Review Nothing Ear(1): Transparent Buds!

what’s up mkbhd here and these are some of the most hyped new pieces of tech in a while these are the nothing year one earbuds and you can already see at first glance there’s already some pretty unique things about them so you might have followed the whole startup story of this new company founded by carl pay former founder of oneplus and now who’s turning into like a mastermind or generating hype i have chosen to ignore all of the hype and the slow burn of headlines about this for the past couple months because you know expectations are the thief of joy why get yourself psyched out when it’s only the product itself that actually matters right so now we have the product it’s here it’s a pair of 99 dollar wireless earbuds with active noise cancellation and wireless charging now i got these about four days ago by the time you’re watching this took them out of the very nicely packaged box listened to a lot of music on them worked out in them really put them through their paces and i gotta say they’re really not bad from all that though the best part of these headphones easy is a hundred percent this design so nothing partnered with this swedish company called teenage engineering to design this transparent set of headphones and right off the bat that’s actually a bigger deal than most people realize in a

product like this not only because it looks cool you know you get your black and white and clear aesthetic and you get to add some nice printed text on the inside it looks cool these headphones definitely look sweet i love what they’ve done with this unique design but also a lot of the places inside earbuds where you can normally be sloppy you have to spend more time on to actually make it neat because people will see it so with battery and pcb placement and the microphones and the glue oh god especially all the glue it never looks this neat and trim inside of most other earbuds so i know we don’t do this all the time but if you were to cut open take anything some some air pods or a pair of galaxy buds or sonys or whatever you want you would see that to hold these pieces together there’s glue on the inside and that glue doesn’t have to be nearly as neat it doesn’t have to be pretty at all the wires don’t have to be tucked away in any certain way it just all kind of has to be in the bulb and work but here i mean there’s seams there’s glue

there’s batteries everything is so trim and so neat so the fact that these are clear and still look good is pretty impressive they clearly had to focus a lot on it and i’d say it’s worth it i think they look dope now the overall shape is still pretty familiar like they look basically like airpods pro but with a smaller rectangular sort of stem and they’re very comfortable with the huge bonus of being super light 4.7 grams per ear so it really does feel easy to leave them in for long periods of time and forget about them the only funny thing is i don’t know if anyone else remembers the original nothing teaser image that looked like totally transparent you know maybe they got a little too ambitious back then because these look nothing like that nothing uh but that just is another reason not to pay too much attention to all the hype and get so excited when it’s not even gonna look like that in the first place but still looks cool anyway the case here that it comes with is also partially clear it’s a little big but it also does have a couple features that are also pretty

nice to see in this price range so you can see it’s this clamshell style the earbuds fit in at the corners with magnets and you’ve got a matching red dot for the right earbud which also has a red dot in it but i like how these snap into place the magnets are good and you can literally see them in the stems so that’s cool and then the case has a usbc port which is nice but it also supports qi wireless charging and i noticed the led light indicator that’s just telling you whether or not it’s on the charger is super super responsive i’ve never seen anything indicate wireless charging this fast before so that’s pretty cool and then in the middle when it’s closed there’s this big dimple that’s partially a great way to hold the earbuds firmly in place in the case but it also doubles as a nice fidget spinner if you yeah maybe not um but bottom line is this is it’s a plastic case like any normal one but it is kind of big still it’s definitely not as pocketable as something like you know galaxy buds plus or pixel buds a series which are both at this price range but they kept the semi-transparent thing going which is clearly very important to them even though it probably doesn’t look great if it ever cracks or scratches but speaking of priorities how do they sound well again

context they sound pretty good not amazing the the more expensive earbuds do sound better but having active noise cancellation at this price is pretty clutch so basically with the silicon tips and the light weight i was actually very happy with how comfortable these are with the passive seals but these 11.6 millimeter drivers definitely sound much better with noise cancellation on where it really brings in much more bass and the full sound stage but basically they sound like an average pair of casual 100 earbuds a bit of a v-shaped frequency response the highest highs are a little bit tinny and the bass is big and full but not super punchy and there’s plenty of volume you can sit around half volume maybe 60 and be totally happy there’s actually two levels of noise cancellation light and maximum not really feeling a big difference between the two when i switch but on

maximum they feel about half as strong as airpods pro maybe two-thirds as strong really they’re best with low frequency white noise like air conditioning or road noise if you’re in a car or something like that but it did still let some of the higher frequency like hissy sort of stuff through a little bit now again i’m comparing these to airpods pro because that’s what i know best but keep in mind those are much much more expensive headphones like three times the price so that’s not a criticism that’s just context these are still very good i still think i would fly with these they’re also ipx4 splash resistant so they survived a workout and you definitely could get rained on no problem probably won’t have to worry about these and they are touch controls on the stems of the buds that work just as well when sweaty as dry so there’s a long press to switch between noise cancellation modes and you can swipe up and down on the stems to change volume plus different amounts of taps for playback controls there is a little bit of a learning curve with the swipes you have to really make it like an obvious full-size swipe to get it to change volume but once you learn that it’s no problem and then battery life is okay it’s about four hours with

anc on a little bit longer with it off five to six hours total and then you can of course get up to a full 24 to 34 in the case but i was hoping it’ll be a bit longer i guess the problem is i’m i’m so calibrated to some of the others if you’ve played with galaxy buds plus you can get like 10 hours out of those things but i suspect matching that in this like transparent form factor where you can see everything would have probably been impossible now there is an ear one app for ios and android that ties it all together it’s pretty simple it doesn’t do a whole lot but it does let you control the sound feature and touch controls so in sound you can switch between cancellation strength or to a transparency mode that’s pretty decent love to see it and there’s also an equalizer toggle down here at the bottom that i thought was going to give me like a whole graph to really fine-tune these things but it’s really just a more treble or more bass button or a voice mode that just nukes all the frequencies outside of a normal voice for phone calls then in the touch

section you can customize what a triple tap or a long hold does on each of these earbuds independently so i have triple tap on the left earbud to go back a song and triple tap on the right earbud to go to the next song now i did have some weird connection issues i gotta say um i would get the right earbud to connect but the left wouldn’t which is like a weird problem you usually only see in some of the really cheapest earbuds out there but i am testing this on pre-release software and i’m hoping that by the time this is public this is fixed and this isn’t a problem because that would be a bummer if it was um but that that’s something i should mention is if you’re using an app and it’s connecting everything and giving you all your features you want it to work well all the time for the limited amount of things it actually does there’s also a dark theme in this app and a find my earbuds feature that just blasts this ringing sound from the earbuds at max volume which is very high so you can find them if they’re across the room or in a car or on a couch or something but if you put this all together i give the looks an a maybe a plus uh the sound a b and the features a b plus you know i was hope maybe you know an a would have been if you could have an eq

and really adjust and dial in some of those frequencies you want to adjust and also i was hoping i’d be able to toggle the assistant with a long hold but that’s not available in the settings so there’s a couple extra things i’d wanted to do but generally as far as a combination of things that this does for 99 bucks it’s pretty good so assuming you didn’t fall for the hype and think these were going to like beat some of the 300 flagship wireless earbuds out there these these don’t sound as good these don’t have as good noise cancellation but that’s a very high bar to clear and this is a nice place for them to sort of jump into the market i like them honestly i think a lot of people are going to get these just for the really nice design because they are really nice and i i think that’s something a lot of companies also have realized especially in the last decade or so like there’s a lot of wireless earbuds out there most people at this price range aren’t buying them for the sound quality only they’re buying them because of the set of features and then how they look and if they happen to sound good that’s fine and so these have a pretty good set of features and look great so they’re going to do well well done as for the rest of the hype well that was just much to do about nothing thanks for watching catch you guys later peace

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