In the last decade, several brands have emerged (One Plus, Realme or Nothing to name a few) that stand out for their serious commitment to quality.

But Nothing, a British brand conceived by Carl Pei, co-founder, along with Pete Lau of One Plus, has distinguished itself by another aspect: design. And the Nothing Ear (Stick), the most recent headphones from this manufacturer are an example of this.

Pei founded Nothing, in the middle of a pandemic together with investors such as Tony Fadell (inventor of the iPod), Kevin Lin (co-founder of Twitch) and Steve Huffman (visible head of Reddit) among others. And he based his style on the visual: “for too long, tech brands have relied on research and analysis as a foundation to make very similar, boring products. At Nothing we are guided by what we feel in order to initiate a change in the industry”, Pei himself commented in an interview. And Nothing Ear (Stick) can be many things but not boring : a lot of noise and also a lot of nuts. Let’s go with the details

The charging case is completely transparent and it is enough to turn it to access the headphones. It does not require any effort to remove it from the magnet base (something that does not happen with other cases and is uncomfortable). Visually they are to expose them , yes: they can be a little more “eye-catching” in terms of size than others and being transparent (the case and the headphones themselves) it will be necessary to see if the use does not deteriorate and darken the set . Another thing to note is that the space between the outside of the charging case and the drum where the headphones are housed allows some garbage to enter and is very difficult to remove.

Obviously the case acts as an “external battery”: a total of 29 hours of playback according to the manufacturer, a figure that is very close to reality if we do not abuse the high volume. Something we’ll talk about later. The charge is fast: 2 hours of listening with 10 minutes of charging and in one hour we have a full charge. They are very light (just 4.4 grams) and a total of 46 with the case that is a little wider than a lipstick. At the top (in red) it has the USB-C input for the charging cable (included).A lot of noise and also a lot of nuts in the Nothing Ear (Stick)A lot of noise and also a lot of nuts in the Nothing Ear (Stick).

In the ear they are comfortable, they do not fall out even while doing sports (even though they are not designed for it) and they respond very well to touch controls (volume up and down, pause playback, accept or reject calls… all with a touch. Detail : if the case is open and the headphones are in it, the pairing with the mobile is still active, it is not enough to place them, you have to turn the drum to cancel the bluetooth link.

Let’s go to the important thing. The audio quality. Here it should be noted that Nothing has dispensed with the pads (its previous headphones did have them). This is a matter of taste: the material does not bother the ear and is cleaner. The problem is that by not having them, some (passive) noise cancellation is lost and gained in external output: in a closed environment and with loud music, the lack of earpads makes it heard outside. Despite the absence of the pad, they are not uncomfortable at all , even after several hours of continuous use. Noise cancellation is an aspect that we miss. Except for calls (when the three microphones work to reduce outside sound), when listening to music in environments above 70 Db, nuances are lost and the volume must be increased.

In sound quality they are very good, without a doubt . They have a very high fidelity rate and the Nothing app allows you to equalize the parameters with enough flexibility to adapt them to our tastes and to the music or content that we are playing. Planes and trains? Hmmmm. Walks and at home? Yes. They are very good for video calls thanks to their built-in microphones and the voice, at both ends, is reproduced with correct fidelity.

The Nothing Ear (Stick) are, design-wise, the best on the market in almost every aspect (earbuds, charging case, colors, ease of use, charging and opening). The audio reproduction would be of excellent quality if they had active noise cancellation , it sounds very good, but they do not isolate us from the environment. Recommended for use at home, excursions, gym or on certain trips. In noisier environments it behaves better for calls than for audiovisual reproduction. These are headphones that, contrary to the popular saying of Much Ado About Nothing (a lot of publicity for little product), have a lot of noise (read sound quality, design, fast charging, comfort and also external noise) but at the same time lots of nuts – delivers what it promises.

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