Nothing Ear (1)
Nothing is a new company by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei and is backed by high-profile investors including Google and the inventor of iPod. The first product out of their door is the Nothing Ear 1, a TWS Earbud that looks unlike anything out there right now.
With a transparent, see-through design, the Ear 1 stands out amidst a sea of sameness. It looks edgy, innovative and absolutely stunning with a 'retro futuristic' design language.
But it's not without it's flaws. The transparent plastic case catches scratches and scruffs easily. The magnet is too strong to open it one-handed. But aesthetically speaking, it looks fantastic.
The Ear 1 supports gesture-based controls. You can double tap to play/pause music, triple tap to skip to the next track, swipe up and down for volume, and tap and hold to switch between ANC and transparency mode. It can be personalised using the app.
The ANC on the Ear 1 is pretty good, but it struggles to completely cut out the noise, especially when you're out in traffic. But for a TWS under 10k, the ANC is class-leading.
The Ear 1 rocks 11.6mm graphene drivers with a balanced tuning with fantastic soundstaging, and tight mid bass. But the mids aren't as sublime as the Galaxy Buds+.
The treble has a clean texture, but the tonal fidelity isn't as good as some of the other TWS earbuds in this range.
There are three HD mics with Nothing's proprietary Clear Voice Technology for calls, but the ANC makes human voice sound robotic.
We clocked around 3 hours 48 minutes of battery life from the buds on our testing, with it going to 5.7 hours with ANC turned off.
At Rs 5,999, the Nothing Ear 1 offers fantastic value with well-balance sound signature, decent battery life and and iconic design. But does it create a revolution in the space of consumer tech products? That's too early to say.