In what may seem like a lifetime ago, former OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei announced Nothing, a new company with a confident (yet vague) vision and zero products. After wading through months of teasers and manifestos, we finally know everything about the Ear 1 earbuds, including specs, pricing, and a release date.
Nothing officially revealed its Ear 1 earbuds during a live event. This is the first time that we’ve seen the transparent earbud design, which is a lot less transparent than we expected. If you were hoping for a 90s-inspired vibe that shows off internal components, sorry!
Feature-wise, the Ear 1 buds are nearly identical to AirPods Pro (something Carl Pei suggested a few weeks ago). There’s ANC, a Transparency mode, wireless charging, and a mix of touch and gesture controls. You can customize controls or EQ through an app, or even locate lost buds using a Find my Earbuds tool. Select Android devices will support Fast Pairing with the Ear 1 buds (Carl Pei clearly likes this feature, as it was a defining part of the OnePlus Buds).
— Nothing (@nothing) July 27, 2021
Ear 1 earbuds also feature a 34-hour battery life with the charging case (5.7 hours if you just count the earbuds), though this battery life drops down to 24 hours (4 hours for the buds) with ANC enabled. Bluetooth 5.2 support and an IPX4 water-resistance rating also make an appearance, which shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
With their $100 price tag, the Ear 1 buds are a clear competitor to the AirPods Pro, Galaxy Buds Pro, and the newly announced OnePlus Buds Pro. But there’s one thing that we should be concerned about—sound quality. While most premium earbuds (including AirPods Pro) have 12-13mm drivers for increased bass and punch, the Ear 1 buds have small 11.6mm drivers.
Nothing’s Ear 1 earbuds will go on sale August 17th, though the company plans to sell a small batch on its website July 31st. Still, we may get reviews of the product before then, as Nothing auctioned off 100 Ear 1 buds (for several hundred dollars each) on StockX last week.