“Our take on OnePlus’ latest Bluetooth earphones – the Bullets Wireless 2”
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been a huge fan of smartphones from OnePlus’ stables. But, last year, the company gave me another reason to get amped for – the Bullets Wireless earphones (review). To cut a long story short, I was blown away by the pair’s sonic capabilities and I’ve been recommending the earphones to my colleagues and friends to date – they’re just that good.
Recently, the company unveiled the second-gen Bullets Wireless earphones alongside its latest flagships, the OnePlus 7 and the OnePlus 7 Pro. It goes without saying that the Bullets Wireless 2 have a lot riding on their shoulders, but after testing the pair intensively for almost a week, I find myself at a loss for words yet again. Here’s why.
Design and Comfort
On the surface, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 don’t stray too far away from their predecessor’s design. In fact, barring the housing for the drivers, the Bullets Wireless 2 are pretty much identical to the first-gen model. Don’t get me wrong, the earphones still look the part of a premium product, but if you were hoping for a drastic design overhaul, then you might be a bit disappointed. If not, then you’ll find plenty to love about the headset’s aesthetic, including the same ol’ flexible neckband which made its debut with the first iteration of the product and in-line remote controls, which will allow you to quickly shuffle through your music library.
Much like the older Bullets Wireless, the earpieces of the new headset also lock magnetically. Besides adding a sense of security when you’re wearing the pair around your neck, the magnetic lock also doubles up as an on/off toggle. Moreover, if you’re using a OnePlus smartphone, then the earbuds will automatically resume media playback once unsnapped too. Another feature which has found its way from the older model to the newer Bullets Wireless 2 is the quick-switch key which allows you to seamlessly switch between two different paired devices by pressing twice on the button.
I have no complaints with the Bullets Wireless 2 in the comfort department either. Thanks to the unit’s redesigned earpieces, I was able to achieve a much better fit in my ears and could comfortably listen to music for hours on end. The pair stayed glued to my ears in the gym too, which is fantastic. Unfortunately, as was the case with last year’s model, OnePlus’ Bullets Wireless 2 don’t feature any official IP rating, however, the company claims that they’re “waterproof for everyday use”, which likely means they should be able to survive sweat and a light drizzle or two at the very least.
Sound Quality and Battery life
I’ll cut straight to the chase here – the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 sound phenomenal and for the price, it doesn’t get any better. The earphones are backed by a total of three Knowles drivers positioned inside each earpiece, come with support for Qualcomm’s aptX HD codec and connect to compatible devices over Bluetooth v5.0. Honestly, you could find a handful of earphones in the market with the aforementioned specs but I can guarantee you they won’t be as inexpensive or sound as good as OnePlus’ offering.
The Bullets Wireless 2 predominantly favour the low end, but unlike other bass-heavy headphones, the beats sound – for the lack of a better word – balanced. Therefore, while you will be able to enjoy the thunderous thumps in Billie Eilish’s Bury a Friend or Pegboard Nerds Hero, you’ll never feel that that’s all there is to the headphones. The beats, albeit impactful, have minimal decay and don’t bloat even at relatively higher volume levels. Suffice it to say, if you listen to a lot of EDM songs, you’ll definitely want the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 in your arsenal.
The midrange has been tuned just as brilliantly too and I revelled listening to Billy Ray Cyrus’ raspy voice in Old Town Road. Moreover, the earphones even do justice to artists like Calum Scott, whose vocal range spans the entirety of the frequency spectrum. As for the highs, rock songs like She’s Kerosene and Killing In the Name came across a tad bit darker and less potent. However, the strums from an electric guitar sounded clean, and the soundtrack didn’t get muddy even at higher volumes.
The imaging or instrumentation on the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 is excellent, and the earphones can comfortably relay multiple instruments clearly to the listener at the same time. The soundstage is as airy as it gets, but I did struggle to perceive the instruments in a track spatially.
On the connectivity front, you’d be glad to know that the Bullets Wireless 2 managed to retain a solid connection to my smartphone. Even whilst exercising or running, the link rarely ever faltered and there was no audio-video delay when streaming content from services like Netflix either.
Coming to the battery life, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 ship with a 600mAh battery which lasted me a little over four days. During the time, I spent close to 13 hours listening to music, which is fantastic. I’d also like to point out that much like the company’s smartphones, the Bullets Wireless 2 ship feature a USB Type-C port and come with support for Warp Charge technology as well. Correspondingly, the pair can play music for over ten hours off a ten-minute top up, which is just bizarre.
Somehow, OnePlus has pulled a rabbit out of a hat and managed to outshine the near-perfect Bullet Wireless with its latest offering. The OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 retail for Rs 5,990 and for the price, I cannot recommend them enough. The earphones offer immense value for money as they look great, sound terrific and last for a long, long time. Colour me impressed but OnePlus is starting to become a key player in the audio industry and I can’t wait to see where the brand’s ambitions take it next.
Editor’s rating: 4.5 / 5
- Comfortable, stylish design
- Great sound
- Long-lasting battery life
- No official IP certification