Bullets Wireless Z2 is the latest pair of wireless in-ear earbuds from OnePlus. Unlike many of the company’s recent launches, the Bullets Wireless Z2 harkens back to the neckband design that the company launched in 2018. The Bullets Wireless Z2 is an entry-level product and is currently only sold in India.
The design of the Bullets Wireless Z2 is largely identical to that of the Bullets Wireless Z Bass Edition. The neck tape ends in two thick columns with cables protruding from their ends.
The left column houses the volume and media playback controls. The middle button is a bit exhausted here; You can press it once to play/pause your music or answer/end your calls. Tap it twice to go to the next song and three times to go back to the previous song. Press and hold the button to start pairing.
The buttons have a gentle click and work reliably. However, they are a bit far apart, so you need to research them before you find the one you are looking for. Even if your thumb lands on a button, it’s hard to decide which one without moving it up and down to place it between the trio. It would have been better if the three buttons had fit the width of the thumb.
The Bullets Wireless Z2’s bulky design can be a bit annoying. It’s not particularly large but still feels like it takes up a lot of space around your neck. It’s also one of the heaviest models I’ve used and I can always feel its presence around my neck.
The build and finish quality of the speaker is very good. Rubber feels flexible and durable, and all plastics are of high quality. Cable rubber is striped as well. The headset is also IP55 rated, so it can withstand splashes of water.
Bullets Wireless Z2 is a comfortable headphone. The ear tips are made of soft rubber and have an oval design found on OnePlus Buds Pro and Buds Z2. It fits well in the ears and can stay there for hours without feeling uncomfortable.
As mentioned before, the only inconvenience is the neck strap dangling around your neck, which is much thicker and heavier than it should have been.
Bullets Wireless Z2 does not have a dedicated companion software. On OnePlus phones, you get a dedicated info screen for them but there’s nothing here to set. Also, although you can see the firmware version here, there is no way to actually update it.
Bullets Wireless Z2 has relatively large 12.4mm drivers. They connect via Bluetooth 5.0 and support SBC and AAC codecs.
The tone of the sound is similar to recent OnePlus products, with mid-tones with a neutral slope and treble and higher bass.
The bass response on the Bullets Wireless Z2 is glowing. It has a high and mid-bass response that is exaggerated, which can be overbearing. The bass is acceptable at lower volumes but gets really cumbersome at higher volume levels, not to mention obnoxious and overpowering the rest of the frequency response.
Not that this doesn’t work for some paths or genres. In fact, some music can sound a lot more exciting when you throw it at that much bass. But sometimes you might just want to lie back and listen to some relaxing tunes or podcasts, which can be hard to do when your speakers are constantly in party mode.
That’s a shame because the mid-range is actually pretty good. The singing has a soft, calm timbre that is a pleasure to listen to. The instruments have a similarly gentle tone to them, with everything from the piano to the guitar coming in so well.
Moreover, the triple performance is also great. It does share some mid-range humidity, so there’s no unwanted harshness or whistling at the cost of some air and wit. However, it still appears in detail and clarity without being dark or muddy.
In terms of technical performance, Bullets Wireless Z2 has a moderate level of accuracy and detail in sound. This usually comes down to choosing which drivers to use instead of the codec, although a higher bitrate codec can’t hurt. The photography and sound recording were unobjectionable and provided some space and direction for the sound which made the overall presentation a joy to listen to.
Bullets Wireless Z2 gets loud enough, the maximum volume of which is uncomfortable to listen to all but the quietest recordings.
The microphone performance on the Bullets Wireless Z2 is good. There is audible pressure when speaking even in quiet environments but the voices remain relatively clear with good tone. In noisy environments, the AI scene model algorithm does a good job of reducing ambient sounds and prioritizing audio, which sounds somewhat similar to speaking in quiet environments.
OnePlus claims a latency of at least 94ms when paired with select OnePlus phones, though it fails to mention the exact OnePlus phones, how the headset achieves such low latency, and what latency is with other devices.
During testing, latency performed well for watching videos as the lag was barely noticeable when paired with an iPhone. Latency on Android was significantly higher when using AAC, and audio also took longer to sync when unpausing or skipping but was fine when using SBC.
Latency in orders was poor. Games and music apps showed a noticeable delay, with apps like piano players getting about half a second of lag after pressing a key. As usual, I recommend using wired audio if latency is important to you or if you want to use the microphone while gaming.
Bullets Wireless Z2 had minor connectivity issues during testing. When testing with Apple Music on your iPhone XR, there will be moments when it seems like the player will skip or rush through certain parts of the track, especially at the beginning. Adjusting the volume on the iPhone will also sometimes cause the sound to pause.
With the OnePlus 10 Pro, the phone frequently loses sync between audio and video while watching YouTube videos, and it will take several seconds before the two sync again.
It’s hard to say what’s at fault here, as the phone doesn’t show these issues with other headphones and the Bullets Wireless Z2 doesn’t have these issues with other devices.
Apart from that, there were no other connectivity issues.
Bullets Wireless Z2 has exceptional battery life. During the battery drain test, the headset worked continuously for 28.5 hours, which is very close to the 30 hours that OnePlus claimed. After a ten-minute charge, the headset lasted for 20.4 hours, which is just over the 20 hours the company claims. With normal use, the headset should last more than a week on a single charge.
The OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z2 is priced at INR 1999, which is only about $26. For that price, you get an overall good product, with good build quality, comfort, and mic performance. Battery life, in particular, is excellent.
Where the headphone is disappointing is the sound quality. OnePlus has gone from making headphones with balanced sound to obnoxious bass guns over the past few releases, and the Bullets Wireless Z2 is probably the worst culprit. It’s as if they found out a while ago that people love bass and they haven’t stopped turning that knob even though it’s starting to get silly. I would gladly recommend the Non-Bass version if they were to release one as I don’t have any major complaints about the sound otherwise.
But of course, if that’s your preference, you’ll find plenty to like with the Bullets Wireless Z2.