Is Nothing Ear 1 best earphone or just a Hype? Review, Price, Spec |

Nothing Ear 1

This is a very important pair of earphones. You’ve heard of oneplus. They make smartphones, earphones, and watches. The reason this exists is that last year the guy who started oneplus car play. He decided to leave and create a completely new tech company called Nothing and Nothing Ear 1 is nothing’s first product. It’s a fascinating situation because oneplus already makes really good tech for the most part but for this guy to then leave oneplus and start a new company in the same lane. He must be sure that he can make something even better. This guy has spent nine whole months slowly teasing out details of this mysterious company. How they’ve rethought everything and come out with Nothing Ear 1. How their entire mission is extreme minimalism to create tech that disappears into the background. He even got his fans to become investors in the company before they even knew a single product coming from it. There’s been so much talk and so much build up and it all culminates in this. This pair of earphones is nothing’s one chance to blow people away. It determines the trajectory of the entire company whether they fly straight to the top or just get labeled as yet another tech firm who will say anything to just get a headline and they’re calling it the nothing ear 1.

Into the box of Nothing Ear 1- It’s a small package but a pretty unique one and I think that’s important if the brand messaging is going to talk about a revolution. Then the unboxing experience has to feel distinct. You get a pretty tiny USB-C cable. I won’t be using that some small and some large ear tips the medium ones come pre-fitted and manuals.

Price comparison and features- So the primary thing that you’ve got to keep in your mind here is the apple air pods pro are 249$, Samsung galaxy buds pro are about $200, now Sony’s xf whatever they’re called are $280, the nothing ear ones are $99 and considering that they are off to a flying start because even at that price they have splash and sweat resistance, wireless charging, auto paws when you take one of them at your ear, the latest Bluetooth 5.2 for higher quality audio and better battery and the option to make them blast out a high-pitched squeal.

I think the fact that this company sells primarily direct to the consumer online and the fact that they seem to generate most of their hype using free media just means that their costs are lower and they’re probably also willing to make a little bit less profit because this is their first product and they’re trying to make a good impression. But okay, when I judge a pair of earphones there are five key things that I look for design, fit, noise cancelling, battery and sound and I’m gonna be honest I’m not blown away by the design I thought.

Design of Nothing Ear 1- I was gonna love them the concept of this look really appeals to me but I’m a little disenchanted by the execution of it. Like for anyone who’s ever seen these tech teardowns you’ll know that this whole transparent section is not easy to pull off. It’s one thing to try and make internals that work well but then also making those internals look pretty while hiding all the glue between the scenes is a whole other ball game. Like if you just got a pair of air pods and took the outer layer off they’d look pretty horrific. Also for the most part this is just intelligent design. How each earphone has its own color dot to quickly tell left from right which also helps you line them up in the case, fantastic?

Fit to Ear- The squared off stems makes them more grippable and also allows for a larger microphone than if you had to worry about curvature and just as far as the general quality is concerned. You can’t tell that these are half the price of apples. However I do think this product suffers visually because of how late nothing after the game. Like if you’re an unknown company trying to create a new product in a market that’s already reached some level of maturity then the only real way to squeeze your way in is to be different. I think nothing has taken this thought process to the absolute extreme and so while I really do believe in their whole text should fade into the background mantra, this focus on being excessively unique has almost achieved the exact opposite of that . Nothing has tried so hard to be different that this doesn’t even really look like a cohesive product. You’ve got a transparent half which is sophisticated and technical and then that’s joined onto plain white. It’s like when someone rocks up with a replacement car door that’s clearly not color matched and they’ve done the same thing with the case as well. We’ve ended up with this multi-tiered asymmetrical text sandwich with a weird Mickey Mouse indent that I’m assuming is there to keep the earphones in place is it unique absolutely. Would it have looked better if they’d just done something like this and kept it simple almost definitely but overall I’d give the designer these a six out of ten.

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What happened here they are very comfortable? Though the fact that a lot of the circuitry has been put in the stem means that the main chamber which is the bit that sits in your ear can be made a little smaller. So in contrast to their rather loud appearance. They’re actually only slightly less comfortable than the pretty svelte air pods pro when they’re in your ears and comfort was one of those earphones best features. the point is in almost all cases I forgot they were there also this is a bit obscure but with some earphones I have found that when I’m lifting weights for example and I clench my face a bit .they’re so tightly fit that that alone is enough to dislodge them .again not an issue here.

Touch Control- The only two things that aren’t comfortable are sprinting with these in as part of this review I literally put myself through a bleep test. If anyone knows what those are and while they won’t fall out you do feel the slight up and down motion within your ears. But also the touch controls. You get a touch sensitive strip on both earbuds which you can use for things like adjusting volume. It does work some of the time but the bigger issue is that when your ears are sealed off like this and you find yourself. Let’s say triple tapping to skip the song then even if you’re being really gentle, it’s sending such a concentrated sound wave directly into your eardrum. It kind of just hurts. You can try it like if you cover your ear with one finger and then tap that finger with another finger. It’s not pleasant. The air pods cleverly get around this by having an actual button that you don’t need to hit. You can just kind of gently push it but on balance I would still give the fit to these earphones an 8 out of 10.

Noise cancellation- As soon as I turn them on, then I was met with another pleasant surprise. So just like other buds that have active noise cancellation. The ear ones have a microphone on the outside which listens in to external noise and feeds you a sound wave that’s basically the exact opposite of the incoming sound wave. Where there’s a peak in the noise around you the headphones will feed you a trough and thus the waves cancel each other out and you end up with silence. I’m gonna sound like a right special case here but I basically sat in front of my fan for like 15 minutes straight, just cycling different earphones and seeing how they blocked the sound and my conclusion was that these are on about the same level as the air pods. They don’t quite have that disappearing into your own bubbly feelings that you can get on some airplanes but given how light and airy they feel while they’re in. I think the noise reduction is about as good as I think you could expect and the flip side of good isolation is that they also don’t leak sound. We’ve all been there sitting in like a train or a bus and someone in that cabin is using ear pods and unwittingly sharing their entire playlist with the whole cabin that’s not an issue here and if there’s another level if you hold down on these stems it’ll enable transparency mode. Which is basically the exact opposite of noise cancelling. It detects incoming waves and it amplifies them. So you can actually have a conversation with someone and not need to take them out but you do get a fair bit of white noise while using this mode for $99 though I would still give noise cancelling an 8 out of 10.

Battery of Nothing Ear 1- It’s just generally tough to fault how these feels to use and that also applies to the battery assuming. You have the case with you. It sits anywhere between 20 and 35 hours of listening time depending on what volume you’re set at and if you use the active noise cancellation. That’s 600 replays of my favorite song and it just adds to that feeling of being able to forget that they’re. So eight out of ten. But there is one big question mark hanging over these how do the ear ones with all this talk of the sound of change actually sound. Well, this isn’t like reviewing phones one thing worth knowing about earphones is that you can read the entire spec sheet and still have absolutely no idea how they perform. One of the only metrics that does give you some bearing is the size of the driver unit the piece inside that’s actually moving to output the sound. See, we always talk about sound in waves but when you hear something what you’re really hearing is just the compression of air particles which is translated to a force that causes the inside of your ear to move and then your brain interprets that movement as sound. Like if I smack my hands together the reason that’s loud is that because I’m moving quickly, I’m creating a significant compression of air particles and therefore the sound wave that comes from it is powerful. Anyways, the point is a larger driver does mean that an earphone can create bigger compressions.

Drivers used in Nothing Ear 1- Thus resulting in a sound signature that has more impact and so for some perspective the nothing ear 1 have 11.6 millimeter drivers which compares favorably to the air pods pro which are around 11 millimeters but it’s less extravagant than what you would get on Samsung’s earphones. Which actually have two drivers per earphone and 11 millimeter one for the base notes and a 6.5 millimeter one for the high notes. The idea being that you should get even more separation between those areas within your music. I’m going to use the air pods pro as a point of comparison here though because these are my day-to-day earphones and they’re also probably the known benchmark.

Sound quality- The nothing air ones sound better both offer a pretty easy laid back listening experience you could pick up either of these and they’re almost definitely going to enhance your enjoyment of any genre of music but the nothing Ear 1 earbuds just feel a little more forward. Let’s say for example the air pods feel like, you’re at a concert and you’re 100 meters away from the stage then these would feel like you’re 50 meters away and the higher the resolution of music you listen to the more you start to feel the implications of this. that little bit of extra spaciousness you get .the ability to better distinguish one instrument from the other even just the detail you probably wouldn’t notice much of a difference if you’re just watching YouTube videos but every time I would move from +ve’s to these while listening to lossless quality tracks on tidal, I would feel like everything had just been compressed a little bit. Air pods do have adaptive eq, which uses another microphone inside your ears to constantly adjust sound based on the shape of your ear and they do also have a little bit of extra sparkle in the high notes. But the nothings do sound overall richer than the air pods and well ahead of something like the beat studio buds.

Now don’t get me wrong neither of these is the benchmark for sound quality but given the price gap the fact that I would pick the nothings over these for sound is a strong positive. Nothing’s microphones sound pretty good too some of the people I talked to using it, said Nothing Ear 1 was a little more echoey than the air pods which is what we’ve just switched to now but overall the ear ones are quite a likeness. I’m gonna give them a nine for sound.

Conclusion- So the final message that I wanna leave you with here is try to take a step back from the hype. I don’t love how Nothing has handled this launch. How they’ve slowly revealed the design one centimeter at a time via social posts. How they tried to auction off a small number of them before the launch to enhance the perception of exclusivity. How they’ve gone to a whole bunch of influencers to partner with them for giveaways to effectively get them to endorse the product before they’ve even had a chance to test Nothing Ear 1. They basically used every free trick in the book to try and milk as much conversation about this product as possible. But the issue with that is that the expectation also goes up. Whereas in actuality these guys haven’t reimagined sound. These aren’t fundamentally different to any other wireless earbuds out there and they’re actually just a fairly safe tech product in a really outlandish shell. But that doesn’t change the fact that once you step away, once you remove yourself from that hype and just assess these as an overall value prospect, they’re very easy to recommend questionable design but a full feature set great sound and a surprisingly affordable price.

This is all about Nothing Ear 1. Thank you.

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