It was only a matter of time before OnePlus added TWS Bluetooth earbuds to its Nord lineup that was unveiled in 2020. Buying a pair of budget earbuds in 2022 has almost become like buying a fashion accessory or a pair of jeans; an impulse purchase for a growing number of buyers. It also underlines how ubiquitous TWS earbuds have become. A week ago we put OPPO’s new Enco Air 2 Pro buds under the scanner, and now the Nord Buds come in even cheaper. Are the first Nord-branded buds the best you can snag under Rs 3K?  

OnePlus Nord Buds - review

Clean lines

It’s becoming increasingly impossible to design buds that stand out in a cluttered market, and that’s why OnePlus deserves credit for its fresh design aesthetic. The buds look elegant with their convenient stem design, and look a lot more expensive than their asking price. The default silicon tips worked well for me; I didn’t need to swap it out with any of the three sets of tips in the box. However, I didn’t think the default ones offered an exceptionally tight ear seal. The buds weigh under 5 gm (each) and are comfortable to wear, even for long hours; I had them on for about 2 hours. The case is light too – just over 40 gm. It looks good but is not slim, and is likely to bulge when you have your skinny jeans on. We’re big fans of the slim OnePlus Buds Pro case that sits at the premium end of OnePlus’ buds portfolio and cost about 3.5x times more.

OnePlus Nord Buds - review

Sound that doesn’t disappoint

If you’re an audiophile, you’re clearly not part of the target audience for this pair that costs lesser than a pair of jeans at H&M. These buds are packed with 12.4mm titanium drivers that deliver a decent sound for the price. Pairing is quite effortless, even if you don’t use a OnePlus device; I tried with a Samsung smartphone and it was quick to hook up. You can use the Hey Melody App (I tried the Android version with these buds) but it doesn’t really give you too many controls aside from a Sound Master EQ that comes with a few modes. For instance, the Bass mode gives it an extra thump. These buds sound almost as good as its pricier rivals. You can also tweak the controls on the buds and assign commands via the app.

OnePlus Nord Buds - review

Close to the basics

Battery life is a big dealbreaker for consumers looking for TWS earbuds. This is an area where the OnePlus Nord Buds score. OnePlus claims 7 hours for the buds and 30 hours for the case, and this matched our experience. There’s no ANC (Active noise cancellation) but my callers could hear me when I was walking on a not-so-busy street. There are some thoughtful inclusions at this price point, like IP55 certification for dust and water resistance. There’s also ultra-fast charging (we’ve come to expect this from OnePlus) that gives you 5 hours of playback with a 10-minute charge. OnePlus has packed enough, aside from thr unique form factor, to make the Nord Buds a smart buy at its sub Rs 3K price tag. 

The One Plus Nord Buds are available in Black Slate and White Marble for Rs 2,799.