Nothing, the consumer tech startup led by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, has officially announced its Ear (1) true wireless earbuds. The noise-canceling buds launch after months of teases, concept images, and even a presale in which Nothing auctioned off 100 pairs of the earbuds prior to their official reveal. The Ear (1) earbuds will go on sale on August 17th across 45 countries including the US and UK, priced at $99 / £99 / €99.
In a statement, Pei calls the Ear (1) “a breath of fresh air in a cluttered and indifferent market,” and said the earbuds will “[set] the tone for our connected digital world to come.” Pei has previously said his plan for Nothing is to build up an ecosystem of devices across increasingly complex product categories.
With a design based around transparent plastic, the Ear (1)’s have a distinctive look that reveals some of their internal circuitry, and each earbud has a color-coded circle (red or white) to indicate the corresponding ear. They’re equipped with 11.6mm drivers, and Nothing’s hardware and software have both been tuned by Swedish electronics house Teenage Engineering.
Battery life is rated at up to 34 hours when the earbuds are used with their charging case, and 5.7 hours from the earbuds themselves with ANC off (dropping to 24 hours and four hours with ANC on, respectively). They can be charged wirelessly using Qi-compatible chargers or wired over USB-C. The Ear (1)’s use a trio of microphones on each earbud to offer noise-cancelation, which can be set to maximum for loud environments, light if it’s quieter, and there’s a transparency mode for when you need to hear what’s going on around you. The earbuds also cancel out background noise when using their microphones to make calls.
The Ear (1)s have tap and gesture controls, and these can be customized via a companion app which also handles EQ and Find my Earbud functionality. They feature Bluetooth 5.2 and they’re IPX4 water resistant, which should allow them to survive sweat and light splashes. Fast pairing will be supported with compatible Android devices.
While the earbuds will go on general sale next month, Nothing is selling a limited batch of the earbuds from its own website starting on July 31st. We’ll have a full review of the Ear (1) earbuds coming soon.