Design & Build Quality
The OnePlus Nord Buds feature a relatively solid yet lightweight build quality, with a metallic NCVM coating. This is a special type of surface treatment based on electroplating technology, which is well-known for its excellent wear and corrosion resistance. The ergonomic design has been fine-tuned by the company based on testing done with various ear shapes, so you can expect them to feel comfortable even after a full day of use. Since the body is made up of plastic, the earbuds weigh barely 4.82gms each, which is great for long hours of continuous listening. Another advantage of the plastic build is that the earbuds also feature IP55 dust and water resistance, which should be more than enough for day-to-day usage.
The heavy lifting is done with the help of a pair of 12.4mm Titanium drivers, which produce decent quality sound output on a wide-enough sound stage. There is support for Dolby Atmos, although you would be hard-pressed to tell the difference. You can tweak the sound using the sound master equalizer in the HeyMelody app, which comes with a few presets to help you along. There is the Balanced default mode which honestly sounds the best. Then there is a Bold mode which works on providing a sharper pitch. A special Serenade mode lets you focus exclusively on vocals, while a Bass mode offers the predictably jarring bass-boosted feel. You can always create your own EQ profile, but we would recommend sticking to the default settings. While the sound quality will certainly not blow you away, it is still good enough to justify the price and then some.
The highlight of the audio experience is the presence of actual noise cancellation at such a low price. The earbuds feature a 4-mic design which is designed to be wind-resistant for better performance in outdoor settings. The AI noise cancellation software helps improve the output by a lot, with the loudest sounds easily muted while listening to music. In fact, even when listening at half the volume, you would be easily able to ignore the world around you, which is great for a pair of cheap wireless earphones.
The earbuds feature the latest Bluetooth 5.2 for a fast and reliable wireless audio connectivity experience. This version of Bluetooth tech also supports multi-device pairing, which should definitely come in handy. You can use the OnePlus fast pair to connect them with the latest gen OnePlus smartphones quickly. For older models and devices from other brands, you can still use the HeyMelody app for quick pairing. The company claims a wireless range of up to 10 meters, although we don't know any normal situations where you would end up testing that to the limit. There is hardly any delay when listening to music, thanks to a 94ms low-latency connection, although you will sometimes find a slight delay while playing certain video games. Overall, it is a hassle-free audio experience that will work well with any number of devices.
A crucial part of the modern wireless earbuds experience is the charging case itself. In this case, you get a nice solid storage system shaped like a miniature trunk with rounded corners. The earbuds automatically start charging when placed in the case, and you can charge the case itself using a USB-C cable that is provided with the device. The earbuds can deliver a sound output of up to 7 hours on a single charge, while the case itself delivers another 23 hours of charging for a total of 30 hours of uninterrupted listening. Even when completely empty, you can get up to 5 hours of battery life with just 10 minutes of charging, thanks to OnePlus fast charge technology. Although this charge will be split between the case and the earbuds, so make sure you plan accordingly.
At a roughly $40 price tag, the OnePlus Nord earbuds certainly deliver on all the important aspects of what makes a good pair of wireless earbuds. You will never feel that you are using a truly cheap product, especially considering the latest technology on offer, both in terms of audio and charging. The fact that the package also includes multiple pairs of different-sized silicon ear tips is just the cherry on top of the cake. We would definitely recommend them to anyone looking for a versatile pair of wireless earphones with decent sound quality and an affordable price.