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OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 review: A sequel done right

 

If you don’t want to deal with the connection issues associated with true wireless earbuds, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 is a smart pick. Passive isolation is stellar, and the quick charging efficiency is hard to beat. Listeners who want something a bit more budget-friendly should consider the Bullets Wireless Z.

7.9
The OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 afford huge improvements over the first-gen wireless earbuds, and are more premium than the new Bullets Wireless Z. Sound quality is phenomenal thanks to the updated drivers and aptX HD support. Let’s see how the Bullets Wireless 2 stand compared to the rest of the OnePlus earphone line.

This OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 review comes from the audio experts at our sister site SoundGuys. Check out their in-depth take on the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2.

What is the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 like?

OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2: The shortcut button and lit LED.
The shortcut button sits next to the LED indicator, which flashes when in pairing mode.

These earbuds mimic the OnePlus Bullets Wireless. The neckband and control module remain indistinguishable from the original. The most obvious aesthetic change applies to the earbud housings, which are significantly larger. This altered design makes room for the three-unit driver arrangement, which divvies up frequency reproduction between the three components. In the old Bullets Wireless, one driver per earbud was left to reproduce the frequency range, which made music less clear.

The housings are magnetic, which is helpful when the earbuds aren’t in use. Hooking them together automatically pauses playback while pulling them apart resumes it. The magnets also power the headset on and off in lieu of a dedicated button. There is, however, a shortcut button on the left side of the neckband for pairing and alternating between two devices. This doesn’t mean that you can connect to two devices at a time, though; rather the Bullets Wireless 2 do the legwork of disconnecting from the current device and re-connecting to the last-connected device.

Unlike the old model, wing tips aren’t included. Instead, you get three pairs of ear tips to sheathe the angled nozzles. Finding the right pair takes a few minutes but is well worth it: these isolate the listener extremely well, rendering outside noise next to null. OnePlus also provides a red silicone case identical to the old one.

Quick Pair technology lets users alternate between two simultaneously connected devices. Rather than pausing music on one device and playing on another, as most headphones with multi-connect require, listeners can switch devices by double-tapping the shortcut button.

Battery life is double the old Bullets Wireless

Playback time has nearly doubled from the old model. Instead of getting 7.16 hours of playback on a single charge, you get 14.23 hours. This is in part thanks to the Bluetooth 5.0 connectivity as opposed to Bluetooth 4.1. Once the battery does deplete, connecting to the USB-C cable for 10 minutes affords 10 hours of playback. Fully charging the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 requires about an hour.

Sound quality is great

OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2: The old Bullets Wireless on the left and new on the right. They’re sitting on the red carrying pouch.
The old Bullets Wireless (left) included wing tips, while the second-generation (right) does not.

These headset supports aptX HD and the Knowles balanced armature drivers sound great; they’re tuned to reproduce accurate audio. Not only does this serve as a versatile sound signature that plays nicely with all genres of music, but it also makes it easier to equalize the sound. While the slight bass bump is noticeable, its emphasis isn’t at the expense of vocal clarity.

One of the most impressive aspects of the Bullets Wireless 2 sound signature is how well it reproduces an accurate sense of three-dimensional space. Whether I listened to Kendrick Lamar’s album DAMN., or the ethereal sound of Maggie Rogers’ album Heard It In A Past Life, instrumental separation was palpable.

The Bullets Wireless 2 support aptX HD and sound fantastic.

Optimal sound quality heavily dependent on ensuring a proper fit. If the ear tips you use are too big or small, the bass response will be non-existent and outside noise will degrade overall audio quality.

Quick Pair technology lets users alternate between two simultaneously connected devices. Rather than pausing music on one device and playing on another, as most headphones with multi-connect require, listeners can switch devices by double-tapping the shortcut button.

Are the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z or Bullets Wireless 2 better?

This depends on how tight your budget is: the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z costs half of what the Bullets Wireless 2 affords, but the cheaper headset includes premium features like quick charging, excellent battery life, and Bluetooth 5.0 firmware to boot. Surprisingly, the new Bullets Wireless Z earphones are more durable than the earbuds in question; the former are IP55-rated, while the Bullets Wireless 2 lack any official IP rating.

The Bullets Wireless Z uses similar magnetic housings which enable automatic music playback and auto-pausing, too, when the earbuds are reinserted. While Bluetooth multipoint has yet to be supported, the economical Z model still supports Quick Switch functionality so users may rapidly alternate between devices.

The Bullets Wireless Z uses a simpler driver system: two 9.2mm dynamic drivers, rather than two Knowles balanced armature drivers and 10mm dynamic driver system in each of the Bullets Wireless 2 housings. Suffice to say, sound quality is much better in the Bullets Wireless 2, but anyone who just wants a feature-packed budget headset should get the Bullets Wireless Z.

Should you buy the Bullets Wireless 2?

OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2: Full image of the earbuds and neckband with the cable curling up and around on a black table.
The earbuds are magnetized. When clasped together, music playback is automatically paused.

Listeners who are in the market for affordable wireless earbuds with premium features should invest in the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2. The neckband design is very comfortable, and aptX HD support, ensures high-quality audio playback. For the absolute best audio quality, nothing outperforms wired headphones. However, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 make me miss the headphone jack a little less

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3 Comments

  1. Reply

    Wonderful

  2. Reply

    Insightful update

  3. Reply

    Interesting

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