Nothing Ear (1): video analysis
The plus in design we needed
As is usual in my reviews, let me start by talking to you about the design of this new device. And it is that this aspect makes more sense than ever.
The first thing I would like you to know about is the unpacking experience. It is a real shame that I did not record / photograph the process from the beginning because it is, as I said, quite an experience, since the guys from Nothing have taken care of every detail with great care.
The box itself is quite simple, where we see a large image of what will be the right earbud and, on the back, a summary of some of its main specifications. We start by pulling an easy opener that allows us to open the first package, and that gives us access to a silver box that houses all the content.
When we open this second box we will first see the case with the headphones. Under this there is a small case with different sizes of pads, another with the USB-C charging cable (which is also transparent) and a last one with relevant information about the equipment that follows the aesthetics of the brand.
It is very difficult to explain in written words the sensation and every detail that is seen in this packaging. So, if you want to observe it carefully, I recommend that you take a look at the video analysis that I leave you above.
That said, now, I will talk about the case and the headphones themselves. Like any other True Wireless type hearing aid, these have a transport box that, in turn, is a dock where they can be charged several times with the integrated battery. In this they are not different from the rest, since they follow the same dynamics. But where they do make a difference is in the aesthetics of the case itself, since it is transparent and has a square format instead of the oval one that other models usually include.
As you will see in the rest of the elements in this section, here Nothing has wanted to attract attention and, in my opinion, it has succeeded. From the outside we see the hearing aids themselves placed inside, which rest on a white dotted structure where we can read their name: ear (CASE).
This box has a USB-C connector for charging the headphones, a button on its side to activate the synchronization and, in addition, it has wireless charging. Therefore, we can reach any base with this technology and just by supporting the box we will load it.
However, as I already expected, not everything is perfect with this case and the wonderful design that Nothing has wanted to give us. And it is that with just a few days of use, wearing it in the pants alone and without touching it with the keys or anything like that, it already has several abrasions and small scratches. It is something that happens in any other hearing aid of this type of course.
When opening the box we will have access to the headphones that, as you may have already noticed and expected when you saw the box, are also transparent. This reveals all the components inside such as chips or capacitors. On the outside we see the name of Nothing Ear (1) accompanied by a white or red dot, which indicate whether it is the left or the right. In case you did not know, this is so because in the audio cables themselves the red color represented the right and the white the left.
On the inside, in addition to other visible components, there are the two charging points and the magnet system that will act as a team to couple to the case and charge them. Lastly, and here there is not much mystery on an aesthetic level, there will be the audio output with its silicone pad (with spare parts available in various sizes) that we will introduce into the auditory pavilion.
Quality and functionalities by and for the user
Now let me tell you how is the audio quality of these headphones, something essential of course, and what functionalities they hide. Sections in which I already want to put you on notice, do not fall short.
Starting with its capabilities, the very side with the name of these headphones is, as we have seen in other bets, a touch surface. This has different options:
- Double touch: to pause or replay the music.
- Triple tap: to change songs.
- Long press: to change the degree of noise cancellation.
- Swipe up or down: to increase or decrease the volume.
This combo is, from what I have tried so far, the one I like the most of all. It is true that other bets such as the OPPO Enco Free 2 that I already told you about recently, incorporate one more gesture with a single press instead of starting with the double one. But, having compared them to the Ear (1), I think it is better this way to avoid accidental pulsations when repositioning the hearing aid itself.
Wearing them is very comfortable, as long as you use the appropriate size silicone pads, since it is as if we are not wearing anything due to their weight of only 4,7 g. Then, taking into account the autonomy that your charging case gives you, we can use them (according to the manufacturer) for up to 34 hours.
And speaking of use, they have a great sound quality and powerful bass. This is because they have a driver de 11,6 mm and a large soundboard. In short, with these Nothing headphones I have felt that the sound is very balanced and very clear. Of course taking into account that they are not studio headphones, but True Wireless.
To continue showing you its capabilities, I have to tell you about the control app for your Android or iOS phone. This follows the same dynamic as the design of the Ear (1) themselves: simplicity and striking design.
Once we download and start it, you will only have to follow the steps to synchronize this device. When we get to the main screen, we see a photograph of the equipment, accompanied by the level of charge of both elements and the box, as well as two buttons.
The first, which is represented by the word Hear, gives us access to configure the different noise cancellation modes. Here we can distinguish between disabled and 3 cancellation levels:
- Transparency: to hear well what is happening around you and that the noise does not bother you
- Light cancellation
- Maximum cancellation: as we are informed from Nothing, with this last mode we can suppress up to 40 dB of ambient noise, which is a considerable amount.
In addition, in this menu we can also modify the equalization between different preset modes.
And then, in the Touch button, it is from where you can configure the different touches and gestures of the touch panel of the hearing aids. Both the right and the left separately.
Finally, a couple of important details about this device is that:
- Possess IPX4 protection, so they will resist sweat and splashes without problems.
- It has a system of triple microphone that, when acting, they leave us a great audio quality for calls even if the wind blows.
Well, nice and ‘cheap’: you can’t ask for more
At this point, we have to talk about the last section and the decisive one when it comes to getting a new team: the price. And it is that here, once again and taking into account all that they offer, Nothing has surprised again. Its starting price is “only” 99 euros.
Therefore, and although I know that not everyone is willing to pay almost 100 euros for headphones of this type, I cannot help but recommend them if you want one of the best value for money options. I just want to add that I hope Nothing follows in this wake and surprises us with more interesting releases soon.
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