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It has been a while since we had a neckband-style wireless headset here. It’s a shame because they were, in many ways, better than the currently popular TWS earbuds. They had longer battery life, physical controls, and better connection performance. Now, we have the updated version of the OnePlus Bullets Wireless Z2 with ANC (active noise cancellation). Priced at INR 2299, the India-exclusive Bullets Wireless Z2 ANC is only slightly more expensive than the Z2, making it one of the cheapest wireless earbuds in the OnePlus range and the cheapest with ANC.
Design and comfort:
The Bullets Wireless Z2 ANC features a basic design that we’re all familiar with. The entire body has a rubber texture, and the neckband is extremely flexible. The left stem contains the full set of controls for volume, playback, and ANC functionality, which I really miss on TWS models. The buttons are of good quality and work well. The neckband feels sturdy, and the earbud cables feel reliable. It also has an IP55 rating for water and dust resistance. Comfort is subjective and will depend on the user’s preference. Initially, it can be annoying to have the neckband on your bare neck or the cables brushing against your face, but I found it convenient to snap the earbuds together magnetically when not in use.
Software and Features:
The Bullets Wireless Z2 ANC connects to your phone using the HeyMelody software, available on Android and iOS. On OnePlus phones, you can control the earbud functions directly through the Bluetooth settings without installing a separate app. The Bullets Wireless Z2 ANC doesn’t have many features, but you can toggle between ANC on, off, and transparency mode. You can also cycle through the four EQ presets or create your own. Basic adjustments of the physical switches can be done as well. Changes made in the app are saved on the earbuds and carry over to the next device.
The sound quality of the Bullets Wireless Z2 ANC is mediocre by default. The bass is overwhelming and covers the entire frequency range, making the mids and highs less pronounced. The high end is disappointing, lacking energy and balance. However, using the custom EQ presets or creating your own, you can achieve a more balanced tuning. The microphone quality is impressive, making it a good option for voice or video calls. The ANC mode works well with low-frequency sounds, but the transparency mode is muffled and not particularly transparent. The latency performance is decent, especially on OnePlus devices where the lag is minimal.
Battery and Charger:
The Bullets Wireless Z2 ANC has a claimed battery life of 20 hours with ANC and 28 hours without ANC. In my testing, it lasted 19 hours and 38 minutes with ANC on and 27 hours and 7 minutes with ANC off. It also offers rapid charging, with 10 minutes of charging providing 20 hours of playback with ANC off. The battery life is impressive and reliable.
In conclusion, the Bullets Wireless Z2 ANC offers a good set of features, decent sound quality (with custom tuning), and impressive battery life. It may not be the best option for audiophiles, but for the price, it provides adequate performance.