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Nothing Ear (stick)

10 min read

A real wi-fi that shall be good for some and imperfect for others, the Nothing Ear (stick)’s distinctive design will pique curiosity, however there isn’t sufficient substance to the audio to beat its undoubted fashion.


  • Light-weight and distinctive design
  • Superb name high quality
  • Good wi-fi efficiency
  • Good battery life


  • Audio sounds skinny and lacks weight
  • Design prone to exterior sounds


  • UKRRP: £99
  • USARRP: $99
  • EuropeRRP: €119
  • CanadaRRP: CA$149
  • AustraliaRRP: AU$179

  • Bass Lock Expertise:Detects bass loss and optimises the sound in response

  • Nothing X app:EQ / touch-control customisation for these with out a Nothing Telephone (1)

  • Clear Voice Expertise:Microphones choose up voice for clear name high quality


Nothing emerged on the audio scene, backed by Carl Pei of OnePlus fame, with the Ear (1) true wi-fi, subsequently following that up with the Telephone (1) and now, the Ear (stick).

Nothing has picked up a status for gadgets that exude a youthful vibe and trendy tastes, homeowners of its gadgets usually tend to be hanging out with the style cognoscenti than speaking concerning the distinction between FLAC and ALAC.

That focus can, nonetheless, result in accusations of favor over substance. On the flip aspect, it may very well be mentioned that fashion may be very a lot the substance so far as Nothing is worried.


  • Trademark see-through design
  • Light-weight
  • Inclined to exterior noise leaking by way of

The Nothing Ear (stick) opts for an open-ear design compared to the closed design of the Ear (1), and that inevitably brings points to the fore.

Some want the open-ear strategy as they not solely dislike the sensation of buds inside their ears, however additionally they want the consolation earphones resting on the earlobe present – in addition to a level of situational consciousness they provide. In any case, there’s a motive why Apple AirPods are so standard.

Nothing Ear (stick) right earphone on ground

So, in that regard, the Ear (stick) has fulfilled the design transient, as these earphones are impressively gentle (4.4g every), barely noticeable when worn, and you’ll, fairly clearly, hear what’s happening round you.

However the apparent limitation is a scarcity of isolation. With no ear tricks to subdue the encircling atmosphere, I might hear every part. This turns into problematic in moments the place you need to give attention to the audio. I wore the Ear (stick) to a grocery store, and it was tough to isolate what I used to be listening to from the whirring sounds of fridge freezers and the clanging of customers placing meals into their trolleys – the audio and the atmosphere washed collectively uncomfortably.

These earphones’ match is free, and whereas there’s a level of motion when going for a stroll, they by no means fell out and stayed put regardless of vigorous shakes of the pinnacle. With an IP54 score, they provide resistance towards mud, water and sweat, so utilizing them for train is an choice. These buds solely are available in a white end, which meant the contents of my ears have been usually seen after I eliminated them.

Nothing Ear (stick) standing upright

The Ear (stick) earbuds use a pressure sensor on the stem, and this works higher than most as a consequence of some well-pitched sensitivity: I wasn’t left fumbling for the controls as I’ve with another earphones. I’m not normally a fan of pressure sensors, however this is without doubt one of the higher implementations I’ve come throughout.

Controls are easy sufficient: one pinch to play/pause, two to skip ahead, and three to skip again. A maintain turns the amount up or down, relying on the bud, whereas a double press and maintain isn’t assigned however may be designated because the voice assistant within the Nothing X app.

The Ear (stick) has a singular look because the clear design offers a take a look at the circuitry inside its glass encasing, giving the impression of sporting one thing that looks as if high-tech jewelry.

Nothing Ear (stick) textured surface of case

The clear cylindrical charging case is a pleasant contact too, wanting like a lipstick holder in the identical vein because the Huawei FreeBuds Lipstick – besides the Ear (stick)’s design is ideal for twiddling with. You’ll end up rolling the case about in your palms and flicking it open extra ceaselessly than you’d admit. The coarse texture of the case’s floor makes it grippy to carry, and it’s of an inexpensive measurement to fit right into a pocket.

A twist of the case reveals the earphones nestled inside and a light-weight that signifies the battery degree. Grime can get in-between the case and its glass cowl, which may be tough to extract. On high of the case is a USB-C port for charging, and subsequent to it’s a button for initiating Bluetooth pairing.

Nothing Ear (stick) USB Bluetooth pairing


  • Sturdy wi-fi connection (after replace)
  • Good battery ranges
  • Superb name high quality
  • Integration with Nothing Telephone

Nothing claims that the Ear (stick)’s battery life is about 7 hours of listening – an hour and a bit greater than the noise-cancelling Ear (1). However that determine falls to about 3 hours for those who’re primarily utilizing these earphones for calls. However add the case, and it’s a wholesome 29 hours of whole listening time, or 12 hours of calls.

With common use, 2 hours of use resulted in a drop of 20% of battery, which is a promising determine (and this was after a latest replace). The buds cost comparatively quick too, and for those who want a lift, 10-minutes provides you with one other 2 hours.

Nothing Ear (stick) outside of case

Bluetooth is supported as much as v5.2, with SBC and AAC wi-fi audio. Initially, after I walked by way of the packed concourses of Waterloo and Victoria practice stations the connection was uneven, however since I downloaded the replace, the energy of the Bluetooth connection has jumped within the different course. The earphones have been remarkably secure and the sign hasn’t come near faltering.

There’s no noise cancellation or transparency mode, which is served by the dearer Nothing Ear (1) (it’s, apparently, dearer to provide).

The in-ear detection will get on its bike and pauses/restarts promptly, and name high quality impresses as properly. I’d have anticipated earphones with an open design to wrestle towards the weather, however they picked up my voice properly and relayed it to the particular person on the opposite finish of the decision with out choosing up a lot noise.

Nothing Ear (stick) upright in case

Individuals speaking shut by have been audible, and the particular person on the opposite finish did point out that every part sounded loud, however my voice got here throughout as clear and intelligible. On that entrance, the Ear (stick) passes with flying colors.

The Nothing X app gives customisation, with entry to altering the controls or modifying the EQ. With the latter, there’s the selection of extra bass (a tiny bit extra), extra treble (a slight improve), balanced (the default choice) and the Voice mode, which crudely amplifies vocals. Customized mode permits you to swipe on a graphic and lengthen the bass, mid and treble (from -6 to +6).

Nothing Ear (stick) Nothing X app

Different options embrace managing the in-ear detection and the low lag mode that minimises latency (the buds can swap to this mode routinely when gaming on a Nothing (1) Telephone). Lose the earphones and you’ll find them with the Discover My… characteristic that triggers a chirping sound. Updates are additionally supplied by way of the app and, to this point, don’t take too lengthy to obtain and set up.

When used with a Nothing (1) Telephone, the Ear (stick) integrates on a system degree – very similar to Apple AirPods do with an iPhone. You get entry to the identical settings as you’d within the app, however they’re accessible by swiping down from the highest of your display. Different options embrace Google Quick Pair with Android gadgets, together with Microsoft Swift Pair for connecting to Home windows gadgets.

Sound High quality

  • Customized dynamic driver
  • Skinny-sounding efficiency
  • Missing in bass weight

That includes a big, 12.6mm custom-designed dynamic driver, for the Ear (stick), Nothing has created the Bass Lock Expertise to stop sound leakage from the open design, with software program that detects bass loss and tunes the equalizer curve to compensate.

It’s an indication that Nothing is conscious of the problems a design resembling this may provoke and determined to be proactive in managing it, however there are these aforementioned points the Ear (stick)’s audio can’t circumvent. When it will get loud exterior, it meshes with the audio to the purpose the place you possibly can’t hear what’s being sung, and it additionally has the impact of nerfing the earphones’ bass efficiency.

Nothing Ear (stick) glass case open

They sound higher indoors than exterior and there’s extra element to listen to with out exterior distractions. The buds’ tone errs extra in the direction of a impartial and crisp illustration (a minimum of with the Balanced EQ preset), however it’s a soundstage portrayed in compact phrases regardless of the big {custom} driver, with a midrange that sounds skinny and vocals and devices that lack weight.

Give it a observe like Amon Tobin’s Get Your Snack On, and bass isn’t the Ear (stick)’s strongest level, however neither is it fully ignored throughout the frequency vary. The excessive frequencies are crisp in tone however not at all times essentially the most detailed or brightest: the main and trailing edges (the beginnings and ends of notes) of cymbal crashes are likely to morph into one much less distinct sound.

Nothing Ear (stick) earphones up close

The music’s dynamics really feel muted, as does its total sense of dynamism, and whilst you can hear the assorted beats and devices, there’s not a lot house both round each or between them, resulting in a barely mushy sense of definition and rhythm.

In Christina Aguilera’s Mercy on Me, the singer’s vocals have an honest attain and dynamism, however the thinness to the Ear (stick)’s midrange rob her voice and devices of a extra musical tone. It’s a efficiency that sounds a bit too crisp and sparse – chilly somewhat than wealthy. Whereas it’s listenable, it doesn’t captivate, particularly with a voice like Aguilera’s.

Nothing Ear (stick) inside glass case

I had comparable outcomes with Doves’ Black and White City. Right here, Jez Williams’ vocals don’t have the dimensions or heft to make an influence, and the tone of his voice sounds barely off – a bit hole and coarse. In the meantime, Elbow’s The Loneliness of a Tower Crane Driver can edge its approach in the direction of sibilant tones with Man Garvey’s vocals.

Taking part in Gossip’s Standing Within the Approach of Management, the Ear (stick)’s grasp of dynamics and rhythm is a bit higher. The drumbeat has some first rate punch, and there’s an depth to the extra energetic components of the observe. However from a tone perspective, there’s simply one thing a bit chilly about these earphones’ efficiency.

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Do you have to purchase it?

If you happen to like light-weight, cozy earphones: The Ear (stick) earphones are very gentle to put on for lengthy stretches of time. Additionally, Nothing Telephone (1) customers will admire the tight system-level integration.

If you happen to don’t like listening to what’s round you: These earphones look nice however the open design doesn’t do the audio any favours in noisy areas. The Nothing Ear (1) is a greater different for those who’re involved in Nothing headphones particularly.

Closing Ideas

The Nothing Ear (stick) is a well-designed and well-featured true wi-fi pair, however its design is its greatest sticking level (pun not fairly meant). The open design permits sounds to clean by way of, which is an issue in busy locations. Whereas some will make the case for the consolation and consciousness this design offers, ought to that be on the expense of the audio?

I don’t suppose it must be. Whereas these earphones provide first rate audio, it’s constricted by the design. Bass is missing, the midrange is on the skinny aspect, and the excessive frequencies aren’t the brightest. All of it makes for a efficiency that feels restrained somewhat than expressive.

I’d wager these earphones shall be good for some and imperfect for others. If you happen to want this design and may stay with the intrusions from the surface world, the Ear (stick) is a real wi-fi that’s properly thought out for essentially the most half, however crucial side of its efficiency can be its weakest half.

How We Check

We check each headphone set we overview completely over an prolonged time period. We use business commonplace checks to match options correctly. We’ll at all times let you know what we discover. We by no means, ever, settle for cash to overview a product.

Discover out extra about how we check in our ethics coverage.

Examined over a number of weeks

Examined with real-world use


Does the Nothing Ear (stick) assist wi-fi charging?

There isn’t a wi-fi charging supported by the Ear (stick), solely assist for fast-charging. The dearer Ear (1) ANC earphone does assist wi-fi charging, nonetheless.







IP score

Battery Hours

Quick Charging



Launch Date

Mannequin Quantity

Audio Decision

Driver (s)



Frequency Vary

Headphone Kind

Jargon buster


AAC stands for Superior Audio Coding and is a lossy codec used most prominently by Apple and YouTube to ship audio high quality higher than SBC (Sub-Band Coding).


Bluetooth – named after Tenth-century Danish king Harald Bluetooth who united Denmark’s tribes right into a single kingdom – is a technique of wi-fi transmission that permits for the alternate of information between gadgets over quick distances.

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