The sound of nothingness
Nothing prides itself on the fact that this in-ear has a fine sound balance. Not too much bass, nice detail…. tuned for music lovers. And we can endorse that. The Ear(1) comes across very pleasantly in the various genres we listen to: rock, pop, electronical, hip-hop, et cetera. We do not hear an accentuated, thick bass or a veiled midrange. Also no sharpness in the high. In short: a fine balance for many users.
Do you want a thicker bass? Then you can simply choose one of the presets in the app: balanced, more bass, more treble, voice. Still, we would have liked you to be able to mess around yourself as well. Perhaps they will allow this after a firmware update. Because it would be a pity that we can set ‘Nothing’ ourselves. (Bad joke, sorry).
The noise cancellation of the Nothing Ear (1) is absolutely impressive. According to Nothing, the suppression is 40dB in standard setting. Fortunately there is also a ‘light’ setting and a transparent mode, where you can just hear your surroundings. Also nice. Switching between these three modes is done by placing your finger on the left in-ear and holding it there.
At Alpha Audio we are always concerned about reproduction quality. So we’re also going to listen to how the music reproduction is affected by the noise reduction. And yes… this is really audible. Especially in the mid and high tones. Just a bit more grainy and just a bit less refined. We listened in a living room where the TV is on and people talk. An ordinary situation so. Now we must say that it is still very impressive. We still hear a fine sound balance and we have significantly less burden of the environment so we do not have to play as loud… in short: in a noisy environment it is certainly pleasant. In other situations: leave it off. Saves battery too.
Nothing’s app is nifty in itself, but it’s not really necessary. At least: to just listen to music. Most things can also be done simply by touch. Think of putting a finger on the left in-ear to control the noise-cancelling. Now a Sony WF-1000 gives auditory feedback, which is handy. That doesn’t happen here. All you get to hear is a beep. Other than that, the app allows you to choose an equalizer preset and you can adjust the touch controls. That’s handy, though. What we’re also happy about is that we don’t accidentally record / hang up or do other crazy things. The sensitivity is just right. Hats off.