The AirPods 3rd Generation from Apple represents a big innovation from their predecessors in terms of connectivity, design, and of course, audio performance, making them worthy of an upgrade if you happen to own an older variation. But of course, the competition is anything but easy, since OnePlus brought their own challenger for Apple in the form of the OnePlus Buds 2 Pro which comes packed with detailed treble and rumbling bass, alongside a lot of other nifty features.
- The question is, which one should you go for?
In short – “If you have a OnePlus phone and belong to the OnePlus ecosystem, go for OnePlus Buds 2 Pro for full access to features and future connectivity. But, if you prioritize spatial audio and sound quality and own an iPhone, AirPods 3 are the better choice.”
OnePlus Buds 2 Pro vs AirPods 3
OnePlus Buds 2 Pro vs. AirPods 3 will put these two premium earbuds against each other to determine which one comes out on top. With the same objective pursued through the help of different specs, performance, sound quality, and price, here’s our comparison between the OnePlus Buds 2 Pro Vs. AirPods 3.
|Specification||OnePlus Buds 2 Pro||AirPods 3|
|Max Frequency Response||40,000 Hz||20,000 Hz|
|Play Time||9 Hours||6 Hours|
|Colors||Arbor Green, Obsidian Black||White|
The OnePlus Buds 2 Pro resembles its predecessor in more than one way and comes in a two-tone design where a simple and sleek, matte-textured earbud portion is delicately combined with a glossy stem design. The stems are just not for show, as a direct competitor of Apple, they also come with the same functionalities where you can squeeze the stems once to play/pause, hold them to switch between transparency and ANC, and so on.
The AirPods 3 follows suit with the same “If it’s not broken don’t fix it” formula, where it’s borderline hard to differentiate between these and the older generation earbuds. They come in Apple’s classic all-white minimalist design with protruding stems and lines that curve ergonomically for a better fit. These stems come with touch-capacitive force sensors like the AirPod Pro that allow you to control music by squeezing on the stems.
As far as features go, the OnePlus Buds 2 Pro pulls no punches regarding connectivity, as it comes with BlueTooth 5.3 straight off the bat, while including support for BlueTooth LE Audio. You’re also getting LHDC 4.0 alongside support for Hi-Res audio. If you have a OnePlus phone, you’ll get even more options in terms of customization such as a hearing test, and customizing sound profile and it all takes a few mins to get over with! The ANC is also customizable and adjusts the appropriate amount within 30 seconds, all while giving you access to spatial audio and customizable EQ. The buds also come with transparency mode to keep you aware while commuting so that’s a PLUS. Spatial Audio takes your movie-watching experience to the next level where the audio makes you feel as if it’s coming from a surround sound setup, but you do need to be in the ecosystem to reap the full benefit.
The AirPods 3, while coming with support for the lossless audio quality which is now being offered in the Apple Music Catalogue, the buds do come with their signature Spatial Audio for TV Shows. The spatial audio experience is further enhanced by conjuring an alliance with Dolby Atmos to help you experience immersion like never before! The immersion also takes a boost with Apple’s unique Head-Tracking feature that helps you with positional audio accurately. The buds are powered by the classic H1 Chip and come with a nifty “Audio Sharing” Feature that helps you to play the music simultaneously through two sets of AirPods. The AAC-ELD codec is designed specifically to enhance speech, while the beamforming microphones come covered with an acoustic mesh in an attempt to reduce the wind noise which works perfectly.
For the sound, it’s hard to complain about the OnePlus Buds 2 Pro, since the treble is bright and sharp and comes accompanied by a surprisingly deep bass, but with a slight drop in the quality of the mid. When using Hi-Res, this did not help with the sound quality, since the speakers lack the resolution it needs. The spatial audio works perfectly however and can take positions everywhere relative to the screen. The EQ can be a bit flimsy too, but there are a lot of options for you to tinker with so that’s a plus.
AirPods 3 however, as always, feels like a significant improvement over their already marvelous sound quality, all thanks to new custom-made, low-distortion drivers combined with high-range amplifiers that deliver powerful bass laced with crips and clean, high-frequency sounds. The Adaptive EQ, much like the AirPods Pro tailors the music to every individual ear by tuning the sound of the buds in real time based on the fit. For Spatial Audio, Apple takes 5.1, 7.1, and Dolby Atmos content and applies a layer of directional audio filters that place the sound in a metaphorical 3D Sphere, making you more immersed the more you listen.
As for the battery life, you’ll be getting up to 9 hours of music playback from the OnePlus Buds 2 Pro, and an additional 30 hours when combined with the case, that’s also compatible with Qi-Wireless charging. From Apple though, you’ll get up to six hours of listening time, or four hours of talk time with four additional charges from the case, adding up to about 30 hours. The case is compatible with Apple’s MagSafe ecosystem so while the initial battery does take a dip in comparison, the MagSafe compatibility should somewhat suffice for it. But for protection, the AirPods 3 offers a simple and effective IPX4 rating, while the OnePlus Buds 2 Pro offer a strong and reliable IP55 rating, rendering the buds almost immune to any type of liquid hazard.
To sum it all up, if you belong in the OnePlus ecosystem and possess a OnePlus phone, the OnePlus Buds 2 Pro is the way to go, as you’ll have access to all the features the Buds 2 Pro has to offer alongside future-proofed connectivity, thanks to LE Audio. However, they don’t sound as good when compared to the AirPods 3 but do pack a better battery life. Alternatively, if spatial audio and sound quality are what you’re after, and you happen to have an iPhone, the AirPods 3 would be the better call here, but you gotta make some sacrifices regarding battery life but then again, battery life was never a strength of Apple so you win some you lose some.