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The OnePlus Bullets Wireless headphones are not the cheapest Bluetooth buds out there at £69, but for our money they offer the best bang for your buck, undercutting our previous favourite value options – the Jaybird Tarah and Plantronics Backbeat FIT – by £20.
That’s not to say the Bullets are perfect, but they get all the fundamentals of a pair of sports headphones right. Like the best running headphones, the fit is secure, the sound is good once you get the right fit, and the quick-charge function nets you five hours of juice (of the eight total available) after just ten minutes of charging.
The Bullets have a neckband to help keep them in place during exercise. The band is heavy and balanced with thick sections on each side to keep it sitting on your shoulders while you move and relieve any tension on the buds, which could pull them out.
For the most part this works well, and even during a sweaty treadmill run I didn’t find that the band bounced around or the buds slipped out. However, the downside of the band is that it can fall off the back of your neck when you lie down to do exercises like sit-ups or bench presses. This puts the weight on the buds in your ears, and although they didn’t slip out during my workouts, they did require regular adjusting if I was doing a workout where I lay on my back a lot.
One Plus says the Bullets are sweat- and water-resistant, although there is no IP rating to back this up. To me that suggests using them for very sweaty HIIT sessions might not be a smart idea, especially as the website makes a point of saying water and liquid damage is not covered under the warranty. I’d wear them to the gym and out running without fear, but if you’re a prolific sweater it might be worth considering a waterproof pair like the Jaybird Tarah.
I was impressed by the sound quality of the Bullets, though this does rely on you getting a secure fit with the silicone buds or the bass will disappear. I had no trouble with this, and there are three different sizes of buds and fins in the box to help you get the fit right. The sound is clear and balanced so the bass is never overpowering, and I don’t think I’ve come across a better-sounding set of headphones for under £100.
The Bullets buds connect to each other magnetically, and you turn them off the same way in nifty fashion. Disconnect them and they’ll turn on and connect again automatically. Unfortunately, while this is handy when you’re just pausing music for a second, if you put the headphones in a bag after connecting them together they will disconnect and link to your phone without you knowing. After a few minutes without music playing they do turn off again, but inevitably this happened to me while I was in the middle of a phone call leaving me briefly unable to work out why I couldn’t hear the person on the other end, and leaving them talking to the inside of my bag via the headphones.
More annoying is the fact that it is nigh-on impossible to stuff the headphones into the carry case provided without disconnecting the buds from each other. Even if you’re happy with that, the carry case isn’t really big enough to put the headphones in neatly. It’s not fit for purpose in my opinion, so I stopped using it almost immediately.
The in-line remote has three buttons, with volume up and down, and a multifunctional play/pause button that brings up your phone’s voice assistant if you hold it and skips tracks with a double press. There’s also a dedicated on/off button on the neckband if you don’t trust the magnets to do their job.
Despite some slight worries about how sweatproof they might prove to be in the long term, the OnePlus Bullets have a lot going for them as a value pair of sports headphones. They sound great, connect well and easily to your phone or computer, and won’t drop out of your ears. For under £70, that’s a pretty compelling package.
Buy from OnePlus | £69
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.