Last year, Apple introduced the new Pro version of its AirPods lineup, Samsung upgraded its Pro buds and Google launched the first Pixel Buds Pro. Now it’s OnePlus’ turn with the Buds Pro 2 — priced at $179.
Launching along with the OnePlus 11 flagship, the Buds Pro 2 brings improved sound with the duo of 11mm and 6mm drivers. This is an upgrade from 11mm drivers from the last generation, which were launched in 2021. OnePlus says it has worked with the Danish sound company Dynaudio to tune these buds. When users open he box, they default to the Dynaudio EQ, with three more custom options in the app.
The new Buds Pro 2 also supports spatial audio, but only if you have a OnePlus 11. The company said it will extend this support to more devices, but didn’t specify which ones. OnePlus has worked with Google to make spatial audio available on YouTube. It is also partnering with Disney+ to enable spatial audio on select titles.
In another marketing move, the Oppo-owned company has enlisted famed composer Hans Zimmer to create a special composition for the spatial audio feature along with a custom EQ profile.
OnePlus has improved the Buds’ Active Noise Cancelation (ANC) capability over the previous generation. On paper, the Buds Pro 2 can filter out 48dB of ambient sound — which is 8dB more than the first-gen Buds Pro. The latest earbuds still use three mics to handle calls and filter out noise.
Design-wise the company has made the buds slightly smaller as compared to the originals. The stem-press touch controls still remain, but there’s no touch control for volume. The Buds 2 will be available in Obsidian Black and Arbor Green colorways.
The new edition lasts for 25 hours with ANC on (as compared to 28 hours for Buds Pro) and 39 hours with ANC off (as compared to 38 hours for Buds Pro). OnePlus has increased the battery capacity in individual buds; as a result, the playback time for buds has increased from five hours to nine hours.
The Buds 2 Pro claims to give users 10 hours of listening time with 10 minutes of charging, the same as the previous version. The good news is that the latest earbuds case is compatible with wireless charging, so you can drop them on a dock for a charging boost.
Other features include dual connection with Google Fast Pair compatibility, low latency of 54ms, transparency mode for easier conversations while filtering out ambient sound, activity and posture reminders detected by Inertial measurement unit (IMU) sensors and five on-board white-noise profiles.
The OnePlus Buds 2 work the best with OnePlus phones, but I have used it with a host of other devices, including iPhones, and they work well. They are feature-packed, offer a good battery life and support wireless charging. What’s more, these buds are cheaper than the Google Pixel Buds Pro ($199) and the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro ($230).