The earphones market is growing at a tremendous pace in India and consumers now have a wider choice than before to choose from a plethora of products from different brands. Although wired earphones are still popular among consumers, the transition to Bluetooth earphones and true wireless earphones is happening swiftly as well, thanks to the convenience and of course, smartphone manufacturers (not all) removing the most liked 3.5mm audio jack.
On similar lines, OnePlus which started off as a smartphone brand launched a new audio product alongside the OnePlus 8 Series recently – The OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z, a toned-down version of the Bullets Wireless 2 and at a lower price point. We have been using it for quite some time and in this OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z Review, let us find out if it is worth your money or not.
Table of contents
- OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z
- Replaceable ear tips (small, medium, large)
- USB Type-C cable
- User Guide
OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z has a neckband design and the company hasn’t made a switch to true wireless yet. The design and form factor is identical to the Bullets Wireless 2, but the Wireless Z is made up of plastic and the earbuds of the Wireless 2 were made up of metal. The difference in weight between the two is also noticeable with the Bullets Wireless Z weighing at 27.2g. Moving on, there are magnetic controls which allows you to turn off the bullets by clipping them together and separating them will turn on the Bullets Wireless Z.
Although the Bullets Wireless Z is made up of plastic, the build quality is solid and OnePlus hasn’t compromised here. Yes, it doesn’t give a premium feel, but at the same time, doesn’t feel too cheap either. Moving on, the volume and control button is easy to reach when the neckband is worn and the rubber material used around the neckband area does not cause any irritation as such. It offers comfort while using even for longer periods of time. Similarly, the design of the earbuds is neatly done as well and offers a comfortable fit in your ears. More on the comfort in a bit.
Having said that, there are downsides to the design as well. The mushy volume buttons don’t offer great feedback and the tiny LED indicator makes it difficult to check the status of the earphone. On the whole, the design language hasn’t strikingly changed from the Bullets Wireless Z and is just done right, considering the price point.
The Bullets Wireless Z are in-ear style earphones and although the fit varies depending on your ear size, it fits snugly in my large ears and there were no issues in that. As usual, you get three sizes of replaceable ear tips (small, medium, large), and the quality of the earbuds is good as well. During workout sessions or when you are using the Bullets Wireless Z on the bed in a tilted posture, the earbuds don’t fall off easily which is a good thing.
The Bullets Wireless Z isn’t the fastest when it comes to pairing, at least on non-OnePlus devices. There is no mention of Google Fast Pair and similarly, there is no support for wear detection which means no auto play/pause. But on the other hand, the Bullets Wireless Z supports quick switch between two paired smartphones and the process is quick and seamless. A long press on the button turns on the pairing mode, and a double-tap action triggers the quick switch functionality.
The OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z packs a 9.2mm dynamic driver with “super bass tone” fitted in each earbud. It supports SBC (low-complexity subband codec) and AAC (Advanced Audio Coding) on supported devices, but lacks aptX Audio codec like the Bullets Wireless 2. Coming to the sound quality, the highs and mids are great on this one, and OnePlus has done a great job in tuning the same. The vocals have very good depth and clarity, and even the soundstage was good as well. In songs like Aye Sinamika (Tamil), the clarity of the vocals were great and the same is the case with high tones in the song. As stated earlier, OnePlus has done a good job with the soundstage and you can easily distinguish the audio coming from each side. Similarly, in songs like Play Date, the detail levels from the Bullets Wireless Z were very good and even with crowded background score, the clarity of the vocals was good.
On the other hand, the experience with lower tones was a mixed bag. “Super bass tone” is fitted in the earbuds, but this earphone is not for bass-lovers. You won’t get that thumpy or pronounced bass on the Bullets Wireless Z and it is not the best in handling lower tones. It’s not like there is no bass on the Bullets Wireless Z, but it is rather flat and might not be liked by users who listen to songs with a lot of bass. Having said that, OnePlus has done a good job in tuning the frequencies on the Bullets Wireless Z, and the overall sound quality is good.
The Bullets Wireless Z features a single microphone alongside the volume rockers button and the microphone quality is great. Even during long call sessions, the Bullets Wireless Z didn’t break a sweat. Speaking of which, the Bullets Wireless Z is also IP55 swear and water-resistant. Coming back, the person on the other side of the call didn’t complain about the call quality and the best part is, stable connectivity. If you are a person who is on calls for a long period of time, the Bullets Wireless Z will not disappoint but rather will offer a great experience.
Another area where the Bullets Wireless Z shines is in the battery life which is excellent. OnePlus claims up to 20-hours of battery life on the Bullets Wireless Z and it was the same in our testing as well. The battery life is solid on this one and in our testing at 70% volume, we got around 20-hours of playback on a single charge. Charging the Bullets Wireless Z to 100% from 0% is very fast as well, thanks to Warp Charge. In our testing with a 30W OnePlus Warp Charger, the Bullets Wireless Z charged from 0 to 100% in 44min 34sec which is very good for a wireless earphone.
Priced at Rs. 1999 in India ($49.95 in the US), the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z gets the basics right with a great quality microphone and excellent battery life. It does a very good job in mid and high tones, but is not for users who prefers a lot of bass on their earphones. If you are a person whose primary usage is long duration calls and a bit of music from time to time, the Bullets Wireless Z is a great choice under Rs. 2000. But, if you are a bass lover, then the Bullets Wireless Z is not for you and you might want to check out the other alternatives.
- realme Buds Wireless
- OPPO Enco M31
- JBL T205BT