Nothing is left behind with new wireless earphones. The recognizable transparent design remains, but a few notable tweaks have been made. Is this set worth your money? You can read it in this review of Nothing Ear (stick).
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This is the Nothing Ear (stick) review
On paper, the Nothing Ear (stick) is less equipped than its predecessor; The ear (1). There is no active noise reduction, the fit cannot be adjusted and the wireless charging is not included either. Despite this, nothing asks for two more bucks (119 euros) than when the ear is fired (1).
We used the wireless earbuds for a week and you can check out all our experiences here. How do they sound? Are they comfortable? And is the kit worth your money?
No Ear (stick) table of contents
Design over quality
Nothing released its first set of wireless earphones in the summer of 2021. Since then, the brand has been known for their transparent design with a retro feel. We saw that again with Nothing Phone (1) and now again with Nothing Ear (stick).
The ears themselves are largely similar to its predecessor. They are transparent, have a short stem and the product name is printed on the side in Nothing’s own font. There are two differences with the predecessor: the rubber mounts are missing and the touch control has been replaced with control via clamps. You can read more about this under the headings ‘Carrying comfort’ and ‘Operation’.
The transparent design of the Ear (stick) charging case translates into a semi-transparent tube with a white rotating element in it. The whole package is quite bulky and looks like lipstick. This is of course due to the shape and the rotation mechanism, but also the red end on the charging side. On this side you will find the USB-C port and a silver button to connect the headphones to another device.
Our biggest criticism of the ear (stick) is the materials used in the charging case. The outer tube is made of transparent plastic, which has already dulled after a week in the pocket, and we see scratches on almost all sides. Stains on the inside of the plastic simply cannot be cleaned with the rotating mechanism. The inner white element has a rough profile. Fine, but it means that stains appear quickly and are difficult to clean.
Adjust the sound via the clear app
The earphones connect to your smartphone in no time through Android Fast Pair. If you open the handset, a pop-up will appear on your Android device. Once connected, you can make some adjustments to the ear (stick) via the Nothing X app. Are you using a Nothing Phone (1)? Then this software is directly integrated into the bluetooth menu.
Remarkable: In the Nothing X app, you get an explanation of how to activate noise reduction on the ear (stick). Something the ears do not have on board at all.
You can adjust various settings in the app. In this way, you can easily change the focus of your sound with the built-in equalizer. This visually shows which notes are amplified the most. You can also add a widget to your home screen to quickly see the battery level of your headphones.
You can also enable or disable ‘In-ear detection’ and ‘Low latency mode’. The first automatically pauses your music when you take out an earpiece. ‘Low latency’ minimizes the delay between picture and sound. Handy during an intensive game, but it costs you more battery.
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Wearing comfort varies from user to user
“I really like the Nothing Ear (stick). uncomfortable to sit. The round head of the (stick) doesn’t fit in your ear and every two minutes I have to push the earplugs back in my ear because they almost fall out. They close poorly, so the sound experience is not optimal.“ It’s the experience of Android Planeteditor Tim.
However, the so-called half in-ear design ensures that wearing comfort can vary considerably per user. For example, acquaintances and friends who tried the headphones found them comfortable, mentioned the light weight as a plus and experienced none of the problems that Tim experiences.
Unfortunately, this means that it can be a gamble for the user to buy the ear (stick). If the ears don’t fit, you can’t easily adjust the fit with different accessories. It was possible on the previous ear (1). As far as we’re concerned, that’s a big minus for (the stick), but it might be different for you.
Well-balanced sound quality
One of the most important things about earplugs is of course the sound quality. Out of the box, mid and high tones sound clear, and the voices are nicely balanced with the music. The standard ‘Balanced’ profile itself was a bit disappointing in the deeper tones. With the ‘More Bass’ profile, this problem was easily solved. These profiles can be found in the Nothing X app.
Unfortunately, the headphones don’t close very well by themselves, so ambient noise gets through easily. Active noise cancellation is missing from these headphones, so you’ll definitely hear the wind on a bike or a hammer on a construction site.
The microphones in the earphones sound very clear and more than enough for one hands free Bell. Although your voice may sound a bit thin in a reverberant room, the earbuds are able to suppress wind and ambient noise well, and your voice remains well understood.
The controls are intuitive
You control Nothing Ear (the stick) using a squeeze system in the ear stem. Pinch once your song will be paused, pinch twice the next song will start. You can also hold the stones down. If you do it with the left cochlea, the volume will go down, and with the right cochlea it will go up.
The pinch system’s touch sensitivity has been fine-tuned. As mentioned before, the earplugs do not sit very firmly in our ears. Unfortunately, this means that every time you use the squeeze control, the earpiece will easily pop out of your ear.
A working day with listening time on charge
If you like to use wireless earbuds while working, then you can easily get through your day with the Nothing Ear (stick) earbuds. The headphones provide approximately seven hours of listening time on a single charge.
Too short for a work day, of course, but if you charge the earphones during lunch, you’ll never run out of battery. And when the charging case is empty, you have about 30 percent extra battery within fifteen minutes. Unfortunately, the case’s built-in battery cannot be charged wirelessly, which is a shortcoming compared to its predecessor.
The charging case for the ear (stick) can fully charge the earphones approximately three times. During our 7-day test period, we had to put the charging case on the charger three times. With a total listening time of 29 hours, we are more than satisfied.
Conclusion No ear (stick) review
The sound quality of this Nothings is clear, balanced and easy to adjust to your preferences. In addition, the built-in microphones are good for conversations, and the battery lasts long enough.
However, we only recommend Nothing Ear (stick) if you are a fan of the half in-ear design and if you can test them somewhere beforehand for the fit. They are less equipped than the predecessor and they are less comfortable. In addition, they are also two tens more expensive than the Ear (1)’s at launch.
Buy Nothing Ear (stick)
The wireless earphones have a suggested retail price of 119.99 euros and so far only appears in the white-headed transparency. Interested? Check out the price comparison below for the best deals.
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