Chinese electronics maker OnePlus’ India line-up for 2023 includes a pair of wireless earphones – the OnePlus Buds Pro 2. These second-generation wireless earphones boast Spatial audio with support for head tracking feature, lossless Hi-Res audio, dual-audio drivers co-created by OnePlus in partnership with Dynaudio, adaptive noise cancellation, and wireless charging. Successor to the OnePlus Buds Pro, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 seems to be a step forward in the right direction. Is it? Let’s find out:
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 has a familiar design. It looks similar to the predecessor, but with Dynaudio branding on the case lid signaling its alliance with OnePlus for these wireless earbuds. More about the Dynaudio-OnePlus partnership later in the review, the Buds Pro 2 impresses with the construction quality despite being no different from the predecessor.
Starting with the case, it is in a rectangular unit made of plastic with tapered sides that make it feel thinner than it actually is while holding in your hands. The case has matte finish both inside and outside, except the earphones’ storage cavity, which is glossy for a reason – easy to clean accumulated dust and dirt. The case has a clamshell design with LED indicator on the front for battery life and charging status, and USB-C port on the back side for wired charging. The pairing and reset button is inside the case.
Like the case, the earphones have a design similar to the predecessor. These are in-ear earphones with tiny stems protruding from the earbuds. Made of plastic, these earbuds have a matte black finish (review unit) on the top half and metal-like finish on the bottom half. The matte finish makes the buds easy to handle and use. As for quality, the earbuds seem to have a durable and sturdy build. The Buds Pro 2 are IP55-rated for water and dust resistance and the case is IPX4 for splash resistance.
Software and features
The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is compatible with devices supporting Bluetooth connectivity for audio services. Its supplementary app, called HeyMelody, is available for Android devices on Google Play Store and iOS devices on Apple App Store.
While most of its software features, including ANC settings, equalisers, and dual-connection are available with the HeyMelody app across Android and iOS smartphones, there are a few exclusives limited to the OnePlus 11 5G. Among these is the Spatial audio with head tracking feature and lossless Hi-Res streaming over wireless. The latter is enabled by LHDC codec that the earbuds support besides LDAC, AAC, and SBC.
Powered by Dolby Atmos, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 delivers a wide soundstage experience enabled by Spatial audio feature, which can be set either to fixed position or head-tracking. The Spatial audio feature works with audio streaming services such as Prime Music, Spotify, and YouTube Music. However, the best is experience through Apple Music because it is the only audio streaming platform available with native support for lossless and Dolby Atmos audio for Hi-Fi Spatial sound experience.
Nevertheless, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 impresses with a rich sound signature. Unlike the bass-rich output of the predecessor, the second-generation has a balanced output (not flat) with deep bass, fine trebles, and clear vocals. This is where the Dynaudio comes into the picture. The earphones’ dual audio drivers are co-created by OnePlus in partnership with Dynaudio. There are three custom graphic equalisers besides default that are also tuned by Dynaudio. The result is top-notch experience.
Lifting the experience is the press controls. Though a mix of press and gesture controls would have made for better experience, just the press controls are not bad either. These are precise and work as intended, with no question of accidental touch possible.
At Rs 11,999, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is a solid pair of wireless earphones best experienced with the OnePlus 11 5G. It is because the earphones core upgrades that put it a notch above others such as lossless Hi-Res audio over wireless and Spatial audio are restricted to the OnePlus 11 5G. The list of supported smartphones may grow over time, but these are placed in a walled garden for now. That said, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 is a no-brainer for people planning to upgrade to the OnePlus 11 5G and need wireless earphones too. Others may have to settle with something else, maybe the OPPO Enco X2 or Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro.