The OnePlus 6 may be todays big gadget news, but after months of leaks, there wasnt much surprise left. The companys first wireless headphones, on the other hand, might actually be the more compelling product for an audiophile like me, always on the look out for a good value. Say hello to the OnePlus Bullets Wireless. At first glance, they look like a fairly standard pair of neckbuds, but there are a few things that set them apart from the competition. Ive only tried them for a few hours, but at $69, if the sound quality is up to snuff, they check off pretty much everything Id want from a cheap pair of Bluetooth headphones. According to VICE, TNW Conference is quite the eventPerhaps most notable is that OnePlus is bringing its fast charging technology to its headphones. OnePlus claims that with only a 10 minute charge, you can get up to 5 hours of music playback. Thats a big deal: it adds a lot of peace of mind if your headphones are running low on charge before you need to leave home. In the time it takes to take a shower or make breakfast, you should have enough of a charge to last you through the day. Better yet, OnePlus says the Bullets should be able to achieve fast charging speeds with pretty much any USB port – no need for a specialized fast charger, though of course OnePlus recommends using its own accessories. As with most batteries, the last leg of charging is a bit slow, but theyll still reach 100 percent – 8-10 hours of music – in 25 minutes. Oh, and they charge via USB-C, so theres no need to carry a separate cable just for your headphones, although OnePlus includes a USB-C to USB-A cable that fits snuggly in the Bullets silicone case. There are some clever design choices too. Unlike some chunky neckbuds out there, the Bullets Wirelss have a flexible cable thats easy to store in a pocket or in the aforementioned case. The metal earbuds have magnetic backs which will automatically pause music if you stick them them together – handy if you need to pop out the earbuds to talk to someone. You have the usual three-button controls, as well as access to the Google Assistant by holding down the play/pause button for 1 second. The earbuds are also water resistant and come with removable wing tips for sturdy fit, making them suitable as workout headphones. As for the sound, OnePlus is using pretty large 9.2mm drivers with a buzzwordy Energy Tube casing that minimizes distortion. It also offers AptX connectivity for CD-quality streaming on Android phones, something often missing from headphones in this price range. Ill need to spend more time with the headphones before I know for sure whether they live up to their promise. But given OnePlus previous success with its wired Bullets, the low price point, and my brief initial impressions, things are looking good. The only caveat is that OnePlus seems to be selling them in limited amount to start: the company says the first drop will happen on June 5. Bullets Wirelesson
One of the keys to OnePlus success has been focusing on one phone at a time — and aside from cases and, of all things, a backpack, the company hasnt strayed too far from phones. Along with this weeks release of the OnePlus 6, however, the companys adding another key piece of hardware to its arsenal. Following in the footsteps of Apple, Samsung, Google and, well, just about every other hardware manufacturer on the planet, OnePlus is launching Bullets Wireless. The name derives from the wired version of the companys cheaply priced Bullet earbuds, though this version looks decidedly less like ammunition. The Bluetooth buds feature the yoked design thats pretty popular among lower-cost hardware. And, indeed, $69 is a pretty tough price to beat for Bluetooth headphones. They might not be as pretty as some of the competition, but they get the job done, while sounding pretty solid. And, bonus, the earbuds have magnets, so they snap together like a necklace shutting off the music when not in use. In a release, the OnePlus CEO says the companys been working on the things for about two years now, and the result is pretty solid for something thats a fraction of the price of the competition. The big thing here, aside from price, is the fast-charge tech, borrowed from the companys handsets. Using a standard USB-C cable, you should be able to get a full five hours of use with just 10 minutes of charging. The headphones are also water-resistant and feature fins to keep them in place during a workout. Whether or not that behind the neck style is suitable for your own fitness routine, on the other hand, is entirely up to you. The button on the back of the neck will also pull up Google Assistant with one long press. The Bullets Wireless are due out at some point next month. Of course, its worth mentioning that the company is still embracing the headphone jack with its new handset, the OnePlus 6, so consider these a bit of futureproofing.