Even as OnePlus doggedly pursues its one phone at a time philosophy, the company has been slowly creating a fan base around its earphones. With every annual phone series refresh, the company has for the past few years been coming out with its Bullets series earphones too. This year’s version is called the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z.
The OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z looks just like the earlier versions and carries the same design philosophy ahead. This is something OnePlus does very well, ensuring that there is a clear distinction and brand recognition when it comes to just the design. The simple neckband design is very wearable and soft to touch. So it’s been on your neck whole day, it won’t irritate. In fact, I used it for a couple of days as I jumped from one conference call to the other and in a few minutes forgot I was actually wearing a pair of earphones. There is just the power/pair button on the left side of the band and the volume controls on the cord that connects this side to the ear tip.
The ear tip has a good design that sort of syncs with the shape of your ear and the soft silicone isolates a lot of the ambient noise. Even as I type this, I am wearing the earphones without playing anything to just concentrate better and keep away the sounds of life in a city that have made a comeback as soon as we lifted the lockdown partially.
But that in no way means the music is not good. Given the price, the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z offers a good experience. The audio profile is a bit tinny and low on the kind of warm comfortable base you get used to in costlier earphones, but it is still good enough for you to enjoy Leonard Cohen’s unmatchable baritone. I tried the earphones with my regular test playlist and the experience was enjoyable. I listened to a lot of violins solos and the music was soulful and transported me away from the drudgery of our present situation, at least for a few minutes.
While I did try the earphones first with the iPhone 11, the experience went up a notch when I got the OnePlus 8 for review. Like Apple does with the AirPods, the OnePlus phone recognized the earphone as soon as it was power on. The pairing was seamless and here you also get to see the battery level of the earphones as soon as they are connected. The settings offer you the option to switch on HD output and contact sharing. An equalizer function would have given so much more value to the user though.
Interestingly, you can switch between two audio sources by just double pressing on the power button. I loved this feature, which gains so much more importance in our work from home conditions.
One great feature of the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z is Warp Charge. The earphones can charge to 50 per cent – that’s about 10 hours of playback – in just 10 minutes. As someone who usually realises my gadgets are out of charge at the very last minutes, this is a wonderful feature to have. Also, when fully charged, the earphones can play for about 20 hours on the trot. In fact, in the two weeks I used the earphones, I had to charge it only once.
With a lot of wireless earphones, I have used recently the issue has been how the pairing stays on even when you are not wearing them. With the OnePlus Bullets Z, the audio stops as soon as ear tips clasp each other with the magnets ends. And this is almost every time you take it off your ears. Very thoughtful.
OnePlus is also wooing gamers with this earphone and offering a low latency mode when the use this paired with a OnePlus phone in Fnatic Mode.
At Rs 2,190, this is one of the best earphones you can buy in this price range. For those willing to pay more for superior audio quality, there are better options. But I think OnePlus phone users should look no further on which earphone they want to pair with their phones.
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