TWS: OnePlus Buds Pro or Pixel Buds A-Series or AirPods Pro

aercy

Adept
I use two phones, iPhone 11 Pro Max and OnePlus 7 Pro. I currently use AirPods 2 which I might keep or sell based on purchase decision.

Here is what I am looking for,
  • in-ear buds
  • Little bass-y output for that thump in movies and music. (AirPods 2 is pretty flat/natural)
  • Something that is bed/sleep-friendly (Not must)
  • Overall good sound quality (Better than my AirPods 2)
I narrowed down to …
  1. OnePlus Buds Pro
  2. Pixel Buds A-Series
  3. AirPods Pro
Suggestions? Budget is 17-18k (with card offers/festive sale price) but don't mind saving some money if I can without compromising on the mentioned criteria.
 

Stronk

Adept
AirPods Pro with EQ - the built-in eq on iOS, Wavelet on Android.
Not sure if the built in iOS eq is system wide or only for the Music app, but at least Wavelet works system wide if you switch on legacy mode
 

ibose

Patron
I got the Nothing TWS and it has got decent bass. Overall SQ is also good. I use it with LG G8x and Samsung M51. It may not be sleep friendly given its shape though but its very light and comfortable.
I gifted the Pixel Buds to my cousin. He did an A/B with Nothing and found Nothing to be warmer and better sounding. The Pixel Buds appear to be small and sleep friendly.
You may also want to consider the newly launched Samsung Buds2. I heard that it's pretty small and being tuned by Harman, they should have decent bass.
 

superczar

Skilled
I use two phones, iPhone 11 Pro Max and OnePlus 7 Pro. I currently use AirPods 2 which I might keep or sell based on purchase decision.

Here is what I am looking for,
  • in-ear buds
  • Little bass-y output for that thump in movies and music. (AirPods 2 is pretty flat/natural)
  • Something that is bed/sleep-friendly (Not must)
  • Overall good sound quality (Better than my AirPods 2)
I narrowed down to …
  1. OnePlus Buds Pro
  2. Pixel Buds A-Series
  3. AirPods Pro
Suggestions? Budget is 17-18k (with card offers/festive sale price) but don't mind saving some money if I can without compromising on the mentioned criteria.
Airpods Pro if you plan to share between apple devices
Pixel Buds A series if you plan to cross share between platforms

I have both - the former is a little more comfortable and also more natural sounding
The latter is also fairly comfortable (although takes longer/ is more involved to put in in ears/ take out) and the audio is more punchy (some equalization is being applied for sure) but quite pleasing

Mic quality is better on the APP but the APP mic is pretty much the gold standard.. the PB A series mic is very good nonetheless and much better than most TWSs

APP works extremely well for switching between an unlimited number of apple devices

PB A series however is quite possibly the best headset by far if you want to switch between a mix of devices - it pairs up with 8 and won't auto switch
But here is the clincher - it can be pulled to connect from any of the other 7 linked devices without needing to disconnect from the one it is currently connected to - Huge Huge win which I am surprised that not a single review on the Interwebs covers
 

aercy

Adept
Airpods Pro if you plan to share between apple devices
Pixel Buds A series if you plan to cross share between platforms

I have both - the former is a little more comfortable and also more natural sounding
The latter is also fairly comfortable (although takes longer/ is more involved to put in in ears/ take out) and the audio is more punchy (some equalization is being applied for sure) but quite pleasing

Mic quality is better on the APP but the APP mic is pretty much the gold standard.. the PB A series mic is very good nonetheless and much better than most TWSs

APP works extremely well for switching between an unlimited number of apple devices

PB A series however is quite possibly the best headset by far if you want to switch between a mix of devices - it pairs up with 8 and won't auto switch
But here is the clincher - it can be pulled to connect from any of the other 7 linked devices without needing to disconnect from the one it is currently connected to - Huge Huge win which I am surprised that not a single review on the Interwebs covers
So, if plan to get the next gen of AirPods Pro in 2022, right now Pixel Buds A-Series is a better option than OP Buds Pro even if I use it on my OP7Pro and iPhone. Right?
I got the Nothing TWS and it has got decent bass.
I gifted the Pixel Buds to my cousin. He did an A/B with Nothing and found Nothing to be warmer and better sounding. The Pixel Buds appear to be small and sleep friendly.
You may also want to consider the newly launched Samsung Buds2. I heard that it's pretty small and being tuned by Harman, they should have decent bass.
A) As per most reviews, Nothing is inferior to Pixel Buds A and OP Buds Pro for having ‘nothing’ special in terms of SQ just flattish/natural like AirPods and ANC is bad.
B) Galaxy Buds 2 won’t bring out it’s USP features without a Galaxy phone, especially since I’ll jump it between OP7Pro and iPhone.

Thanks for the suggestion though.
 
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superczar

Skilled
So, if plan to get the next gen of AirPods Pro in 2022, right now Pixel Buds A-Series is a better option than OP Buds Pro even if I use it on my OP7Pro and iPhone. Right?

A) As per most reviews, Nothing is inferior to Pixel Buds A and OP Buds Pro for having ‘nothing’ special in terms of SQ just flattish/natural like AirPods and ANC is bad.
B) Galaxy Buds 2 won’t bring out it’s USP features without a Galaxy phone, especially since I’ll jump it between OP7Pro and iPhone.

Thanks for the suggestion though.
Totally depends on your use case.
If i had to keep only 1 of the 2 (i.e. APP and PB), it would be the APP

A) The comfort and ease of wearing them - The latter may seem like a nit pick .. but I can put on the APP without a thought while putting on the PB is a bit of a process.
So if I get a call, I will put on the APP to receive it while would pick it up directly on the phone if I was carrying the PB. This may not matter to many but is a big difference for me.

B) The PB has a more crowd pleasing / impressive sound while the APP is flatter. This also means that the PB gets tiring for my ears after a while but the APP doesn’t

There is no point talking of noise cancellation as PB doesn;t have it. But if it matters to you, the APP would get a +1 for that as well.

However, and this is important - my usage of android and windows is minimal.
If it weren’t, the PB would have been my pick
 

aercy

Adept
Totally depends on your use case.
If i had to keep only 1 of the 2 (i.e. APP and PB), it would be the APP

A) The comfort and ease of wearing them - The latter may seem like a nit pick .. but I can put on the APP without a thought while putting on the PB is a bit of a process.
So if I get a call, I will put on the APP to receive it while would pick it up directly on the phone if I was carrying the PB. This may not matter to many but is a big difference for me.

B) The PB has a more crowd pleasing / impressive sound while the APP is flatter. This also means that the PB gets tiring for my ears after a while but the APP doesn’t

There is no point talking of noise cancellation as PB doesn;t have it. But if it matters to you, the APP would get a +1 for that as well.

However, and this is important - my usage of android and windows is minimal.
If it weren’t, the PB would have been my pick
Yes, but I think the flatter profile and the ease of connectivity and calls is already being served by my AirPods 2 which I mentioned I’ll hold onto. As a second buds which can give me what I’m missing on AA2, bass/thump and features that can give me good movie experience ( dolby atmos/ surround equivalent that works on most apps), for that, what would you suggest? Can AAP do justice or OP Buds Pro would do better?
 

superczar

Skilled
Yes, but I think the flatter profile and the ease of connectivity and calls is already being served by my AirPods 2 which I mentioned I’ll hold onto. As a second buds which can give me what I’m missing on AA2, bass/thump and features that can give me good movie experience ( dolby atmos/ surround equivalent that works on most apps), for that, what would you suggest? Can AAP do justice or OP Buds Pro would do better?
if you are keeping the AP2, get the PB if you are missing bass. The AAP improves upon the AP2 in that dept but its a subtle difference.
The PB has a much punchier sound (but without getting excessively into a V curve) if you know what I am saying.

However, since you have mentioned Atmos, the AAP does a phenomenal job with spatial audio with Apple TV and ios devices. Its a bit hit & miss on songs but makes for a much more immersive experience with movies on ATV and netflix. I do truly mean this as I have a full fat ATMOS HT ….
and the APP comes pretty close for what can be managed with what is just a headphone that costs way less than a tenth of a traditional ATMOS setup.
Thats something you will not get at all with the PB
 

aercy

Adept
if you are keeping the AP2, get the PB if you are missing bass.

However, since you have mentioned Atmos, the AAP does a phenomenal job with spatial audio with Apple TV and ios devices. Thats something you will not get at all with the PB
Yes, I’m sure the AirPods Pro 2 will further build on spatial audio so gonna hold that requirement for now, at least from apple buds. Not sure it’s a good time to invest 17-18k on AAP when the next gen is a year away.

Now, I’ve to choose between PBA and OP Buds Pro, keeping in mind SQ and bass. And will keep your suggestion on PBA in mind while doing it.
 

ibose

Patron
A) As per most reviews, Nothing is inferior to Pixel Buds A and OP Buds Pro for having ‘nothing’ special in terms of SQ just flattish/natural like AirPods and ANC is bad.
Nothing is not competing at those price points so the comparison would not be fair. It gets the basics right and the sound is definitely on the warmer side. It's definitely not flat.
If you are already invested in Apple then I suppose the Pro makes the best choice. Sorry but the Atmos via anything other than an actual atmos setup does not even come close.
 
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aercy

Adept
Sorry but the Atmos via anything other than an actual atmos setup does not even come close.
I know, just like nothing can beat a good pair of headphones in terms of SQ and movie watching but earphones and buds still exist. They all make their niche in different profiles, have heard some good things about application of surround via buds in the last one year.
 

ibose

Patron
I know, just like nothing can beat a good pair of headphones in terms of SQ and movie watching but earphones and buds still exist. They all make their niche in different profiles, have heard some good things about application of surround via buds in the last one year.
I was not referring to headphones. For a true object based sound setup like Atmos, you need a proper compliant speaker set-up with Dolby Atmos information in the audio. The other spatial virtualization gimmick have existed for some time now.
 

aercy

Adept
I was not referring to headphones. For a true object based sound setup like Atmos, you need a proper compliant speaker set-up with Dolby Atmos information in the audio. The other spatial virtualization gimmick have existed for some time now.
I understood you are talking about HTs, but my point was implementations in inferior platforms than they were originally intended for, are visibly/audibly being appreciated. Hence gave an example of how despite headphones being superior, people are spending a lot of money of buds and earphones, although headphones would give them better SQ/output depth. Similarly, Atmos meant for multi-speaker setup, is being implemented in 3.2.1, 3.1, 2.1 speaker systems, headphones, earphones & TWS.

Spatial audio has been around no more than 2 years I think, and despite being gimmicky (just like many features in most products), it is being well received. I guess the average consumer like myself just doesn't care about the peak performance of a feature (or cannot afford to have), but only wants to have a subjectively decent experience rather than no experience due to financial or spatial limitations.
 

ibose

Patron
I understood you are talking about HTs, but my point was implementations in inferior platforms than they were originally intended for, are visibly/audibly being appreciated. Hence gave an example of how despite headphones being superior, people are spending a lot of money of buds and earphones, although headphones would give them better SQ/output depth. Similarly, Atmos meant for multi-speaker setup, is being implemented in 3.2.1, 3.1, 2.1 speaker systems, headphones, earphones & TWS.

Spatial audio has been around no more than 2 years I think, and despite being gimmicky (just like many features in most products), it is being well received. I guess the average consumer like myself just doesn't care about the peak performance of a feature (or cannot afford to have), but only wants to have a subjectively decent experience rather than no experience due to financial or spatial limitations.
Spatial Audio has actually been around for much longer. The so called Atmos on phones have been around since quite many years as I recall Lenovo bringing it first in 2015. Agree to your point that wireless audio has advanced by leaps and bounds but it is rather unfortunate that consumers are falling more for these stuff rather than focusing on the sound quality and other core features which the product is actually capable of delivering. The Marketing folks are clearly winning.
 

superczar

Skilled
Nothing is not competing at those price points so the comparison would not be fair. It gets the basics right and the sound is definitely on the warmer side. It's definitely not flat.
If you are already invested in Apple then I suppose the Pro makes the best choice. Sorry but the Atmos via anything other than an actual atmos setup does not even come close.
It actually does…
While it is a highly subjective thing to say but as I mentioned before, spatial audio with the right headphones comes pretty close from an immersiveness perspective.

Obviously it is not the same as a full setup which can be used by multiple users concurrently.
However there are many occasions where I have continued to watch a series/ movie from HT onto a tab+ headphones with spatial audio late at night.

I am not talking of an A/B trial where the former will win every single time - and it better does given the difference in the cost/outlay - but on a day to day basis for a single user use-case, it is not a bad alternative
 

ibose

Patron
It actually does…
While it is a highly subjective thing to say but as I mentioned before, spatial audio with the right headphones comes pretty close from an immersiveness perspective.

Obviously it is not the same as a full setup which can be used by multiple users concurrently.
However there are many occasions where I have continued to watch a series/ movie from HT onto a tab+ headphones with spatial audio late at night.

I am not talking of an A/B trial where the former will win every single time - and it better does given the difference in the cost/outlay - but on a day to day basis, it is not a bad alternative
To each its own.. happy for you that it makes a difference. I tried it and did not find it even 10% close to the regular Atmos experience you get in a HT which would make sense in an actual object based audio setup vs a simulated experience. When it comes to cost, you actually do not need to pay a penny to enjoy spatial audio on headphones/earphones since you can easily simulate the effect. But to enjoy Atmos for what it actually is, its infinitely better in a hall or investing in a good compliant HT.
I, for one, cannot imagine watching movie or any video for longer duration on a tab. I always save them for the HT over the weekend or holiday.
 
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aercy

Adept
To each its own.. happy for you that it makes a difference. I tried it and did not find it even 10% close to the regular Atmos experience you get in a HT which would make sense in an actual object based audio setup vs a simulated experience. When it comes to cost, you actually do not need to pay a penny to enjoy spatial audio on headphones/earphones since you can easily simulate the effect. But to enjoy Atmos for what it actually is, its infinitely better in a hall or investing in a good compliant HT.
I, for one, cannot imagine watching movie or any video for longer duration on a tab. I always save them for the HT over the weekend or holiday.
Absolutely agree with you. I really enjoyed Atmos in big multiplexes/theatres. I love our discussion here as this gives so much perspective. We are not disagreeing to each other to spite, but only sharing opinions and learning/realising something new as well.
 

AgentBane

Disciple
I am not sure how pixel and one plus works but currently I am using Sony XM3's ear buds but the problem with these is the connectivity issues . As of now they have currently by a lot but before buying them try them in some stores first for sometime and decide buying it .

But as per my opinion since you have iPhone just go for pro's which is best and if you have apple music subscription then spatial audio is enabled which is bonus and works perfectly with airpods pro's .
 

superczar

Skilled
To each its own.. happy for you that it makes a difference. I tried it and did not find it even 10% close to the regular Atmos experience you get in a HT which would make sense in an actual object based audio setup vs a simulated experience. When it comes to cost, you actually do not need to pay a penny to enjoy spatial audio on headphones/earphones since you can easily simulate the effect. But to enjoy Atmos for what it actually is, its infinitely better in a hall or investing in a good compliant HT.
I, for one, cannot imagine watching movie or any video for longer duration on a tab. I always save them for the HT over the weekend or holiday.
You probably misinterpreted what I am getting at.
I am not speaking on the basis of YT reviews or extrapolation.

I have 2 ATMOS HT setups - and the primary is a pretty well laid out one - with the LCR alone costing 20X the Airpods Pro without even considering the rest of the stack.

Does it sound great, yes.. Can the entire family watch it at one go - Yes
But the newer spatial setups have improved by leaps & bounds over the last 10 years while HT tech has remained static - and what that means is that well tuned spatial/ virtual ATMOS setups can come reasonably close to replicating a HT - at a very small fraction of the cost.. albeit for a single user

Will it make my seat rumble for explosions - No
Will it sound exactly like overhead speakers for raindrops - No
Will it however create a fairly expansive soundstage with clearly localized sound emulated on the basis of the embedded object data- Yes .. and that is a big win by itself
 
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