The Nothing Ear Stick is the model’s third product launch, following the Cellphone 1 and Ear 1. They’re immediately recognizable as a bit of Nothing tech, with liberal use of clear plastic and loads of attention-grabbing, unconventional design selections.


Regardless of the Ear Stick’s radical look, they seem to be a fairly pedestrian pair of earbuds for day-to-day use. By this level, Carl Pei’s post-OnePlus startup has established a sample of releasing pretty-good merchandise that look extra fascinating than they are surely. At $99, the Ear Stick are a tremendous pair of buds in very flashy packaging, and there is loads to love about them — so long as they slot in your ears.

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The Nothing Ear Stick are a pair of fashion-focused earbuds from the corporate behind the Ear 1 and the Nothing Cellphone 1. Along with Nothing’s signature clear look and a lipstick-inspired case, the Ear Stick supply good audio high quality and first rate battery life . The match is not customizable right here, although, they usually could not sit comfortably in your ears.

Specs

  • Battery Life: as much as 7h (3h discuss), as much as 29h (12h discuss) with case
  • Noise Cancellation: none
  • Bluetooth : Bluetooth 5.2, RFCOMM, SPP, HFP, A2DP, AVDTP, AVCTP, AVRCP, GAVDP
  • IP score: IP54
  • Weight (earbuds): 4.4g every
  • Dimensions (earbuds): 29.8 x 18.8 x 18.4mm
  • Charging: through USB-C
  • Measurements: 87.1 x 29.8 x 29.8mm
  • Driver measurement: 12.6mm dynamic
  • Value (MSRP): $100
  • Dimensions: 87.1 x 29.8 x 29.8mm
  • Weight: 46.3g
professionals

  • Placing look
  • Dependable and satisfying controls
  • Stable audio high quality
Cons

  • Match will not be for everybody
  • Case will get dingy and is not simple to wash
  • No wi-fi charging

Purchase This Product

Nothing Ear Stick: Design, {hardware}, what’s within the field

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Like each of Nothing’s earlier merchandise, the Nothing Ear Stick earbuds sport a delightfully unconventional design. The buds have the identical white-and-clear-plastic look because the Ear 1, and Nothing says the Ear Stick’s tubular charging case is impressed by “basic cosmetics silhouettes.” I can see that as a result of it opens with a twisting movement (with a stable click on when it reaches its absolutely open or closed place) and jogs my memory of a thick tube of lipstick. And whereas just about all good true wi-fi earbuds are available small instances, the Ear Sticks are particularly skinny and pocketable, which I admire. General, they’ve a singular design that is enjoyable to work together with.

However as cool because the case is, it is not solely sensible. The inside piece that homes the buds is fabricated from finely knurled white plastic, which provides it an fascinating look and satisfying texture. However after only a few weeks of cautious use, my unit began amassing grime across the opening that the buds go out and in of, and dirt and canine hair made their approach between the inside white plastic and clear outer shell. Additionally, as a result of the case is not meant to be disassembled, it is not simple to wash. I shudder to assume what these earbuds would possibly appear to be after a yr or two of rolling round in luggage and pockets.

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It isn’t simple to maintain the Ear Stick’s case freed from mud and particles.

No less than the earbuds are simple to maintain clear. They have onerous plastic suggestions with no folds of silicone or different crevices to gather grime. As a result of they do not include multiple-size ear tricks to customise their match, although, the Nothing Ear Stick will not work in everyone’s ears. they virtually work for me; sitting nonetheless, the buds keep nestled the place they’re purported to. However any bodily exercise jostles the earbuds round, and I am all the time afraid I am going to lose one. When sporting the earbuds at my desk for a couple of hours, they transfer round, and I’ve to regulate them to get the motive force again the place it is purported to be. Ear shapes fluctuate, however for me, this match simply would not reduce it.

There’s not a lot included with the Nothing Ear Stick of their intelligent little rectangular field — just a few literature and an identical USB-C-to-USB-C cable for charging.

Nothing Ear Stick: Audio and options

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Being onerous plastic buds, the Ear Stick supply little sound isolation, so even reasonable environmental noise could make them tough to understand your media. Compound that with the truth that the earbuds refuse to remain put in my ears, and the listening expertise is just not best. That stated, in quiet environments with the earbuds correctly seated, they sound good for $99, and sustaining some consciousness of your environment is nice when ambient noise is not overwhelming.

Audio right here is not as clear or detailed as what you will get out of earbuds that price two or 3 times as a lot, however the Nothing Ear Stick do not have the telltale compressed sound of some cheaper earbuds. Crashing cymbals do not get warbly, and it is simple to select particular person devices and sounds, even in busy tracks. There’s ample bass, too — till the earbuds shift in my ears and their drivers aren’t pointed the precise approach. The earbuds solely assist the SBC and AAC codecs (no aptX), however that is not stunning at this worth level.

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The Ear Sticks are good for calls. I do not typically just like the match or really feel of AirPods-style onerous plastic earbuds, and that is true right here, too — however with the ability to clearly hear my very own voice whereas I am speaking makes conversations really feel extra pure. Additionally they deal with background noise fairly handily, and I’ve had no complaints concerning the readability of my voice throughout telephone calls or video conferences.

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In contrast to the Nothing Ear 1, which had contact controls, the Ear Stick are managed by squeezing their stems. A single squeeze on both bud is play/pause; two squeezes skip ahead, and three squeezes transfer backward. Squeezing and holding the left earbud lowers your media quantity, whereas holding the precise bud raises it. I actually like this acquainted setup, because it’s extra tactile than contact controls, and never having to exactly place my fingers on a tiny contact floor to regulate the amount is a reduction. The buds additionally make a extremely satisfying faux-analog tick sound if you squeeze or launch a stem.

You get Quick Pair assist, which is all the time appreciated, however there is not any multipoint connectivity, and there is not any ANC — although, because the Galaxy Buds Dwell taught us, ANC in open-style earbuds like these would not do a lot anyway.

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The Nothing X app — preinstalled on the Nothing Cellphone 1 and out there on the Play Retailer elsewhere — helps you to tweak the Ear Stick’s sound profile utilizing a three-way equalizer. There is a handful of preset choices and a customized setting that permits you to tune treble, mids, and bass manually; I have been conserving mine on the Extra Bass preset, which makes for a hotter sound that does not really feel exaggeratedly bassy.

You can even change the controls by selecting what every earbud does if you double and triple pinch, pinch-and-hold, and double-pinch-and-hold. The double-pinch-and-hold motion is not utilized by default, so I set it to name the Google Assistant on my telephone. Except for that motion, I feel the management scheme is fairly best as is, so I did not see a motive to alter something.

Nothing Ear Stick: Battery life

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Battery life within the Nothing Ear Stick is decidedly good at about seven hours of playback per cost. That is not terribly spectacular contemplating there is not any noise cancellation at work right here — units just like the $200 Pixel Buds Professional can swing seven hours with ANC — however seven hours needs to be sufficient to get you thru a full workday if you could find a couple of minutes to recharge. The buds’ slick little case can high the Ear Stick up about 3 times earlier than needing a recharge itself.

The case has USB-C charging however would not assist wi-fi charging. That is a disgrace, however contemplating the case’s distinctive form, there most likely is not room for a charging coil. Wi-fi charging is not assured in buds round this worth; the Pixel Buds A-Sequence do not have wi-fi charging, both.

Nothing Ear Stick: Competitors

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The Ear Stick prices $99, the identical worth the Nothing Ear 1 was. Between the 2, I would completely select Ear 1. I desire earbuds with silicone suggestions, and the Ear 1’s first rate ANC is a large benefit in comparison with the Ear Stick, which do not characteristic noise canceling in any respect. However the Ear 1 just lately jumped $50 in worth, so the Ear Stick are retroactively a lower-end providing. Nonetheless, should you can stretch your earbud funds to $150, the Ear 1 supply most of what is good concerning the Ear Stick in a better-rounded bundle with options like ANC and wi-fi charging.

Google’s Pixel Buds A-Sequence are much like the Ear Stick in some ways. Each earbuds retail for $100 and have a design that allows environmental sound. The Ear Stick have higher battery life — seven hours, versus the A-Sequence’s 5 — however the Pixel Buds include silicone suggestions in a number of sizes and have hands-free Google Assistant entry. The Pixel Buds A-Sequence are a bit of flaky with Bluetooth connections, although, inflicting some interference and occasional skips.

We have every kind of suggestions for inexpensive earbuds from different producers, too. Test them out should you’re unconvinced by any of those choices.

Nothing Ear Stick: Must you purchase them?

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I am form of torn on the Nothing Ear Stick total. There are issues I really like about them: they appear nice, their case might be the best I’ve ever seen in wi-fi earbuds, they usually sound loads adequate for his or her worth. However that cool case will get soiled quick and is tough to wash, and extra importantly, the issues do not slot in my ears comfortably.

Assuming they keep put in your ears, and you do not want the sound isolation that comes with silicone suggestions (or ANC), the Nothing Ear Stick are pair of midrange earbuds. Simply be able to return them if, like me, you may’t get a snug match.

Purchase them if…

  • Your funds is $100, and also you need a unique-looking pair of buds
  • You do not typically have hassle with onerous plastic earbuds

Do not buy them if…

  • Sound isolation issues
  • You need a customizable match