Chinese cell phone company OnePlus made a splash into the world of wireless earbuds last year. The original OnePlus Bullets wireless gained a heap of critical acclaim, not just for the excellent sound they became well known for, but also fantastic design features.
Launched at the same time as the OnePlus 7 and Oneplus 7 Pro, were the newly updated Oneplus Bullets Wireless 2. There is a whole lot to like here, with an extended battery life (more on that later!) and an even better soundstage than last year’s model!
So let find out more in our OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 review…
A fast charging and long-lasting battery, comfortable in-ear fit, great sound, and stable connectivity are by far the most important factors we consider when looking for a new set of earbuds. And OnePlus have covered these bases fantastically!
That’s the question we are here to answer, so let’s find out…
Design & Construction
Borrowing heavily from the original Bullets, these are a great looking set of neckband earbuds. The slight obtuse angle to the earbud tips, plus the newly designed oval-shaped ear tips, make for finding a snug and comfortable fit extremely easy.
This ergonomic design is becoming the slowing becoming industry standard. And we were pleased to see its implementation here. Included in the pack are four different sizes of silicone ear tips, although no wingtips are provided. This could be because these headsets are not designed with exercise in mind. This would be confirmed by no water or splash proofing being included.
The earbud housings are polished aluminum, with a handy rubber collar and loop floating above like a halo. This makes for easy as insertion and removal. The level of passive sound isolation is top class, and although ANC (active noise cancellation) is not included, during testing, we never felt like we needed it.
The outer face of each earbud is magnetically charged. This function not only keeps the dreaded tangles away, but also pauses the playback as soon as the clip is engaged, then restarts when unclipped. This is a great addition that we found way more handy than we expected.
The neckband is made of high-grade silicone, with an inline control panel. Simple stuff here, with a button each for volume up and down and a multi-function button planted in between. A short press on this button will play/pause or answer/hang-up calls, and a long press will summon Google Assistant or Siri.
The Bluetooth pairing button is found at the left end of the neckband, separate from the other controls.
We had a few issues with last year’s headband. However, this one seems much more sturdily designed, and looks sleek and smart. The contrast of the matte black of the neckband and the polished black of the earbuds themselves, plus the satisfying magnetic clip feature (which we found very helpful in them not getting tangled), radiates a feeling of luxury and opulence.
Overall we get a sense that these earbuds are higher quality than the last model. However, the lack of a splashproof index is slightly disappointing. The included carry case was also not high on our list of pros. We found the mouth to be too small to easily slide the headphones in. This resulted in tangles quite often, a small annoyance, but an annoyance all the same.
Sound & Performance
This is where the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 really come into their own. This is thanks to a completely overhauled internal structure. They now feature a triple driver with two “moving iron drivers” controlling the highs. As well as a single dynamic driver to handle the rest.
We can’t say we were totally surprised by the top-class sound, and top-class it certainly is! We were constantly impressed during testing with just how lively and versatile these are.
We plugged in “White Gloves” by indie band Khruangbin and were instantly hit with the clarity of the high mids, as the intro of rainfall was overtaken by the almost psychedelic tones of the lead guitar. The soft harmonies of the vocals, the bass, and the drum track all drop at the same time, and there was zero audible frequency bleed, with the overall warm soundscape really helping this tune.
On to the next track, Buddy Guy’s Blues classic “Five Long Years”. This made it clear to us just how wide-ranging this set is. With the emotionally charged vocals and lead guitar lines sounding as good as they ever have. The clarity of Buddy’s voice is counterpointed beautifully by the crunchy graininess of the guitar, which the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 did a great job of highlighting.
This set will not necessarily appeal to everyone, with bass addicts missing out in particular. That’s not to knock the bass response of these at all, as we really like how natural and tight the bass sounded. In this day and age of what we reckon is too often overly boosted bass, this is a welcome change, and gives room for the mids to stand out, which they do.
Spoken vocal clarity has never been higher, making these great headphones not just for music, but also audiobooks and podcasts.
Another gigantic pro is the battery, which is supported by OnePlus’s proprietary Warp Charge technology. With just a 10-minute charge with the included USB-C charging cable provides you with 10 hours of playback. This is best in class technology, and super helpful if, like us, you are constantly forgetting to charge your earbuds.
This is also a huge improvement on the originals, which only offer half the playback time (five hours) from a 10-minute charge.
A full charge results in 14 hours playback at full volume, but to be totally honest with you, with the quick charge time, this is something we almost never thought about.
Class 1 Bluetooth 5.0 is the industry standard, and that is exactly what you get with the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2. Connecting to your phone or PC is done with a simple push of the pairing button, and then accepting the pairing request.
In the two weeks that we have had our greedy little paws on these, we have not had any dropouts or connection issues within a 30ft radius. However, the connection does get a little spotty after that. With a bunch of codecs supported, these sound as great when paired with an iPhone XR as they do with a 6-year-old Samsung.
OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 Pros & Cons
- Warp charge – 10 min charge for 10 hours playback time.
- Great passive noise isolation.
- High-quality sound.
- Bluetooth 5.0.
- Magnetic clip controls sound.
- No splash proofing.
Need Some Other Earbud Options?
If so? Check out our in-depth reviews of the Best Noise Cancelling Earbuds, the Most Durable Earbuds, the Best Wireless Earbuds for Small Ears, the Best Headphones and Earbuds for Sleeping, the Best Sound Quality Earbuds, or even the Best Bone Conduction Headphones on the market.
Second-generation technology usually brings second generation advancements. The OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 is no exception to the rule, with a bunch of fantastic features added. The sound quality is better, the battery life is longer (and has the best fast charge system available right now).
On top of all that, the passive noise isolation is leaps ahead, and the addition of class 1 Bluetooth 5.0 makes the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2 our pick for best in class for the wireless neckband earbud category.
If you are in the market for a great pair of everyday earbuds (which we guess you are if you have made it all the way to this point!), then we have one thing to say to you. Check out the OnePlus Bullets Wireless 2; we are certain you won’t look back!