Nothing releases first product, welcome the USD 99 ear (1) TWS buds

This story was originally published on July 31, 2021, and last updated on December 13, 2021.

After months of teasing the Nothing ear (1), the consumer tech startup led by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei is ready for the public to buy its first product. Nothing will be selling these true wireless buds in 45 countries on August 17 for USD 99 (around PHP 4,950). 

The buds are not overly expensive, but they’re not the cheapest option either. And based on its specs, it looks like you’ll be getting value for money earbuds. 

The startup has worked with Swedish electric house Teenage Engineering to tune both the hardware and software. These come equipped with 11.6mm drivers, support for Bluetooth 5.2, and offer features like tap and gesture controls. A companion app will let you tweak EQ settings and help find the buds if you misplace them.

The ear (1) buds get three microphones on each bud to help with active noise cancelation. You can choose between three modes: ANC to block out loud environments, Light Mode for quieter areas, or Active Transparency for hearing your surroundings while you use these buds.

The Nothing ear (1)s try to stick out of the sea of TWS buds with its distinctive design. We like this industrial look the company is going for here. 

You can see some of the internal circuitry on the stem, and the logo is printed as dotted text, making them look like text printed on circuit boards. 

Nothing even adds colored circles on the buds to correspond to each ear and are seen on the earbuds, so you know which bud goes where. The colors red and white seem like a subtle nod to RCA cables. 

And like the buds, the charging case features transparent plastic in a squircle design, reminding us a bit of a powder compact case.

According to Nothing, battery life with ANC off is up to 34 hours, including the Qi-compatible charging case or up to 5.7 hours from the buds themselves. If you use ANC, you can get up to 24 hours with the case or four hours from the buds.

The Nothing ear (1) are IPX4 water-resistant, so these can handle a bit of sweat and light splashes. Compatible Android devices can take advantage of fast pairing, too.

The feature set isn’t revolutionary, but we do like the approach of trying to make something stand out from its competition. We also always think it’s cool when we see new entries in the consumer tech space because that means we get more options to choose from. 

Pei has previously mentioned that his company wants to build an ecosystem of devices, meaning we’re expecting different products from his brand. And that’s something we hope Nothing can deliver on.

A few months after the release of the original Nothing ear (1), the company gave in to requests for a black color option for the earbuds. This new black edition gets a smoky matte black finish for the parts of the buds that were white. The same goes for the charging case, where the white-painted elements are now sporting that matte black finish. Everything else about these buds remains the same, though. 

And now, for select markets, Nothing will accept cryptocurrency to purchase the ear (1) through its website. If it’s possible where you live, you can use Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, or USD Coin.

Open sale for the Nothing ear (1) black edition kicks off today through the brand’s website. If you have access to it, are you getting a pair?


UPDATE 1: 2021/12/13 3:11 P.M. GMT+8 BY NICOLE BATAC  

Added info on the new black edition

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