OnePlus Nord Buds 2R review: Good sound on a budget

OnePlus Nord Buds 2R are an easy recommendation to casual listeners due to their smooth ergonomics, comfortable fit, decent battery life, and clear sound.

Edited By: Shweta Ganjoo

Published: Nov 07, 2023, 11:05 AM IST

OnePlus Nord Buds 2R review: Good sound on a budget

Highlights

  • The OnePlus Nord Buds 2R comes in Black and Blue colours.
  • The OnePlus Nord Buds 2R cost Rs 1,899 in India.
  • The OnePlus Nord Buds 2R support fast pairing feature.
TECHLUSIVE Rating :
4/5

TWS earbuds market is going from strength to strength in India even as the category has witnessed a slowdown in markets across the globe this year. According to a Counterpoint report, the TWS earbuds market grew by 34 percent year-on-year in the second quarter of the year in India. A large part of the credit for this trend goes to companies such as Boat, Noise and OnePlus that introduced budget friendly TWS earbuds models in the country this year. Riding high on this trend, OnePlus, witnessed a 228 percent year-on-year growth primarily due to the success of its Nord series TWS earbuds, which includes the OnePlus Nord 2R.

For the unversed, the OnePlus Nord 2R promises to provide a balanced and a clear sound all while being easy on the pocket and comfortable in the ears. The question, however, remains if the OnePlus Nord Buds 2R delivers what it promises? We will try to answer that and more in the detailed review below. But before that let's take a quick look at its specifications:

OnePlus Nord Buds 2R: Specifications

Drivers: 1.24mm dynamic drivers

Frequency response: 20Hz - 20,000Hz

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Battery: 36mAh per bud, 480mAh case

Charging: USB Type-C

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3

Noise cancellation: Dual mic AI noise cancellation

Other features: OnePlus Fast Pair, Dolby Atmos, Dirac Toner, Sound Master Equality

Colours: Triple Blue, Deep Grey

Price: Rs 1,899

Image: Shweta Ganjoo/Techlusive

OnePlus Nord Buds 2R review: Design

The OnePlus Nord Buds 2R earbuds feature a simple design and no-fuss design that is quite similar to what we saw in the OnePlus Nord Buds that arrived in India last year and the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 that launched in India earlier this year. However, the company has tweaked the design of the OnePlus Nord Buds 2R buds and the case to offer softer edges along with matte finish, which makes all the difference. These changes not only give the OnePlus Nord Buds 2R a more premium appeal, but they also make up for a more comfortable experience.

Talking, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2R are really comfortable to use, especially when using for long durations. It does not tire your inner ears nor does it slip out during sweaty workout sessions. I used these TWS earbuds as my daily driver, putting them through a variety of situations including weekend movie marathons, work calls, periodic workout sessions and even when taking short walks around the neighbourhood, and I felt no discomfort while using them at all. The case is also light, and it doesn't add any heft to your pocket on the occasions you decide to take them for a spin outside.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2R review: Software

The OnePlus Nord Buds 2R can be used with both Android and non-Android devices, but with some caveats. While these buds natively connect with OnePlus phones, non-OnePlus Android phone users need to download the HeyMelody app to access various controls. However, this app does not detect the OnePlus Nord Buds 2R on iOS, which means if you are an iPhone user, you are on your own with access to some basic touch-based gestures.

That said, the software support that you get on using the OnePlus phone is also bare basic. Once you connect these buds with your OnePlus phone, you essentially get access to two sets of settings. The Soundmaster EQ settings lets you pick between Balanced, Bass and Bold options. You can also set your own custom equaliser setting using it. The second set of settings that you get access to the Earbud Controls that lets you set single, double, triple tap and long touch and hold gestures for the right and left buds separately. You can also use these settings to enable game mode and virtual assistant on your phone with specific taps. Apart from that, the app or the control on the OnePlus 11R do not provide any additional controls to the music lovers.

Image: Shweta Ganjoo/Techlusive

OnePlus Nord Buds 2R review: Performance and Battery

Now comes the sound.

The OnePlus Nord Buds 2R TWS earbuds offer a slightly bass-heavy sound that is typical to OnePlus Nord buds. EDM lovers can get a more pronounced booming bass sound by picking the Bass option in the equaliser settings. Along with overwhelming bass, you also get smooth mids with emphasis on the vocals, which is particularly good for people who love that distinct booming sound with focus on each and every beat and word said. It's this sound quality that makes these earbuds ideal for EDM songs such as Edward Maya's Stereo Love and David Guetta's Titanium wherein it accentuates the underlying beats appropriately. It's also good for soft rock classics such as Careless Whispers by George Michael and Right Here Waiting by Richard Marx. That said, clarity does take a dip at high volume levels or when the focus is on the highs.

Apart from the music, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2R earbuds perform fairly well during voice calls. During my experience, the sound quality remained loud and clear in a relatively quiet environment. And when things got a bit noisy (market or a cricket match for instance), the AI noise cancellation feature did a great job at filtering out the unnecessary sounds outside to make the conversation audible inside.

Lastly, the battery. OnePlus claims that the Nord Buds 2R provides a battery backup of around eight hours. In my experience, this pair of TWS earbuds provides a runtime of a little over seven hours on mixed usage and a quick 10-minute charge provides up to two hours of runtime.

Should you buy the OnePlus Nord Buds 2R or not?

The answer to this question is quite a simple one. At a price of Rs 1,899, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2R TWS earbuds are an easy recommendation to casual listeners. Their smoother ergonomics coupled with a comfortable fit, decent battery life, clear sound and AI noise cancellation feature offer a balanced mix of features to buyers who are looking for earbuds under 2K. However, if you are looking for earbuds with ANC, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 would be a better fit for you.

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Author Name | Shweta Ganjoo

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