OnePlus Buds 3 Review: Feature-Packed Earbuds That Punch Above Their Weight

Small Price, Big Sound

Martin Guay
Martin Guay - Chief Editor
8 Min Read
4.3 Priced at just $139.99, the OnePlus Buds 3 deliver a premium listening experience and features at an impressively affordable cost point.

As a seasoned tech product reviewer, I've tested my fair share of wireless earbuds over the years. Rarely do I come across a pair that delivers as much value as the OnePlus Buds 3. Priced at an affordable $139.99, these lightweight earbuds pack serious audio performance and features that rival more premium brands.

After extensively testing the OnePlus Buds 3, I'm impressed by what they bring to the table. Keep reading for my full review on whether these budget-friendly earbuds are worth buying.

Battery LifeUp to 6.5 hours with ANC On; additional 28 hours with case
Charging Case Included?Yes
Microphones3x per bud
Supported codecsAAC, SBC, LHDC 5.0
IP RatingIP55
Driver Size10.4 mm woofer + 6 mm tweeter
Charging typeUSB-C
Dimensions and weight (earbuds)31.7 x 20.2 x 24.4 mm
Dimensions and weight (case)58.7 x 50.2 x 25.8 mm
ColoursSplendid Blue, Metallic Gray
Noise CancellationYes
Earbud weight4.8 g (each)
Charging case weight40.8 g

OnePlus Buds 3 earbuds with noise cancellation

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A Sleek and Understated Design

At first glance, the OnePlus Buds 3 looks nearly identical to the previous Buds Pro 2. Sporting the same smooth, pebble-like shape and muted colour options like Splendid Blue and Metallic Gray, they blend seamlessly into your ears for an understated look.

Tipping the scales at just 4.8g per bud, the Buds 3 are supremely lightweight and comfy for all-day wear. I often forgot I was even wearing them! The included silicone ear tips create a tight seal for excellent passive noise isolation and stay put through workouts and runs.

My only small complaint is the lack of wireless charging, which the pricier Buds Pro 2 does offer. But otherwise, the pared-back design checks all the boxes for subtle, fuss-free styling.

Audio Punches Way Above Its Price Point

Here's where the OnePlus Buds 3 really shine. Outfitted with large 10.4mm woofers and 6mm tweeters, audio quality is remarkable for budget earbuds. Highs come through crisp and detailed without harshness, while bass delivers a satisfying thump without muddiness.

Vocals sound vibrant and natural, and instruments have excellent stereo imaging. Whether jamming to bass-heavy EDM or acoustic ballads, the well-balanced sound impressed me across genres. OnePlus' Golden Sound personalized EQ tuning optimizes the audio profile of your hearing.

Streamed high-res Lossless music over LHDC 5.0 also dazzled. While not quite matching $200+ audiophile earbuds, the lively and engaging sound beats everything else under $150. At just $139.99, the Buds 3 are an audio goldmine.

Strong Battery Life Keeps Up With Your Day

Boasting around 6.5 hours of playback per charge with ANC on, the Buds 3 delivers excellent battery life. I had no problem getting through long workdays of back-to-back video calls and music streaming. With average use, I only needed to recharge every 3 days or so.

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The charging case provides almost 3 extra full charges, equating to 30+ hours of total playtime. That's plenty for weekend trips or long flights. Fast charging is clutch too – with just a 10-minute USB-C top-up, I got 50% battery to keep the tunes pumping. Wireless charging would be nice, but solid fast charging softens the blow.

ANC Damps Down Noise for Improved Focus

For just $139.99, packing in active noise cancellation is seriously impressive. That said, don't expect Bose-level performance – the ANC effect is modest but noticeable. It was able to hush background chatter in offices and traffic noise during my subway commute.

Could it block noise completely? Not quite, but turning up the volume further masks outside sounds when I need to dial in. For the price, I'm satisfied with the noise reduction – it's good enough for workdays and travel. OnePlus also includes a handy Transparency mode to let in ambient sound when needed.

Packed With Convenient Features

Beyond great audio and ANC, OnePlus crammed the Buds 3 full of useful features. Fast pairing with Android devices via Google Fast Pair makes setup a breeze. Multipoint Bluetooth connections let me easily switch between my phone and laptop.

The HeyMelody app unlocks customizable controls and EQ presets. The earbuds are rated IP55 for sweat and water resistance during workouts. For just $139.99, the features present insane value usually only found on premium earbuds.

An Easy Recommendation for Budget-Conscious Shoppers

A man wearing OnePlus Buds 3 with active noise cancellation turned on - review

As a tech product reviewer, I rarely come across devices that over-deliver as much as the OnePlus Buds 3. For less than $150, you get sensational audio performance, reliable battery life, decent ANC, and a bevy of great features. They punch way above their weight given the reasonable price.

Are they perfect? Of course not – I'd love to see wireless charging and more effective ANC in the next generation. But for shoppers wanting great wireless earbuds without breaking the bank, the Buds 3 is easily one of the top choices on the market.

Priced at just $139.99, the OnePlus Buds 3 earbuds deliver surprisingly premium features and audio for an affordable price point. They offer excellent value for budget-conscious shoppers looking for a slick pair of wireless earbuds without breaking the bank.

You'll love the OnePlus Buds 3 for their:

  • Great audio quality – Crisp, lively sound with punchy bass and natural mids that impresses for the price range.
  • Good design – Lightweight and comfortable with a secure in-ear fit. Understated aesthetics blend seamlessly into your ears.
  • Reliable battery life – Around 6.5 hours of playback per charge, totalling 30+ hours with the charging case. Enough for all-day listening.
  • Useful features – ANC, Google Fast Pair, multipoint Bluetooth, customizable controls, and IP55 sweat resistance. Packed with value at just $139.99.

However, a few limitations to note:

  • No wireless charging – Would be nice for the price point but fast USB-C charging helps compensate.
  • ANC could be better – Provides mild ambient noise reduction but not to the level of premium brands. Still decent for the cost.

The Bottom Line

For shoppers wanting great wireless earbuds without blowing their budget, the feature-packed OnePlus Buds 3 delivers tremendous value and audio performance for just $139.99. An easy recommendation for budget-focused buyers.

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Priced at just $139.99, the OnePlus Buds 3 deliver a premium listening experience and features at an impressively affordable cost point. 4.3
Sounds Quality 5
Features 4
Price Point 4
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By Martin Guay Chief Editor
I write, talk about technology, gadgets, the latest Android news as much as any other fellow geek, nerd, or enthusiast does. I work in the IT field as a System Administrator, and I enjoy gaming when possible. I'm into plenty of things, and you can usually find me around Ottawa, Canada!For all business inquiry email business-inquiry [@] cryovex [dot] com.
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