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Having spent countless hours on the Bullets Wireless 2, I can confidently recommend the Bullets Wireless Z for anyone looking for a comfortable pair of in-ear earphones.
This is one area where the Bullets Wireless Z are several steps behind the Bullets Wireless 2, as OnePlus axed several niceties to make the lower price.
Starting with the stuff that did make it - the Bullets Wireless Z supports Bluetooth 5. You can have your phone be in the next room and the connection holds fine even through thick brick walls.
If you have a direct line of sight, you can go as far as the claimed 10m. I didn't notice any drops or skipping during normal operation.
Unfortunately, OnePlus does not support pairing with multiple devices. This isn't a Bullets Wireless Z issue, as the previous models didn't do it, either.
It's not as convenient as multi-device pairing but it's useful to have nonetheless and better than nothing. OnePlus made some severe cutbacks to the codec support on the Bullets Wireless Z.
Codecs need licensing so cheaper headphones often tend to leave them out. However, the impact that these codecs have on audio quality isn't always cut and dry, meaning you aren't necessarily gaining a lot by having certain codecs nor does it mean you automatically get bad sound if you don't have them.
A lot of it comes down to the source that you are listening to and if it's mostly compressed music then you aren't going to notice any difference.
It's even hard to measure these differences sometimes, as even the basic SBC codec has enough bandwidth to fully reproduce the audible audio spectrum while having low enough noise floor and distortion.
The differences then come from how your source device processes the codec, as Android devices don't handle AAC encoding as efficiently as Apple's.
Different codecs also have different latency, which is a much more impactful factor than the minor differences in audio quality.
So the lack of aptX or aptX HD here might be a smaller deal than what one might assume. What you are far more likely to notice is the change in driver configuration compared to the Bullets Wireless 2.
The Bullets Wireless 2 featured a triple-driver design, consisting of dual Knowles balanced armature drivers and a 10mm dynamic driver.
On the other hand, the Bullets Wireless Z has a single 9. There's a reason good speakers have multiple drivers with crossovers, as a single driver cannot handle all the frequencies, and it's better to have multiple drivers dedicated to handling different parts of the audio spectrum.
But low cost dictates compromises so single driver it is. The Bullets Wireless Z do have an ace up their sleeve, and that is a low latency mode designed to work exclusively with OnePlus phones OnePlus 5 or newer.
This feature claims to bring the latency down to ms, which isn't low in an absolute sense but lower than what Bluetooth audio latency generally is.
The earphones automatically go into low latency mode when the Fnatic mode is engaged on the phone.
Unfortunately, as luck would have it, we didn't have a OnePlus phone with us at the time of testing and OnePlus couldn't send a device out in time.
As and when we get the phone from OnePlus, we would update the review with our findings. Another OnePlus specific feature is Quick Pair, which shows a prompt on a nearby OnePlus phone OnePlus 5 or newer when the earphones are in pairing mode.
This is similar to the AirPods pairing method and was also present on the Bullets Wireless 2. As with other OnePlus wireless earphones, the Bullets Wireless Z have no companion app of any kind, which means there are no options to adjust or software to update for this product.
The Bullets Wireless Z are decent-sounding earphones for the price. It lacks the refinement of the Bullets Wireless 2 but the new tuning should be more appealing to buyers in this price range.
The Bullets Wireless Z have a bass-driven sound typical of earphones at those prices. The subHz region has received a healthy boost but the mid-bass isn't quite as exaggerated.
This results in less body overall to the bass and just more rumble to the sound. It's a slightly less refined way of adding bass as it just sounds like an overpowered subwoofer is playing in the room and makes the sound seem unbalanced.
Playing Better by Khalid had the bass just linger in the background with little decay, causing a constant rumble in your ears.
Wow by Post Malone saw an unrelenting tsunami of low-end take over the entire track. Depending upon what your preference is, this could be desirable but there's no denying that the bass tends to overwhelm the rest of the sound at times.
The bass also sounds like it was pushed a bit past what the drivers can handle comfortably. It is harder to emphasize the lower end of the bass compared to the mid-bass, which is why you usually see most of the emphasis in the mid-bass region.
But the Bullets Wireless Z goes ham on the lower-end, which causes some audible distortion at times in the low-end, which seeps into the mids.
Bass aside, the rest of the frequency response is unremarkable. The mids are a bit recessed, as you'd generally expect for a more fun-focused sound, but not aggressively so that you would have a hard time hearing the vocals or the instruments.
Vocals in tracks like Kanye West's Black Skinhead come across loud and clear. The bite of the snare drum and Michael Jackson's hushed vocals in Blood on the Dance Floor were also quite forward as they should be on this track.
The mid-range does seem to have some dips, however, as some vocals and instruments didn't come out as well as others. Both the vocals and the electric guitar on Pneuma by Tool were under a layer of Vaseline.
Part of the reason why the instruments often feel toothless on the Bullets Wireless Z is the anemic top-end.
A typical v-shaped sound would have a more exaggerated treble response but the Bullets Wireless Z dials it back way down for some reason, which rounds off some hot or particularly shimmery tracks but significantly clouds others.
It's not overly dark or muted but you miss out on some of the sparkle and it does roll off fairly quickly. When seen as a whole, the overall sound signature can often be pleasant on most tracks.
But the lack of detail in the mids and highs is almost always felt, and on tracks with heavy low-end, the rumble tends to make things a bit fatiguing.
However, some people do prefer their music that way, so your mileage may vary. As for imaging and soundstage, the Bullets Wireless Z do fine with the former, with good object placement and movement.
Unfortunately, the soundstage is fairly congested and focused in the middle of the listening sphere.
Comparisons to the more expensive Bullets Wireless 2 are inevitable, especially considering how similar they look, which might cause some people to assume they sound the same but they don't.
The Bullets Wireless 2 are leagues ahead of the Bullets Wireless Z when it comes to the refinement of the sound. The bass has a nice punch to it without being overbearing.
The mids are a bit recessed but not muddy and the high-end has actual air and sparkle to it. The soundstage is also so much more expansive with depth and dimensionality.
It's just a more pleasing sound overall while also being technically superior and why I loved the Bullets Wireless 2 so much back when I reviewed it as there were hardly any products in that price range that sounded as good.
Unfortunately, with the Bullets Wireless Z, OnePlus is clearly dealing with lesser quality hardware and just lesser hardware, if you compare the driver count.
The company made the arguably correct decision to tune the drivers in a way that would be more pleasing to buyers in this price category while the more expensive Bullets Wireless 2 had a more mature and refined sound that not everyone can appreciate.
So while the Bullets Wireless Z don't sound bad per se, they are the best you can get in their price range, especially when compared to the turbid Realme Buds Wireless that cost just a bit less.
But the Bullets Wireless 2 are still the superior choice for those who value audio quality above all else.
Too bad they aren't going to be on sale for long. This feature enables a custom sound profile for these earphones and makes a significant impact on the audio quality.
It lowers the bass while boosting the mids and the highs. This brings the sound more in line with the Bullets Wireless 2. Needless to say, this has a pretty significant impact on the audio experience and because it's done on a system-level, it affects all audio played on the device.
Too bad this preset is only available on select OnePlus smartphones only. As far as the microphone quality is concerned, it is adequate for voice calls.
The sound is a bit muted and not the clearest you'd hear, especially if you are coming from a wired headset, but is acceptable for a budget Bluetooth headset.
Finally, the latency when paired with an iPhone XR was also quite acceptable, both for watching videos and playing casual games.
Jul 2, Yves Montand as Deputy. Irene Papas as Helene. Jean-Louis Trintignant as Examining Magistrate. Jacques Perrin as Photojournalist.
Charles Denner as Manuel. Pierre Dux as General. Julien Guiomar as Colonel. Bernard Fresson as Matt. Renato Salvatori as Yago. Marcel Bozzuffi as Vago.
Jean Bouise as Deputy Georges Pirou. Jean Daste as Coste. Jean-Pierre Miquel as Pierre. Guy Mairesse as Dumas. Clotilde Joano as Shoula.
Maurice Baquet as The Bald Man. Van Doude as The Hospital Director. Eva Simonet as Niki. Hassan Hassani as The General's Chauffeur.
Gabriel Jabbour as Bozzini. Jean-Francois Gobbi as Jimmy the Boxer. Andree Tainsy as Nick's Mother. Steve Gadler as English Photographer.
Bob de Bragelonne as Undersecretary of State. Sid Ahmed Agoumi as The General's. Allel El Mouhib. Habib Reda. Georges Rouquier.
January 15, Full Review…. April 23, Rating: 3. June 30, Full Review…. January 16, Full Review…. October 2, Full Review….
July 25, Full Review…. July 10, Full Review…. November 17, Rating: A Full Review…. View All Critic Reviews Sep 13, Absolutely chilling.
At the end, seriously, as I sat stunned while the credits rolled by, I felt like curling up in the fetal position.
It's a powerful, powerful film, based on the real-life assassination of anti-war activist Grigoris Lambrakis in Greece by right-wing thugs, who were sponsored by the military dictatorship in power at the time.
With corruption going to the highest level of government, one using dirty tricks, intimidation, spying, attacks on the free press, assault, and murder, you might feel enraged while watching it, or powerless.
Jean-Louis Trintignant turns in a great performance as the magistrate who looks into what is stated to be a drunk driving accident by the police.
We feel the tension as he tries to uncover the truth, coming across disturbing facts. He has to withstand coercion from a General Pierre Dux , but at the same time, beware that politics on the other side weren't somehow involved.
We feel for so many characters here - one that comes forward as a witness, only to be attacked, the activists demonstrating against nuclear arms, who are beaten up by the police, and the magistrate himself, whose career is threatened unless he 'plays ball'.
The bravery required is humbling. The film and its direction from Costa-Gavras feels very much a product of its time, and yet also modern, and timeless.
In little moments he lightens the tone, such as when a series of officers all try to exit out the wrong door as they're led out of the courtroom.
Even there, aside from the humor, one could see it as commentary on human folly, and how we repeat the same mistakes with a rotating cast of characters over time.
The American support of the dictatorship is barely referenced, and yet we feel it there, heavy in the background, and it's shameful - so shameful that the film was accused of being 'Anti-American' in politically charged It's so ironic that in defending against the evils of communism, governments often employ the very same totalitarian, heavy-handed tactics against their citizens.
They're so busy generating propaganda and demonizing the enemy that they don't notice that they've started becoming like the enemy.
It's not unlike decrying the cruelty of extremists in our own time, and then turning around and authorizing torture. What it really means is to be wary of anyone in power, for some will go to any lengths to hold on to it.
I think of the quote "That which can be destroyed by the truth, should be," and thank goodness for films like this, which simply tell the truth, even if it is a punch in the gut.
Antonius B Super Reviewer. Aug 03, The film's anti-fascism always reads as raw and angry but never unfocused. A remarkable thriller.
Alec B Super Reviewer. Jun 03, One of the better political thrillers and certainly the best that France has produced in the genre.
John B Super Reviewer. May 06, Quick cutting, understated characters, uniformly excellent acting and powerful themes are what make "Z" such a good political thriller.
There are parts where the story drags, but those moments are far and few between, and for the most part, we're watching with a deep fascination at the underhandedness of the Greek government.
Stephen E Super Reviewer. See all Audience reviews. There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.
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