Nice when you do not like sticking issues in your ears


The Ear Stick are Nothing’s second pair of true wi-fi earbuds, however they ditches the in-ear tip for a extra open design. Holding the identical consolation degree, the Ear Stick provide extra consciousness, higher controls and mics, and a clearer and extra customizable sound. All of this comes on the worth of in-ear stability and passive isolation, however when you actually should have a pair of open-design buds, then the Ear Stick are a really first rate worth.

Launching just a little greater than a 12 months after it debuted the Nothing Ear 1, Carl Pei’s firm is again with one other audio product, this time devoted to individuals who wish to hear their tunes however dislike the sensation of getting one thing lodged of their ears. The Nothing Ear Stick are one other tackle true wi-fi buds, with an open design that sits outdoors your ear canal. And though it could appear that that is the one distinction between the Stick and the Ear 1, that isn’t the case. Nothing packed a number of refinements into this new pair within the hopes of justifying the $99 asking worth, however are they sufficient? Let’s discover out in Android Authority‘s Nothing Ear Stick evaluate.

About this Nothing Ear Stick evaluate: I examined the Nothing Ear Stick over a interval of 1 week. The unit was supplied by Nothing for this evaluate.

What you could know concerning the Nothing Ear Stick

Nothing Ear Stick inside the case, top view, with plant and white Pixel 7 Pro

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

  • Nothing Ear (Stick): $99 / £99 / €119

The very first thing that’ll catch your consideration with the Nothing Ear Stick is the tubular case. Nothing needs you to take a look at it as a style accent first and a tech object second — it succeeded. The case is harking back to lipsticks; you twist the underside half to open it, then twist to shut it. It’s a wonderful fidget too — I’ve usually discovered myself opening it and shutting it for no cause aside from it was at arm’s attain.

Nothing’s design ethos nonetheless dictates every little thing concerning the case and the buds inside it. Transparency, white and black with some crimson accents, and a dot matrix font for each branding aspect. You possibly can’t confuse this model with every other firm’s.

Nothing Ear Stick case next to Nothing Ear (1) case

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Inside, the buds look practically an identical to the Nothing Ear 1, save for the absence of a silicone tip. As a substitute, the entire bud is product of plastic with three seen grills that conceal the speaker and new microphones.

A big custom-built 12.6mm driver inside every earbud was added to compensate for sound leakage.

A brand new custom-built 12.6mm driver sits inside every bud, and it’s supposedly giant sufficient to compensate for all of the sound leakage from the open design. There are three microphones to cancel any background noise that’s louder than three decibels and be sure to sound very clear throughout calls. Clearly, these microphones don’t play any position in energetic noise cancellation (ANC) whilst you’re listening to audio — the design merely makes any isolation unimaginable.

Nevertheless, Nothing is sticking with AAC and SBC; there’s no assist for aptX or every other high-resolution Bluetooth audio codecs. However a minimum of there’s a brand new Ear Stick-only low-latency setting that ought to scale back lag whereas enjoying video games, even on the AAC and SBC codecs. In my checks, I observed a small, very small latency discount with this setting enabled on my Pixel 7 Professional.

Nothing Ear Stick buds next to Nothing Ear (1) buds, inner side

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

For controls, Nothing has opted for a brand new stress mechanism as an alternative of swipe gestures. It’s important to maintain the stem of every earbud between your fingers and squeeze it to set off any actions. It’s a extra deliberate motion that ought to scale back, if not take away, any unintended swipes.

The Ear Stick additionally profit from a barely extended battery life — seven hours with out the case. With the case, this could go as much as 29 hours. Our checks had been in-line with these numbers. A two-hour listening session at 70% quantity drops the battery all the way down to 70% on common, and the case lasts round two weeks on a cost with a few hours of each day use. Each of those are strong stats, although remember the fact that ANC is often an enormous drain for true wi-fi earbuds — one thing the Ear Stick should not have.

The Ear Stick present up natively within the Fast Settings space of the Nothing Telephone 1, however they’ll additionally hook up with any Bluetooth machine. It helps Google’s Quick Pair, which simplifies connections to any subsequent machine after you’ve paired them with the primary one below your Google account. Plus, Nothing’s new app helps you to customise the totally different controls and decide between 4 preset equalizers. You may also use a {custom} EQ to set the bottom, mids, and treble to your liking.

Out there solely in white, the Nothing Ear Stick retail for $99 now, the identical because the launch worth of the Ear 1 (which has now been raised to $149).

What’s good?

Nothing Ear Stick bud in hand, side angle

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Every time you are taking the Nothing Ear Stick out of your pocket in public, you’ll get a look or two as a result of these aren’t your typical earbuds. The case’s design is exclusive and it’s extremely enjoyable — and a bit addictive — to twist it open and closed on a regular basis.

Nothing says it examined the Ear Stick’s form on 200 totally different ear fashions to verify it’s comfy and safe. For my particular ears, the match is sort of as nice because the Ear 1, which I’ve lauded repeatedly as probably the most comfy buds I’ve ever worn. The Ear Stick simply don’t exert stress wherever in my ears, which is a really bizarre feeling to get used to. And even throughout lengthy listening periods, there’s not a second the place I felt that rising clogged-ear sensation that pushes me to take away some in-ear earbuds each hour or two.

The Ear Stick are an important pair of true wi-fi buds for anybody who simply does not like all in-ear annoyance.

This can be a nice pair of true wi-fi buds for anybody who simply doesn’t like all in-ear annoyance. The dearth of a tip to stabilize them does hold me on my toes, nonetheless, however extra on that within the subsequent part.

As somebody with medium-length unfastened hair that usually triggers earbuds’ gestures inadvertently, I welcome Nothing’s transfer to pressure-based controls. The entire pausing, quantity altering, and observe skipping I’ve finished on the Ear Stick thus far has been intentional.

The Ear Stick additionally sound surprisingly loud and clear. Quantity-wise, it appears to go as loud because the Ear 1, regardless of the extra open design, although I couldn’t tolerate it that prime for lengthy. At round 70%, there’s nonetheless sufficient quantity to take pleasure in your music, podcasts, or audiobooks.

The mids and highs are undoubtedly clearer than the Ear 1. The bass is simply barely improved; the open design tends to carry down the thumping feeling of bass with it, however Nothing’s “bass lock” algorithm balances that out. And when you don’t just like the default sound signature, there are three totally different presets and a {custom} equalizer to tailor it in 12-step increments (-6 to +6 for bass, mids, and treble).

Regardless of the open design, the Ear Stick sound surprisingly loud and clear.

In comparison with the Ear 1, there’s a marked enchancment within the built-in microphones’ audio high quality too. Voices come out clearer (although with some odd artifacts in calmer environments) and background noise is diminished, even when it’s erratic and inconsistent. I examined this out by recording a pattern subsequent to a Nest Hub that was enjoying wind, nature, fan, and thunderstorm sounds. Whereas the Ear Stick canceled out each little bit of noise, the Ear 1 nonetheless let among the louder thunders and noises come by way of.

Nothing Ear 1 pattern recording with close by thunderstorm sounds:

Nothing Ear Stick pattern recording with close by thunderstorm sounds:

Due to the buds’ design, transparency and consciousness are default options. You don’t should allow any setting to listen to your environment, so you possibly can — roughly — safely put on these on the road and at house with out concern of lacking out on a honk, bell, alarm, crying little one, or barking canine.

What’s not so good?

Nothing Ear Stick USB-C port and pairing button

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

One facet impact of the Nothing Ear Stick’s tubular case design is the dearth of wi-fi charging. I’m used to plopping my Ear 1 case on a Qi pad at my desk, and I can’t do this with the Ear Stick. I’ve to be deliberate about plugging it in with a USB-C cable once I have to cost it.

The Ear Stick have a spiffy new case however it does not assist wi-fi charging and collects mud and pocket lint.

One other facet impact is the case’s propensity to select up mud and lint. The grainy white plastic attracts small particles when the case is in your bag or pocket (and even sitting at your desk), you then twist it and every little thing will get carried inside. Due to the clear plastic, you see each little annoying speck. I’ve already used a small air blaster — the identical one you utilize on digital camera lenses — to take away among the mud. I don’t know what the case will appear to be in a couple of weeks or months.

Nothing Ear Stick buds on a desk, focus on stem and pressure controls

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Transferring on to the buds, the path Nothing took with the open design creates two weaknesses. One is the dearth of any stabilizing anchor for the bud contained in the ear. They simply sit there, free, unattached to something. It all the time seems like they’re one minor nudge away from falling out. I’ve bopped and shaken my head many instances with out dislodging them, however that doesn’t imply they’re firmly secure. A flick of my finger on the stem takes them out. I’m certain a little bit of sweat can even trigger them to slip proper out (I’ve been sick and unable to train so I couldn’t take a look at this). This isn’t the pair of buds you go on a run with or put on on a jam-packed subway.

The Ear Stick is not the pair of buds you go on a run with or put on on a jam-packed subway.

Talking of subways, the one time I dared put on them there, I couldn’t last more than 10 minutes. There’s no isolation with this open-bud design. Zero. You hear every little thing, each little hum and drum and whir round you. Even on the loudest quantity, I may nonetheless hear each deafening noise from the Parisian metro. As a matter of truth, the loud quantity made the expertise extra painful; it was irritating to attempt to differentiate between the music and every little thing else happening.

One final weak point to remember is the dearth of Bluetooth Multipoint, a characteristic that’s making its approach to a number of different true wi-fi buds just like the Pixel Buds Professional. You possibly can’t join the Nothing Ear Stick to 2 gadgets concurrently, and you’ll’t simply change them from one to a different. You’ll have to decide on whether or not these are paired to your cellphone or laptop (or pill, smartwatch, TV, and so on.) and be pleased with that single alternative.

Nothing Ear Stick specs

Nothing Ear (Stick)

Measurement

Earbuds: 29.8 x 18.8 x 18.4mm
Case: 87.1 x 29.8 x 29.8mm

Weight

Earbuds: 4.4g
Case: 46.3g

Connectivity

Bluetooth 5.2
Google Quick Pair
Microsoft Swift Pair
AAC/SBC

Sensors

In-ear detection
Strain sensor for controls

Battery life

Earbuds: As much as 7 hours of listening
Earbuds with case: As much as 29 hours of listening

Charging

USB-C

Speaker

12.6mm dynamic driver

Water resistance

IP54

Colours

White

Nothing Ear Stick evaluate: The decision

Nothing Ear Stick inside the case, laying vertically on a desk with white Pixel 7 Pro and jewelry and make-up accessories

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Ear Stick are positioned in a reasonably distinctive spot within the true wi-fi earbuds market. Competitors within the semi-open and open-ear phase isn’t as fierce because the absolutely in-ear phase, regardless of some customers’ demand for a pair of earbuds that don’t clog their ears or trigger any discomfort whereas sporting them.

Nothing is providing a solution right here with a pair of earbuds that may be worn for a number of hours with no stress or ache and with out skimping on sound high quality. However in doing so and in prioritizing aesthetics over operate, it finally ends up shedding some necessary options like wi-fi charging and passive isolation.

Nothing’s second pair of buds is extra refined than the Ear 1, however it targets a completely totally different market.

Finally, the Ear Stick proposition comes down to 1 easy query: Do you want sticking silicone or foam ideas in your ears? If that’s the case, you then’ll most likely dislike the laborious plastic feeling of the Ear Stick’s buds, and also you’ll miss the additional stabilization and passive isolation supplied by a pair of in-ear buds. The dearth of ANC, even when you don’t all the time use it, is one other large loss to cope with.

But when the reply is not any and you actually should have a pair of earbuds with no in-ear ideas, then the Ear Stick are a really first rate worth at $99. The Apple AirPods (third era) ($19.99 at Amazon) price $80 extra and aren’t your best option for Android customers, whereas the Sony Linkbuds WF-L900 ($128 at Amazon) are additionally $80 costlier and have a bizarre design that may not match all ears. The Bose Sport Open ($229 at Amazon), are steadily discounted, and an fascinating different with a extra secure design, however they require a proprietary cradle for charging and don’t mechanically activate/off if you take them out of the case or put them again in. As compared, Nothing’s proposition with the Ear Stick appears very affordable.

Nothing Ear (Stick)

Nothing Ear (Stick)

Open earbud design • Environmental consciousness • Highly effective drivers

True wi-fi earbuds designed to forestall the sensation of clogged ears

The Nothing Ear (Stick) is a pair of true wi-fi earbuds with an open-design that emphasizes environmental consciousness and reduces the sensation of clogged ears. They’re properly geared up with 12.6mm drivers, USB-C charging, and seven hours of battery life (29 hours with the case.)

High Nothing Ear Stick questions and solutions

The Nothing Ear 1 have an in-ear bud design with passive isolation and energetic noise cancellation. They provide gesture controls on the stem, wi-fi charging for the case, and lasts 5 to 6 hours on a cost. The Nothing Ear Stick have an open bud design with no isolation. They solely cost over USB-C, use stress for controls, and final seven hours on a cost.

No. The Ear Stick don’t provide any isolation or noise cancellation.

No. The tubular Ear Stick case doesn’t assist Qi charging. Solely USB-C charging is on the market.

The Nothing Ear Stick are IP54-rated. They’re immune to mud, water splashes, and sweat, however you possibly can’t absolutely submerge them in water.

Sure. Identical to the Ear 1, you possibly can pair the Nothing Ear Keep on with iPhones and iPads. The companion Nothing X app is on the market on the iTunes Retailer for extra customization.



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