OnePlus Buds appear to be failing for some users due to an apparent hardware issue afflicting the left earbud. That's based on reports stemming from a wave of complaints to the OnePlus community forums.
The underlying cause of the problem at hand hasn't been confirmed officially. And there's no indication as to just how widespread the problem is. But the symptoms are all the same. The left earbud of the pair simply stops playing audio. Tap functionality for controlling playback and other features remains intact. But the audio simply doesn't return in the left bud. Despite the fact that it continues playing in the right earbud.
The problem appears after just days or weeks of use with the wearables.
This isn't a software issue with OnePlus Buds
Now, at least one OnePlus representative has responded to complaints to effectively confirm that this is caused by a hardware issue. And, more explicitly, that the problem has nothing to do with the firmware. That means that the issue with OnePlus buds won't be fixable via software. No update is going to rectify things for these top-rated earbuds.
At least a few other customers have complained that the issue is only fixable by completely resetting the connection. Namely, by turning off the Bluetooth on the source device, forcing the OnePlus buds to reconnect. But that fix seems to be temporary, at best. And it doesn't work for every user. The problem does return after a given period of time. And, as noted above, those time frames are not consistent.
Contact OnePlus now if you see this problem
The suggested course of action, for those users who experience disconnects and audio drops from the left earbud, is clear. Based on the fact that the issue is hardware related and not software-driven, the OnePlus Buds will need to be replaced.
The company is reportedly replacing them under warranty, at the very least. And since the OnePlus Buds only just launched in July, just about everybody is going to be covered. But users will need to initiate contact with the company in order to get the process started.