Nothing Ear (a) review: sunny side up

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Nothing began off as an audio model, although its cellphone choices, full with their funky designs and Glyph interface, have grabbed extra limelight in current instances. The Nothing Ear (1) (overview) which launched in 2021, marked not simply the debut of the model, but additionally set the tone for the clear design language which is rapidly turning into iconic. Nothing adopted that up with the Ear (stick) (overview) and Ear (2) (overview) TWS buds, and now, has two new contenders within the audio section within the type of the Nothing Ear and the Nothing Ear (a). The previous follows within the footsteps of its predecessors, no less than when it comes to the general design, however the Ear (a) brings a contemporary perspective into the combination. The Ear (a) comes as a extra reasonably priced model of the Ear (overview), slicing down on among the frills reminiscent of wi-fi charging, however retaining the very best options reminiscent of ANC.

Design

Possibly it’s simply me, however every time I take a look at it, the Nothing Ear (a) jogs my memory of a miniature tiffin field, full with a few poached eggs inside, seen in all their glory by the clear lid. Blame it on the form of the case these TWS buds are available in, and the intense yellow color theme. To be extra particular, the highest half of the case, which is actually its lid, makes use of clear, clear plastic, whereas the underside half and the buds are carried out in vibrant yellow. After all, as a substitute of yellow, you possibly can go together with the black or white model, however the place’s the enjoyable in that? The case within reason compact, with its flat design making it fairly pocketable, with out an unpleasant bulge seen once they’re resting inside your pocket.

Nothing Ear (a) review: sunny side up

A kind-C port is situated on the again, whereas a tiny LED and an virtually invisible pairing button are situated alongside the buds’ resting positions contained in the case. The buds themselves retain the acquainted oval form the model has used earlier than, with clear stems that present their innards. The match and end of the buds are nice, they usually’re fairly light-weight (just below 5 grams every) and comfy to put on for lengthy intervals. The case, nevertheless, could possibly be vulnerable to scuffs and scratches and does really feel a tad bit plasticky.

Nothing Ear (a) review: sunny side up

Specs and options

On supply are 11mm drivers, Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, and IP54 splash resistance. Supported audio codecs embody SBC, AAC, and LDAC. The Ear (a) help twin connection and might change between two paired audio sources seamlessly. As well as, there’s a low-lag mode for gaming as effectively. A bunch of capabilities could be managed by way of pinch actions, i.e. by squeezing the stems.

Nothing Ear (a) review: sunny side up

A single pinch is mapped to play/pause and reply/finish calls, whereas a double pinch skips ahead, a triple pinch strikes again, and a protracted pinch switches between sound modes (ANC, transparency and many others). After all, these could be customised by way of the companion app. I discovered these controls barely finicky to grasp at first, for the reason that stems must be pinched proper within the center for the motion to register. Nevertheless, it was easy going as soon as I had figured that out.

Nothing Ear (a) review: sunny side up

Additionally, seeing how AI is the buzzword nowadays, Nothing’s efforts to combine ChatGPT with its newest TWS choices is fascinating. So in case you have one of many Nothing telephones operating its newest Nothing OS 2.5.5 construct and ChatGPT put in, you possibly can invoke the latter as a wise assistant utilizing a pinch and maintain gesture. I attempted it utilizing a Nothing Cellphone (2a) with out a lot success, so it appears to be like prefer it’s nonetheless a tad iffy for now. Nonetheless, the model deserves credit score for its try — and hopefully, it’ll evolve into one thing helpful down the road.

App

Nothing Ear (a) review: sunny side up

Nothing X works because the companion app, and as typical, you’ll find it to obtain each on the Apple App Retailer in addition to the Google Play Retailer. The app makes use of Nothing’s signature dotted font, and proper up entrance, gives choices to set EQ, customise controls, change sound modes, and tweak bass. The bass improve characteristic has 5 completely different ranges, and ANC has three, with a further adaptive choice being out there too. The equaliser is ready to Extra Bass by default, however you possibly can select balanced, extra treble, or voice mode, or set a customized one as per your preferences.

Nothing Ear (a) review: sunny side up

Suffice it to say, there are fairly just a few choices out there to customize the sound as per your style. Diving into settings permits to toggle options like in-ear detection, low lag mode, and twin connection. There’s a discover my earbuds characteristic too, together with an ear match take a look at which guides the person on discovering the perfect match for the ANC to be efficient.

Sound high quality and ANC

Nothing Ear (a) review: sunny side upTalking of, the 45dB ANC within reason efficient and drowns out ambient noise fairly effectively. I just like the transparency mode as effectively. it’s fairly helpful when one desires to remain conscious of the environment without having to take away the buds from the ears. Name high quality is first rate as effectively. The general audio high quality is tuned in the direction of bass by default, however you possibly can change it round and revel in a wealthy, full, and balanced sound that works effectively throughout genres. The soundstage is vast and the buds can ship crisp highs and mids, with out letting the bass get too overwhelming. When you like your bass although, the bass enhance characteristic helps ship punchy beats. All in all, you shouldn’t be dissatisfied with what the Nothing Ear (a) have to supply when it comes to sound high quality.

Battery life

Nothing Ear (a) review: sunny side up

In contrast to the pricier Ear, the Ear (a) don’t supply wi-fi charging. However they are often juiced up quick and when full, the buds alone promise to ship as much as 5.5 hours of battery life with ANC on, with that point going as much as 42.5 hours if the reserve tank within the case is included. In my utilization, I used to be solely in a position to shave off about half the cost in per week’s value of utilization, utilizing the buds every day for various lengths of time every day. I’d say the battery life is fairly good.

Verdict

Nothing Ear (a) review: sunny side up

Priced at Rs 5,999 initially and ultimately shifting as much as Rs 7,999, the Nothing Ear (a) makes for a worthy buy and comes throughout as higher worth for cash as in comparison with its pricier siblings. Shut rivals for the Ear (a) embody the OnePlus Buds 3 (overview) and the OPPO Enco Air 3 Professional (overview), and these are value shut consideration as effectively, particularly contemplating they are often had for much less. The Nothing Ear (a), at its full worth of Rs 7,999, feels priced on the upper facet, however in your cash, you get a funky-looking pair of TWS buds that supply nice sound and battery life, and a helpful set of options as effectively.

Editor’s score: 8 / 10

Execs:

  • Funky design
  • Light-weight & comfy
  • Good ANC & sound high quality
  • Lengthy battery life

Cons:

  • Susceptible to scuffs & scratches
  • Case feels plasticky
  • Priced on the upper facet

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