Business News

Nothing Ear 2 is worth every rupee


It was in the summer of 2021 when the tech start-up ushered into this world by Carl Pei, the man well-known as the co-founder at OnePlus, brought a sort of excitement to the true wireless ear buds space like not seen before. Except perhaps when Apple went about updating their AirPods line-up. The Nothing ear (1), at the time, brought in the uniqueness of a transparent stem, which allowed you to peek at the internal components. With the next generation, which is the Nothing Ear (2), the focus is on refinement.

Nothing Ear 2 ear buds (Representative Photo) Nothing Ear 2 ear buds (Representative Photo) The good thing is, unlike many other brands that are part of a singular-focused race to somehow be better than the Apple AirPods, Nothing isn’t taking part. The company started with a distinct philosophy and continues to steadfastly walk down that path. These are, though arguable, the most visually appealing true wireless ear buds. Sony, Google, and a few others may have something to say about it, but side-by-side, none have the same visual charm.

There’s a definite sense of more polish, something we expected (and hoped for too). The case itself has a somewhat smaller footprint than before. More so in width than thickness, but every millimetre shaved off makes pocketability better. The IPX4 water and dust resistance rating has been replaced with IP54, which dials up the dust protection level while the water resistance remains the same. Just don’t submerge either in water.

Also Read: OnePlus 11R is an alternate Android flagship, with surprisingly few compromises

Nothing has made a subtle tweak to how you control the Ear (2). The tap controls have been replaced by a gentle press on the stem. You will need to get used to them, that is a given, the good thing is these are customisable with the Nothing X app (this is available for Android, as well as iPhone). These are less prone to accidental touches, but you’ll need to be a bit more careful when taking the buds out, or putting them back, in your ears.

We’ve seen this before in some ear buds, but Nothing’s implementation of a sound test is one of the slickest. The idea is to through a hearing test that includes several sounds at different frequencies, understand which ones your ear can hear. The human ear, each being different, cannot hear all. This allows the earbuds to personalise the sound by reducing the priority of the frequencies your ear cannot distinguish.

Nothing has given the Ear (2) a custom driver, which is 11.6mm in size, with a custom diaphragm. This has been made using a mix of polyurethane (PU) and graphene. The predecessor also used a driver with the same dimensions, but a different mix of materials. The sound upgrade is definite, though you may feel that isn’t the case. First is the support for high-res audio. Beyond specs, it is the way music reaches your ears. There is more refinement, better balance, and a greater emphasis on lower frequencies.

There is better bass, undeniably, which should help with a wide spectrum of music. What Nothing Ear (2) does even better is retain the space for finer details in a soundstage that comes from how the mid-range frequencies are handled, with neither the bass nor vocals intruding on the space. All in all, there is more excitement to the sound, while sounding more mature too. What are the odds of that? You do have the option of manual EQ settings within the Nothing X app, something you will need to use if listening to lower-quality audio recordings – it isn’t difficult to notice vocals sounding a bit sharper than usual in this scenario.

Active noise cancellation, from the outset, is more powerful at blocking ambient noise. It can now isolate the wearer’s outside noises up to 40db – this has become the magic number for true wireless ear buds. Nevertheless, Nothing Ear (2) gives you three controls to work with. Either on, which uses all its powers to eliminate the ambient din, an adaptive mode that reduces ANC level if your surroundings are quieter for the moment as well as a personalised noise cancellation mode which identifies the shape of a user’s ear canal and suggests the best-fit ear tips and works with seven audio filters.

Also Read: Justifying the Nokia X30’s ₹47,999 price tag is a futile effort

We have not had enough time with the Nothing Ear (2) to run it through multiple battery charge cycles, but from what we have noticed thus far, the runtime is slightly better than the Nothing Ear (1), with noise cancellation on and off.

While Nothing Ear (1) was simply a recommendation at its time, more so because of the price tag, things have evolved now. The Nothing Ear (2) will carry a sticker price of ₹9,999 in India, which changes the way you approach and perceive these wireless ear buds. They are no longer the plucky ear buds, setting the cat amongst the more expensive alternatives. This price tag makes the Nothing Ear (2) premium and that changes the competitive landscape too.

If you do choose these, it’ll be from a shortlist that likely included the Apple AirPods, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, and the Google Pixel Buds A-series. Incidentally, each brings forth a different design language too, but some do not work as well on iPhones.


Leave a Comment