Nothing Ear (Palo): One Minute Review

Nothing is cutting-edge, high-fashion, tech, and lifestyle attire that should grace the elite of hypebeasts (and hypebae) very soon, if not already.

Although the company's first headphones in July 2021 didn't make it into our roundup of the best true wireless earbuds, they've since been joined by a smartphone and now, a second hit on the market. better than before.

What you need to know is that there's no ANC this time around, but there's an even stronger design language that carries over to the buttons themselves. These headphones now include a slightly longer stem that you can squeeze to make playback, call, and volume adjustments. They also have custom 12,6mm drivers that are 1mm larger (a stark contrast to the "standard drivers" found in Ear 1), and as a result benefit from improved audio performance, especially on low registers. Lower.

It's debatable whether Apple, Sony, Bose, Sennheiser, or any of the top wireless headphone makers will care. The lipstick-style case, which can also be rotated if you're just waiting (similar to how the Ear 1's case featured a fidget-spinner thumb dip) might suggest to some that this is a case of style rather than substance. . Is it, though? Not really.

At $99 / £99 / AU$179, they're a lot cheaper than Apple's AirPods Pro 2, but remember, there's no ANC here, and it's the same launch price as the Ear (1) which, for Of course, it featured pretty good noise cancellation on the board.

The earphones now feature a semi-open ear design, meaning they don't need ear tips or a secure seal in the ear canal. They also weigh just 4,4g, but those with larger ears might find them a bit flimsy. Did we find them a bit slippery as a result? Yes, but the bass has been increased to compensate for this.

Sonically, this is a fiery set of headphones, offering healthy bass power and adding the energy and excitement you could want on the go, and we like that. We also love the updated Nothing X app, which now features a circular equalizer tab so you can slide the bass, treble, and mids up and down in six increments, creating your own unique sound 'stain'. There is also a better sense of space and texture.

Unfortunately, these larger controllers are a bit harder to push, and battery life took a hit. The buttons offer a claimed listening time of seven hours from the buttons and 22 hours from the case (which can't be charged wirelessly but can provide up to two hours of playback after just 10 minutes of charging via its USB port). -C) for a total of 29 hours For clarity, you'll get up to 34 hours out of the ear (1) as long as you turn off ANC.

Nothing sounds better now, but the design probably won't suit all ears. When we tried to run it, it was not a successful experience. Again, these are buttons to behold, and for the price, the sound is very, very good.

Nothing Ear (stick) held in one hand to show the red side with USB-C port

When earphone case meets high-end lipstick (Image credit: Future)

Nothing Ear (Stick): price and release date

  • €99 / €99 / AU$179
  • Announced October 26, available in stores from November 4

Nothing officially unveiled the Ear (Stick) on October 26, as its "most advanced audio product to date", although since the ANC has been discontinued, we prefer to consider them the middle offering. of the company.

Seeing that price tag, sharp-eyed people will probably think it strange that mid-range headphones are priced the same as the flagship model. Turns out CEO Carl Pei recently took to Twitter to announce that Ear(1) (opens in a new tab) will see a price increase of up to €149″ due to increased costs.”

Whatever happens to Nothing's pricing strategy, that app fee puts the Ear (Stick) in direct competition with the likes of the excellent Cambridge Audio Melomania 1 Plus. Difficult company to keep.

Nothing Ear (stick) earbuds in case, positioned vertically at one end

The Nothing Ear (Stick) case is just as happy upright as it is lying down; don't expect wireless charging (Image credit: Future)

Nothing Ear (Stick): design and features

  • Larger 12,6mm drivers
  • Three microphones per earpiece
  • 7 hours of gameplay; until 22:00 p.m. at the event

Los nuevos sensores de vástago de Nothing Ear (Stick) son un placer de usar. El pequeño botón plateado en el que se puede hacer clic se encuentra en el borde frontal del vástago, más cerca de la mejilla (en lugar del borde posterior, como es el caso de los AirPods Pro 2) y, como tal, es más fácil de acceder. Además, hace clic bien para registrar su toque y le permite saber que se está procesando su solicitud de código morse de clic simple, doble o largo.

The case is also wonderfully tactile and fun; the clear plastic outer shell contains a textured white plastic nest, which we like to twist, and the lipstick accent on one end (said case is happy on its side or on its side) is a cute touch.

During our listening, the headphones gave us anxiety, and this despite the fact that the driver boxes are relatively large and our ears are quite small. There isn't much you can do about it, as there are no tips to add. There is no reason why the earphones have been designed to sit less intrusively in the ear canal for a naturally comfortable fit, which has been ergonomically designed and tested on over 100 people. I wish we could say we loved it. It's not terrible, but it's not the most secure solution we've tried.

USB-C charging is the only juice mode supported here, which is to be expected at this sub-$100 tier. However, the earphones themselves boast an unusual IPX7 waterproof rating, which will keep them safe even when being submerge in fresh water to a depth of one meter for a maximum of 30 minutes, but please note that the case is not waterproof at all.

Carrier detection and a low latency mode (for enhanced gaming, for example) can be turned on and off in the iOS and Android friendly app, which now also has a nice circular equalizer. There's also a useful Find My Headphones tab, where you click an image of the rogue button to activate it and make a cricket-like noise, which should help you locate it.

There are some new technologies to talk about. First, Bass Lock technology, also known as intelligent software, promises to measure the user's unique ear canal shape and earphone fit, detect the amount of bass lost during use, and automatically adjust the optimal level for the user. And it is a triumph.

Then there's Clear Voice technology, which involves three high-definition microphones that work together with updated algorithms to filter out the loudest background noise, amplifying your voice for wind- and crowd-proof calls. We found calls nice and clear, but it's hard not to comment on the lack of ANC. Ultimately, we think nothing was lost here by not using these mics to actively cancel noise when listening to music as well.

Finally, Ear's redesigned antenna (bar) is now further away from the face in an effort to minimize signal blockage. We'll be honest, we did have some connectivity issues, but the product has only just been released and we used older versions of the app in our early tests. These minor issues have since been fixed.

And there are some ecosystem benefits; when playing on Nothing Phone (1), for example, it automatically switches to low lag mode without waiting for you to ask.

  • Design and Features Rating: 4/5

Left Handheld Nothing Ear (Stick)

The Nothing Ear (Stick) stems now handle in-ear features, while the trainers are slightly larger (and less secure) (Image credit: Future)

Nothing Ear (Stick): sound quality

  • Excellent bass and slam influence.
  • Exciting and fun soundstage
  • Carece de un mínimo de refinamiento, pero sigue siendo una escucha sana.

There's no space-agnostic head-tracking audio support in Nothings (as you can get in LG's Tone Free T90 or the new Anker Soundcore Liberty 4), but excitement and excitement, there's a lot to love here.

We air Start Me Up by The Rolling Stones (yes, it starts real early) and the raucous sense of Mick, Keith, Charlie and Ronnie all together is celebrated like it's 1981. The clapping hits a healthy high end, but it's the bottom end that which is so much better and more regulated this time.

INXS's Need You Tonight is a similar story, as Michael Hutchence's added synths and choruses pummel our ears on a broader and more expressive soundstage than before.

Left Nothing Ear (stick) earpiece next to the original Nothing Ear 1

Quite a difference, huh? Nothing (Ear) 1 is on the left, Nothing Ear Stick is on the right (Image credit: Future)

Bruce Springsteen's I'm on Fire is dark, snappy, and with the beautiful, relentless drum beat just below our left ear, right where it should be in what is an impressive and cohesive mix.

Step up to the Cambridge Melomania 1 Plus and you'll lose a modicum of excitement and energy, but in turn gain an extra ounce of insight and detail in the upper midrange. Remember that whole debate between high fidelity and high emotion? The rage against refinement can be a bit strong, but that's the general idea.

It's up to you which one you prefer, but again there's a lot of talent and drive here. It's likely helped by the new Bass Lock technology and Nothing's decision to use the highest quality driver magnets on the market while reinforcing the diaphragm to keep things rhythmically in shape. Whichever way you slice it, they're a solid step above the ear (1) when it comes to sound performance per pound.

  • Sound quality rating: 4.5/5

Nothing Ear (stick) and Nothing Ear 1 cases side by side

Although the case and earphones are very different, there is a Nothing-y design language that has carried over here (Image credit: Future)

Nothing Ear (Palo): value

  • Cheaper than the ear ones (1), but only because they have gone up in price
  • At €99, the competition is fierce

As we said before, the competition in the affordable market is now fierce, but in terms of design and looks, the Nothing Ear (Stick) is pretty much at the top of the heap.

Feature-wise, you can get more for your money elsewhere: Earfun Air Pro offers ANC and…

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