Every Android owner should check out the OnePlus Bullets V2 headphones

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If you’ve ever tried buy a pair headphones where the in-line microphone controls work with both iOS and Android smartphones — perhaps not a normal scenario, I know, but stay with me — then you likely know it’s no easy task.

I often switch between an iPhone and the latest Android devices for the purposes of my work here at MobileSyrup, but then even finding a pair of good quality Android-compatible headphones is a challenge. Visit Amazon and you’re likely to find the headphones that come recommended from websites like Wirecutter don’t work perfectly when paired with an Android smartphone.

OnePlus Bullets V2

One of the website’s top picks, for instance, Bang & Olufsen’s BeoPlay H3 headphones are only fully compatible with the iPhone — that is, they’ll still push out audio when connected to an Android smartphone, but the in-line mic controls, which allow the user to adjust playback volume, as well as pause and resume audio, won’t work.

At best, some manufacturers like Bose offer separate models designed to work with either iOS devices or Android devices — one unfortunate by-product of this is that iOS users get to choose between several different colour options, while Android owners are stuck with a single black option as is the case with the Bose SoundTrue and SoundSport headphones.

One reason for this sad state of affairs is that iOS devices use a different pinout than other mobile devices. Another major reason is that it was only this past November that Google updated the Android Compatibility Definition Document to require something resembling standardization on in-line microphone controls across the Android ecosystem.

In short, it’s really hard to find a pair a decent pair of headphones that work well with Android smartphones, and good luck finding ones that work well across both iOS and Android.

All of this may seem like a first world problem limited in its effect to tech journalists, but the fact of the matter is almost anyone can appreciate headphones that work to their fullest capability with any electronic device they may own. Plenty of people I know own some combination of different iOS and Android devices, as well as any number of other computers and electronic devices. This is especially true if that person lives with their significant other.

It’s reasonable these days to want an accessory that will work with all your other devices. Even if you’re a devout iOS or Android user now, there’s no guarantee you won’t switch in the future. Therefore, it makes fiscal sense to buy an accessory that, barring any dramatic technological changes, will work with your future devices.

Granted, the recent trend toward USB-C, Lightning and wireless audio makes buying a new pair of headphones something of a tricky proposition. As it stands today, consumers that decide to buy into both Apple’s and Google’s ecosystems may be forced to purchase two different types of headphones thanks to Apple’s recent decision to remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone. In fact, given that there’s no way to connect the Lightning EarPods included with the iPhone 7 to one of Apple’s new MacBook Pros without an adapter, even Apple devotees may have already purchased two different types of headphones.

Alternatively, there’s the option to purchase wireless headphones, though those bring with them their own particular set of drawbacks.

But I may have finally found the perfect pair of smartphone headphones, at least until the future of the format is decided.

When OnePlus sent MobileSyrup the OnePlus 3T to review, they also sent a pair of their Bullets V2 in-ear headphones. Released to not much fanfare earlier in the year, the Bullets are a great pair of headphones.

I started using them without knowing how much they cost. Then I found out OnePlus sells the Bullets for $26.95 in Canada (before shipping and handling, as well as tax). I wouldn’t call myself an audiophile, but I do appreciate a pair of good sounding headphones, and I’m willing to pay more to get them. In the past, I’ve bought more than my fair share of $200 headphones. To say the Bullets were a revelation is an understatement — in hindsight, they shouldn’t have been as OnePlus is not the only Chinese OEM releasing affordable but great sounding audio accessories.

In a lot of circumstances, the Bang & Olufsen BeoPlay H3 and Bose SoundSport headphones I own, which I paid for $100 and $229.95 respectively to acquire, sounded worse than the much cheaper Bullets. Across a variety of music genres, the Bullets sounded consistently warm and full, with mids and highs that were discernable from one another. Bass tones were also dynamic without being overwhelming.

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The Bullets also come with a number of well thought out design features. Their flat cable design makes them easy to untangle, and the critical point at which the cable and plug meet is protected against fraying. I’ve had more than one pair of Bose SoundTrue headphones fray at this point, so I appreciate when a manufacturer makes sure their headphones are durable. The in-line microphone audio controls also make a satisfying click when pressed and it’s easy to find the pause-play button with touch alone thanks to the fact that the button protrudes above the volume controls. Similarly, I found the Bullets comfortable to wear over an extended period of time, even though I wish the included silicone caps were just a bit bigger.

Best of all, the in-line audio controls work perfectly on both the iPhone and a variety of Android smartphones. Tapping the pause halts a song as expected, as well as answers incoming calls. Double tapping the same button also skips a song and holding it calls up Siri. The only function that doesn’t work is the triple tap which causes a song to skip.

All told, at less than $30, I can’t recommend the OnePlus Bullets V2 enough. If you’re in the market for a new pair of smartphone headphones, then check them out.

Comments

  • Kevin_Lee

    You may want to update the price.

    It is $26.95 before shipping. Free shipping is only available on orders over $150. I heard about these earbuds on The Verge and went to try and order a pair only to discover that basic shipping was $12.99 on top of the earbuds. Then you add tax. These things cost around $45 all in. Not nearly as good of a value as the suggested price in the article.

    • JTon

      Good info. Guess you gotta pick up a smartphone while your at it, haha

  • Unorthodox

    For years I’ve been buying “Sony In-Ear Sound Isolating Headphones (MDRXB50A)”. They last about 2 years (on me anyways), so I’m at my 3rd pair. They are currently on sale for $30 at BestBuy, and regularly on sale for $35. They have great bass, decent sound isolation (I can barely hear a bus engine if I ride at the back), and microphone with 1 button. And it comes in 3 colors (red being my favorite). Certainly better choice than this one.

    • brent

      How do you know they are a better choice? have you directly compared? sounds like you just based your opinion on BS..

    • Igor Bonifacic

      I do love Sony products. I’ll check them out.

  • ineptone

    I’ve been using the 1More Triple Driver In-ear Headphones for almost a year with my Nexus 6 and the 3-button in line remote works perfectly and, for the price ($140 all-in), they’re probably the best in-ears I’ve heard. I would highly recommend them.

    • Ipse

      Looks like my links are still censored, but I was recommending the Xiaomi Hybrid Pro HD (less than 25 USD) which apparently are made by 1More for Xiaomi…at 1/4 of the price. Triple drivers as well.

  • Goroguy

    I love using cheap but good sounding headphones. I was using the Xiaomi line of headphones which are pretty good for it’s price ($20-30). Recently I got the Zero Audio ($50-60) after reading an article on them. It’s pretty darn good. I’m also waiting on my pair of Monk Plus ($5-10), which are supposed to to sound great.
    I guess I’ll add this to my list as well.

  • Swordfish

    With all the newer phones saying they are going to move to wireless, I asked for a set of Bluetooth earbuds for Christmas and got a pair of Jaybird X3’s. Before these, I used Bose wired earbuds. The quality is incredible for a wireless setup. Also very comfortable. Not sure I would go back to a wired set again after these.

    I take it by the release of these that HTC isn’t following other manufactures direction on the 3.5mm plug.

  • Jordih

    Got Jaybird Freedoms from Santa, I love them. I don’t miss the wire, but I might pick these up as a backup.

  • MobileRoamer

    Sorry, just go to Winners or Marshalls and pick up a pair of $12 Panasonic earbuds. Nothing can touch them for sound clarity at that price. I always buy like 5 of them. I keep a pair at work, in my pack, in my car, and a pair on myself, and at home on my desk. If you lose a pair, who cares, they’re only $12.

  • leDerp

    Soundpeats

    /thread

  • Ipse

    Correction regarding the B&O Beoplay H3: they have an Android version (shipped with the LG V20 at launch).
    Now, as an owner, I can attest to the massive bass but also to the sh!tty quality and lack of support from B&O.
    Mine has a connector problem (seems very common on this model) and they gave me the runaround and sent me to LG (as if LG was the manufacturer…).
    Overpriced BS.

  • Kitty Burgers

    If you’re in the market for sports earbuds, the Sennheiser OCX 686G will work with Android. They are water resistant, robust and sound good. They will NOT fall out of your ears during a workout.

  • Carol Bream

    Great idea, Mobile Syrup, but there is nowhere I can find on line to purchase these great earbuds, and I tried! Do you know where I can buy them?????

  • Thanks for this article. For $30 my Nexus 6 and 9 deserve these earbuds.

  • Param Veer Singh

    I don’t know why they make it so costly .

  • Roman2K

    Thanks for the recommendation. OnePlus is definitely one company to follow closely for their quality products (love the OP3). As for fully-Android compatible earphones, a good, cheap pair is Samsung EG920BW. Decent sound quality, working microphone, volume and play/pause controls,flat cable, seem water resistant, no fraying so far. For less than 10€.