The tech start-up Nothing hit a couple of home runs with its first two strikes – the neat Nothing Ear (1) earbuds and the Nothing Phone (1). The company’s latest product is the Ear (stick), launched this week, a sleek set of affordable, AirPod-style in-ear devices that perch ergonomically on your ears. Following the brand’s mantra of ‘Tech you can’t feel’, the Nothing Ear (stick) does a fine job of feeling transparently light and unobtrusive, all the while delivering crisp and detailed sound.
The Ear (stick) has been designed to work best with Phone (1) – there’s no need for a separate app, just use the phone’s Device Details and all the features can be customised and accessed right away, as well as the ability to find a lost earbud or even select a special gaming mode that minimises Bluetooth’s slight latency.
If you’re using another Android or iOS phone, then you need the new Nothing X app, which also gives you access to an equaliser and ways of customising the tap functions. When worn, the earbuds genuinely feel like they are barely there, which is both comfortable and occasionally alarming when you’re trying to find them.
The (stick) comes in a cylindrical clear plastic charge case, complete with USB-C connection for charging. In total, a fully charged case provides up to 29 hours of listening time, and you can wirelessly charge the (stick) on the Phone (1) when a little extra boost is needed.
Nothing has a packaging problem, but only in the sense that its paper boxes are a tactile delight and yet can only be opened once before they’re good for recycling. Featuring a refreshing absence of plastic and reminiscent of high-end pharma packaging design, they’re part of the company’s drive towards true carbon neutrality, which includes being transparent about the carbon footprint of all its products.
The earbuds themselves use Nothing’s signature transparent design language, helping set them apart in both style and substance.
Nothing ear (stick), £99
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Jonathan Bell has written for Wallpaper* magazine since 1999, covering everything from architecture and transport design to books, tech and graphic design. He is now the magazine’s Transport and Technology Editor. Jonathan has written and edited 15 books, including Concept Car Design, 21st Century House, and The New Modern House. He is also the host of Wallpaper’s first podcast.
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