Can you hear that? The sweet sound of nothing. You'll want to keep your ears (and eyes) open, though, because new Nothing has just launched. More specifically, the boundary-pushing tech brand's latest audio innovation. Say hello, to the Ear (2).
There's a lot to say about Nothing. Its intense eye for detail is usually a good place to start. After all, it's the foundation that makes its products so special. Between the Ear (1), Ear (stick), Phone (1), and now, the Ear (2), design-forward thinking has yet to falter at the line – but it's not all about looks, right?
Performance! Performance is and always will be the key, and with each evolution of its product pipeline, Nothing sees that its machine is well-oiled, ensuring every release is delivered to a standard that matches its loyal fans' expectations.
Obviously, the current Nothing product selection leans heavily into audio. It's the brand's bread and butter. As such, users expect its latest upgrades to purr with the grace of a fine-tuned engine. The question is; does the Ear (2)?
Having spent the best part of the past couple of years drawing the attention of Apple's Sound & Haptics notifications with battering basslines and vocal strings, I've found the bar I set for audio devices (many of which feature here) quite high.
Amongst the noise, I've put the hours in with all of Nothing's existing audio products, the Ear (1) and Ear (stick).
While falling in love with the Ear (stick) due to its unique design, which is oh so Nothing, I often longed for the noise-canceling capabilities and fatigue-beating comfort of its predecessor.
For those like me, the arrival of the Ear (2) is a godsend.
On the surface, you'd be forgiven for thinking you're seeing double. After all, why fix what isn't broken? That's the beauty of the Ear (2); nothing has been "fixed," per se, but fine-tuned to ensure everything that fans loved from the first is the same but superior.
From a design standpoint, the shape of the buds and case have been maintained with subtle updates including raised portions at the rear that improve its ergonomic qualities.
Now, beneath the hood – the good stuff. When you go ahead and set up your new buds via the Nothing X app, you'll be run through a series of personalization options to optimize your listening experience.
The most important of these options is the creation of your Personal Sound Profile. As the wording would suggest, this function will walk you through a hearing test, resulting in the Ear (2)'s adjustment of the equalizer levels in real-time to match the user's hearing.
For me, this manifested in raising the high end of higher-pitched sounds, restoring the range of detail usually lost in complex soundscapes. This has enriched the audio experience significantly, elevating the palette of some of my favorite tracks.
Alongside your personal sound profile, you'll find the option to personalize the Ear (2)'s Active Noise Cancelling, allowing the new Adaptive Mode to tailor noise reduction based on your environment in real-time.
These quality-of-life updates, driven by user-first engineering, are the basis of Nothing's evolution, marking a significant step up not only from the Ear (1) but the Ear (stick) too.
If you're hungry for specificity concerning everything under the hood, look no further. As per Nothing, the Ear (2) offers "LHDC 5.0 codec technology that ensures even the finest sound details are delivered to an industry-leading standard, transmitting frequencies up to 24 bit/192 kHz at speeds of up to 1 Mbps."
Obviously, seeing, or better yet, hearing, is believing; fortunately for the audio hungry of the world, the Nothing Ear (2) is available online now.
From March 23, you'll be able to purchase in-store at the Nothing Soho store in London and worldwide Kith stores, furthering the brand's close alignment with fashion.