Nothing Ear (2) Review: A Sound Bargain in the Wireless Earbud Market
July 28, 2023
Back with a promising second act, the London-based tech company, Nothing, founded by the audacious tech entrepreneur Carl Pei, has upped its game with the Ear (2) wireless earbuds. These nifty earpieces come with improved features, a refined design, and a clear intention to shake up the audio landscape. Over the past month, we have rigorously tested them against some of the industry's heavyweights, such as the Sony WF-1000XM4 and the Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3. In this comprehensive review, we delve into the strengths and weaknesses of the Ear (2), assessing whether they have what it takes to compete with these established titans.
Design and Build
The Ear (2) makes a striking impression with its transparent casing, a refreshing design element that sets it apart. But it's not just about aesthetics. The earbuds are robust and offer a comfortable fit for extended listening sessions, a critical advantage that enhances their value proposition. The case offers the flexibility of both USB-C and wireless charging, with a fast charge feature that provides up to 6 hours of listening from just 10 minutes of charge.
When it comes to sound, the Ear (2) delivers a punchy performance. Clear vocals, well-defined treble, and satisfying bass combine for an enjoyable auditory experience. Particularly for genres like dance and hip-hop, the sound comes alive. The in-app EQ provides a useful way to tweak the output further.
In a head-to-head comparison, the Sony WF-1000XM4 and Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 3 do offer superior clarity and scale. However, the gap isn't vast. Given the price difference, the Ear (2) packs a lot of value in the sound department.
On the noise-cancelling front, the Ear (2) doesn't quite match up to the class-leading Sony WF-1000XM4. Its comfortable fit does lead to some trade-offs, one being less effective external noise blockage. While it performs adequately in quieter environments, it struggles to mute louder ones completely.
The Ear (2) is no slouch in terms of tech. Its LHDC 5.0 codec, with a high-speed data transmission rate of 1Mbps, is an impressive feature. Yet, this very capability only serves to highlight the disparity in audio quality between streaming platforms, with Apple Music's lossless codec shining brighter than Spotify's 320kbit/s bitrate.
All things considered, the Nothing Ear (2) is a significant upgrade from its predecessor. It may not deliver the top-tier sound or noise-cancellation of its pricier rivals, but its overall performance is commendable, especially at its price point. The Ear (2) holds its own, offering a compelling blend of design, sound quality, and connectivity. If you're after great-value wireless earbuds, the Nothing Ear (2) is definitely worth considering.
Price: HK$1,199 - Buy Here
Disclaimer: This review is the outcome of one month of hands-on experience with the Nothing Ear (2) that were purchased for this review. The views and opinions expressed are solely those of our editorial team, based on our assessment and experience with the product. The manufacturer or retailer has not influenced the content of this review in any way.
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