OnePlus appears to be expanding the wings of its pocket-sized Nord family by launching a new pair of wireless headphones with an interesting new design, according to the latest leak. influx of wired Type-C headphones and neckband-style wireless headphones. Next came the Buds line, with its own ‘Z’ and Bass Edition variants.
Much like the graduation of its phones from ‘flagship killer’ and ‘budget flagship’ territory to genuine flagships with a high price tag, the company’s audio offerings soon developed a taste for the premium segment. The OnePlus Buds Pro arrived as the company’s first attempt at stealing some thunder from the likes of Apple’s AirPods and Samsung’s Galaxy Buds. However, it appears that the strategy of maintaining a presence in the budget segment with the Nord label is now spreading to the company’s audio portfolio as well.
Images claimed to represent Nord’s upcoming true wireless headphones, complete with an all-black paint job with gold accents, were shared by Steve Hemmerstoffer, aka @OnLeaks. According to a correspondent 91Cellulares report, the renderings are based on “live images of final prototyping stage units.” However, it is possible that the final product will look a little different from the renderings. The main earcup is angled for a better fit, while the stem is flat and significantly shorter than the OnePlus Buds Z2 TWS earbuds offer. Each earcup has a circle It’s unclear if this is just a bold aesthetic choice smeared over the touch-sensitive area, or if it’s just a glossy sticker over physical buttons.
The apparent matte black finish is an odd mix of understated looks contrasting with the unapologetic golden touch that also carries over to the charging case. From a user’s point of view, the Nord series headphones look comfortable. More importantly, they’re a breath of fresh air and a departure from the boring OnePlus Buds Z2 design, which looks a little too much like Apple’s previous-generation AirPods. However, the product looks exciting for a shopper on a budget, yet confusing at the same time.
The OnePlus Buds Z series already resides in the budget TWS headphones segment and has already won its fair share of fans. Forcing a Nord series product into the same category seems like a recipe for cannibalizing sales, unless OnePlus manages to differentiate the two lines in terms of features and a significant price difference. Another concern is overall market availability. It would be an understatement to call the Nord smartphone strategy confusing. Some Nord phones are limited to US coasts, while some models are specific to Asian markets. Needless to say, keeping hopes in check is the best option here, as OnePlus may well keep the first-gen Nord headphones exclusive to a handful of markets before charting the course for further expansion.