Home Tech It’s Time for Nothing to Do Something

It’s Time for Nothing to Do Something

0 comment
It’s Time for Nothing to Do Something

Since there are no products, the Cayman Islands registered company was able to quickly assemble a device with off-the-shelf components (the first generation Ear 1 didn’t even have custom drivers) and sell it, building on the connections the co-founders had made at OnePlus, another brand with similar strategy.

Nothing’s original product had a good marriage of hardware and software, and the headphones sounded pretty solid compared to others. We liked them during the review, but not enough to make them a top choice for us.

The second generation of earbuds, the Ear (Stick) (7/10, WIRED Review) and Ear (2) (8/10, WIRED Review) brought tweaked drivers and better housing, although they still look, feel and sound. similar to the vast majority of earbuds that I call “AirPods but”. You probably get the idea: Airpods but with color. Just AirPods with better earplugs. AirPods but with LDAC lossless audio or noise reduction. Almost every brand has them, almost all of them are pretty decent. LG doesn’t even make mobile phones anymore, and yet they do has a few AirPod clones. The fruit hangs from the ground.

The new Nothing Ear and Nothing Ear (a) once again appear to offer incremental performance improvements. I say to appear because although the company has asked WIRED to announce these new products to the world, despite repeated requests, it has still not provided us with usable images, battery life, a release date or prices. All the brand wanted to deliver was the photo you see at the top of this article.

Nothing gave us any information about the internals of the headphones, which we have to assume will resemble the older models until proven otherwise. The brand claims that a new ceramic driver will deliver clearer, crisper sound in the highs, and a new internal architecture will provide deeper bass. It also touts the new adaptive noise cancellation technology in the Nothing Ear (a) as now being 5 dB quieter overall (from 40 dB to 45 dB reduction between generations). That’s fine, but it’s not staggering.

I’m not sure these incremental innovations are enough to put the brand at the highest level of consumer audio, but they at least keep it from falling behind. Apple itself has been incrementally updating the AirPods and AirPods Pro for generations, but it also has the best-selling product in the world.

No Solid State for nothing

It is not that Nothing does not have the capacity to develop new things. When it released its first headphones, it had a combined staff of 30 people in audio. According to Evangelidis, that workforce now consists of 300 people, including five dedicated acoustic engineers, and a team of 30 people just to debug the new active noise cancellation. That’s significantly more brainpower, and that’s exactly the kind of thing that could lead to noticeable innovation, both in these new models and in the future.

Again, I haven’t heard or seen a pair yet and I have no idea what they will cost. They will be released later this year, and the samples will be coming to reviewers soon. On paper, and without the essential pricing information (but knowing that Nothing’s earbuds have historically cost $100-150), they appear to be competing buds that will likely offer many of the same features as options from JLab, Jabra, Oneplus, Samsung and countless others.

You may also like