Nothing Ear (Stick) (Photo: Walla! Technology, Yanon Ben Shoshan)
The young British brand Nothing managed to create a lot of media buzz in recent times thanks to its intriguing smartphone (which we also took for review), and last month the company's third product was revealed - the Nothing Ear (Stick), headphones without silicone rubbers in a rotating case in a lipstick design.
With the launch in Israel, through the Bug network, we received them for review and checked whether they are worth NIS 449.
Without a doubt, the first thing you notice about the Ear Stick is its cylindrical charging case - although, frankly, "case" in this particular context doesn't feel like the right word.
Because it is designed inspired by lipstick and opens and closes with a twist, which is accompanied by a pleasant and addictive "click".
The company kept the transparent design that is associated with its other products (only two products, to be exact), while the headphones themselves also come in a transparent design that allows you to see the internal components.
In addition, for quick identification of the headphones (right and left), each one is marked with a red or white dot.
Although the design is largely similar to Ear (1), this time the headphones come without silicone at the end that goes into the ear - like the regular AirPods models.
Some will say that it is more comfortable for them (less "invasive") -
and some will not be able to give up the sealing that the silicone rubbers bring with them
A lipstick-inspired case.
Nothing's headphones (photo: Walla! Technology, Yanon Ben Shoshan)
In Nothing, the touch surfaces were replaced with headphones - and switched to pinch control using a "force sensor", similar to Airpods Pro.
A long press with two fingers on the stem ("stem") in the headphones will stop or start the music, accompanied by a slight feedback (vibration).
Another feature is the volume regulation, so that a long press on the right ear increases the volume - and on the left ear lowers it.
The charging connection here is of the USB-C type and is located at the top of the headphones, in the red plastic area (we talked about the lipstick design, yes?), and next to it is a silver button that is used to locate the Bluetooth connector.
This time the headphones come without silicone at the end that goes into the ear - like the regular AirPods models (Photo: Walla! Technology, Yanon Ben Shoshan)
The pairing (connection) to the smartphone, similar to almost all TWS headphones we've bought, is simple.
All you have to do is put the headphones in your ears and find them in the Bluetooth menu of the smartphone.
Within a few seconds, the headphones will play a sound and announce if you are connected.
In the box you will find a USB-C cable, if you don't already have one.
Comfort, control and sound
As wireless headphones, the sound is quite successful, the sounds are pleasant, clear and there is a good amount of bass.
On the other hand, sometimes a little lacking in depth.
Let's recall that Nothing has integrated into the headphones a technology called Bass Lock that should ensure a high-quality and emphasized bass sound through an analysis of the structure of the ear canal, and automatic adjustment of the equalizer each time it is used.
A small drawback that you should pay attention to: these are headphones with an open structure - which disturbs the music when there are noises around.
So no, these are not headphones that will satisfy audiophiles (sound lovers), but rather those who are looking for a quality way to consume music while traveling by train or during training.
For quick identification of the headphones (right and left), each one is marked with a red or white dot (photo: Walla! Technology, Yanon Ben Shoshan)
The headphones include three microphones, and Nothing says that "smart algorithms analyze over a million sounds for conversations immune to wind and crowd noise."
So how is the sound during a call?
The sound was mostly clean, and also on the other side they said they could hear us well.
In terms of comfort, the headphones are chunky looking but not heavy at all.
They fit comfortably in the ear and provided a good grip even when tilting the head: even while walking and working out in the gym.
On the other hand, the headphones are a bit bulky and it seems that they will not easily fit in any ear, and because Nothing has given up on the silicone adapters here, if these headphones are not comfortable for you, you will not have the option of fitting them to your ear.
The headphones of Nothing (Nothing)
The battery life of the Nothing Ear (Stick) is impressive.
They live up to the manufacturer's promise of up to 7 hours of continuous playing (and almost two more hours of use with only a 10-minute charge), which is reasonable, but there are already quite a few headphones on the market that offer more.
We actually only charged them once after using it for a few days straight and there doesn't really seem to be anyone who needs longer battery time.
They open and close with an addictive "click" (Photo: Walla! Technology, Yanon Ben Shoshan)
The Nothing Ear (Stick) will not suit everyone:
they have an open structure - an advantage for those who do not like silicone adapters, and a disadvantage for those who will not be able to adapt the headphones to the structure of the ear;
The control of the headphones is very convenient, the sound is good and rich in bass, the design of the case is original (very!) and on the other hand there is no active noise cancellation here.
As of this writing, the headphones are sold for NIS 449 on the Bug network.