While the gadget world is obsessed with products, only a few garner attention. One such product that makes heads turn towards it is the Nothing Ear 1. The first offering from Carl Pei’s new startup, Nothing, has been a much-hyped TWS earbuds out there just like the Apple AirPods. The sole reason for this hype is its unique transparent design showing some of its innards.
- Comfortable fit and lightweight build
- Attractive and unique design
- Battery life is impressive
- Pairing was not too easy
- Call quality could have been improved
Following the success of Nothing Ear 1, the company has launched the Black edition of the same. This one is as transparent as the earlier iteration that went official in July in the country. It is also priced at Rs. 6,999. Before it is all set to go on sale, here is a review of the Nothing Ear 1 Black Edition for you to decide if you should buy it or not.
Nothing Ear 1 Black Edition Has Unique Design
The whole design policy of Nothing Ear 1 is based on transparency. The Black Edition comes with a new smoky finish and matte black silicone earbuds as well as casing. Otherwise, it retains the same design language as the earlier iteration. The stem of the earbuds and the lid of the case are transparent. It is similar to any other pair of conventional TWS earbuds with a transparent design. However, the base of the charging case and eartips are opaque, thereby bringing its transparency policy down to some extent.
The transparent covers on the earbuds’ stems reveal the inner workings such as magnets and circuit boards. It could be cool for some users and weird for some others, and it is based on personal preferences. One thing I am sure of is that the earbuds will be easily recognizable and have a style quotient as well.
Talking about comfort, the Nothing Ear 1 Black Edition is pretty comfortable to wear for long hours, thanks to its lightweight design of just 4.7 grams of each earbud. It offers a secure fit and I never felt uncomfortable or had to adjust the earbuds at any point in time during my review period. Also, there is IPX4 eating for water resistance, so it is possible to wear this pair of earbuds while working out or riding a bike while it is drizzling. However, the case does not having this rating, so keep in mind while using the accessory. There are touch-sensitive gesture controls on the earbuds for playback and these controls are pretty impressive.
The square and flat charging case have a USB Type-C port for charging and a button alongside an LED indicator for pairing. There is magnetic closure and the lid can be lifted with just your thumb, which is easier to use it. Unlike traditional earbuds, there are no R and L markings but the right earbud has a red-colored dot while there is a silver marking on the left earbud.
Nothing Ear 1 Black Edition Performance
Within the Nothing Ear 1 Black Edition, there are two large 11.6 drivers tuned by Teenage Engineering. These provide strong audio output with powerful bass but it is not up to the claim of the brand touting ‘rich and immersive sound’. Also, it is not too bad when it comes to audio output. The earbuds from Nothing deliver reasonable performance by packing enough details in the sound output but it doesn’t delivery exceptional bass and it is not too loud either. There is a More Bass preset within the companion app, which also did not have a good impact.
There is no denying that the ANC aka active noise cancellation feature worked impressive within just a touch on the earbuds. But it did not deliver very powerful performance as we have seen in a few other earbuds. But it feels good for its price point. With ANC turned on, I could still feel the keyboard clicks as I type even with almost full volume levels. Still, it managed to eliminate most of the noise from vehicles on the road. But this depends on the kind of music that you listen to.
There is a companion app – the ear (1), which is available on both Google Play Store and Apple App Store. You can download the app and pair the earbuds with this to make sure you can check the status of the earbuds, adjust the sound profile, customize the touch gestures and more. There is Bluetooth 5.2 to pair the earbuds with the device. But the connection was not easy and straightforward. It took a few attempts to pair the earbuds with my smartphone. Also, I faced disconnection a few times and the sound started playing via the phone’s speaker on some occasions randomly.
Battery Performance Is Impressive
Nothing Ear 1 Black Edition delivered a battery life of 5 to 6 hours with the earbuds until I received the alert to charge it. Also, the charging case provided 28 hours of battery life, which extends the overall battery life to over 30 hours. With ANC turned on, the same dropped to 24 hours. Moreover, there is an interesting capability – wireless charging support with Qi compatible chargers.
Should You Buy Nothing Ear 1 Black Edition?
To summarize, the Nothing Ear 1 Black Edition is a sleek and unique pair of earbuds out there. You can buy this transparent pair of earbuds if you want the product to stand out from the monotonous design in the industry. Also, you will get a comfortable fit for long durations with the Nothing Ear 1 Black Edition. On the other hand, you should refrain from buying the Nothing Ear 1 Black Edition if you are looking for superior audio quality and want the best ANC performance.
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Story first published: Sunday, December 12, 2021, 10:15 [IST]