OnePlus Buds Pro 2 Review: Great buds get better

Zen mode > everything

The Pros

  • Phenomenal battery life
  • Great sound reproduction
  • Zen Mode is super smart

The Cons

  • High price tag
  • Glossy stems pickup fingerprints
  • Somewhat large

Alongside the new OnePlus 11, OnePlus also released an update to its top-of-the-line wireless earbuds. The fresh OnePlus Buds Pro 2 feature a new dual speaker driver design that improves on the originals’ sound while keeping what was great about them intact.

I have no complaints after two weeks with the Buds Pro 2. They fit comfortably, sound great, and the always-helpful Zen Mode is just a tap away from helping me focus. As I said last year, this is an incredibly underrated feature, but one that’s so simple and handy in its design that I’m still surprised it hasn’t caught on with more earbud manufacturers.

Sure, this isn’t the point of earbuds, but as we spend more time working with buds, quickly putting on background noise without putting any thought into it is a simple pleasure in a world filled with choice.

Time to rock out

For regular music or video listening, OnePlus has boosted the noise cancellation capabilities in this iteration to block out up to 48dB, while the originals could only handle 40dB. This is a slight improvement on paper but very noticeable in practice. Last year I could clearly hear my fingers clacking on the keyboard with the OnePlus Buds Pro, but now, I’m basically enveloped in silence once ANC turns on, and music starts playing.

This is an even more welcome improvement on planes, trains and other noisy atmospheres like an office. You can turn it down if you wish as well. 

Combining this with the new dual speaker design, the buds sound awesome, and I have only good things to say about the audio reproduction. The stereo separation is welcome too since the buds offer a wider soundstage than most single speaker-equipped earbuds.

I did find myself pushing the volume up a bit higher than with other buds, but the volume was still too loud for me at their maximum level, so they should be more than enough for most people. With the noise cancellation, it’s extremely easy to get lost in the immersive nature of music, and I find myself rocking out with the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 almost immediately once the music starts pumping.

Other notable features

Another feature worth noting is the exceptional battery life. OnePlus rates the buds to last for 39 hours with the included charging case and ANC off. With noise-cancelling turned on, the buds and case combo should last for 25 hours. With ANC, the buds themselves last for six hours. With the feature turned off, they last nine hours.

In my testing, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 live up to this claim, and I’ve had a hard time running them dry, so I have no complaints in the battery life department. They can also fast charge, giving you roughly three hours of listening off a 10-minute charge in a pinch. They can wirelessly charge as well.

The settings are built into your Bluetooth menu if you use these buds with a OnePlus phone. If not, you’ll need to download the HeyMelody app on iOS or Android.

Earbuds worth owning?

I’d love to give OnePlus Buds Pro 2 my overwhelming approval, but in true OnePlus fashion, the company has raised the price considerably year-over-year, making the new buds Pro 2 models about $70 more expensive than their predecessor. They are cheaper than AirPods Pro (2nd-Gen), but they’re directly in line with Google’s excellent Pixel Buds Pro.

Compared to the Pixel Buds, OnePlus does have Zen Mode, but the other enticing feature, Multipoint Bluetooth, is activated in both earbuds. When it boils down to it, I like the stemmed design of the OnePlus Buds, but others will more than likely find the smaller size of the Pixel Buds Pro more comfortable, which is a large part of what separates these two top-tier buds. Both will make you extremely happy, but finding what fits your ears is more complex.

You can Pre-order the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 for $279 from the OnePlus website, and they release on February 16th.