It has been virtually a 12 months since OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei left the corporate to start out his personal enterprise, Nothing. Within the months that adopted, the hype across the tech startup elevated tenfold, which ought to come as little shock to anybody following Carl’s profession over at OnePlus. It additionally helped that the brand new enterprise had a meme-able identify and by now, I’m positive you’ve scrolled via your share of witty (and terrible?) “Nothing” jokes too. Don’t fear – you gained’t hear ‘Nothing’ of the type right here.
Okay, I needed to get one in, however the truth stays that Nothing has constructed up a variety of clout on-line. And now, after months of teasing, the corporate lastly has a product to point out for it too. Dubbed the Nothing ear (1), the corporate’s first providing is a TWS headset that hopes to wow the viewers with its distinctive design and sound signature. What’s extra, the earphones have been priced fairly aggressively within the nation too, so on this assessment, let’s take a better take a look at the ear (1) and see if it lives as much as the corporate’s hype.
Desk of Contents
Design and Consolation
I gained’t beat across the bush in any respect – Nothing has hit the ball out of the ballpark with the design of the ear (1). In contrast to the herd of different TWS headsets on the market, the ear (1) employs a fairly distinctive design that has been made in a partnership with of us at Teenage Engineering. Fairly frankly, I’ve merely glossed over the latter’s portfolio however one factor is for sure – they’ve a deal with on designing gorgeous audio merchandise. The ear (1) too, seems to be not like anything in the marketplace and partially, employs a clear, see-through chassis. The earbuds’ stem, as an example, ships with a clear veneer that enable person to admire the technified guts of the headset. The corporate’s identify might be discovered neatly etched on the stem too, together with complimenting purple and white dots on the correct and left earbud respectively.
I’m in awe of the unit’s two-toned color scheme too, which actually makes the design pop. What’s extra, regardless of utilizing totally different color accents, the hues don’t really feel misplaced. Quite the opposite, they lend the ear (1) an edgy design that instructions a re-examination. Now, granted, the pair has been constructed utilizing plastic, however that doesn’t take something away from the ear (1)’s aesthetics. If something, using plastic ensures that the person buds weigh a mere 4.7 grams every. Coupled with the earphone’s angular nozzles, I can confidently say that the Nothing ear (1) are among the many most snug TWS headsets I’ve used shortly.
As for the case, effectively, it’s each bit as lovely because the earphones themselves and comes toting clear and metallic accents too. The enclosure contains a USB Sort-C port, helps wi-fi charging, and sports activities a bodily toggle positioned beside the charging port which can be utilized to place the earphones in pairing mode. The earbuds are holstered contained in the case magnetically, in order that they shouldn’t spill out in the event you by accident drop the ear(1) both. My solely qualm with the case’s design is that it picks up scratches like there’s no tomorrow.
Fortunately, the earphones don’t commerce operate over kind and ship with IPX4 certification too. Furthermore, you’ll be able to faucet on the stem of both earbud to invoke numerous instructions, together with altering tracks and turning the ANC mode on or off. You’ll be able to even variate the amount ranges by sliding your finger up and down the ear (1)’s stems, and the earphones will routinely pause the music must you take an earbud out of your ear as effectively. Sadly, I couldn’t get Google’s Quick Pair engaged on the set. Whereas the unit paired with my system with out a lot trouble, it could’ve been good to see the buds pop up on my telephone’s display the second I opened the case.
App and Connectivity
As prefaced beforehand, the Nothing ear (1) options contact controls that’ll can help you management the music playback. And, with the assistance of the ear (1)’s companion app (additionally known as ear (1), BTW), you’ll be able to tweak the contact controls to your liking. The app, on the entire, affords a minimalistic and user-friendly UI with all of the important options, together with the choice to flip via the equaliser and alter the totally different listening to modes (ANC, Transparency, and so on) listed entrance and centre. You can even use the app to seek out your earbuds on the off probability you misplace them. The characteristic works fairly effectively and in contrast to some competing headsets, the ear (1) emits a fairly loud pulsating hum that ought to assist you to discover them simply.
The ear (1) retained a steady Bluetooth connection to my paired gadgets too. I didn’t come throughout any audio-video sync points both, however the earphones can solely join to 1 system at a time, which is a bummer.
Sound High quality, ANC, and Battery life
I doubt anybody would purchase the ear (1) solely for its seems to be so, let’s speak sound. First issues first, it’s best to know that the ear (1) is backed by a pair of 11.6mm dynamic drivers. The unit helps SBC and AAC codecs, and connects to appropriate gadgets by way of Bluetooth v5.2.
The ear (1) sounds good for the worth, and I’ve completely loved my time with the pair. For essentially the most half, consumers choosing the ear (1) will discover loads to love in regards to the unit’s sound signature too – it’s balanced with out being too analytical and on the entire, makes for a enjoyable listening expertise. Nevertheless, the SS shouldn’t be with out its faults. For one, whereas the earbuds pack a punch within the low-end, the beats sound a tad flabby. So, whereas the beats sound voluminous sufficient, the influence or the thump that follows leaves a bit to be desired. The sub-bass additionally bleeds into the remainder of the frequency spectrum however Nothing has stored the slippage to a minimal right here.
Lil Nas X’s Vacation highlights among the aforementioned points. Within the first in addition to the second verse, you’ll discover that the rumble within the low-end masks the vocals. Equally, the slam of the beats from the get-go isn’t as tight as I might’ve favored it to be. Similarly, whereas the earbuds do justice to the vocals from an artist, the lyrics shriek at instances, owing to the earphone’s erratic mid-range spikes. The identical was evident in Kanye West’s Gold Digger and the components the place the singer stretched his chords sounded a tad shrill. On the flip aspect, the feel of the vocals was to my liking. So, tracks like “Go away A Gentle On” by Tom Walker sounded fairly melodious.
Furthermore, the ear (1) has the widest soundstage on any TWS in its value vary. The earphones give each frequency ample room to breathe and also you’ll not often get the impression that the pair are closed off. I used to be fairly pleased with the pair’s imaging too, which allowed me to make sense of chaotic mixes like Do I Wanna Know by Arctic Monkeys. As for the highs, the ear (1) doesn’t reciprocate energetic and sparkly highs just like the Galaxy Buds+ however, the pair affords good detailing. So, devices like an electrical guitar will stand out and supply good decision however sound a bit extra relaxed.
After all, the earphones additionally ship with ANC and right here, the ear (1) performs admirably. The noise cancellation is robust sufficient to maintain most, if not all ambient noises at bay and the corporate even permits consumers to sift via two totally different ANC modes. You’ll additionally get a transparency mode with the pair, which ought to come in useful if you wish to pay attention to your environment once you’re out and about.
The battery backup has been nice too. The corporate claims that the earphones can final round 5.7 hours off a single cost, with the bundled case including an extra 34 hours to the tally. Suffice it to say, it’s best to have the ability to use the earphones for a few days in a row. What’s extra, the ear (1) helps wi-fi charging too, making all of it that extra handy to cost when it’s out of juice.
So, does the Nothing ear (1) warrant a purchase? Effectively, the ear (1) wouldn’t be my go-to suggestion for audio purists. You see, regardless of being touted as the following huge factor in audio, the ear (1)’s sound signature isn’t as scientific as say, the Galaxy Buds Plus. For his or her asking value of Rs 5,999 although, the ear (1) brings quite a bit to the desk. The earphones look strikingly lovely, have been priced effectively, and sound fairly good too. Factoring within the added niceties like wi-fi charging and ANC and the ear (1) does greater than sufficient to get a suggestion from me.
Editor’s ranking: 3.5 / 5
- Distinctive design
- Likeable sound signature
- A great deal of convenience-based options
- Lengthy-lasting battery life
- Disagreeable spikes within the mid-range
- Treble lacks vitality
- Clear case will get scuffed simply