My go-to wireless earbuds for all-day listening on Black Friday are just $30

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OnePlus Nord Buds 2 behind flower petals.

June One/ZDnet

What are Black Friday deals?

Currently, there is Amazon OnePlus Nord Buds are on sale for just $30A 50% discount, and the lowest price ever for the company’s budget offer

Why this deal is ZDNET-recommended

I have reviewed OnePlus Nord Buds Last year, which for $39, were fantastic earbuds that under-promised and over-delivered. That’s why my curiosity was through the roof when OnePlus released their successor, The Nerd Buds 2.

Also: The best Black Friday deals available right now

New earbuds cost more At $59, but they now support active noise cancellation (ANC) — and naturally, transparency mode. Also, they have an improved audio output thanks to the new 12.4mm drivers. That being said, the Nerd Buds are an easy-to-recommend pair of headphones, especially if budget is top of your mind.

And these $59 earbuds are making me wonder if I’ve been overspending all this time for “premium” features.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 Black

Recommended by ZDNET

OnePlus Nord Buds 2

Affordable wireless earbuds with ANC to avoid hassles.

For starters, the Nord Buds 2 are packed into a smaller charging case this year, though OnePlus still promises a decent 37-hour battery life at maximum capacity. I’ll admit it: when it comes to pocketability, the cylindrical design of the charging case isn’t my ideal choice. It’s much taller than a typical AirPods or Galaxy Buds case, and so it creates a noticeable bulge when slipped into most pants and jeans.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 size comparison with Galaxy Buds 2 Pro and Nothing Ear 2

Here’s a size comparison between the Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 Pro (left), the OnePlus Nord Buds 2 (middle), and the Nothing Ear 2 (right).

June One/ZDnet

However, for listening at home, which I’ve found to be the most practical use case with inexpensive earbuds, the case is something I put on a table and forget about as soon as the audio starts.

The fit and finish of the Nord Buds 2 is, dare I say, superior to some of the more expensive earbuds I’ve tested. For example, even though the earbuds are made of plastic, the material feels light when worn. This makes them ideal for video conferencing, working out and casual listening. Both buds have a flat stem that acts as a counterweight to the speaker, keeping the headphones in place against your ears.

Also: Why these bone conduction headphones are my go-to for listening

For sound quality, the Nord Buds 2 won’t beat a pair AirPods Pro or Bose QuietComfort Earbuds II — There’s a $200 price gap between these models for a reason But, the Nord Buds 2 produce an audio output that exceeds what you’d expect from $59 earbuds.

OnePlus Nord Buds 2 in white

The OnePlus Nord Buds 2 are available in Lightning White (pictured) and Thunder Grey.

June One/ZDnet

As is the case with lower-end headphones, the Nord Buds prioritize bass, reproducing low-to-mid-range frequencies far better than the semblance and consonance that make up the higher end of the audio spectrum. Basically, you’ll be able to hear the vocals and underlying instruments of your favorite songs, but won’t feel like you’re sitting in on a live recording.

Also: These $150 transparent earbuds offer audiophiles something the AirPods Pro don’t

That leaves me to the last point, which constitutes “premium” when it comes to audio features. If you visit a high-end headphone manufacturer’s product page, you’ll likely find specifications like ANC front and center. when of Nord Buds 2 The ANC performance won’t block car honks, it’s reliable enough to keep me focused at all other times. Not adding nearly $200 ANC earbuds.

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