OnePlus Nord Buds CE Review: An affordable TWS for work & play

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OnePlus Nord Buds CE Review Summary:

Editor’s Rating- 3.5/5

Design & fit

Connectivity & Controls

Sound

Battery


























Rating: 3 out of 5.


























Rating: 4 out of 5.


























Rating: 3 out of 5.


























Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Pros

  • Long battery life
  • IPX4 Rating
  • Decent Design

Cons

  • No ANC
  • Fitting can be an issue
  • Poor audio while calling

OnePlus recently expanded its Nord wearable line-up with the launch of Nord Buds CE truly wireless buds. These are effectively the most pocket-friendly Nord series buds on the market today. OnePlus offers these Nord Buds CE only in a price-sensitive market like India.

The Nord Buds CE promises to offer a good design with an IPX4 rating, long battery life, and good audio quality. Do they live up to tall claims? Let’s find out.

JUMP TO…

OnePlus Nord Buds CE Price & Availability

The OnePlus Nord Buds CE is priced at Rs. 2299 in India. They come in Moonlight White and Misty Grey colorways and are up for grabs via Flipkart.com, OnePlus.in and offline stores.

OnePlus Nord Buds CE Unboxing

The OnePlus Nord Buds CE arrives in a white colored cardboard box that is sturdy and compact. The box contains-

  • Nord Buds CE & Charging case
  • USB Type-C cable/USB Type-D cable
  • Warranty card
  • Brand Sticker
  • Welcome card with member benefits
  • User Guide

OnePlus Nord Buds CE Specs

  • Driver- 13.4mm
  • Frequency Response- 20Hz to 20KHz
  • Rating- IPX4
  • Range- 10m
  • Codecs- AAC, SBS
  • Bluetooth-5.2
  • Battery (case)- 300mAh
  • Battery (earbuds)- 27mAh each
  • Playback time (earbuds)- 4.5 hours
  • Playback time (with case) – 20 hours
  • Weight (case)- 33 grams
  • Weight (Earbuds)- 3.5 grams each

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OnePlus Nord Buds CE Review: Design & Fit

The OnePlus Nord Buds CE comes in 2 beautiful colors- Moonlight White & Misty Grey. I received the basic white variant for review purposes and the TWS looked nice from afar. Whether it was the case in my hand or buds in my ears, both looked and felt premium. The case is smooth, and shiny, and has the shape of a medium-sized pebble. The case lays flat and cannot stand upright as it is oval in shape with rounded edges. The case is compact enough to be carried around in your pocket, but the case is not resistant to smudges or scratches if it falls from your hand.

 The bottom of the case has a USB-C charging port. It carried the OnePlus logo on the front just below the lid and also there is a small circular indicator above the logo that glows in green when the charging case is kept open. It blinks once each time you pull out an earbud or put one inside. If the case is closed, the light turns yellow for 2 seconds and then goes off.

Coming to the earbuds, which are the actual deal, the buds have a good build quality with a glossy look. The buds have considerably long stems which are just about right for the human ear. The fit can be tricky at first, because of the shape. When I first inserted them into my ears, they pricked me a bit, but slowly I got comfortable with them. For some, buds might be loose or not fitting correctly as per their ear shape, well that can be an issue that has no resolution as the buds don’t come with additional ear tips. Not having the right fit would make using the buds tricky while you are running, exercising, etc. as they might fall off and you won’t even realize it.

Otherwise, the buds are featherlight in weight (3.5 grams each) and if they fit, they can be worn without any hassles for the entire day. The case is light too (33 grams), but make sure you don’t let it fall much. The buds are IPX4 rated for water resistance which makes them an able companion to be used while jogging, exercising, and more.

OnePlus Nord Buds CE Review: Connectivity, Controls & Features

Setting up the OnePlus Nord Buda CE is very easy. Just unbox the buds, turn on Bluetooth on your smartphone, open the lid of the case and the earbuds automatically pair themselves up to the device. The Buds worked seamlessly with my android devices. There is an app called the Hey Melody App that can be downloaded if you want to customize the performance of the buds. The app makes pairing the buds to the smartphone easier and allows one to customize their listening experiences. The app allows you to download firmware updates and also reflects the battery level. It allows you to manage gesture controls and is available on both android and ios.

Gesture control can be easily managed. One can change the single tap, double tap, and triple tap gestures in the app, enable Dolby Atmos sound profile, click photos using the double tap gesture, and more. The buds don’t come with an ANC or ENC, but we will learn more about it in the next Sound and ANC section.

ALSO READ: Best 5G phones under Rs 30,000 in India

OnePlus Nord Buds CE Review: Sound Quality & Call Quality

The OnePlus Nord Buds CE comes with 13.4mm Titanium coated Dynamic Drivers with support for Dolby Atmos and stereo sound. The sound quality when you listen to music is decent. The bass is good due to the large driver and the highs and mids are equally impactful. The app allows you to choose between 4 modes- bass, balanced, serenade, gentle, and a game mode. Whether you listen to rock music or heavy metal pop, the audio is absolutely delightful.

The vocals of the singers are clear and precise and there is very less distortion even at higher volume levels. I heard Fitoor from Shamshera by Arijit Singh and Phir Le Aaya Dil by Rekha Bharadwaj from Barfi and found the vocals as well as instruments well balanced. Though true-blue classical music doesn’t sound its best on these buds, otherwise they offer an above-average audio quality when listening to music.

Coming to the audio while gaming, the buds CE offers 94ms ultra-low latency for smooth and lag-free audio while gaming. It is useful when you play multiplayer online games.

The biggest lowdown of the Buds CE is the absence of ANC. There is no transparency mode but an AI  Noise Cancellation Mode (similar to ENC) which does claim to block out noises of the wind while you are on call but is not really effective. While taking calls or attending meetings using these buds, I found the noises around me to be very distracting. The audio too was grainy and not as good as it was while listening to music. The microphone was ok but still lacked clarity. For indoor settings, buds can be used to take calls, but in a noisy environment, they prove to be very incompetent.

OnePlus Nord Buds CE TWS Review: Battery

The pebble-shaped charging case has a flip-top lid and the moment one slot the earbuds into the case, they start charging automatically. The case has a 300mAh battery that can be charged via the USB Type-C cable included in the box. The buds have a 27mAh battery each, which gives about 3.5 to 4 hours of battery life on a single charge, and with the case, the battery will last up to 18 hours. A quick 10-minute charge gives more than an hour of playback time which is decent. Fast charging helps when you are in a hurry and don’t have much time to charge the device, while otherwise too the playback time is more than enough to last for 4-5 days.

Review Verdict: Should you buy OnePlus Nord Buds CE?


























Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

The OnePlus Nord Buds CE are meant for the section of consumers who want to own their TWS device without burning a hole in their pockets. The Buds give a good audio performance and have a decent design at an affordable price. They come with an IPX4 rating and a good battery life as well. Though there is no ANC, the call quality is not good and the fitting can be an issue, but otherwise, the OnePlus Nord Buds CE is a very smart buy for a price of under 2.5k.

Reasons to buy OnePlus Nord Buds CE

  • Long battery life
  • IPX4 Rating
  • Decent Design

Reasons to not buy OnePlus Nord Buds CE

  • No ANC
  • Fitting can be an issue
  • Poor audio while calling

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