Nothing Ear (stick)
Hardware: Custom 12.6mm Dynamic Drivers
Listening Time: Up To 29 Hours
Charge Connector: USB C
Audio Codec: AAC & SBC
Resistance: IP54 Dust, Water & Sweat Resistance
A sample was kindly provided for review purposes
Technology with Pedigree
For those unfamiliar with their journey. Nothing are a tech brand born in 2020, with a mission statement unlike anything else on the scene right now. The brands inception by founder Carl Pei has chartered a course to bridge the gap between technology and people. Their commitment is for their products to provide a seamless experience, every time.
Building A Brand
You may be familiar with the name Carl Pei, who was historically the co-founder of OnePlus. His name and subsequent vision has brought over $7M of seed financing to Nothing and in turn these past three years has seen the brand launch its first 3 products to market. Number 3 is the product we’ll be tackling in todays review.
Welcome to the Nothing Ear (stick), and what I can only describe as the most elegantly packaged pair of bluetooth earbuds I have ever seen. At a price point of £99 these place themselves right in the middle of the market for similarly specced bluetooth headphones. Yet from the moment of unboxing these feel like an experience way above the price point on offer.
Once I’d drawn the tear away strip from the lip stick like packaging, you are met with a cylindrical tube made from a robust polycarbonate. A quick 180 degree twist of the top part of the cylinder presents the buds in all their glory. It’s like something lifted right out of Mr Freeze’s cryo chamber. Unsurprisingly this has become my favourite fidget toy ever.
The buds themselves are super light at just 4.4 grams each and feel entirely weightless in the ear. The fit is perfect for my ears and sit very comfortably. I can wear these for hours, no itchiness and none of those hot ear moments. This is a big tick in the box for wearability.
The Nothing Ear (stick) are in-ear buds, that work passively without the need for silicone tips, resting just on the inner canal. They support Android fast-pairing as well as typical bluetooth connectivity for other devices using the tried and tested method of a pairing button. In my experience once paired they connected very quickly first time every time.
Once paired I was able to audition them across multiple types of audio. I spent some time listening to Classical, Dance, Hip-Hop and Rock using Tidal HI-FI. Several hours connected to my Nintendo Switch OLED for gaming. I also watched a couple of movies through Netflix with them as my go to audio output. In summary they are very balanced. With a custom dynamic driver these buds have an audio profile specifically tuned to Nothings audio choices. The resulting experience is a very U shaped sound, with a particularly pleasing experience for vocals, thick treble and an expansive soundstage. Bass was a little thin, and for anything that shakes the room traditionally these didn’t really present the same experience. All in, for me personally they have a sound that reaches far beyond the £99 mark.
Battery life was super impressive through my usage, with up to 7 hours of battery life in the buds themselves and up to 29 hours battery in the case, my experience fell just slightly short of this. I listen loudly, so this should be expected. What blew me away though, was a 10 minute charge providing an almost 9 hours of additional battery life. That’s absurd, and super impressive particularly in those moments where I’d forgotten to top them back up between uses.
In summary, I’m just super impressed with this product. It has a truly unique and futuristic design. Yet I also love the concept of Nothing as a brand and what they stand for. Whether that’s the dedication they have to sell where possible direct to consumer. They do not advertise other than their constant campaigns to connect directly to customers via social media and press releases. They are committed to neutralising their carbon footprint by offsetting their electricity consumption in the manufacturing processes as well as Carbon credits. These earbuds have rapidly become a talking point for me. In this world of boring boxes and clinical technology Nothing provide something beyond its namesake. These aren’t Nothing.. They’re truly something. You should check them out.
Rapid Reviews Rating
4.5 out of 5
You can buy your own set of Nothing Ear (stick) right here.