The OnePlus Nord Buds offer a healthy feature set for $39 earbuds — but did waterproofing make the cut despite the low price? Compromises are a normal and expected component of any tech gadget, especially one whose main selling point is its affordability.

Such is the case with the OnePlus Nord Buds. The Nord Buds mark the latest entry into OnePlus’s earbud family. At first glance, they pack way more features than the $39 price tag would suggest. The Nord Buds deliver 12.4mm drivers, 30-hour battery life, fast charging support, and an ultra-compact design. For a pair of earbuds that are over six times cheaper than AirPods Pro, that’s pretty impressive.


Related: OnePlus Buds Z2 Vs. OnePlus Buds Pro

But the OnePlus Nord Buds are not perfect. While the earbuds have large drivers and impressive battery life, there are plenty of other features they’re totally missing. The Nord Buds don’t have active noise cancellation, a transparency mode, wireless charging, or in-ear detection. Considering all of that, you might assume that the Nord Buds also don’t have a waterproof design. But that’s where you’d be wrong. Despite being so cheap and missing other premium features, the OnePlus Nord Buds are waterproof!

The OnePlus Nord Buds Have An IP55 Rating

OnePlus Nord Buds

More specifically, the OnePlus Nord Buds are protected by an IP55 dust/water resistance rating. That means the Nord Buds are rated to survive water, sweat, and low-pressure streams/jets of water (such as a sink or shower). Furthermore, OnePlus says it outfitted the Nord Buds with a ‘sweat-resistant hydrophobic nano-coating’ that keeps the earbuds better protected from corrosion.

While an IP55 rating is better than nothing, there are some limitations that come with the Nord Buds’ waterproof design. For starters, an IP55 rating is technically ‘water resistant’ and not ‘waterproof.’ The Nord Buds are fine to be splashed with water and get stuck in a rainstorm, but OnePlus doesn’t recommend submerging the earbuds in a sink, pool, or any other body of water. Will the Nord Buds survive a brief drop in the lake? Maybe, but the IP55 rating isn’t rated for that kind of accident.

Additionally, the IP55 rating only applies to the Nord Buds earbuds — not the included charging case. This is something we see quite often with earbuds in this price range. The earbuds have a waterproof/water-resistant design, but the case is left unprotected without any such coverage. If you plan on buying a pair of OnePlus Nord Buds — and you know you’ll be around water — be sure to keep the charging case in a safe, dry location.