The OnePlus Buds might be great cheap Apple AirPods alternatives, but of course, that's only true when they actually work. It seems that many people who have purchased the $80 earbuds are experiencing a strange defect leaving the left earpiece completely silent, with no way to recover it. Affected customers are encouraged to exchange their Buds under warranty, though it looks like new units aren't immune to the issue, either.
Multiple customers have taken to the OnePlus Forums, where they complain that their left earbuds stopped playing audio after a few days or weeks of usage. Many people are still able to use the earbud's tap function, but they won't make a sound. Reconnecting and resetting the Buds isn't working for most people, either.
Some customers are a little luckier if you can call it that. A forum member reports that the sound randomly stops playing in their left earbud, but turning off and on their phone's Bluetooth to reconnect the OnePlus Buds would fix the problem for them — until the left earbud refuses to play audio again.
OnePlus is offering warranty replacements, but a Buds owner who reached out to us reports that the left piece of his new set refused to work again. A OnePlus support representative told him that it's a hardware defect, not a firmware bug, which would be bad — many more units could fail randomly, and if there's no software fix, many more owners could be in for a replacement.
We've reached out to OnePlus for a statement.
Alternate Title: Never Settle for stereo sound, mono is the way to go