Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you
Australian technology news, reviews, and guides to help you

Nothing set to improve something in see-through Ear 2

Two years from the release of Nothing’s first earphones, version two promises improvements in just about every place.

There’s a lot of same-same in headphones and truly wireless earphones, and very few devices stand out. You might find the odd colour here and there, but outside of Apple, few devices go beyond one or two colours, with white and beige popular, almost as much as the darker colours like black.

And then there’s Nothing.

It wouldn’t be too much of a venture to say that nothing is like the company Nothing, a brand that only offers a select amount of products, these days consisting of three.

Its first product was the Ear (1), a transparent pair of noise cancelling earphones designed to take on the AirPods Pro, but at a fraction of the price. Unique and different from the crowd, it was followed by a uniquely designed see-through phone, the Phone (1), plus a pair wireless earbuds, the Ear (Stick).

That’s three products so far, each with their own deliberately unique aesthetic, something that separates Nothing from the crowd.

This week, though, there’s one more as Nothing gives its first product a refresh and it launches the Ear (2).

It’s an update two years on that will see Nothing improving lots of different aspects, though the design isn’t one of them. You’d probably never realise it looking at 2023’s Nothing Ear model, because they’re more or less the same, though Nothing has spent more time reinforcing the design.

The company noted that the plastic used in the construction has improved in the moulding process, with more people assigned to the product to nail the transparent design both on the earphone and the case.

Essentially, the package has been refined and re-engineered, and not just on the outside. Inside, Nothing is using a custom 11.6mm driver and tweaking the sound itself, rather than letting Teenage Engineering take the reins like last time.

Unsurprisingly, there’s active noise cancellation (ANC) techonlogy with up to 40dB of cancellation, plus a personalised ANC mode that can tweak the noise reduction based on the ear canal of the listener, plus an adaptive mode to change the amount of cancellation for where you are.

You can expect some artificial intelligence to eliminate noise while you talk, with three microphones on each ear, and there’s support for more handy bits and pieces here and there, such as a personal sound profile, high-res audio at up to 24/192kHz, dual connection (think Bluetooth Multipoint), and Qi wireless charging. There’s also some water resistance, with the Ear (2) earphones sporting IP54 while the case gets a little more at IP55.

“With Ear (2), we’ve re-engineered everything from the ground up and utilised cutting-edge technology to create the ultimate personal listening experience,” said Carl Pei, CEO and Co-founder of Nothing.

One other thing will change with the new model, and that’s the price: while Nothing launched the Ear (1) for below $200 in Australia, two years later sees the new model selling for a little more at $219.

While that means the new model misses out on an aggressively competitive price, it does mean the AirPods Pro competitor does still undercut some of its competition somewhat still. In comparison, the second-gen Apple AirPods Pro are almost twice the price at $399, and it’s not the only one, giving you an idea of just what Nothing is targeting.

Our early impressions on Nothing’s second-gen Ear model are good to begin with, offering a clean and details sound with some interesting features in the app, and a design that really does stand out.

We’ll have more soon with a review on the way, but eager Australians can find them on Nothing’s online store now for $219.

Read next