OnePlus’ latest set of wireless earphones is also the first to get its Nord branding, which the company uses for its cheaper products. The new Nord Buds are announced today alongside teasers for two new entries to OnePlus’ European Nord smartphone lineup: the Nord 2T 5G and the Nord CE 2 Lite 5G.
The Nord Buds actually have a fair amount going for them, even at $39.99. They don’t have active noise cancellation and only have two mics on each stem instead of three like the $99 Z2 Shootsbut they’re rated for the same seven hours of battery life (38 hours combined with the case) and promise the same low latency – especially when connected to a OnePlus phone with ProGaming mode turned on – and fast charging.
The Nord Buds also have 12.4mm drivers, Dolby Atmos support, “AI-powered noise reduction algorithms” for phone calls, and, according to OnePlus, a new design makes them even more comfortable for long listening sessions. .
One way to think of it is that the Nord Buds are the AirPods for the Buds Z2 AirPods Pro. (Which I guess makes the $150 Buds Pro, which also adds wireless charging and adaptive noise cancellation, the AirPods Max. This isn’t a perfect analogy.) However, the Nord Buds are meant to be the entry-level model in the lineup. now what can you buy the latest generation Buds Z for the same price, the OnePlus catalog starts to get a bit confusing.
And that’s just when it comes to wireless headphones. OnePlus is also pre-announcing two new Nord smartphones for the European market today: OnePlus Nord 2T 5G and OnePlus Nord CE 2 Lite 5G. The Nord 2T is meant to be a spec bump for Nord 2 from last year, and now has 80W fast charging, up from 65W last time. Meanwhile, the Nord CE 2 Lite is presented as a step-down model compared to the Nord CE 2, which was itself a step down from the Nord 2 (it’s okay to be confused). OnePlus plans to properly launch both phones on May 19, when we can expect pricing and release date information.
While OnePlus is still primarily known as a phone brand, its earphones tend to overshadow its price. Chris Welch of The Verge I found the Buds Pro both comfortable to wear and impressive in their audio quality, and have earned a spot on our list of The best wireless headphones you can buy.
Overall, we’re seeing a big drop in the cost of a half-decent pair of wireless earbuds. While it seems unlikely that the Nord Buds will outperform some of the higher-end models on the market, and even competing with slightly more expensive models like the Jabra Elite 3 is a big ask, it wasn’t too long ago that $100 was the minimum. minimum for a decent pair. It is encouraging to see the price drop to $40.