OnePlus Buds Pro sure look a lot like cheaper AirPods Pro
Total battery life of OnePlus Buds Pro with noise cancellation (with case).
Last year’s OnePlus Buds were a delightful $79 surprise. While they didn’t sound the best, they performed great for the price while looking a lot like Apple’s AirPods. With the Buds Pro, OnePlus is joining its competitors in the increasingly crowded active noise-cancellation (ANC) wireless earbuds space.
In an interview with CNET, OnePlus’ head of R&D, Kinder Liu, had a lot to say about the upcoming Buds Pro. The price and release date aren’t set to be announced until July 22, but the interview revealed plenty to be excited about.
Block out the noise — The OG OnePlus Buds and even cheaper Buds Z cut out many features to keep the price well below the competition. The Buds Pro leave less to be desired, while keeping value in mind. To stay on par with other premium options such as the AirPods Pro, these new earbuds have noise cancellation. OnePlus is calling it “adaptive noise-cancellation,” which can “intelligently” adjust the level of noise cancellation based on how loud your environment is. Depending on nearby sound levels picked up by three onboard microphones, the OnePlus Buds Pro have a range of 15db to 40db of noise cancellation. The adaptive noise cancellation can be easily toggled via either earbud by holding the stem or via the HeyMelody app, available on Android and iOS.
Adaptive noise-cancellation is a welcome feature in certain situations, but it’s not clear if users can manually set the noise cancelation level or how it compares to standard active noise-cancellation, for which the Sony WF-1000XM4 currently reigns supreme. More information on this feature will hopefully be revealed in a few days, but I do hope it’s closer to Sony’s adaptive sound control, which can lower noise canceling and let in more sound when it detects users are walking on the street (great for remaining alert of incoming vehicles).
Warp speed — With adaptive noise-cancellation turned on, the OnePlus Buds Pro can get up to 28 hours of battery with the case; no word on how many hours a single charge of the buds lasts. Battery life (again, with the charging case) can be extended to 38 hours with the adaptive noise-cancellation turned off. Low battery anxiety shouldn’t be much of a concern since OnePlus is including its proprietary Warp Charge technology; the 10W fast charging can deliver 10 hours of juice in 10 minutes via a USB-C cable. The good news: you don’t need to use a special OnePlus-branded Warp Charger or cable. The bad news: wireless charging via Qi is limited to 2W.
The teaser image of the earbuds posted by OnePlus purposefully hides the smaller details, but it’s clear by the silhouette that they resemble the AirPods Pro. The design isn’t surprising, since the previous OnePlus Buds were basically AirPod clones. Design aside, let’s hope OnePlus keeps the price low this time around as well, which would make these buds a more attractive pickup. The OnePlus Buds cost half as much as AirPods; if the OnePlus Buds Pro cost half as much as AirPods Pro, we could be looking at $125.