It’s time to do nothing

Due to lack of products, Cayman Islands registered the company was able to quickly assemble a device from off-the-shelf components (the first generation Ear 1 didn’t even have special drivers) and sell it, relying on the connections the co-founders had made while working at OnePlusanother brand with a similar strategy.

The original Nothing product had a good mix of hardware and software, and the headphones sounded pretty solid compared to others. Based on the review, we liked them, although not so much that they were the best choice for us.

Second generation earphones (Stick)7/10, WIRED review) and Ear (2) (8/10, WIRED Review) brought special drivers and an improved case, although they still look, feel and sound very similar to the vast majority of headphones, which I call “AirPods, but”. You probably got it: Airpods but with color. AirPods, but with the best headphones. AirPods but with LDAC lossless audio or noise suppression. Almost every brand has them, almost all are pretty decent. LG doesn’t even make cell phones anymore, but still… there are a couple of AirPod clones. The fruits hang on the ground.

The new Nothing Ear and Nothing Ear(a) again seem to provide incremental performance improvements. I speak apparently because while the company has asked WIRED to announce these new products to the world, it has yet to provide us with usable images, battery life, release date or pricing, despite repeated requests. All the brand had to offer was the image you see at the top of this article.

Nothing has given us any information about the inside of the headphones, which we assume will resemble the older models until proven otherwise. The brand claims that the new ceramic driver will provide clearer and more defined high frequencies, while the new internal architecture will provide deeper bass. It also touts the Nothing Ear(a)’s new adaptive noise-canceling technology, which is now 5dB quieter overall (40dB to 45dB reduction between generations). It’s good, but it’s not overwhelming.

I’m not sure these additional innovations are enough to take the brand to the top tier of consumer audio, but at least they keep it from falling behind. Apple itself has gradually updated AirPods and AirPods Pro over generations, but it also has the world’s best-selling product.

No solid for anything

This does not mean that Nothing has the ability to create new things. When the company released its first headphones, it had 30 people on its audio staff. That staff now numbers up to 300, Evangelidis says, including five dedicated acoustic engineers and a 30-person team dedicated to debugging the new active noise cancellation. That’s significantly more brain power, which is what could lead to notable innovation both in these new models and in the future.

Again, I haven’t heard or seen a pair yet and have no idea how much they’ll cost. They are scheduled to be released later this year, with samples arriving to reviewers shortly. On paper, and without important pricing information (but knowing that Nothing headphones have historically cost $100-$150), they seem like competitive headphones that will likely offer many of the same features as options from JLab, Jabra, Oneplus. , Samsung and many others.

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