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Nothing makes its ear (1) buds official

The ear (1) TWS earbuds. (Source: Nothing)
The ear (1) TWS earbuds. (Source: Nothing)
Following an extensive series of teasers, the Carl Pei-run start-up Nothing has formally launched its inaugural ear (1) TWS earbuds, thereby also finally revealing the peripherals' design and specs for the first time. They are to become available in an initial limited batch on July 31, 2021, followed by a larger drop in August.

Nothing's YouTube-based launch of its first-gen ear (1) accessories began as a raft of interviews and introductions for the product with the start-up's founder Carl Pei, some of the firm's designers and one of its more prominent investors Casey Neistat. However, this did give way to a product unveiling at the end, thereby revealing a design long-hyped in the TWS world.

Pei and his new team-members had indicated that their aim was to create something entirely new and different in this space. Nevertheless, what has eventually emerged does not look a million miles away from the often-used AirPod-clone format, albeit one with perhaps a sharper angle between the ear-piece and stem end than usual.

Then again, Nothing has encased these stems in a material that allows the user to see components such as their charging contacts, as well as some interesting branding, at least. They match well with the interesting transparent case seen earlier, now also revealed to have a hemispherical divot on its lid, which has the actual function of securing the buds in place as well as allowing it to become an impromptu fidget-spinner.

However, the transparency ends there, as the main body of each bud is finished in a white material with holes for its vents and mics. This part of the ear (1) has now been revealed to house an 11.6mm driver (which is not bad, especially for a first-gen product). Each pair of earbuds is rated to weigh 9.4 grams (g) each, to support the SBC and AAC codecs via Bluetooth 5.2 and has IPX4 ingress-protection.

They might run for 5.7 hours of playback, although that is estimated to drop to 4 with ANC on. The see-through case is rated to bring this up to a total of 24 hours, however. All in all, it seems Nothing has pulled its first product together fairly well; on the other hand, Unbox Therapy's Lewis Hilsenteger noted that its companion app (which contains instructions on the use of the ear (1) touch controls and ambient mode) is less than completely baked at this stage during his obligatory walk-through of this product.

Should this be the case, it is unfortunate as Nothing now has 4 full days to work on it prior to the TWS earbuds' initial "limited drop" via the OEM's website, for the price mentioned earlier. Should a prospective buyer miss that event, they will be restocked on August 17, 2021.

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Deirdre O'Donnell, 2021-07-27 (Update: 2021-07-27)