Nothing Ear 1 earphones impress with noise cancellation and futuristic design

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Nothing, the American tech startup from OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, has officially unveiled its first product: the Ear 1 wireless earbud. These earbuds feature a unique transparent design, a competitive launch price of only 99 euros, and top-of-the-line hardware with active noise cancellation (ANC), a proprietary app, Android and iOS compatibility, and clean, full-bodied audio.


The Nothing Ear 1’s aggressive price of just $99, puts it in direct competition with the Samsung Galaxy Buds and Google Pixel Buds, even though it offers a more refined design and technical features typical of the higher price range. In particular, it is precisely the design that surprises because it is evident the work done by the manufacturer to make beautiful to the eye all the hardware structure. So not only quality components but also assembly and engineering studies at the table and displayed in all product parts, including the transparent case.

On the software side, Nothing engineers have done a great job of implementing all the latest features in a highly compact and lightweight headset. There are two ANC settings: Light mode for moderate noise cancellation and Maximum mode for louder environments like public transportation. In contrast, the Transparent manner allows you to turn ANC off completely. Noise cancellation is provided by three high-quality microphones that work in sync with the product’s software. As you speak, advanced algorithms analyze sound frequencies by comparing them to a million pre-sampled voices and proper combinations (including winds of up to 40 km/h) to isolate and amplify your voice accurately.

The manufacturer claims that its “Clear Voice” technology can reduce background noise, including even loud wind, during calls. The product is paired with a proprietary app that allows Android or iOS to change audio presets / EQ and includes features such as: “find my earbud” and gesture control customization. The headphones paired with your Android device for the first time  will instantly reacquire the connection whenever you take them out of the charging case, plus they’ll recognize when they’re placed on your ear. So you can automatically pause your music or video simply by removing an earbud, and when you’re ready to listen again, put it back on.


As for the technical specifications, the earbuds feature an 11.6mm driver, software, and hardware created by Teenage Engineering, best known for its portable music creation tools like OP-1 and OP-Z. Engineers ensure a clean sound designed for optimum treble and bass performance. Battery life is around 6 hours, slightly more than the 5 hours offered by some direct competitors such as Amazon’s Echo Buds. However, this figure will vary depending on audio settings. Duration will extend up to 34 hours using the included charging case. The 570 mAh case supports Qi wireless charging in addition to USB-C charging, and it also features ultrafast charging, providing up to 8 hours of playback in just 10 minutes.

Finally, each earbud features an internal membrane for improved sweat and water resistance with an IPX4 rating, making the earbuds perfect for even the most intense workouts. You’ll be able to wear these earbuds for hours without even noticing, thanks to their featherweight 4.7 grams and three different sizes of silicone plugs for a perfect fit on the earcup.


Thanks to a targeted marketing campaign, the guys at Nothing managed to create great anticipation behind the launch of their first product. In fact, at the moment, all stocks in pre-order are sold out. This fact is essential to understand how different these earbuds are from the competition in design and superior technical equipment. I thoroughly recommend the Ear 1’s because they allow you to have virtually all of the features of the AirPods Pro at less than half the price with a more attractive, fashionable look and compatibility with Android and iOS devices. I don’t think you’ll be able to ask for more for €99.

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