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The Ear 1 earbud was released with a great deal of hype and anticipation by Nothing, which is run by Carl Pei of OnePlus fame. How do they sound, though? The business centered its marketing effort on its collaboration with Teenage Engineering and the product’s open design. They’re really damned good. Following the debut of the Phone 1 and Ear 1, the Nothing Ear Stick is the third product from the company. With their extensive use of translucent plastic and myriad attention-grabbing, outlandish design choices, they are immediately identifiable as a piece of Nothing tech. Before diving into the whole review, it’s important to know that we tested Nothing Ear 1’s original white model for about a month and Nothing Ear Stick’s black special edition version for around two weeks. Since the functionality and features of both models are the same, this review is a summary of our experience with them.
Nothing Ear Stick Vs Nothing Ear 1: Comparison Table
|Features||Nothing Ear Stick||Nothing Ear 1|
|Model Name||Nothing Ear Stick||Nothing Ear 1|
|Series||Nothing Earbuds Series||Nothing Earbuds Series|
|Online Pricing Range||₹8,499||₹7,299|
Nothing Ear Stick Vs Nothing Ear 1: Detailed Analysis
The Nothing Ear Stick earbuds have a charmingly unique design, just like Nothing’s past items. Nothing claims that the Ear Stick’s tubular charging case was influenced by “classic cosmetics silhouettes,” and we can see that because the buds have the same white and transparent plastic appearance as the Ear 1’s. The case twists open like a substantial tube of lipstick. And while almost all good true wireless earbuds come in compact shells, we particularly like how slim and pocketable the Ear Stick’s case is. The case has an interesting design overall that is entertaining to use.
Even if the case is cool, it’s not that useful. White plastic that has been beautifully knurled has been used to create the interior component that houses the buds, giving it a pleasing texture and an intriguing appearance. However, after only a few weeks of cautious use, our unit began to gather dirt at the entrance where the buds go in and out, and dust began to get trapped between the inner white plastic and the clear outer shell. It is not simple to clean the case either due to the fact that it was not designed to be taken apart. What these earbuds would look like after a year or two of being shoved in various pockets and bags gives us the evil eye.
The earphones are at least simple to clean. They have firm plastic tips without any silicone folds or other nooks and crannies where dirt could hide. But the Nothing Ear Stick won’t fit everyone’s ears because they don’t come with adjustable ear tips in different sizes. The earbuds move while used for several hours at a desk, and we have to adjust them to put the driver back where it belongs. There are many different ear forms, but for us, this fit is inadequate. Only some manuals and a USB-C to USB-C charging cable are included with the Nothing Ear Stick in its ingenious small rectangle packaging.
The startling translucent design of the Nothing Ear 1 is what you’ll notice right away. The charging case and the earbuds are both made of transparent plastic, but despite Nothing’s claims to “show the raw beauty of technology,” the majority of the internals are still concealed. The earbuds are held in place by magnets and a small depression in the case. White and red spots distinguish the left from the right earbud, respectively. The earbuds come in matte black or white color schemes. The charging case is also aesthetically pleasing, with a transparent enclosure in which the earbuds rest on their sides when charging. It has enough juice to fully recharge the earphones five times before it needs to be charged again (by USB-C or wirelessly), plus it’s enjoyable to play with because the lid has a little hole for your finger. Despite this, it is on the bulky side and won’t sit quite right in your denim pocket when you’re on the go. The Ear 1 earphone resembles the Apple AirPods Pro in form and function, right down to the small, flat stem that extends from the driver housing on both. You should be able to get a snug fit with the three sizes of oblong silicone ear tips that come with the earbuds from Nothing. The earphones are so lightweight (4.7g apiece) that you won’t even notice you are using them. Additionally, the earphones have an IPX4 rating, which qualifies them as a good fitness accessory.
In order to use the new Nothing Ear Stick, all you need to do is turn on the Bluetooth feature on your phone, and the device will automatically connect to your device, supporting both SBC and AAC codecs over Bluetooth 5.2. The silver power button needs to be depressed in order to display the earbuds. Installing the Nothing X app from the Play Store will provide you with better connectivity and functionality. The company has enhanced the Nothing X app because it now has a little updated appearance and some added features. The main screen displays the remaining battery life for both the casing and the earphones. One can also access the equalizer mode or the control settings. In addition to four presets, the Ear Stick’s equalizer option provides a three-band custom EQ. The EQ cannot be completely disabled; instead, one must choose from the various presets.
The AAC and SBC codecs are supported by Bluetooth 5.2 technology that is included in Ear 1. On Apple devices, AAC offers consistent, high-quality playback, whereas Android performance varies depending on the device. Some Android users might prefer to impose SBC streaming for more dependable audio quality due to the lack of other high-quality Bluetooth codecs like aptX and LDAC.
Switching to a half-in-ear design after using in-ear earbuds seems a little strange. The midrange frequency of the Ear Stick gives off an excessively bright and powerful sound. Due to the lack of a fleshed-out low-end, this results in the overall tone occasionally sounding somewhat harsh and breathy. We can classify the bass level as mediocre because it does not impress us. We may claim that the sound quality is energetic and detailed, given the cost of the earbuds. There are continual interruptions from the outer environment while listening to music. While this is helpful while strolling along the street, it can be somewhat distracting otherwise. The new Nothing Ear Stick has a decent microphone; thus, the voice quality on phone calls is ok. In noisy environments, such as next to a running faucet, the earbuds struggle to preserve voice quality, and a significant amount of background noise slips through.
The Nothing Ear 1 has a pleasant sound that most people would like. The Ear 1 isn’t overly bass-heavy, in contrast to other inexpensive earbuds; instead, it favors a more accurate low and midrange frequency response. On-Ear 1, bass tones can be heard, but they aren’t strong enough to obscure other sounds. By reducing the loudness difference between middle and bass notes, this midrange amplification makes it simpler to distinguish fundamental vocal frequencies.
The Nothing Ear Stick has an excellent battery life, with roughly seven hours of playback per charge. The seven hours should be sufficient to carry you through a full workday if you can find a few minutes to recharge. That’s not very impressive, considering there is no noise canceling at work here. The sleek small case for the buds can charge the ear stick up to three times before needing to be recharged. Although the case has USB-C charging, wireless charging is not supported. It’s unfortunate, but given the peculiar design of the case, a charging coil probably can’t fit. In earbuds at this price point, wireless charging isn’t a given.
The Nothing Ear 1’s sound quality received little praise; however, it may be enhanced with an app setting. The Nothing Ear 1’s sound has a little distinction between instruments and various layers right out of the box. Except for the vocals, which are still significantly up front, everything in the song feels close together. If you switch to a set of ANC earphones with a similar price tag, you’ll hear more instruments and effects coming from your left and right.
Nothing has an odd tone in the Balanced default sound. While a slightly bloated mid-bass and enhanced lower-mids add warmth to the song, the mids have a chilly, dark vibe that is most apparent in guitars that are typically warmer in tone. Both male and female vocals lack depth, and early rolled-off treble prevents singers from achieving their highest potential eruptions. Due to this, electric guitars can occasionally fall flat.
Nothing Ear Stick Vs Nothing Ear 1: Quick Results
|Particulars||Nothing Ear Stick||Nothing Ear 1||Which One Is Better?|
|Sound Performance||Better||Good||Nothing Ear Stick|
Final Verdict: Nothing Ear Stick Vs Nothing Ear 1
Overall, we’re not sure how we feel about the Nothing Ear Stick. They look fantastic, have one of the best wireless earbud cases we’ve ever seen, and have a sonic quality that is more than adequate for the price. But more importantly, the cool case doesn’t fit my ears well and becomes dirty quickly, and is difficult to clean.
The Nothing Ear Stick is a nice pair of midrange earbuds as long as they stay in your ears and you don’t need the sound isolation that silicone tips (or ANC) provide. Just be prepared to send them back if, like us, you have trouble finding a snug fit. Following the debut of the Phone 1 and Ear 1, the Nothing Ear Stick is the third product from the company. With their extensive use of translucent plastic and myriad attention-grabbing, outlandish design choices, they are immediately identifiable as a piece of Nothing tech.
Although the Ear Stick has a unique appearance, they are a fairly ordinary pair of earphones for everyday use. By this time, Carl Pei’s post-OnePlus firm has developed a reputation for providing decent products that aren’t actually all that exciting. As long as they fit in your ears, the Ear Stick is a terrific pair of earbuds that come in pretty spectacular packaging.