For years we have been seeing custom designs of smartphones like the iPhone or OnePlus by various designers with transparent back panels. This always made us wonder why the makers/companies don’t do the same in the first place? Also, when will we see gadgets with transparent panels? Half a decade later a company did hear our thoughts and here comes a pair of TWS earphones by Nothing (a fresh company started by Carl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus) called Ear (1). The audio earplugs are not fully transparent with only the stems being see-through, they do come close to what we had pictured. We got to play around with these hot-off-the-press earphones, and this is Nothing Ear 1 review you should not miss.
Nothing Ear 1 review: Design
The company has thought about the presentation a lot. Starting from the packaging to the actual earphones we can see a lot of sleepless nights and effort. While strip pulling open the card box exteriors, it reminded us of the Wrigley chewing gum wrapper. In the same manner, you get a red pull apart strip to get to the yummy treasure inside. Once you unbox, you get to see a great looking transparent box of the Nothing Ear 1 earphones.
The top lid has a magnetic clip that shuts easily. Open it and you get to see the wonderfully made Nothing Ear 1 earphones that weigh 4.7 grams. The case weighs another 57.4 grams over it, which also has the battery inside in a sparkling white encasing. Both the earphones are magnetic that are held in place in each cavity in the case (securely). As said, the stem of both the audio earplugs are transparent and one can see a lot of the interior. The top part of the earphones is white in colour with a silicone tip attachment to hold them in place firmly in the user’s ear.
Talking about which, the Nothing Ear 1 come with 3 pairs of silicone ear tips. Small, medium (already on the earphones) and large ones come in the box. With these users also get a USB charging cable. One can use any USB charger to charge the audio plugs via the case. The case has a USB Type-C charging port, a button to turn on BT pairing and an LED light to tell you the battery life etc.
Nothing Ear 1 review: Performance
Coming from the house of Carl Pei, we had very high expectations from Nothing Ear 1. Did it deliver? On most counts, yes, but we can see some teething issues, which we are sure will become better over time. So, let’s talk about the performance of these sound earphones. They have 11.6mm dynamic audio drivers inside the shell that can produce some groovy tunes at a very high volume.
The sound is very good, and bass is something the company has worked on. We for one had very little to complain about here. But when compared to the already dominant Sony and Bose, these were a step or two behind. Nonetheless, that is not a bad thing, as the price segment these are in. You can buy one Nothing Ear 1 for each member of your family, in the same price you get one of Sony’s or Bose’s ANC earphones. The ANC (active noise cancellation) is there in Nothing Ear 1 too, but it is not the best. We would keep it in the teething issue box for now and not emphasise on it much. One can easily pair them with any mobile or even a laptop.
Users get features like in-ear detection, IPX 4 splash resistance and apps for both iOS and Android devices. The app has a couple of equalizer functions and enables the users to customise taps or triple taps. While we are on the topic, the touch sensitivity of the stem is quite nice. Users can slide the finger from top to bottom or vice versa to control the volume on (both) the Nothing Ear 1 earphones. In the same way double tap to pause or play the music and triple tap to skip tracks. Users can also press and hold to turn ANC on or off. Bluetooth 5.2, A2DP, AVRCP and HFP are supported here.
The battery life of the Nothing Ear 1 could have been better. They lasted for 4.25 hours for us after being fully charged. The box does provide additional up to 34 hours of charge, if ANC is off, or 24 hours if ANC is on. But a couple of hours on the earphones itself would have been better for the music of video bingers.
All in all, Nothing Ear 1 at Rs 5,999 are somewhat of a disruptor in the Indian market. Good sound, exceptional looks, and almost good ANC in a sub 6K price bracket is worth a pick-up. If you are looking for new earphones that look good and sound great, your search ends here.
Light in weight
ANC needs a bit of work
The battery life of the earphones could have been better
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