Unique design! How is the sound quality? Ear (stick) by Nothing

The left and right independent completely wireless earphones "Ear (stick)", will be widely sold to the general public from November 10th by a young British IT brand, Nothing. Since I had the opportunity to try it early, I will tell you about the first impressions such as sound quality, texture, and usability.

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Unique design! How is the sound quality? Ear (stick) by Nothing

'Nothing's second earphone, which is gaining popularity rapidly, is now available

Nothing is a tech brand launched by Karl Pei, co-founder of OnePlus, a smartphone brand owned by OPPO based in China. In the summer of 2021, the first wireless earphone " Ear (1) " will be released, and in 2022, the Android smartphone " Phone (1) " will be launched in quick succession. It's going strong right now.

Since the release of Ear (1) and Phone (1), Nothing has gained many fans, especially young gadget fans, as "a brand with cool advanced technology and product design." CEO Pei emphasizes that the futuristic design of the company's products is ``not a strange thing, but the ultimate form born from the thorough pursuit of nothingness and ease of use for users.'' Increase.

When I touched the product, the Nothing product certainly felt comfortable in my hand. It is easy to see that the result of the thorough pursuit of user-oriented usability is alive in every corner of the design.

Aside from its design, the system is also equipped with advanced audio technology

The new product Ear (stick) is a completely wireless earphone that uses an open housing. The name of the product may come from the shape of the charging case, which is said to be inspired by cosmetics (probably lipstick), or from the stick design earphone body like AirPods.

Unique design! How is the sound quality? Ear (stick) by Nothing

Inside the oval housing is a 12.6mm dynamic driver. It is said that the combination of the diaphragm and the magnet that moves it strongly has been devised so that it can produce powerful bass even though it is an open-type earphone.

The active noise canceling function installed in the existing Ear (1) is not available in the new Ear (stick).

Not instead of that, but each time you put the earbuds in your ears, there's an algorithm we call "Bass Lock Technology" that boosts the level of bass reproduction to match your fit. There are no special user actions and no audible test tones. Without the user being aware of it, the earphones will "selfishly" adjust the sound to the optimal level.

If you want to "produce sufficient bass with open-type earphones", I think there was a way to achieve the same purpose by acoustic tuning. I feel "Nothingness" is incorporated by IT technology.

The main body is an inner ear style that does not use ear tips and can be placed on the ear as it is. The fit is very stable; even if you jog or move your body a little, it will stay stable around your ears.

The main unit is dustproof and splashproof, equivalent to IP54, so you don't have to worry if it gets wet with sweat or rain. I also really liked the Ear (stick) as an earphone that I use when I'm cooking and cleaning up while listening to music in the kitchen.

The stick part of the main unit has a built-in capacitive remote control. When you pinch the stick part with your fingers, you will hear a ''PUT'' sound and the operation will be executed. A single click plays/pauses and answers/ends calls. After that, depending on the number and length of clicks, you can skip playback songs and increase or decrease the volume.

The feeling of push operation requires a little getting used to, but the sensitivity of the remote control is good. Since it accepts click operations even while wearing gloves, it seems to be useful for outdoor listening in winter.

'Nothing X' is compatible with both iOS and Android devices.

Unique design! How is the sound quality? Ear (stick) by Nothing

The remote control click operation can also change the preset state from the "Nothing X" app. With the Nothing X app for iOS/Android, you can also check the remaining battery level of the earphones, update the firmware, and set "in-ear detection" that links playback and pause of music according to the attachment and detachment of the earphones.

There is also a "FIND MY EARBUDS" function that emits sound from the earphone and informs the location in case the earphone disappears from hand. If the earphones are in the case and the lid of the case is closed, the pairing with the smartphone will be disconnected and the search function cannot be used. This point needs attention.

Unique design! How is the sound quality? Ear (stick) by Nothing

In addition, the app follows the "equalizer (EQ)" function that allows you to adjust the playback balance of high, medium, and low frequencies in ±6 steps from Ear (1). The equalizer allows you to intuitively find your preferred balance while looking at the app's chat screen.

Unique design! How is the sound quality? Ear (stick) by Nothing

In response to a request from an Ear (1) user, "It's hard to find the recommended sound with just manual balance adjustment." is provided. All of them are easy-to-understand presets with sharpness.

Also, when enjoying content such as games where the delay in audio tends to cause lag with video, it is a good idea to turn on "low latency mode" from the app.

After pairing the Ear (stick), Nothing smartphone, and Phone (1) users can directly access the earphone settings from the notification tray pulled out from the top of the smartphone. CEO Pei says that ``to realize comfortable operability that allows users to feel convenience among Nothing products'' was a major theme when developing the Ear series wireless earphones.

In addition to flat-balanced honor students, there is also the possibility of actively using EQ.

I thought it would be better to check the sound of the Ear (stick) with a general smartphone, so I paired it with my iPhone 14 Pro and listened to Apple Music songs. The equalizer is "Balanced". The Bluetooth audio codecs supported by the earphones are AAC and SBC.

The transparency of the vocals and the sharpness of the rhythm is sharp and clear. Among the open-type wireless earphones, I think that the power of the bass is certainly substantial.

Firmly captures the sound that spreads across each band, and reproduces details with grain and clarity. The balance is well put together in a sound that does not make you tired of listening to it.

On the other hand, if there is a problem when the equalizer is set to "Balanced", the balance is extremely flat and I got the impression that it is "too honorable". In other words, it feels a little less interesting.

I tweaked the low-mid range settings slightly from the custom equalizer settings, and it sounded lively and inviting. I felt that it was an “ant” earphone to actively use the equalizer function.

I haven't tried the Ear (1) yet, so I took this opportunity to borrow an actual device and listen to it. We've put a lot of effort into ensuring the volume of the bass, but the finished sound has a very flat balance.

I think it's Nothing's sound tuning policy, but earphones are also audio equipment for enjoying music. The design is interesting, and I felt that the usability and wearing comfort were excellent. I believe that nothing's "Ear series" will become even more attractive earphones with a unique presence if they are carefully refined while adding a "playfulness" to the sound tuning.

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