Nothing’s debut product, the mysterious Ear 1 earbuds, will cost $99 when they launch July 27th. And while we still know next to nothing about the earbuds, Carl Pei has confirmed with TechCrunch that Ear 1 will support a line of features “similar to AirPods Pro,” including high-quality ANC.
Here’s a quick recap—Nothing is a new company from Carl Pei, the co-founder and former director of OnePlus. Nothing has relied entirely on eclectic, mysterious marketing to build hype for its first product, the Ear 1 earbuds. Up until now, the only thing that Carl Pei has confirmed about the earbuds is that they sport a transparent plastic design.
This transparent design is still “top secret,” though a teaser photo from Unbox Therapy shows that the Ear 1 buds probably have a flat, rectangular charging case. You can catch a glimpse of the Ear 1 charging case in Nothing’s new “Final Stretch” video, though the buds are censored throughout the video (an unintentionally funny effect, as if the Nothing team are handling illicit materials on a reality TV show).
Evidently, this transparent design created a lot of challenges for Nothing’s engineers. In his interview with TechCrunch, Carl Pei confirms that Nothing delayed its Ear 1 release until July 27th to “ensure that everything inside looks just as good as the outside.” That means choosing aesthetically pleasing internal components, a hurdle that doesn’t exist when building non-transparent products.
Carl Pei also claims that the Ear 1 earbuds are a competitively priced alternative to the AirPods Pro, sporting “similar features” like ANC. While Pei hasn’t revealed any additional Ear 1 features, he does specify that the Ear 1 buds use three high-quality mics to achieve its noise-canceling effect.
Given the AirPods Pro comparison, you could speculate that the Ear 1 earbuds support wireless charging and a Transparency mode. Carl Pei’s interest in device “ecosystems” is also worth pointing out—he has repeatedly suggested that, much like Apple products, Nothing devices will interact together for a seamless experience. (Again, this is just speculation.)
Nothing will debut its Ear 1 earbuds during a livestreamed event on July 27th, 9 AM EST. They will ship in the United States, UK, India, and EU for $99, €99, and £99.