The first OnePlus Nord Buds offer Dolby Atmos audio for a ridiculously cheap price

OnePlus may be best known for its smartphones, but the Chinese brand has also made a name for itself in the world of true wireless headphones – and its latest pair might be its most exciting yet.

The OnePlus Nord Buds offer some seriously attractive specs at a price we find hard to believe – for just $39 the brand promises Dolby Atmos support, 30-hour battery life and “crystal” calls. Global pricing and release dates are yet to be confirmed, but that equates to around £30 / AU$55.

Resembling a crushed pair of AirPods Pro, the new OnePlus headphones are the first in-ear headphones in the Nord lineup and closely follow the OnePlus Nord N20 5G.

Inside the headphones are 12.4mm titanium dynamic drivers, which OnePlus says will deliver “rich bass production and razor-sharp highs.” If they sound like the OnePlus Buds Pro, you can expect a peppy, clean audio performance and a spacious soundstage.

Unlike the Buds Pro, the OnePlus Nord Buds don’t come with active noise cancellation – but that’s reflected in the price. OnePlus’ noise-canceling headphones cost $149.99 / £139 (around AU$210), more than three times the price of the Nord Buds.

OnePlus Nord headphones

(Image credit: OnePlus)

Stellar specs, great price

That low price is why we’re surprised to see the Nord Buds support Dolby Atmos. Headphones that can handle spatial audio technology, such as the AirPods 3, tend to be quite expensive – and the actual audio engineering needed to do justice to virtual object-based surround soundtracks likely costs money.

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We’ll be interested to see how well the Nord Buds perform with Dolby Atmos tracks and movies. If they perform as well as OnePlus promises, they could be a fantastic pair of headphones for watching movies and for those who want to listen to their favorite songs in a more immersive way.

The Nord Buds should also be quite durable for a pair of true wireless earbuds at this price, with a total battery life of 30 hours. You get seven hours of playtime from the earbuds themselves, with an additional 23 hours provided by the charging case. A flash charge feature means you can also get five hours of playtime from a quick 10 minute charge.

Calls should sound pretty clear, thanks to four microphones built into the earcups that are designed to filter out unwanted background noise, AI noise reduction, and a mechanical design that should reduce wind noise.

You should be able to use the OnePlus Nord Buds during workouts, as they come with an IP55 dust and water resistance rating, which means they’ll be protected from splashes of sweat or rain. The headphones also have a hydrophobic coating which OnePlus says will defend against corrosion.

As for connectivity? The headphones will pair to your phone via Bluetooth 5.2 and have an ultra-low latency of 94ms – this means you should have no problem using the headphones while gaming on your smartphone, with audio and gameplay in sync .

If you have a OnePlus device, you’ll be able to enjoy super-fast pairing, while those without will need to download the HeyMelody app to get started with the headphones.

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All of these specs sound very impressive considering the low cost of the OnePlus Nord Buds. We can’t wait to try them out for ourselves to see if they live up to OnePlus’ promises; if they do, we might be looking at the best budget headphones you can buy today.

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