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The best headphones for the OnePlus Nord

OnePlus is back in the midrange game but skipped the 3.5mm jack, so here are the best headphones for the OnePlus Nord.
April 18, 2021
OnePlus Nord The rear of the device in the hand within the included case
Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority

The OnePlus Nord marks the company’s first return to the midrange category since the OnePlus X. Unfortunately, like the OnePlus 8 and 8 Pro, it doesn’t mark a return to the headphone jack. Instead, you’ll have to do some digging and find a wireless pair that meets your needs. Here’s our list of the best headphones for the OnePlus Nord to help you get started.

The best headphones for the OnePlus Nord:

Editor’s note: We will update this list of the best OnePlus Nord headphones regularly as new ones launch.

OnePlus Buds Z: The best all-around

The OnePlus Buds Z cheap true wireless earbuds on top of a OnePlus 7 Pro smartphone in blue, with the open charging case off to the top left.
Lily Katz / Android Authority

Where better to find earbuds for a brand-new OnePlus device than the OEM itself? The company announced new OnePlus Buds Z to follow the original OnePlus Buds, making them a natural combination to try. OnePlus smartphone owners benefit from automatic over-the-air (OTA) firmware updates and remappable controls. The OnePlus Buds come in a few colors, including white and a special Steven Harrington version so that you can match the headsets with your handset.

Anyone who takes hands-free calls will be impressed by the OnePlus Buds’ triple-microphone system and ambient noise-reduction technology. Voices are relayed clearly, and the microphones do a surprisingly good job of reducing background noise. If you have a OnePlus 8 or OnePlus 9 series smartphone, you can take advantage of 3D sound via Dolby Atmos support, too, which makes movies even more immersive.

Bassheads will appreciate the exaggerated low-end response, while all-purpose users will revel in the automatic ear-detecting sensors that allow for auto-play and pause functionality. The case supports OnePlus’ famed Warp Charge capabilities, whereby 10 minutes of charging via USB-C yields 3 hours of playtime. The OnePlus Buds have earned an IP55 rating, making them resistant to water and sweat. If you’re unbothered by the semi-open, AirPods-like design, these are a solid pair of daily use earphones.

OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z: The best value

OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z neckband and type c

The OnePlus Buds may be the new kids on the block, but the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z built quite a name for itself over the past few years. For starters, this neckband headset charges with incredible efficiency — just 10 minutes of USB-C charging is all it takes for 10 hours of playtime. Overall, the Bullets Wireless Z offers 20 hours of battery life and a trusty Bluetooth 5.0 connection.

It’s IP55 water and dust resistant and the neckband design allows for larger batteries and easy carrying. Your music automatically pauses when you connect the Bullets Wireless Z via the built-in magnets, and onboard controls allow access to playback, volume, and your favorite assistant. It’s tough to top a pair of first-party earbuds to match your OnePlus Nord.

Google Pixel Buds: The best design

best oneplus nord headphones

If you prefer Google Assistant for daily tasks, it only makes sense to opt for the Google Pixel Buds. They’re another true wireless option, and you can take advantage of five hours of battery life on a single charge. Once you factor in the charging case, the Pixel Buds offer a total of 24 hours of musical bliss. Simple one-touch controls mean that you can play and pause with a touch and adjust the volume by swiping on the touchpads.

While many earbuds rely on different silicone tips to fit in your ears, the Pixel Buds utilize a unique adjustable loop to a true custom fit. You can shape the loop to your ear and keep the Pixel Buds locked in place whether you’re maxing out at the gym or lounging at the pool.

Sony WF-1000XM3: The best noise-cancelling

Sony WF1000XM3 earbuds charging case closed on marble countertop

OnePlus and Google headphones have their advantages with the OnePlus Nord, but if you place sound over everything, then it’s tough to top Sony’s WF-1000XM3 earbuds. Rocking active noise-cancelling and tuned by Sony engineers, the WF-1000XM3 is a powerful option with up to 24 hours of combined battery life. Just 10 minutes of charging yields 90 minutes of playtime — perfect for finishing a long commute.

See also: Sony WF-1000XM3 review

Going beyond battery life, the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds pack high-end tech that justifies a higher price point. A proprietary QN1e processor offers advanced noise-cancelling and powerful 24bit audio signal processing. Smart Listening automatically adjusts to ambient sound based on your activity, but you can use Quick Attention mode for instant conversation by placing your hand over the left earbud.

OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2: The best sound quality

OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2: The old Bullets Wireless on the left and new on the right. They're sitting on the red carrying pouch.

Introduced with the OnePlus 7 series, the Bullets Wireless 2 has many of the same features that make the Bullets Wireless Z a great option. They don’t top our list of the best OnePlus Nord headphones, but only because they’re not the newest option. The OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 uses Bluetooth 5.0 and aptX HD for high-quality sound. Like the Bullets Wireless Z, 10 minutes is all it takes to achieve 10 hours of battery life.

See also: OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 review

Per our review, the microphone quality is great, which means the Bullets Wireless 2 should serve you well on a long day of Zoom meetings. One major drawback is the lack of water resistance. Athletes are likely better served elsewhere, and the Bullets Wireless 2 is more expensive than the newer Bullets Wireless Z.

Jabra Elite 75t: The best for exercise

best oneplus nord headphones
Adam Molina / Android Authority

If you’re an athlete looking for a pair of reliable workout earbuds, look no further than the Jabra Elite 75t. The ‘buds are IP55 water and dust-resistant, so you can climb, run, and sweat through just about anything. Battery life is solid with up to seven hours on a single charge, and only 15 minutes in the case supplies an additional hour of listening.

See also: Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus vs Jabra Elite 75t

Other features like multipoint support and automatic ear detection make the Jabra Elite 75t a great option for everyday life. Bluetooth multipoint means that you can connect your earbuds to two devices at once, perfect for listening on your phone or hopping to your laptop for a conference call. The Jabra Elite 75t is a must-have if you’re getting ready for your next workout.

SoundCore Liberty Air 2/Air 2 Pro: The best features

Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 true wireless earbuds charging case handheld

The last option on our list of the best cases for the OnePlus Nord is also the most budget-friendly. The Anker SoundCore Liberty Air 2 comes in at just under $100 and offers incredible value for the four-microphone setup alone. Each earbud is equipped with cVc 8.0 noise reduction technology, eliminating up to 60% of ambient noise while keeping your voice crystal-clear.

See also: Best cheap true wireless earbuds

You can customize the sound profile with HearID mapping for a comfortable experience no matter what you listen to. A single charge offers up to seven hours of playback, and the charging case boosts your total to 28 hours. We had plenty of good things to say about the SoundCore Liberty Air 2 in our review, and your wallet will thank you as well.

If you have a slightly larger budget to work with and you want a bit more power, you can also try the SoundCore Liberty Air 2 Pro on for size. A pair will cost you about $130, but you get a powerful six microphone array as well as 22 preset sound profiles. You can also learn more about the ‘buds right here.

What you should know before picking the best headphones for the OnePlus Nord

  • High-quality Bluetooth codecs are important because they afford better audio quality and reduced latency, the latter of which regular video streamers want to look out for. Not all Bluetooth codecs perform equally across devices, though: iOS devices only support one high-quality codec, AAC. iPhones have no problem maintaining a consistent streaming quality over AAC, but certain Android phones really struggle with it. If you’re using an Android device, your best bet is aptX support, or even LDAC.
  • Although we’re not looking specifically into workout earbuds, it’s reassuring to know your investment can withstand a few raindrops. Anyone who lives in an unpredictable climate or who plans to exercise on occasion with their OnePlus Nord headphones should get a headset with some degree of water resistance.

That just about does it for the best headphones you can buy for the OnePlus Nord. There’s a lot more to read about the brand-new mid-ranger, though, so check out some of these resources while you’re here: