OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2.0 hands-on review

OnePlus has made my ears happy with the sequel to its already decent Bullets Wireless in-ear Bluetooth headphones, and removed that nagging question that often infiltrates my mind: Is there enough time to charge my Bluetooth headphones before I run for the train? Imaginatively named Bullets Wireless 2.0, the company has fixed one of the main things I really didn’t like about the original, improved the sound quality, and added lighting fast recharging too. Yes, they cost a little more, but the price increase is justified with this level of convenience.

Design

The basic style of the Bullets Wireless hasn’t altered greatly, and they’re still a pair of neckband in-ear Bluetooth headphones, with pods at the end of a flexible tether that hangs comfortably around the back of your neck. Attached to these are two in-ear buds made from polished stainless steel, one of which has an inline control for play/pause and volume controls.

OnePlus has redesigned the buds, adding curves and flows to create what it calls a “nautilus” shape, which is a considerable implement over the first Bullets Wireless. The stainless steel body gives the buds a classy sheen, and they’re capped off by matte end plates and translucent ear tips, complete with flashes of red to give them character. The OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2.0 look expensive and feel solidly made.

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The left pod contains the USB Type-C connector to charge the Bullets Wireless 2.0, and has a single button that performs a unique function: Double tap it and the Bluetooth connection will switch from the current device to the last paired device. I’ve been using them with the OnePlus 7 Pro, and with the Huawei P30 Pro, and the feature works well. However, not everyone will find a use for this, as many will own a single device for music streaming to a pair of headphones.

The OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2.0 look expensive, and feel solidly made.

The lightweight design means you hardly notice the Bullets Wireless 2.0 hanging round your neck. A set of magnets hold the two buds together which also pauses the music and cancels the Bluetooth connection. Sadly, like the first Bullets Wireless, the magnets aren’t very strong and easily get disconnected. Frustratingly this activates the Bluetooth connection.

The included case is the same floppy silicone type used with the original Bullets Wireless, and therefore has the same problems — it’s complicated and irritating to stuff them inside without the earbuds splitting apart, activating the Bluetooth.

Sound

Hold on, where’s the positive change over the Bullets Wireless? So far, you’d be forgiven for thinking they’re basically the same. However, it’s the sound that has changed, as OnePlus has added AptX HD to the list of features. Disappointedly missing from the first, given OnePlus phones support the high definition codec, it’s a very welcome addition here. It joins improved sound quality from new drivers.

Feeding the Bullets Wirelesss 2.0 with a 24-bit .flac file of Strangest Thing by The War on Drugs, the guitar solo partway through the track sounds sublime, with a tight baseline to match. The soundstage is not especially wide and keeps the vocals and instruments tight in the center, which suited the nature of these headphones — casual outdoor use. An .AAC file of Twice’s What is Love sounded great, with beautifully clear and centralized vocals, and masses of volume. The monster baseline in Tokyo Tower vs. The KLF’s What Time is Love had the requisite amount of kick, but not as much sparkle and life from the ever-present percussion as I’d like.

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While a noticeable improvement over the Bullets Wireless, the Bullets Wireless 2.0 do lack some finesse, from the soundstage’s center-bias to the raucous delivery of loud music. Subtle these aren’t, but then, when using them on the train or in the gym, this isn’t really a problem. They’re also very comfortable in the ear, lightweight, and didn’t cause any fatigue either. Wearing them at the gym didn’t dislodge the earbuds, and the cable going from the pod to the ear bud is more flexible than the first Bullets Wireless, so it no longer hits your face when moving around.

They suit life on the move, whether it’s commuting or at the gym.

I’ll take a slightly rough n’ ready sound when the headphones fit into my life so easily.

Audio is delivered through a triple-driver structure, with two moving iron plates for high frequency control, and a 10mm coil driver for the bass. Connection is made over Bluetooth 5.0 with compatible devices.

Battery

Here’s another way the Bullets Wireless make life easy — charging. You only need 10 minutes charge to provide 10 hours playback, which is massively helpful if, like me, you suffer from battery anxiety with Bluetooth headphones, and never remember if they’ve been charged recently until you walk out the door. A 10-minute charge takes all this worry away. A full charge will return 14 hours of use.

Conclusion

Comfortable, light, and fast charging, the Bullets Wireless 2.0 are a great upgrade over the first OnePlus wireless headphones, highlighted by sound quality improvements and the addition of AptX HD. Not the most subtle of performers, they suit life on the move, whether it’s commuting or at the gym.

For $110, or 100 British pounds, the Bullets Wireless 2.0 represent a great purchase for anyone not interested in fully wireless earbuds like Apple’s AirPods 2 or Samsung’s Galaxy Buds due to design, or through fear of losing one or both earpieces over time. Provided OnePlus can keep the Bullets Wireless 2.0 in stock, these come recommended based on our short test, and you can buy them directly from OnePlus after May 21.