OnePlus is a brand well-known for selling its flagship phones at almost a third of the price of the other Android flagships from bigger brands. With their recent launch of their flagship OnePlus 6 smartphone (read the full review here), they also launched OnePlus Bullets Wireless earphones. Are these just a shot in the dark or do they actually hit the target with the OnePlus Bullets? We find out.
Build and Design: 8/10
The OnePlus Bullets Wireless (BT31B) packaging is quite impressive. It’s a sleek white minimalistic box with branding on it. When you open the packaging, you are greeted with an attractive red pouch and an extremely well laid out earplugs and fin design. We hope other manufacturers learn from this.
The OnePlus Bullets Wireless basically comes with a neckband design which isn’t completely wireless. You have wires running between the neckband and earphones. While it has its advantages, it would’ve been nice to have a retractable design to minimise the fall of the wires.
The earphones itself is made of light aluminium, and are designed to withstand everyday risks such as water damage from rain (perfect timing for Mumbai rains), sweat and stray splashes, but not prolonged contact with water. You can take them for a run but not for a swim.
I loved the design thought and implementation behind the Bullets magnetic design. The earplugs can stick together, not only for easy storage, and minimising entanglements, but also has a wonderful functionality of pausing and resuming the earphones power state. However, the full functionality of this is only available with the latest updates of OnePlus 5/5T and OnePlus 6. When tested with a regular Android phone, resume function doesn’t work with music, however, the earphones do come back on after separating them.
The controls allow one to play, pause, vol up and down via tactile feel alone. You can even ask Google Assistant questions such as directions for which you’d get a feedback directly in your ear without looking at the phone.
What’s in the box?
You get Bullets Wireless earphones, three earplugs, three fins, a USB charging cable, a storage pouch, a user manual and a safety/warranty card.
OnePlus Bullets Wireless have a balanced-neutral sound signature. This means that most people will find the bass lacking as it isn’t pronounced, while the mids are well present and highs are bright and can get sibilant at a higher volume.
The weight of bass is determined by the fitting. In my case, I couldn’t get it to fit as snugly as I’d like for the bass to deliver. Therefore I had to resort to fiddling with the earphones a lot and then redoing it when I removed them, ugh. This is where the EQ comes to the rescue, to up the bass. But it isn’t the same if the bass is leaking due to the fit. Your mileage would vary.
The highs are peculiar, they sound fine unless the volume is pushed up beyond 70 percent. Here you’ll start to notice that the highs get sibilant. High energy tracks, metal music start to tire you out after a while.
The earphones have Qualcomm's AptX tech. AptX is supposed to make the music sound better, but in reality there's not a huge improvement on that front. You’d be hard pressed to tell the difference. So for those with non-AptX phones, it would do just fine.
Call Quality: 9/10
The call quality is surprisingly good. None of the individuals I spoke with ever complained about hollow or distant sound (most Bluetooth earphones/speakers have that problem), they all assumed I was talking on the phone without a headset which is commendable. In fact, I was told that the volume is louder with the OnePlus Bullets on.
The coolest thing about the Bullets Wireless earphones is the Dash charging support. Just 10 mins of charging time gives about 5 hours of listening time. That is really cool!
A full charge will take up 40 mins and will give a total of 8 hours of music playback time and all this with a USB-C cable. If you listen to music for a couple of hours daily, a single charge would easily last you for over two-three days with its standby time. And plus, since it supports Dash charging, you can charge it for around 10 mins with your Dash charger and you will get enough juice to do a to and fro commute from your home to office.
Verdict and Price in India
The OnePlus Bullets Wireless is a good pair of earphones with a neutral sound signature, albeit sibilant highs.
The kind of features that OnePlus packs at this price are unbeatable. The MRP is Rs 3,990, expect to get it cheaper in the market.
At this price, however, if you like more bass with a similar neck design, you have the Skullcandy Ink’d Wireless (See full review) for Rs 3,400 street price.
If you are majorly into gyming, running/ vigorous sports, the Sennheiser PMX 686G (see full review) would be ideal as they are really robust at Rs 4,100 street price (a massive drop in price recently).
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