The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on Android devices only.
The ANC uses three microphones on each earbud and can be set to Maximum for loud environments, Light for quieter environments, and there is also a transparency mode for hearing the sound around you. During calls, the microphones are used to cancel out background noise.
The Ear (1) earbuds offer 5.7 hours of battery life with ANC turned off, and 34 hours of battery life when used with the charging case. This drops to four hours for the buds and 24 hours with the case with ANC switched on.
Each earbud can be controlled with tap and gesture controls, which can be customized with the accompanying app. The app also features EQ controls and Find my Earbud functions.
One of the most striking things about the earbuds is their unique design based around transparent plastic, which reveals some of the device’s internal circuitry and magnets. Each earbud has a color-coded red or white circle to indicate the left and right ears.
Inside, the earbuds feature 11.6mm drivers. Nothing’s hardware and software have been tuned by the well-known Swedish electronics company Teenage Engineering.
The Ear (1) earbuds cost $150 less than Apple’s AirPods Pro, but offer many of the same features, such as a premium design, ANC, transparency mode, IPX4 water resistance, 24 hours of battery life with the charging case. Some features, like Bluetooth 5.2, three microphones per earbud, and earbud weight, are actually better than AirPods Pro, but they will of course lack Apple-specific features such as auto-pairing with the H1 chip. The Ear (1) earbuds are also cheaper than Samsung’s $200 Galaxy Buds Pro.
In recent months, Nothing has undertaken an aggressive and secretive marketing campaign to build enthusiasm around its true wireless earbuds. Pei has previously said that the company plans to launch a connected ecosystem of new devices that will extend far beyond this initial product.
The Ear (1) earbuds will go on sale on August 17 in 45 countries, priced at $99 in the United States.