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OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Review: Plenty of Bass for Only RM329
May 18, 2023 Andrew Cheng

It’s easy to find an affordable pair of wireless earbuds in the market now. But finding one that is…well, actually good, can be quite a challenge. I’ve used the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 for quite some time now, and I’m happy to report that it sounds great while still providing excellent value for money.

Of course, as with any product, the Nord Buds 2 does have a number of shortcomings, such as a proprietary ear tip design and lacklustre active noise cancellation (ANC). But for wireless earbuds that are this affordable, it’s easy to look past these drawbacks.

What It Is

For the Malaysian market, the Nord Buds 2 retails at RM329 with two colour options: Lightning White (pictured here) and Thunder Grey. For that kind of money, the wireless earbuds feature a single 12.4mm driver that’s said to deliver “rich sound” and impactful bass.

Aside from that, it also has five or seven hours of battery life on a single charge with ANC enabled and disabled respectively – extended to 27 hours or 36 hours with the charging case – Bluetooth 5.3, and IP55 water and dust resistance. A decent spec sheet for a pair of wireless earbuds at this price point.

The Good Stuff

One of the best qualities of the Nord Buds 2 has to be its bass quality. There’s ample amount of sub-bass with a nice, satisfying punch to it. If I had to nitpick, I wish the bass sounds more textured, though there’s no denying that these earbuds can produce a good amount of kick in the low-end.

I appreciate the warm sound profile of the Nord Buds 2 as well, thanks to the elevated mids. Vocals have a good amount of body to them, and in the treble region, there’s no unpleasant peaks to speak of either. You don’t have to worry about fatigue listening to these earbuds for an extended amount of time.

I’m also quite surprised by the battery life performance of the Nord Buds 2. On average, it can last me about five hours on a single charge with ANC enabled, which lines up quite well with OnePlus’ estimate. While this isn’t class-leading battery life by any means, it’s certainly above average and more than long enough for my particular usage.

I’m quite a fan of the Nord Buds 2 overall design too. The shape of the earbuds fit comfortably into my ears, and their lightweight nature – each buds weigh only 4.7g – helps with comfort in long listening sessions too. I didn’t find either earbuds to be uncomfortable throughout the review period.

Last but not least is the sheer affordability of the Nord Buds 2. Priced at only RM329, you’re getting a pair of wireless earbuds with good audio quality and above average battery life, not to mention a pretty darn comfortable fit. Granted, the budget-friendly nature of the earbuds does come with several downsides, which I’ll get to in the following section.

The Bad Stuff

My biggest qualm with the Nord Buds 2 is its ANC performance, which is…not great. While it can silent low frequencies quite well – such as the noise of an engine or air-conditioner – it doesn’t provide much isolation beyond that.

The touch controls of the Nord Buds 2 are also quite finicky. They’re not as responsive as I would’ve hoped, and I don’t love the fact that I cannot adjust the volume with the touch controls. Given that it can recognise touch and hold inputs, volume adjustment should be possible.

And then there’s the proprietary ear tip design of the Nord Buds 2. Even if three different ear tip sizes are provided with the earbuds, there’s a chance some folks won’t get the best fit with any of them. This could’ve been easily solved with third-party ear tips if the earbuds had a more standard design.

Is It Worth It?

Still, for only RM329, the OnePlus Nord Buds 2’s excellent value proposition can outweigh these shortcomings. Of course, it still depends on whether or not you can tolerate them, especially in regard to its ANC performance.

If you want an affordable pair of wireless earbuds with plenty of bass, reasonably long battery life, and a comfortable fit – though your mileage may vary – you can’t really go wrong with the Nord Buds 2. It is certainly one of the better budget-friendly earbuds in the market now.

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