OnePlus Buds revealed — and they destroy AirPods on battery life

OnePlus buds
(Image credit: OnePlus)
  • OnePlus has revealed the specs for its OnePlus Buds, promising 30 hours of battery life with the charging case and 7 hours without it.
  • The AirPods is rated for 24 hours of juice with the case and 5 hours by itself.
  • The OnePlus Buds also boast a comfortable half-in-ear design that won't come loose, as well as special features when paired with a OnePlus phone.

The OnePlus Buds will launch alongside the OnePlus Nord, and it looks like the company has a worthy rival to the AirPods. The new OnePlus Buds look to stand out especially with battery life, with a rated listening time that blows away Apple's wireless earbuds.

OnePlus Buds battery life

In a new OnePlus blog post, the company claims that the OnePlus Buds offer up to 30 hours of use before you have to plug in. This is with the included charging case, which can juice the earbuds "more than three times" on a charge.

By comparison, the AirPods are rated for 24 hours of battery life with the charging case. Without the charger, the OnePlus Buds also have the advantage, promising up to 7 hours of battery life versus 5 for the AirPods. 

OnePlus Buds charging

The OnePlus Buds will beat the AirPods when it comes to charging speed, with a mere 10 minutes of charging time resulting in 10 hours of power, according to the company. By comparison, with the AirPods can get only 3 hours of charge from 15 minutes of charging time. 

In an interview with TechRadar, Jay Liu, the OnePlus Buds project manager, explained that this advantage is thanks to the use of OnePlus' Warp Charge tech. 

OnePlus Buds design and weight

The photo OnePlus provides for the OnePlus Buds doesn't reveal much, but the company says that it focused on comfort and long-term wearing sessions. So the buds use a half-in-ear design. 

OnePlus also claims that it refined the shape of the OnePlus Buds so that they "sit securely in most people's ears." In other words, they shouldn't come loose, but OnePlus doesn't say if it will provide any tips or if the standard design is just what you get. 

OnePlus says that the OnePlus Buds themselves are very light at 4.6 grams (0.16 ounces) while the charging case weights 36 grams (1.26 ounces). The AirPods are lighter at 4 grams (0.14 ounces) but Apple's case is a little bit heavier at 40 grams (1.41 ounces).

A 'burdenless experience' that sounds Apple-y

One of the key selling points of the AirPods is that they pair seamlessly with the iPhone, and it looks like OnePlus is trying to deliver something similar for other smartphones while offering "deeper optimizations" for OnePlus phones.

For example, when you enable gaming mode on a OnePlus handset, the OnePlus Buds go into a ultra-low latency mode. The goal is to mirror the speed of wired headphones during those gaming sessions. 

OnePlus Buds outlook

There are still some things we don't know about the OnePlus Buds, including their price, whether there will be an equalizer or audio controls, and the release date. But I'm sure we'll hear more when the OnePlus Nord launches July 21. For now, the OnePlus Buds look like they could be worthy challengers to the AirPods, especially when it comes to endurance.

Mark Spoonauer

Mark Spoonauer is the global editor in chief of Tom's Guide and has covered technology for over 20 years. In addition to overseeing the direction of Tom's Guide, Mark specializes in covering all things mobile, having reviewed dozens of smartphones and other gadgets. He has spoken at key industry events and appears regularly on TV to discuss the latest trends, including Cheddar, Fox Business and other outlets. Mark was previously editor in chief of Laptop Mag, and his work has appeared in Wired, Popular Science and Inc. Follow him on Twitter at @mspoonauer.