Affordable price • Long battery life • Water-resistant
Wire can be a little long • Janky case • Magnetic on/off only works with select OnePlus phones
The OnePlus Bullets Wireless are inexpensive and decent-sounding wireless neckbuds that last long.
is sitting pretty on top of the Android world with its new OnePlus 6, but it aspires to be more than just a phone maker.Like Apple and Samsung, it’s cooking up an ecosystem of products that work with its phones. Though the OnePlus 6 still has a headphone jack, the Chinese startup knows wireless is the future. That’s why it’s selling the OnePlus Bullets Wireless.
These Bluetooth neckbuds-style earbuds aren’t quite true wireless like Apple’s AirPods or IQBuds Boost; they’re more like a Beats X competitor. And at $70, they’re pretty affordable if you don’t want to spend a lot of money.
Let’s be clear, the Bullets Wireless aren’t true wireless earbuds and that’s OK because wireless neckbuds can co-exist alongside them. It’s not a one-size-and-design-fits-all world.
If you’re only considering cable-free wireless earbuds, you can stop reading right now. But if you don’t completely hate the look, you may find a lot to like in the Bullets Wireless. I know I did.
Sound and design
Having tested the BeatsX, I can say the Bullets Wireless are kind of a knock-off. It’s so obvious that they’re a cheaper version.
Similar to the BeatsX, there are two oblong-shaped batteries, one on each side of the cable. They’re about 2.5 inches long and at first I thought they’d be a little stiff around my neck — you know, chafing it daily and all. But they turned out to not be a problem at at. Battery life is pretty rock solid, but more on that in sec.
If you’ve got a very thick neck, the batteries might not dangle nicely around it, but otherwise I think you should be alright.
On the left battery, there’s a single power button for Bluetooth pairing. I connected the Bullets Wireless to several devices (iPhone X, OnePlus 6, Galaxy S9, Pixel 2 XL, MacBook Air, and a Dell XPS 13) and didn’t run into any issues detecting them.
On the left side of the cable, there’s also an in-line remote. It’s standard stuff: There are + and – volume buttons and a button for playback (play/pause) that also activates the Google Assistant or Siri.
Like many earbuds, the Bullets Wireless come with several different ear tips and “wings” (people also call them “fins” or “winglets” or “hooks”), available in small, medium, and large.
Out of the box, the earbuds come with the medium-sized ear tips and wings installed. I’ve got small ears and they fit well at first. However, switching to the small ear tips provided a better seal. So definitely play around with the different tips and wings even if you think the pre-installed ones already feel good.
Swapping out the ear tips and wings is easy-peasy, though you’ll need to remove the ear tips first in order to get to the wings.
The Bullets Wireless come with a silicone case that’s virtually identical to the one that comes with BeatsX. It’s a lovely red shade that matches the included power cable, but it’s kind of a fiddly process to shove the earbuds inside.
If you’ve got the patience to neatly curl up your earbuds and place them into the case, the magnetic latch does a good job keeping them in place.
But if you’re anything like me, then you’ll probably end up just bunching the Bullets Wireless up and shoving them in your pocket or bag.
So they nail the comfort, but how do they sound? I gotta say, not too bad. They sound slightly better than AirPods and about the same as BeatsX. Which is to say they’re capable of producing some pretty decent sound thanks Qualcomm’s aptX codec.
I noticed the highs were sharper and more clear in songs like “Dopamine” by BØRNS and “Bicycle” by Queen. Lows are also just the slightest bit richer — a little bassier, but only if you’re really listening closely. Purely vocal tracks like the new “Twice” by Christina Aguilera really shine through on the Bullets Wireless.
If you’re riding on the subway or any place with audible background noise, you’d be hard-pressed to hear a clear difference compared to AirPods and BeatsX.
All in all, I’m quite pleased with the sound, especially when you consider the price.
Bonus: If you’ve got a OnePlus 5, 5T, or 6, you can use the magnetic pause/resume feature. Connect the backsides of the two earbuds together and your music will pause. Shame the feature doesn’t work on non-OnePlus devices.
You want wireless earbuds that go the distance and don’t die after a few hours and fortunately the Bullets Wireless last pretty long.
A single charge gets you up to 8 hours of listening time — on par with BeatsX and AirPods.
Just as 10 hours of battery life is the base for every single iPad, 8 hours of battery life feels like the absolute baseline for wireless earbuds. Anything with less, like Samsung’s Gear IconX 2018, which only gets up to 5 hours on a single charge, isn’t worth considering in my opinion.
In a typical day, I usually burn through an hour of listening time on the subway during my morning and evening commute, and then about 6 hours during work hours. OnePlus advertises 8 hours of battery life for the Bullets Wireless, and I got almost exactly that every day. Sometimes I came up a few minutes short and sometimes I managed to squeeze out about 5-10 minutes longer.
The Bullets Wireless also have a quick charging feature — a 10-minute charge gets you up to 5 hours of battery life. That’s slightly faster charging than the BeatsX, which do about 4-4.5 hours in the same charge time.
It’s a handy feature, for sure. On one particular day, I had forgotten to charge up the Bullets Wireless overnight. Luckily, a quick 5-minute charge from my power bank was more than enough to tide me until I got into the office.
There’s little to complain about the OnePlus Bullets Wireless. They’re lightweight, comfy, have good battery life, and sound pretty good. They’re not audiophile wireless earbuds, but then again neither are AirPods.
And for $70, that’s a potent package. In fact, the Bullets Wireless are exactly the kind of product OnePlus would make: good quality and inexpensive compared to the competition.
I highly recommend the Bullets Wireless if you don’t want to a boatload of money on a pair of quality wireless buds. However, since I love my AirPods and they’re still the gold standard for true wireless earbuds, I’d love to see OnePlus make a competitor that cuts the cable.