Nothing’s Ear (1) earbuds will feature noise cancelling and run $99

Technology

TechCrunch 06 July, 2021 - 06:01am 30 views

Fittingly, we don’t know a lot about Nothing. The young hardware startup has, however, done a stellar job building hype around precisely that fact. In the lead up to the July 27 launch of the company’s first product, the Ear (1), the Nothing marketing machine has released information in drabs and drabs.

Ahead of the event, we sat down with founder Carl Pei for a wide ranging interview about launching his latest hardware company. During the conversation, he revealed some additional information about the upcoming fully wireless earbuds.

“It’s going to have leading features like noise cancellation and great build quality,” Pei told TechCrunch. “Because we’re primarily going to be focused on online sales channels, we are going to be able to [make it] — I wouldn’t say ‘affordable,’ but quite a fair price to consumers. With the Ear (1), it’s a much more costly design to realize than a standard, non-transparent design. I think it’s going to be a good price at $99 USD, €99 Euros and £99. Feature-wise, it’s similar to the AirPods Pro, but the AirPods Pro is $249.”

Pricing in the earbud market is all over the place at the moment, of course. Apple is holding up the high end of the mainstream with its AirPods Pro. Sony’s latest manage to edge that out into truly premium pricing at $280. At the other end of the spectrum, meanwhile, it’s easy to snag a pair of buds for well under $50, though at the low end of the market, your mileage will vary.

The Ear (1)s are aggressively priced at $99 – putting them in the same pricing category as the Samsung Galaxy Buds and the recently released Google Pixel Buds-A. Though Pei promises Nothing’s product will have the upper hand with an AirPods Pro-like feature set, including active noise cancelling. In an email to TechCrunch, the company says the ANC will arrive via three “high definition” mics. Pei added that the IP purchased from Essential won’t appear in this first product.

“[B]efore we were called Nothing, ‘Essential’ was one of the names we were brainstorming, internally,” said Pei. “So that’s why we’ve acquired the trademark. We don’t have any plans to do anything with Essential.”

The ‘higher purpose’ here is Nothing’s broader ecosystem play, connectivity and making users’ “digital lives more seamless.” It’s also, as the name implies, an attempt to make tech that gets out of its own way. That’s, in part, is the job of the aesthetics. We do know that the buds will be transparent – a design decision that contributed to the delayed launch.

“It turns out, there’s a reason why there’s not a lot of transparent consumer tech products out there,” Pei said. “It’s really, really hard to make it high quality. You need to ensure that everything inside looks just as good as the outside. So that’s where the team has been iterating. You probably wouldn’t notice the differences between each iteration. It could be getting the right magnets — as magnets are usually designed to go inside of a product and not be seen by the consumer — to figuring out the best type of gluing. You never have to solved that problem if you have a non-transparent product, but what kind of glue will keep the industrial design intact?”

Nothing is relying on direct sales to drive down costs, with an initial focus on U.K., India, Europe and North America, followed by Japan, Korea and other countries. Pei says the company is still in process of negotiating additional markets. The Ear (1) are the first of three products the company currently has in its pipeline.

Read full article at TechCrunch

Here is the Price and Best Feature of Nothing's Ear 1

Droid Life 06 July, 2021 - 10:01am

We have entered into a full-on OnePlus-esque feature trollout for Nothing’s first ever product. That thing that OnePlus does where they announce feature after feature over a long period of time to keep the product on the front page of tech blogs and (hopefully) in your mind, is happening.

After delaying the Ear (1) until July, the company that was founded by Carl Pei has now told us the price and an important feature. This comes after they had to announce the delay, then announce a retail partner, and then…I swear there was something else in there. You know how this works.

So for Nothing’s Ear (1), we’ve been told this morning that they will cost $99 and feature active noise cancellation (ANC). That’s a good price for a pair of ANC earbuds, plus if you watch this random video that Nothing posted, it certainly suggests elements of the earbuds will be transparent too. That makes some sense, since they already teased a transparent earbud design that they told us wouldn’t be sold. It’s clear that they are betting on a transparent product helping the Ear (1) standout in a sea filled with too many wireless earbuds.

To recap, the Nothing Ear (1) will arrive July 27 for $99 and feature ANC with some transparent stuff. Cool.

Nothing's First Wireless Earbuds to Cost $99, Feature Active Noise Cancellation

PCMag 06 July, 2021 - 09:56am

The startup from OnePlus Co-Founder Carl Pei plans to reveal all during a July 27 event.

Looking for a sub-$100 pair of active noise cancelling earbuds? On Tuesday, Nothing—a startup from OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei—revealed some key selling points to its first product. The upcoming Bluetooth earbuds will only cost $99.

The same earbuds, dubbed Ear (1), will also have a high-end feature—active noise cancellation (ANC)—via three high-definition built-in microphones, the company said in an email. 

As a result, the upcoming product promises to arrive as one of the more affordable active-noise cancelling earbuds on the market. Other products from well-known brands, including Apple’s AirPods Pro, can cost over $200. 

Samsung, on the other hand, did release the Galaxy Buds Live, a more affordable pair of Bluetooth earbuds with ANC. It's selling for as low as $108, but the ANC is shoddily implemented, making it feel almost nonexistent, according to our review.   

We’ll have to see if Nothing can pull off ANC without any major compromises. The startup plans to reveal all during a July 27 online event. In the meantime, the company has been trying to build up the hype with teaser videos and pictures

Pei also sat down for an interview with TechCrunch, where he said the features on the Ear (1) product will be similar to the AirPods Pro. The earbuds are also going to stand out, thanks to the unconventional see-through design. In March, Nothing revealed a prototype for the Ear (1), which adopted a transparent casing. However, the final product is going to look “sexier,” according to Pei.

Pei's former employer, OnePlus, is also giving the wireless headphones market a go with the OnePlus Buds. They retail for $79, but do not feature ANC.

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Nothing's wireless earbuds will offer ANC for $99 | Engadget

Engadget 06 July, 2021 - 08:31am

The company will formally unveil the Ear 1 at a launch event on July 27th. To date, the buds are known to include a partially transparent Teenage Engineering design and will boast "leading specs," although it's not clear what that entails beyond ANC.

The challenge, as you might guess, is delivering quality that matches the hype. ANC will help isolate music and podcasts, but it won't matter as much if the sound quality is merely so-so. Nothing will have to show that it can deliver solid sound at its asking price, particularly if it's going to compete against the likes of the Echo Buds or Google's Pixel Buds A.

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Nothing reveals price for its noise-cancelling earbuds

Mashable 06 July, 2021 - 07:15am

A week ago, the startup, founded by OnePlus' co-founder Carl Pai, announced it will launch its wireless earbuds, the Nothing Ear 1, on July 27.

Nothing originally announced the earbuds months earlier as its first product, but shared nearly no information about them. Now, Nothing has announced the earbuds will be priced at €99 in Europe and $99 in the U.S.

The company also said the earbuds will have "state-of-the-art" active noise cancellation (ANC), using three high-definition microphones to drown out the outside noise and bring whatever you're listening into focus.

Other than that, Nothing says users can expect "a premium user experience" and "leading specs" from the Ear 1.

In an interview with TechCrunch, Pei said the earbuds will have similar features as the AirPods Pro, which cost $249.

The company says it will share more info leading up to the launch, which is scheduled on July 27.

Nothing’s debut earbuds will cost $99 and feature noise cancellation

The Verge 06 July, 2021 - 06:47am

The Nothing Ear (1) earbuds are set to be announced on July 27th

Pei, who previously co-founded OnePlus, is using the Ear (1)’s noise cancellation to position the earbuds as a competitor to Apple’s $249 AirPods Pro. However noise cancellation is increasingly common on mid-range true wireless earbuds. The Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro cost $130, for example, while Amazon’s second-generation Echo Buds include ANC and start at $120. However, there are still plenty of earbuds without noise cancellation at this price point, like Google’s recently released Pixel Buds A-Series.

Nothing’s founder also used the TechCrunch interview to clarify why the company decided to acquire the Essential brand. “[B]efore we were called Nothing, ‘Essential’ was one of the names we were brainstorming, internally,” Pei told TechCrunch. “So that’s why we’ve acquired the trademark. We don’t have any plans to do anything with Essential.” The smartphone manufacturer, which was started by Android creator Andy Rubin after he left Google, shut down in early 2020 after releasing just one phone.

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Nothing Ear 1 wireless earbuds will come with ANC – and they're cheaper than the AirPods Pro

TechRadar 06 July, 2021 - 06:45am

They're set to launch on July 27

The new company, which was founded by OnePus co-founder Carl Pei, has confirmed that the wireless earbuds will cost $99 / £99, which works out at around AU$180, with global pricing to be confirmed.

That's cheaper than many noise-cancelling earbuds on the market, including the Apple AirPods Pro, which cost $249 / £249 / AU$399 at launch. 

While cheaper ANC earbuds are available – the EarFun Air Pro are priced at $80 / £70 / AU120, for example – they are few and far between, and the quality of cheaper buds rarely matches their more expensive rivals.

We expect the Ear 1 launch event will be an online-only affair with a live stream available to watch – but we're awaiting confirmation from Nothing on this. For now, you can sign up for notifications via the Nothing website.

Aside from the fact that they'll come with noise cancellation, we know very little about the Nothing Ear 1. The company recently posted an intriguing image to Instagram, which it says is a close up of the earbuds – though we're finding it hard to make head or tails of it:

A photo posted by on

It looks like the earbuds will be made from a transparent material, which isn't something we've seen before – and maybe for good reason. After all, would you want everybody to be able to see directly into your ear canal?

The use of transparent materials does play into Nothing's mission statement, which is "to remove barriers between people and technology to create a seamless digital future that looks, lives, and feels like nothing". 

However, those hoping to see that vision fulfilled by the Nothing Ear 1may be left disappointed. In a blog post Carl Pei admitted that, "for those hoping for a disappearing act overnight, Ear 1 falls short." It's all very cryptic.

Still, we're excited to see the first release from Nothing, with the earbuds expected to be part of an ecosystem of products, including smart home devices. And, if they're cheaper than much of the competition in the true wireless space, the Ear 1 could become very popular indeed.

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Nothing founder Carl Pei on Ear 1 and building a hardware startup from scratch – TechCrunch

TechCrunch 06 July, 2021 - 06:00am

On July 27, hardware maker Nothing will debut its first product, wireless earbuds dubbed Ear (1). Despite releasing almost no tangible information about the product, the company has managed to generate substantial buzz around the launch — especially for an entry into the already-crowded wireless earbud market.

The hype, however, is real — and somewhat understandable. Nothing founder Carl Pei has a good track record in the industry — he was just 24 when he co-founded OnePlus in 2013. The company has done a canny job capitalizing on heightened expectations, meting out information about the product like pieces in a puzzle.

We spoke to Pei ahead of the upcoming launch to get some insight into Ear (1) and the story behind Nothing.

CP: Actually, it was due to our design. Maybe you’ve seen the concept image of this transparent design. It turns out there’s a reason why there aren’t many transparent consumer tech products out there. It’s really, really hard to make it high quality. You need to ensure that everything inside looks just as good as the outside. So that’s where the team has been iterating, [but] you probably wouldn’t notice the differences between each iteration.

It could be getting the right magnets — as magnets are usually designed to go inside of a product and not be seen by the consumer — to figuring out the best type of gluing. You never have to solve that problem if you have a non-transparent product, but what kind of glue will keep the industrial design intact? I think the main issue has been getting the design ready. And we’re super, super close. Hopefully, it will be a product that people are really excited about when we launch.

Not for this product category. With true wireless earbuds, I think we’re pretty fine. No major issues. I mean, we had the issue that we started from zero — so no team and no partners. But step by step, we finally got here.

We have a lot of products in the pipeline. Earlier this year, we did a community crowdfunding round where we allocated $1.5 million to our community. That got bought up really quickly. But as part of that funding round, we had a deck with some of the products in development. Our products are code-named as Pokemon, so there are a lot of Pokemon on that slide [Editor’s note: The Ear 1 was “Aipom.”]. We have multiple categories that we’re looking at, but we haven’t really announced what those are.

I think this market is really screaming for differentiation. If you look at true wireless today, I think after Apple came out with the AirPods, the entire market kind of followed. Everybody wears different clothes. This is something we wear for a large part of the day. Why wouldn’t people want different designs?

We’re working with Teenage Engineering — they’re super, super strong designers. I think true wireless is a place where we can really leverage that strength. Also, from a more rational business perspective, wireless earbuds is a super-fast growing product category. I think we’re going to reach 300 million units shipped worldwide this year for this category. And your first product category should be one with good business potential.

Nothing Ear 1 pricing and specifications revealed ahead of July 27 launch

XDA Developers 06 July, 2021 - 04:32am

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OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s new hardware venture Nothing is gearing up to launch its first product — the Nothing Ear 1. Towards the end of last month, the company confirmed that it would unveil the TWS earbuds on July 27th. While we’re still a few weeks away from the launch, the company has now shared some crucial details about the upcoming earphones.

In a recent interview with TechCrunch, Carl Pei revealed that the Nothing Ear 1 will offer premium features like “noise cancellation and great build quality.” The earbuds will feature a unique transparent design, and they will be “similar to the AirPods Pro” feature-wise. But, unlike the AirPods Pro, the Nothing Ear 1 will retail for just $99, €99, and £99.

Although Pie didn’t reveal any other details about the Ear 1, TechCrunch reports that the earbuds will make use of three high-definition microphones to enable Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). In a video posted on Nothing’s official YouTube channel, the company has also confirmed that the earbuds will have a unique transparent design.

The Nothing Ear 1 will be unveiled on July 27th at 02:00 PM BST / 8:00 AM EST / 6:30 PM IST. The earbuds will go on sale in India via Flipkart and in the UK via Selfridges.

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