What you need to know:
- Nothing has unveiled the Ear (stick) for $99/£99/€129/₹8,499.
- The wireless earbuds have a see-through aesthetic that's similar to the ear (1), with Nothing switching to a half in-ear design that's touted to be more comfortable.
- There's a unique cylindrical case this time around that twists to reveal the earbuds.
- The Ear (stick) will go on sale globally starting November 4.
Nothing made its grand entrance last year with the ear (1), showcasing a unique see-through design that allowed the wireless earbuds to stand out in a crowded category. Nothing followed it up with the phone (1), maintaining a clear-cut focus on design.
With the brand closing in on one million cumulative sales, Nothing is introducing its second product in the wireless audio category: Ear (stick).
Nothing is once again drawing on its design roots here, with the Ear (stick) featuring a see-through design that's an evolution of what we got last year. There's a new cylindrical case that twists to surface the earbuds, and the design for the case is inspired by lipstick silhouettes, according to Carl Pei, CEO and co-founder of Nothing:
“As we’re about to cross one million products sold worldwide, I can’t wait for people to get their hands on our third product, Ear (stick). It balances comfort while delivering our most advanced sound experience to date. The case is inspired by lipstick silhouettes and features a unique, yet functional, twist opening."
For the second year running, Nothing is billing the Ear (stick) as a fashion-focused product — a fact that's immediately noticeable in the marketing materials and the inconsistent naming.
While the design language for the Ear (stick) hasn't been altered too much, the earbud itself now follows a half-in ear design that doesn't include any ear tips. Nothing says this design is much more comfortable, and we'll have to wait and see if that proves to be true.
The Ear (stick) has a 12.6mm dynamic driver that Nothing says will deliver "rich depths, clear highs and bold details," and there's a new Bass Lock feature that automatically tweaks EQ settings to produce a "punchy" low-end based on how the earbuds fit in your ear.
The Ear (stick) also has Nothing’s next-gen Clear Voice Technology that sees three high-def mics working in conjunction to filter background noise. It has Fast Pair, a low latency mode that kicks in during gaming, and a new location for the antenna that doesn't cause any signal interference.
Each earbud comes in at just 4.4g, and Nothing is touting seven-hour battery for music playback and three hours for calls. The case has enough power to provide 22 hours of battery life, so you're looking at a total of up to 29 hours. Unlike the ear (1), the case doesn't charge wirelessly — that's down to the cylindrical design.
The earbuds have IP54 dust and water resistance, and there's no mention of high-res Bluetooth codecs, so it's likely that the Ear (stick) is limited to SBC and AAC. The settings to control gestures and adjust the EQ are baked into the phone (1). For all other Android and iOS devices, Nothing is introducing a new Nothing X app that will be used for controlling the Ear (stick).
How much does it cost, you ask? The Ear (stick) will be available for $99 in the U.S., £99 in the U.K., €129 in the Nordics, and ₹8,499 in India. The Ear (stick) will go on sale starting November 4 around the world, but Indian users will have to wait until November 17 to get their hands on the earbuds.
Nothing says it will have exclusive launch offers for its fans in India, so if you like the look of these earbuds, hold tight. Anyway, I'll have more to say about the Ear (stick) and how it holds up against the best wireless earbuds shortly.