Nothing, the consumer technology startup headed by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, has officially announced its Ear (1) true wireless earbuds. The noise-cancelling buttons launch after months of teasing, concept images and even a pre-sale where Nothing auctioned 100 pairs of earplugs prior to their official unveiling. The Ear (1) earbuds will go on sale on August 17 in 45 countries, including the US and UK, priced at $99 / £99 / €99.
In a statement, Pei called the Ear (1) “a breath of fresh air in a cluttered and indifferent market,” saying the earbuds “will”[set] the tone for our connected digital world to come.” Pei has previously said his plan for Nothing is to build an ecosystem of devices across increasingly complex product categories.
With a design based on transparent plastic, the Ear (1)’s have a distinctive appearance that reveals some of their internal circuitry, and each earplug has a color-coded circle (red or white) to indicate the corresponding ear. They are equipped with 11.6 mm drivers and the hardware and software of Nothing are both tuned by the Swedish electronics house Teenage Engineering.
Battery life is up to 34 hours when the earbuds are used with their charging case, and 5.7 hours from the earbuds themselves with ANC off (24 hours and four hours with ANC on, respectively). They can be charged wirelessly with Qi-compatible chargers or wired via USB-C. The Ear (1)’s use a trio of microphones on each earbud to provide noise cancellation, which can be set to the maximum for loud environments, light when quieter, and there’s a transparency mode for when you need to hear what’s going on around you. The earbuds also attenuate background noise when they use their microphone to make calls.
The Ear (1)’s have tap and gesture controls, and these can be customized via a companion app that also handles EQ and Find my Earbud functionality. They have Bluetooth 5.2 and are IPX4 water resistant, which should allow them to survive sweat and light splashes. Quick pairing is supported with compatible Android devices.
While the earbuds will go on general sale next month, Nothing will be selling a limited batch of earbuds from its own website beginning July 31. A full review of the Ear (1) earbuds will be coming soon.