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OnePlus Buds 3 vs Nothing Ear 2: Which Earbuds to Choose?

Today, we’re going to do a deep dive into two awesome mid-premium True Wireless (TWS) earbuds: the OnePlus Buds 3 and the Nothing Ear 2.

These babies offer a lot of similar features, but there are some important differences you should know about, especially when it comes to pricing.

By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll have a much better idea of which earbuds are the perfect fit for you. Let’s get started!

Before diving into the details, let’s take a quick look at the key differences between the OnePlus Buds 3 vs Nothing Ear 2:

CategoryOnePlus Buds 3Nothing Ear 2
DesignGlossy finish, Black and Blue colorsTransparent design, Black and White colors
Battery Life (with case)Up to 40 hoursUp to 33 hours
Battery Life (per charge)5 hours with ANC off5 hours with ANC off
Fast Charging7 hours of use from 10-minute charge8 hours of use from 10-minute charge
Sound ProfileBass-heavy, exciting soundBalanced, natural sound
Supported CodecsLHDCAAC, SBC, LHDC
Noise Cancellation (ANC)Up to 49dBUp to 40dB
Water ResistanceIPX5IPX5
Gaming ModeYes, 94ms latencyYes, low latency (exact figure not specified)
Touch ControlsCustomizableCustomizable
PriceCheck on AliExpressCheck on AliExpress

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Nothing Ear 2: In-depth Review

Design and Build

Both the OnePlus Buds 3 and Nothing Ear 2 come in a square charging case, with the OnePlus case being slightly larger. The buds themselves have some design differences:

  • OnePlus Buds 3 have a traditional glossy finish and are available in black and blue colors
  • Nothing Ear 2 feature a unique transparent design showing the internal components, and come in black and white

The Nothing Ear 2 buds are noticeably more compact compared to the OnePlus Buds 3. Both are very lightweight and comfortable to wear for long periods. The cases are prone to scratches, so using a protective case is recommended.

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Nothing Ear 2 Design

They are fairly equal in terms of build quality, with strong magnets to keep the buds in the case. The Nothing Ear 2’s case hinge feels slightly loose compared to the OnePlus case. Both support wireless charging.

Battery Life

Battery life is one area where the OnePlus Buds 3 have an advantage:

  • OnePlus Buds 3: Up to 40 hours total with the case, 5 hours per charge with ANC off
  • Nothing Ear 2: Up to 33 hours total with the case, 5 hours per charge with ANC off

Both support fast charging, giving you 7-8 hours of use from a quick 10-minute charge. So while the OnePlus Buds 3 last longer overall, both are solid in terms of battery life for this segment.

Sound Quality

This is where personal preferences come into play. The OnePlus Buds 3 provide a bass-heavy, exciting sound that will appeal to those who like thumping, energetic audio.

Vocals and instruments are crisp and loud. The earbuds also support the LHDC codec for high resolution audio.

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Nothing Ear 2

The Nothing Ear 2 have an extremely balanced, natural sound profile. The bass is present but not overly boosted. Those who prefer a neutral, accurate sound will appreciate the Nothing buds. A range of codecs are supported including AAC, SBC and LHDC.

Ultimately, both have great audio quality, it just depends if you prefer a bassy sound (OnePlus) or a more subdued, authentic presentation (Nothing). The companion apps let you customize the EQ as well.

Noise Cancellation and Calling

Both earbuds provide active noise cancellation (ANC) to block out background noise:

  • OnePlus Buds 3: Cancels up to 49dB of noise
  • Nothing Ear 2: Cancels up to 40dB of noise

In practice, the OnePlus Buds 3 ANC performance is slightly better, especially in noisier environments. Both let you adjust the ANC intensity via their apps.

For calling, both feature three microphones and do a good job picking up your voice clearly while minimizing background sounds. No major difference between them here.

Other Features

A few other notable features:

  • Both have an IPX5 water resistance rating to protect against sweat and light splashes
  • Gaming mode provides low latency audio, which is implemented slightly better on the OnePlus buds
  • The OnePlus Buds 3 connect more reliably when switching between two devices
  • Both support customizable touch controls on the buds
OnePlus Buds 3 vs Nothing Ear 2

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Nothing Ear 2: Final Verdict

The OnePlus Buds 3 and Nothing Ear 2 are both awesome true wireless earbuds. The OnePlus Buds 3 have a longer battery life, slightly better active noise cancellation (ANC), more powerful bass, and a reliable dual device switching feature.

The Nothing Ear 2 really stand out with their cool transparent design, super natural sound that audiophiles will love, and a lower price tag.

Honestly, you can’t go wrong with either of them. But in my opinion, the Nothing Ear 2 offer better bang for your buck, unless you specifically want that extra thump in the bass or need top-notch ANC performance.

Take a moment to think about your personal preferences and budget, and choose the one that suits you best.

If you have any other questions, feel free to ask in the comment section.

You may also like to see:

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Samsung Galaxy Buds FE

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Xiaomi Redmi Buds 5 Pro

OnePlus Buds 3 vs Realme Buds Air 5 Pro

Nothing Ear (a) vs OnePlus Buds 3

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