Nothing ear (stick) TWS earbuds launch with a new design, improved battery life and US availability on release
The long-hyped ear (stick) TWS buds with claims that their newly re-designed charging case is like "nothing else on the market" - although OEMs such as Creative might have something to say about that.
Then again, the new tube-like accessory is somewhat distinguished by the opening mechanism. It incorporates the red end-cap, which is used to twist its outer shell around to release the buds as well as house its USB type-C charging port.
These business ends of the ear (stick) premise look quite like those of the ear (1), having AirPod-like stems and transparent appearance that, while not entirely convincing, does show their charging contacts off quite nicely. However, the newer versions switch from an in-ear build to a "half-in-ear" design - which mostly seems to involve a lack of ear-tip inclusion.
Nothing asserts that this may help them appeal to those who find most TWS earbuds hard to use all day wear these new models in more comfort for longer (in addition, it probably helps them fit into their stick-like case). The brand claims to have crafted them "meticulously" to be 4.4g in mass and 18mm wide, or both lighter and thinner than the ear (1)s.
Nevertheless, Nothing has crammed a relatively enlarged 12.6mm "custom" driver into each (stick) bud, paired to "the highest-grade magnets available" and a diaphragm with an equally in-house treatment. These specs are touted to enhance mids and highs over the earphones, with a software-dependent "Bass Lock" for everything else.
Nothing has also designed a new UI, complete with an attribute-map-like equalizer, for the ear (stick), as well as onboard controls that are pressable (more like a smartphone's side-mounted fingerprint sensor) rather than touch-based.
The ear (stick) have been developed to auto-pair with a phone (1) on twisting their case open, and interfaces with the device for controls such as volume control, track navigation and in-ear detection. However, they will also be found in the new iOS/Android Nothing X app, which a user will need to download to use them with a non-Nothing device.
The ear (stick) buds are rated for the same 31dB noise cancellation as their predecessors, albeit with an apparently strengthened Clear Voice algorithm. Then again, their estimated battery life has been upgraded, with up to 7 hours of use without the case and up to 29 hours with it.
The Nothing ear (stick) can be pre-ordered in the US, Canada, Europe, the UK, India or Japan for US$99, CA$149, €119, £99, INR 8,499 or 16,900 yen from now. Alternatively, the brand states that they will be available through their partner stores in "limited" numbers from October 28, 2022, or can be ordered through the same (including those in the US) from November 4, 2022.