12 July 2021
UPDATE (December 1st, 2021):
Nothing has now launched Nothing ear (1) Black Edition truly wireless earphones in India. These are exactly the same as the transparent ones in terms of specs and features. The only difference is that these are available in a smokey matte black finish and are carbon neutral. These are priced at INR 6,999 in India which is again the same as the standard version. The sales will begin on December 13th via Flipkart.
Original (July 27th, 2021)
Nothing has finally taken the veil off its first product called the ear (1), which is a pair of truly wireless earbuds. They feature some interesting features, including wireless charging, water-resistivity, and of course the active noise cancelation.
Nothing which is run by OnePlus’ former Co-founder Carl Pei, managed to create much hype around its first product before the launch. First, the company stayed in the headlines for its unique name, and then its ambitious plans kept those buzzes alive. Ear (1) saw some delays but the company was bullish about what it was doing. Today, as per its promise, the company is ready with its first product.
Nothing ear (1) features a different design compared to all those TWS available in the market today. The case is touted to be transparent as it lets you peek into the company’s vision, which is to make things less fancy and more apparent. As mentioned by Nothing a couple of months back, the company has focused “solely on what adds true value to the user experience.” The company chose to peel off “everything superficial, like unnecessary branding on the surface.”
The case is transparent but yet not completely naked. The company had to go through many challenges while designing it because creating a completely transparent design is not easy. As Thomas Howard, creative director at Nothing said to Wired, while some solutions might look easier to yield, they weren’t for them as it was still a learning process. He said, “we did as much as we possibly could to make it transparent.”
Well, you can still see the earbuds pair sitting inside and some of their internal components as well.
The company chose to offer a different design from the inside compared to other existing TWS. The two earbuds are facing opposite to each other and that too diagonally. There is nothing fancier about the case’s form factor as well. It is just a squarish box that is housing two wireless earbuds. The overall look has the simplest approach but yet is fascinating.
As Howard mentions,
From a distance, you get intrigued but things feel quite simple, and then slowly as you start to look at the surface, that’s when the details of the product reveal themselves.
The Nothing ear (1) support Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity with SBC and AAC codecs. Each earbud also features touch gestures for controlling the playback and ANC modes. According to Nothing, the ANC on the ear (1) has two levels of noise cancelation. There is a transparency mode so as to hear the surroundings without taking the earbuds off. Another level just lets you turn the ANC entirely off.
Nothing ear (1) have 11.6mm speaker drivers, with a 0.34c chamber for bass. They are also IPX4 rated so as to be water-resistance to some extent.
Nothing ear (1) can be paired with both iOS and Android device. There is also an app available to control the features such as touch gestures, ANC, EQ, and to simply update the software.
Nothing claims 4 hours of continuous playback with ANC enabled and 5.7 hours when ANC is disabled. The charging case further raises the overall playtime to up to 34 hours. The case can be charged with a USB-C cable or wirelessly with a Qi-certified charger.
The price of the Nothing ear (1) is $99 ( €99 / £99 / INR 5,999). Other than the US, Europe, UK, and India, Nothing ear (1) will be available in 41 countries. They will be available on Nothing's website in limited quantities starting July 31 with wider availability starting August 17.