The Nord Buds CE is OnePlus’ new budget pair of earbuds and the cheapest to date. Here’s how they differ from the original Nord Buds.
Nord Buds CE, the new wireless earbuds from OnePlus, has been quietly released. So how do these differ from the original Nord Buds? OnePlus uses the CE suffix to indicate that the product is a lite edition of an existing one. Short for Core Edition, OnePlus products with this in their name only focus on the core features and lose the premium in favor of a lower price tag.
The Nord line will be OnePlus’ budget line and may soon become an independent brand. With about a dozen Nord smartphones, a pair of earbuds and an upcoming smartwatch, it’s only a matter of time before OnePlus announces it’s turning Nord into a subsidiary.
The Nord Buds CE is nothing like the Nord Buds. The earbuds have an open-fit design with long stems, similar to the original AirPods. This is in contrast to the Nord Buds, which have a closed design, replaceable silicone tips and thick short stems. Another major difference is that the Nord Buds CE has an IPX4 water resistance rating, which is lower than the Nord Buds IP55 dust and water resistance rating. The Nord Buds CE from OnePlus has an oval charging case like the Pixel Buds Pro and is available in Moonlight White and Misty Gray. On the other hand, the Nord Buds are available in Black Slate.
Nord Buds CE has bigger drivers
The Nord Buds CE has larger drivers than the Nord Buds. While both are titanium coated, the Nord Buds CE’s drivers are 13.4mm in diameter, while those of the Nord Buds are 12.4mm in size. Although the drivers are larger, the Nord Buds CE is lighter at 3.5 grams per earbud compared to the Nord Buds, which weigh 4.82 grams. Users can switch between four audio profiles on each pair of earbuds, but those who choose the Nord Buds should enjoy a better audio experience thanks to Dolby Atmos support. Both Nord earbuds support AAC and SBC audio codecs and have touch controls for controlling playback and calling. Neither pair of earbuds has active noise canceling like the OnePlus Buds Z2, but there is an artificial intelligence noise canceling software that eliminates wind and background noise during calls. The Nord Buds CE and Nord Buds have Bluetooth 5.2 and a 94ms low-latency mode, which should come in handy when watching videos or playing games. Also, neither has support for Google Fast Pair for quick pairing with Android devices. Instead, they have OnePlus Fast Pair, which allows them to pair directly with compatible OnePlus devices.
The Nord Buds CE has a battery life of 4.5 hours and lasts up to 20 hours with the charging case. There is also support for fast charging, as 10 minutes of charging results in up to 81 minutes of playback time. In contrast, the Nord Buds have a better battery life of seven hours (30 hours in total with the case), and a 10-minute charge (with the case also plugged in) gives you up to five hours of playback. Unfortunately, these are budget earbuds, so there’s no wireless charging, leaving the only option available as wired charging through a USB-C port. The two pairs of Nord Buds are compatible with Android and iOS devices and have a companion app for non-OnePlus phones.
OnePlus has priced the Nord Buds CE at 2299, which equates to about $29. This is cheaper than the Nord Buds, which retail for ₹2,599 in India and $39 in the United States. For now, the Nord Buds CE are exclusive to India and OnePlus has not announced a worldwide release.
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Source: OnePlus 1, 2
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