Following months of cryptic press announcements, tech start-up Nothing has finally released its flagship product — the ear (1) Wireless Earbuds. You can pick up your own pair for $99 on the Nothing website.
In terms of design, ear (1) shares a basic silhouette with Apple‘s AirPods, namely the opaque white bud with a stem resting above the ear — but this is where the similarities end. Aside from these basic forms that are largely determined by the components found in most wireless earbuds, there’s nothing on the market that looks quite like Nothing’s ear (1). The body of the earbuds and the case are partially transparent, with black and white accents covering up the more unsightly electronic elements.
No one expects to find $250 AirPod Pro technology inside a pair of $99 earbuds from a new brand, but Nothing decided to swing for the fences in terms of features. With the assistance of its wireless charging case, ear (1) offers up to 34 hours of listening. Other special features include active noise cancellation with three different listening modes, IPX4 water resistance, Find My Earbuds mode and Bluetooth 5.2 technology.
If you have reservations about blindly purchasing earbuds from an unknown brand, it’s safe to say that Nothing’s team and collaborators have already proven their intellectual visions — iPod inventor Tony Fadell and Twitch founder Kevin Lin are two prominent investors. Pocket synthesizer powerhouse Teenage Engineering is responsible for the distinct ear (1) design as well as its audio tuning.
Nothing CEO Carl Pei is better known as the co-founder of OnePlus, a consumer electronics powerhouse known for its budget smartphones. When Pei parted ways with OnePlus to launch Nothing, he announced the new brand will grow into an entire ecosystem of smart devices that emphasize aesthetic value, intuitive use and unique design principles.
On September 1st, OnePlus is scheduled to release its own (slightly less) affordable earbuds, the OnePlus Buds Pro. Even if Pei did not have a hand in the creation of the OnePlus Buds Pro, it’s hard to not feel curious about how the two compare.
It’s too soon to say which is “better,” but it’s worth noting that OnePlus’ earbuds retail for $149, $50 more than ear (1). The price difference accounts for the extra features packed into the OnePlus Buds Pro, such as IP55 water resistance, Dolby Atmos support, Warp Charge and LHDC HD audio support. Ear (1) may not have these particular features, but its battery life and dynamic drivers are neck and neck with the OnePlus Buds Pro.
Waiting until you find a good deal on a new pair of wireless earbuds? Save yourself a little time and research by setting a Deal Alert. Set it, forget it and we’ll let you know when we find the next great discount.
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