How quickly kids grow up! You blink and they’re three years old already!
The same goes for the London-based tech company Nothing, a pandemic baby, that’s already launching its fourth product — the Nothing Ear (2).
Sticking to its trademark white — with black and red accents — the Ear (2) is unmistakably a Nothing product. The transparent square ear case with rounded corners has a circular recess on top — which makes for a fidget-spinner-type grip.
The company takes pride in showing off the inner engineering of its products with many transparent elements both on the ear case and the earbuds. With a growing focus on dust-free manufacturing units and improved moulds, the brand hopes that users appreciate both the external and the internal design.
Weighing 4.5 grams each, the in-ear buds sit easily when I plug them in. Pairing with the Nothing X app didn’t take much time. I could comfortably wear the buds for 2-3 hours at a stretch before I felt the need to give my ears a break.
The upgraded version has a couple of new tricks up its sleeve. First, I try on the Personal Sound Profile that adjusts the equaliser in real time.
With the option of having richer or more toned-down sound at the tap of a button, I stuck to the personalised sound profile for the entirety of the review. The Ear (2) delivers really well-balanced acoustic no matter what genre I was listening to.
Noise cancellation works great on the earphone as long as the environment is relatively quiet to start with. Drowning out the low hum of office chatter and clacking keyboards proved easy. Avoiding the unpleasantness of autorickshaws with busted silencers and the cacophony of traffic on a weekday didn’t come easy to this. During work hours, I often had a dual connection which worked seamlessly.
The good thing with most Nothing products is that firmware updates come fast at you. Before you can say “upgrades”, there are a bunch of improvements waiting to be downloaded.
In the first week of the review, I had issues with the distortion while forcing myself to enjoy Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix, on my laptop. Post a quick firmware update, the distortion disappeared.
The controls on the earbuds need a hard press and are almost fully customisable on the app. A single press helped play/pause, and answer/hang up calls, and a double press helped skip forward or reject calls.
The triple press skipped back most of the time. I could also easily switch between ANC and transparency Mode with a long press on either.
On one charging cycle on the earbuds, I got almost 2-3 days of intermittent usage. I’d generally have it on — always with ANC on — for a maximum of two hours a day.
The Ear (2) earbuds are IP54 rated which means they can make it through sprays of water and light dust. The charging case saves from similar issues with the IP55 rating.
The Nothing Ear (2) is a well-rounded accessory that offers a balanced sound experience, effective noise cancellation, easy dual connectivity — all packaged with the edgiest design on the block.
- Price: ₹9,999.
- Pros: Balanced sound, personalisation options.
- Cons: Can’t execute voice commands, no on-ear volume controls.