OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review – Budget Buds with Active Noise Cancellation for RM325 Tested

Launched alongside the OnePlus Nord CE Lite 3, the new OnePlus Nords Buds 2 are, in essence, wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation with a more mainstream emphasis on bass and a budget-friendly price tag of RM325. Here’s our OnePlus Nord Buds 2 review where we share our findings after taking it around for a spin…

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review – Build and Design

Out of the box, our OnePlus Nord Buds 2 review sample comes in a compact cardboard box with the charging case itself and the earbuds neatly packed within it, a USB-C to A charging cable, a set of smaller and larger eartips, the obligatory warranty paperwork and a whimsical looking sticker. Apparently, the sticker you get is random and a cursory look at other samples reveals different sticker designs.

@hitechcentury Here’s a closer look at what is in the box in this asmr unboxing of the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 wireless earbuds that have just been launched in Malaysia! @OnePlus Malaysia #hitechcentury #asmr #techtok #unboxing #firstlook #earbuds ♬ original sound – Hitech Century


In Malaysia, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 ships in either a flat black shade of Thunder Grey or in the case of our sample, a shade of Lightning White which consists of a grey top lid and a flat white base for the charging case and a similar flat white for the earbuds with chrome accents on the control surface.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review box

The rear of the charging case comes with a USB-C port for charging along with a pairing button with the front portion hosting an LED charging indicator.

Flipping it open can fortunately be done one-handed and the earbuds are stored in recessed bays within the case. The charging case itself is rated to offer up to 27 hours of battery life with active noise cancellation mode on.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review earbuds

The earbuds have an unusual design. A bulbous housing protects the main battery which is rated for 5 hours of battery life on a single charge and houses a 12.4mm driver unit in each earbud with the whole affair nestling in a user’s outer ear canal. The business end terminates in a silicone ear tip with a larger and smaller sized tip bundled in the box.

The outer portion features a large oblong housing on one end and a chromed control surface to control playback, volume and calls via a series of taps in a traditional fashion unlike the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 which required a series of squeezes to work.

Of note is that the earbuds are rated for IP55 which allows it to survive a modest amount of dust and, more importantly shrug off splashes of rain, sweat and water though the charging case itself has no dust and water resistance.

Oddly enough, the earbuds don’t have wear detection, presumably for cost savings reasons. They’ll continue playing even after you take them out of your ears so you’ll need to preemptively press pause before you do so.

In terms of build quality, our  OnePlus Nord Buds 2 review sample is well built and sturdy but its plasticky nature is highly apparent even at a casual glance and is made even more so when held especially with our Lightning White colourway and its matte white finish. 

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review – Specifications

Here’s how the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 stacks up on paper:

Price RM325
Drivers 12.4mm Titanium Driver
Connectivity Bluetooth 5.3
Battery 41mAh buds , 480mAh case | 5 hours (buds)/ 27 hours (inclusive case) with ANC on | 7 hours (buds) / 36 hours (inclusive case) with ANC off
Size/Weight 21.05 x 27.5 x 24.4mm (Case) / 4.7g (buds), 37.5g (case)
OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review – Specifications

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review – Performance

On paper, our OnePlus Nord Buds 2 review unit features active noise cancellation up to 27dB, a transparency mode that allows selected amounts of noise to pass through and features a 12.4mm pair of drivers with an emphasis on bass for music playback.

The earbuds support Advanced Audio Coding (AAC) and SBC codecs. It also features Dolby Atmos mobile and Dirac Audio Tuner support for better sound quality if you pair it up to a OnePlus phone like our recently reviewed OnePlus Nord CE Lite 3 or the OnePlus 11

Assuming you leave active noise cancellation on, you’re looking at a maximum of 5 hours of usage per earbud and up to 27 hours if you top up the charge via the charging case. If you leave ANC off, you’re looking at up to 7 hours of usage per charge and a maximum of 36 hours run time. 

While the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 can pair up and work straight out of the box by default via Bluetooth pairing with a smartphone, it really needs the Hey Melody app that’s preinstalled on OnePlus phones to tweak the controls and access equaliser settings.

Fortunately, the Hey Melody app can be downloaded for free on the Google Play Store and  the Apple app store. Using a OnePlus phone of recent vintage like the OnePlus 11 or Nords CE 3 Lite also confers Dolby Atmos mobile and Dirac Audio tuner support to the earbuds.

In terms of features, the Hey Melody app lets you turn ANC on or off, toggle transparency mode and access several predefined equaliser settings beyond the standard Balanced mode which are Bold, Serenade and Bass.

You’re also able to kick in an optional Basswave bass booster to offer deeper bass in tracks. Should all these options not quite appeal, you can create a custom equaliser signature using sliders to tweak the highs, lows and mids to taste.

The Hey Melody app also allows for modest customisability of the controls with the option to disable some of them though most are hardwired to the earbuds themselves with a single tap to play/pause tracks, a double tap to move forward one track and a triple tap to move to the previous track. Touching and holding the control surface down also toggles between ANC and transparency mode by default. 

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review open

Oddly enough, there is no way to assign volume controls at all with the existing control setup and you’ll have to do so manually outside of the app or earbuds themselves using the paired device’s music player.

Donning our OnePlus Nord Buds 2 review sample was a relatively simple task and the preinstalled medium sized pair of ear tips fit like a glove with good retention such that it didn’t slip out or require it to be jammed in my ear.

When put to the test in a variety of genres, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 acquits itself in a competent fashion for most tracks with its 12.4mm drivers and emphasis on bass lending itself better able to handle rock, metal and more bass-heavy tracks,  made more so with their BassWave mode which adds further emphasis on bass. 

The default Balanced mode is the most effective preset of all the available ones for general usage across genres. Vocals are well handled and there’s a modest bit of sound staging available.

Games are handled well and the optional low latency 94ms mode that has to be manually enabled works as it says on the tin. Serendipitously, all that bass, pun notwithstanding actually makes it surprisingly decent when playing shooters as kicking out a ton of lead downrange offers a pleasantly thumpy experience.

In terms of active noise cancellation, our OnePlus Nord Buds 2 review sample offers fair muting of external ambient noise. It’ll mute out the sound in a library and dampen background conversations to a degree though things like loud babies crying, blaring traffic and the like will still get through.

The higher end and pricier OnePlus Buds Pro 2 has superior ANC though at a commensurately higher price point. Still, for what you pay for, having ANC is a pleasant bonus.

Call quality overall is good on both sides with the built-in dual mics on the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 helping to filter out irksome background noise like background chatter, traffic and the like. While it’s not flawless enough to fake that you’re sitting in an office, it’s enough to get a clear conversation when you’re out and about in downtown Bukit Bintang.

Battery life is fair and is close to its official specified ratings with about four hours and 45 minutes of use with ANC on. Charging takes close to an hour for a full charge though a 10-minute charge is able to yield a modest 5 or so hours of playback time with ANC off.

Should you buy the OnePlus Nord Buds 2?

The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 is a solid midrange pair of wireless earbuds that have decent sound with an emphasis on bass along with a modest amount of active noise cancellation for general use though it works best with a OnePlus phone to achieve its full potential. If you already own a OnePlus phone, this makes for a sound midrange choice.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review

OnePlus Nords Buds 2 review sample courtesy of OnePlus Malaysia. For more details and to purchase please visit 

OnePlus Nord Buds 2
  • Design
  • Performance
  • Battery Life
  • Value
  • Comfort

OnePlus Nord Buds 2

A modestly priced pair of wireless earbuds with an emphasis on bass with fair active noise cancellation performance though you need a OnePlus phone to allow it to perform to its fullest potential.


Good audio quality for price Decent active noise cancellation IP55 water resistance for earbuds


Volume control settings not available in Hey Melody app or controls