OnePlus Buds Pro 2 review: Great sound and looks, but lacking ANC


OnePlus recently launched a new phone, the OnePlus 11, that is priced reasonably well and offers performance that punches above its price class. So do the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, which launched alongside the phone, fare similarly?

I’ve been using the earbuds for about three weeks now, and I think they look and sound great, but the active noise cancelation leaves me wanting. Still, at $179, it’s cheaper than what Apple, Samsung, and Google ask for their best earbuds — so is the lower price enough?

About this review: OnePlus sent us a pair of the Buds Pro 2 and did not see the contents of this review before publishing.

Oneplus Buds Pro 2 Arbor Green
OnePlus Buds Pro 2

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 brings impressive sound quality thanks to the MelodyBoost Dual Drivers, spatial audio, improved ANC, and more.

Battery Life
9 hours (earbuds only), 39 hours (earbuds with case)
Frequency Response
10 Hz-40K Hz
Earbuds – 4.9g, Case – 47.3g
24.30 x 20.85 x 32.18mm
Noise Cancellation
Bluetooth 5.3 LE Audio
IP rating


  • Lightweight case and earbuds
  • Supports Multi-Point and Fast Pair
  • Good audio performance


  • Below average ANC
  • Can’t control volume at all

OnePlus Buds Pro 2: Price and availability

  • The earbuds come in two colors: green or black
  • It goes on sale Feb. 16.

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are priced at $179 and are available for preorder now via Amazon or at OnePlus’ online store. The product will be available on Feb. 16. You can get them in green, which you’ll see in all the photos below, and black.

Hardware and design: Sleek and stylish

  • Sleek and lightweight case
  • Supports Multi-Point, Fast Pair, and wireless charging

Like the original OnePlus Buds Pro, the second-gen version comes in a sleek case that opens like up an engagement ring box. I love the green color of my earbuds, which match the gorgeous OnePlus 11 very well. The minimal package includes a USB-A to USB-C charging cable (in typical OnePlus red and white colors) and three silicon tips in the usual (L, M, S) sizes. I would have liked to see a fourth XS size, as my ear canals often find even “small size” silicon tips annoying to wear after an hour or so.

The earbuds are in the typical AirPods-inspired design with elongated stems. The stems are much thinner than the first generation’s, but its flat-down placement makes it a bit tougher to take out of the case than cases like the AirPods Pro’s that open upright.

The buds weigh just 4.9g each, with a matte coating on the top part, while the stems have a reflective coating. The stems house touch capacitive panels that can register only taps and no swipes. I have relatively small ear canals, so I used the smallest silicon tips, and they fit fine, but as I said, I would have preferred an even smaller size (Apple’s second-gen AirPods Pro offers it) for prolonged use.


I think the earbuds look good. The stems don’t protrude out of my ears a lot, and they’re shorter and curvier than the blocky stems of the Huawei FreeBuds Pro 2 or Bose QC Earbuds 2. Each earbud packs in an 11mm driver and a 6mm tweeter. Each driver has a separate dome, which OnePlus says helps create separation between highs, mids, and lows while combining for a fuller sound.

oneplus buds pro 2
A render provided by OnePlus showing the internals of the earbuds, along with the two drivers in the middle. 

The earbuds use Bluetooth 5.3 with support for SBC, AAC, and the LHDC 4.0 Lossless codec. There are three mics in each bud, too, so call quality was strong, at least according to the other party during my tests. The buds have IP55 protection, while the case gets IPX4. This means the earbuds can withstand dust and continuous water splashes (like rain and even showering) for up to 55 minutes. The case, meanwhile, can only withstand splashes of water for an unspecified period.

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 next to the second gen Apple AirPods Pro. 

Each bud has a 60mAh battery inside that can play audio for six hours with active noise cancelation (ANC) on and nine hours with ANC off. The case houses another four charges or so. Unlike the Bose QC Earbuds 2 I just recently reviewed, OnePlus gave these buds wireless charging support, as well as Multi-Point capability, meaning the Buds Pro 2 can connect to two devices and even play audio from both at the same time.


Software: You should try the app

  • The companion app offers more customization and control options than most other earbud companion apps
  • Supports Fast Pair with any Android device

I’ve always been a fan of OnePlus’ software — yes, I even like the current version of OxygenOS, which is essentially ColorOS in a trench coat — because I find it to be fast and full of clever customization options. In fact, lots of tricks that Google and Samsung only recently offered, like customizing the UI’s color theme or launching apps and actions with finger gestures, have long been features in OxygenOS (and ColorOS). In the same vein, I’m happy to report the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 have a great companion app.

Don’t get me wrong, you can use the earbuds without the app, and they’ll work perfectly fine. The Buds Pro 2 support Android’s Fast Pair, so connecting to any recent Android phone is a matter of tapping an on-screen prompt. But the app, named HeyMelody, offers so many other controls. You can do all the expected stuff, like customize tap controls and adjust EQ, but you can also configure the earbuds to control your smartphone’s camera shutter or turn on spatial audio.

Performance: Great sound, average ANC, and a baffling omission

  • Great audio and call performance
  • But ANC lags behind heavy hitters like the Apple AirPods Pro 2 or Bose QC Earbuds 2
  • Lack of swipe controls means you can’t adjust the volume

I found the OnePlus buds’ performance to be good for the price, with warm audio, easy-to-use controls, and a comfortable fit. Unlike the Bose QC Earbuds 2, which had disappointing default tuning, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 sounded great out of the box. My colleague Adam Conway, however, found the bass a bit strong.

The stems’ touch panels work well, with a satisfying click with each press. However, its lack of support for swipes means the buds lose a crucial feature offered by others: adjusting volume by swiping on the stems. In fact, there is no way to control volume purely via the earbuds. You must adjust it on the phone, which is a major oversight when so many of OnePlus’ competitors offer it.

Spatial audio, which you can only turn on in the app, includes head tracking, which means if I move my head, the music will “shift” from my perspective as if the music is coming from a tangible, real-life location around me. At the risk of sounding like I’m beating a dead horse, I found OnePlus’ take to be good but not as great as Apple’s. With AirPods Pro, the spatial audio is extremely precise with even the slightest head turns. Here, I have to really turn sideways just to notice any shift in music.

The OnePlus buds’ performance is good for the price, with warm audio, easy-to-use controls, and a comfortable fit.

Then there is the active noise cancelation (ANC), which is supposed to be an improvement over the original OnePlus Buds (I never tested those, but my colleagues have), but still falls short of any recent earbuds from big named brands like Apple, Samsung, Google, and Bose I’ve tested. If I’m at a coffee shop surrounded by chattering friends, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 can only eliminate some noise instead of removing most of their chitchat like Apple’s and Bose’s earbuds can. You are supposed to be able to adjust the strength of the ANC, but even at the highest setting, I found the buds to not eliminate sound as much as recent earbuds I’ve tested from Bose, Apple, Samsung, or Huawei. If I have to give a percentage, I’d say the ANC here is 50% as good as Apple’s and maybe one-third as good as Boses’. To be fair, OnePlus’ Buds Pro 2 are cheaper than all of those, so compromises are expected. Transparency mode fares a bit better, as noise passes through naturally without sounding too digitalized, but they’re not quite as natural as the AirPods Pro’s, which sound like I’m not wearing anything at all.

Battery life, as mentioned earlier, is fine at six or nine hours, depending on ANC mode. Other than the weaker-than-usual noise cancelation, I have no qualms with these earbuds.

Should you buy the OnePlus Buds Pro 2?


You should buy the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 if:

  • You want a pair of sleek and good-looking earbuds with an excellent companion app
  • You want well-performing earbuds with great sound and wireless charging at under $200

You should not buy the OnePlus Buds Pro 2 if:

  • You really need strong ANC
  • You can afford to spend a bit more

Priced at $179, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2’s strategy seems to be the same as the OnePlus 11: try to offer almost as good a product as the bigger name rivals but at a lower price. This can work for consumers who don’t want the $250 asking price of Apple or Samsung, but the Google Pixel Buds Pro are priced at $200, which is just slightly more. I do think OnePlus’s buds actually sound better, but Google’s buds have stronger ANC. If you can afford to pay a bit more, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds 2 Pro are superior in every way. And if ANC really matters to you, you might as well pay a bit more and get the AirPods Pro 2. The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 are a fine option, though.

Oneplus Buds Pro 2 Arbor Green
OnePlus Buds Pro 2

The OnePlus Buds Pro 2 brings impressive sound quality thanks to the MelodyBoost Dual Drivers, spatial audio, improved ANC, and more.