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The recently launched OnePlus Buds Pro are an interesting set that might actually be setting the bar for our expectations from TWS (true-wireless) earbuds going forward. As a brand, OnePlus tends to offer premium features at a reasonable price, and looking at the Buds Pro spec sheet (and price tag), one can see that this philosophy has been carried forward.
At Rs 9,990, the Buds Pro aren’t cheap, but when you look at the features on offer, it’s clear that there is a lot of value here.
To start with, you’re getting ANC or active noise-cancellation. As the world gets back on its feet and we start travelling more often, it won’t be long before we start treating features like ANC as the default. OnePlus, of course, takes things a step further with Smart ANC, a feature that allows these Buds to tune the level of ANC to environmental noise. It’s a good idea, and should result in improved battery life.
Speaking of noise reduction and travel, there’s a new algorithm that filters unwanted noise and a new design that reduces wind noise. All good things when it comes to making yourself heard comfortably when you’re on those long phone calls.
Then you get Warp Charge, a fast-charging feature that gets you 10 hours of playback from 10 minutes of charge and a total of 38 hrs from a full charge with ANC off (28 with it on). This is another feature we’d like to see as standard on all TWC buds. The whole point of going true wireless is freedom, and if you’re going to have to interrupt your movie or audio book on a long flight just to top up your battery, that is going to get frustrating.
Another feature that we hope becomes standard is the ultra-low latency gaming mode on these Buds Pro. With competitive shooters like CoD: Mobile and Battlegrounds taking over, it’s important that we get and maintain whatever edge we can.
Lastly, there’s Audio ID. Music is a very personal experience and, believe it or not, each of us perceives and processes sound differently. While equalisers do help, not all of us have the know-how or patience to mess with them. Features like Audio ID, which create a custom EQ to match our ear’s hearing profile, can come in handy.
Bonus features like a design that stands out in a market flooded with TWS buds, a ‘Zen’ mode for when you really want to focus and/or relax, a seamless pairing and connectivity experience with OxygenOS, and a promise of thumping bass don’t hurt.
Oh, and there’s an IP55 water and dust resistance rating for those who’d rather not bother with taking their ‘buds out in the rain.
While it is ultimately the users who will determine the success of the OnePlus Buds Pro, it’s nice to see that manufacturers are making a real effort to stand out and deliver good value.
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