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3 causes the OnePlus Buds 3 win over Apple AirPods (and a pair of why they do not)

Key Takeaways

  • OnePlus Buds 3 supply highly effective ANC for under $100, a budget-friendly choice that competes with AirPods Professional at a lower cost.
  • OnePlus Buds 3 function simpler contact controls and a extra cosy match for consolation, making them a compelling alternative for these in search of comfort.
  • Whereas the Apple AirPods Professional supply superior spatial audio over OnePlus 3D Audio, the OnePlus Buds 3 are a fantastic different for budget-conscious customers.

Apple’s AirPods are undoubtedly iconic, ushering in an age of wi-fi earbuds as an on a regular basis accent and audio must-have. As wireless earbuds have develop into extra mainstream, extra corporations adopted Apple’s standard-setting buds, adapting extra options, spatial audio, spectacular ANC, and that “minimize off earbud” quick stem design.

I’ve formally ventured outdoors of Apple’s walled backyard as they’re comfy, high quality, and solely $100.


I switch between my AirPods Pro and AirPods Max for these 5 activities

Apple’s over and in-ears are my headphones of alternative, however some conditions name for the buds, whereas others are higher suited to the Max.

Even after testing a number of pairs of earbuds, myself and different sound snobs have rarely strayed from AirPods as a mainstay. Nonetheless, after reviewing OnePlus’ third in-ear iteration — the OnePlus Buds 3 — I’ve formally ventured outdoors of Apple’s walled backyard as they supply consolation, high quality, and solely value you $100. The truth is, there are fittingly three issues particularly that I discovered in my testing, which I want the OnePlus Buds 3 over Apple’s flagship headset. Nonetheless, AirPods nonetheless win on a couple of fronts.

The OnePlus Buds 3 could have dropped the “Professional” title their predecessors maintain, however these finances headphones are surprisingly luxurious. Plus, coming in splendid blue or area grey, it is refreshing to see a pair of earbuds stray from basic white or black. Other than being a main member of the Apple ecosystem, Apple’s AirPods Professional 2 are comfy, pocketable, and sound nice. Nonetheless, that comes at a steep worth.

Highly effective ANC for under $100

OnePlus wins by providing clear cancellation for much less

Holding OnePlus Buds 3 in the case

OnePlus Buds 3

Maybe the most well-liked spec to both include each new earbud launch or obtain an improve with every iteration is ANC (energetic noise-cancelling). Nonetheless, that normally comes at a marked-up worth. For $100 the OnePlus Buds 3 efficiently had me absolutely invested in my audio and nearly dangerously unaware of my New York Metropolis environment. As I listened to songs like Taylor Swift’s You Belong With Me, I used to be so engrossed within the electrical guitar solo that I missed the barista calling my title and waited a bit of too lengthy at my favourite espresso store.

I even related the OnePlus Buds 3 to my Galaxy Z Flip 4 and AirPods to my iPhone and truthfully discovered it onerous to inform a distinction by way of noise-cancelling skills. When it got here to general sound high quality, the OnePlus Buds 3 sounded a bit extra tinny, however they undoubtedly delivered by way of silence.

And whereas the AirPods Professional 2 boast a $250 price ticket, the OnePlus Buds 3 are $150 much less at solely $100, which is a good entry-level tag for a premium function.

Simpler contact controls

OnePlus improves with much less awkward and extra intuitive stems

OnePlus Buds 3 single earbud

The AirPods Professional 2’s launched one among my favorite features with on-stem contact controls. Nonetheless, they do require a little bit of stress to totally reply and work greatest whenever you use your index finger behind the stem and firmly press your index finger on the stem divot. OnePlus’ controls, nevertheless, are a bit extra delicate with out being overly so. Plus, the management is not on the stem however on the bud bulb, making for a much less awkward management — particularly once I’m on the go.

A extra cosy match

OnePlus buds are extra steady and comfy for lengthy put on

OnePlus Buds 3 single earbud

Like AirPods, the OnePlus Buds 3 function smooth silicone ideas that match snugly inside the ear. That includes a rounder versus a flatter bulb, the OnePlus Buds 3 aren’t cumbersome however moderately relaxation completely in opposition to a wider space of my ear, and due to this fact, decreasing the built-up stress that I usually expertise with AirPods. Moreover, the eartips appear to suit even deeper inside my ear, which retains them extra steady once I run or get sweaty from a exercise.


7 features I want to see from AirPods Pro 3

With Wi-Fi audio, customizable transparency mode, and a dust-resistance score, the AirPods Professional 3 can be my mainstay.

Spatial Audio outperforms OnePlus 3D Audio

AirPods are simply extra complete right now

AirPods Pro 2

A AirPods Pro case on a white background with two AirPods floating above it.

Apple AirPods Professional 2nd Technology (USB-C)

$200 $250 Save $50

OnePlus’ answer to spatial audio is spectacular, however barely ethereal and may even give a pins and needles impact when drums or tambourines punctuate a downbeat — just like the handclaps in Taylor Swift’s Shake It Off, for instance.


Bose’s new Open Ultra earbuds are the fashion and function success I can’t stop wearing

They is probably not a part of Bose’s QuietComfort lineup, however my ears don’t desire some other buds. Assume transparency mode — however higher.

Fittingly, 3D Audio does add dimension and makes me really feel like sound is coming from all dies moderately than simply in entrance of me, however Apple’s Spatial Audio offers that very same fullness with out compromising on sound readability.

FindMy expertise is built-in

Apple’s finding options are extra handy, particularly in a crunch

AirPods Pro 2 FindMy

Admittedly an absent-minded audiophile, I depend on Apple’s FindMy integration to trace down a lot of my gadgets — and AirPods are among the many most constant. The built-in monitoring and FindMy function, particularly precision discovering, instantly lead me to my buds. Whereas the HeyMelody app homes a FindMy function with a ping choice, it is not as intuitive and would not present the overall location. Primarily, should you’re a forgetful headphone fanatic, chances are high this function has additionally saved you some heartache.

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