The Nothing company followed up its Ear (1) noise-canceling earbuds with the new Ear (2) version Wednesday, offering hip, hi-tech earbuds comparable to Apple’s AirPods Pro — but at a lower price of $149.
The new Nothing earbuds feature active noise cancellation, Hi-Res Audio certification, partially transparent casings for a cool look, and more personalization options than the originals.
Nothing Ear (2) wireless ANC earbuds
The new Nothing Ear (2) buds have quite a bit in common with AirPods Pro 2. While neither set changed a great deal from the first generation in terms of overall design, both jacked up the internal tech. And for its labors, Nothing raised the price from its original set by $50, from $99 to $149.
Along the way, Nothing’s product made some notable improvements that may make it worth a look if you don’t want to spend AirPods Pro 2 money. (Apple’s latest pro earbuds list for $249, though you can find them on sale for less.)
Personal Sound Profile and Hi-Res Audio certification
As with AirPods Pro 2, Nothing’s new buds start you off with a hearing test that helps you make what Nothing calls a Personal Sound Profile. Both products also offer an Ear Tip Fit Test to try to get the best seal of the ear canal.
Nothing updated its earbuds internally to include a second chamber that helps with airflow as well as boosting sound quality. Custom 11.6mm drivers provide some oomph across frequencies, while LHDC 5.0 codec support (up to 24 bit/192 kHz) and adjustable equalizer settings help dial in the right audio quality for you.
Note that Apple devices don’t take as much advantage of LHDC support as Android devices equipped with direct compatibility. AirPods and Apple products like iPhones work and sound best together in their own ecosystem.
Personalized ANC, too
In addition, Ear (2) enables the new buds’ ANC to adjust to your ear canal’s shape, personalizing noise cancellation, too. Modes of ANC include high, low and a tranparency mode called Adaptive Mode. That latter detects sounds you may want to hear and lets them through.
Nothing also included Clear Speech Technology, with three mics per bud to help deal with background noise during calls, as well as Dual Connectivity for simple device switching. A Low Lag Mode helps the buds work better for gaming.
After a full charge and with ANC off, Ear (2) provides up to 6.3 hours of playtime through the buds only, or 36 hours of playtime with use of the charging case (or four hours and 22.5 hours with ANC on). Fast-charging enables eight hours of play from a 10-minute charge. And the earbuds support reverse charging for compatible devices, like smartphones.j
The earbuds, which come in white (with black internals), have IP54 water and dust resistance while the transparent case has IP55.
The earbuds’ customization features all work with the Nothing X app.
Nothing X app for iOS and Android features:
- Customize EQ and gestures
- Find My Earbuds
- Low Lag Mode
- Software updates
- Dual Connection
- Personalized ANC
- Environment Adaptive ANC
- Personal Sound Profile
- Ear Tip Fit Test
Where to buy: Nothing