pro. Plus, the slightly loose fit also means that athletes tend to have to keep pushing the buds back in their ears for fear of losing them.
– Operation: Similar to the AirPods, the Buds Pro 2 have rather long “sticks” that cannot be tapped to control playback, but must be squeezed. As with the Airpods, one press means play or pause. Two presses is the command to skip forward or back one song.
Finally, a longer press deactivates noise cancellation and switches to transparency mode, which brings in more external noise from the environment, for example for short conversations. The volume cannot be adjusted directly on the ear. The “stem press” might be a bit slower than tapping on the touch surfaces of Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser headphones, or pressing the buttons on Jabra headphones. But this way you don’t unintentionally push the Buds Pro 2 further into the ear canal when operating it.
Playback is automatically paused when a plug is removed from an ear. Unfortunately, this feature is a one-way street: Oddly enough, the playback doesn’t continue automatically when you put the plug back in your ear, you have to do that manually.
noise and sound
– Sound: As with most earplugs, the sound can be changed as desired using the equalizer with the associated app. If you ignore this setting, the factory sound is characterized by a deep bass, but also by a clear separation of the individual instruments and voices, especially with electronic songs. However, audiophiles will still notice sound differences compared to high-end headphones.
The included app offers two additional features: “Personalized Noise Cancellation” and “Golden Sound” for a sound adapted to your own hearing. However, both functions did not make a big difference in the sound quality in this test.
Cyclists and joggers will appreciate the low wind noise outdoors, especially with active noise cancellation. In transparency mode, this source of interference is of course louder, but still tolerable.
– Extras: The already mentioned active noise cancellation (ANC) of the Buds Pro 2 manages to reduce traffic noise and other rather quiet noises, but struggles with medium to high frequencies, such as voices.
In terms of ANC, the Buds are in a class below earphones such as Sony’s WF-1000XM4, Apple’s Air Pods Pro or Bose’s Quiet Comfort Earbuds II. So, consider the active noise cancellation on the Buds Pro 2 as a “bonus” rather than a main selling point.
With compatibility with 3D audio (spatial audio), the Oneplus earphones are ready for one of the most hyped technology trends in the music industry: the ability to play 3D songs does not just require a subscription to a streaming service that offers 3D audio -Provides material. For the time being, the feature only works when the Buds Pro 2 are paired with the Oneplus 11 smartphone model.
Solid and aesthetic
Conclusion: Their well-balanced sound and the quite usable noise cancellation make the Oneplus Buds Pro 2 a solid and aesthetically pleasing pair of earphones for everyone who likes the noise when commuting by bus and train, when travelling, at work or generally in public places want to dampen.
The transparency mode proves to be a practical feature to be able to conduct conversations or hear announcements with a press, and to let in ambient noise again. The slim charging case also scores points on the go.
At home or in the office, the simultaneous connection with two devices (dual mode) simplifies many things: For example, switching between music or a phone call on the smartphone to a video call on the computer without having to disconnect or reconnect a device.
The Oneplus Buds Pro 2 are available in black and green, the recommended price is just under 180 euros. For the money, however, retailers often also offer Sony’s WF-1000XM4 earphones with very good active noise cancellation. For the Airpods Pro (2nd generation), the “gold standard” for Apple users, and for the ANC professionals Quiet Comfort Earbuds II from Bose, on the other hand, you have to expect a retail price of at least 250 euros.