Nothing Ear (2) Review – Improvements that may not have been necessary

This fall marks three years since Carl Pei founded Nothing. In the short time it has been in operation, several enthusiasts have found their way to the brand, who appreciate the philosophy above all. Nothing strives to produce unusual products with really interesting designs. The proof is not only the Nothing Phone (1), but also the Ear (1) and Ear Stick headphones. Currently, the manufacturer has expanded its portfolio with new Ear (2) headphones, which are a direct follow-up to the first generation.

After all, this is clear at first glance. In terms of design, few people would recognize the new headphones compared to the old ones. Nothing has simply decided that there is no need to go into this part. The changes are therefore mainly in the earbuds themselves. What are the new Nothing Ear (2)? That’s what you’ll find out in this review.

Contents of the package

  • Nothing Ear Headphones (2)
  • Rechargeable case
  • Quick Start Guide
  • Replacement silicone earbuds
  • USB-C / USB-C cable

We’ve seen this somewhere before

When the first generation of Nothing Ear headphones (1) arrived on the market, it caused quite a stir. Not because of its capabilities or price, but primarily because of its design. It was because it put a device in the hands of customers that they had never seen before. Nothing bet on a transparent design. Both the box and the earbuds themselves are made in such a way that the user can “look under the hood”, so to speak.

The square-shaped box with rounded shapes arrived in our editorial office in a white variant. This means that the lid and the body are made of transparent plastic, so we can immediately see the separate earbuds. A white, matte-finished packaging lines the centre of the charging case, which hides all the technology. Too bad Nothing didn’t leave the transparent material here as well. We would have gotten a glimpse of the wireless charging coil, for example. Maybe in the next generation.

Smaller box as a benefit

Photo by The Verge

If we stop at the lid itself, it contains a small recess at the top. I don’t know its exact meaning, but it’s a good place to hold the whole case. So maybe it is designed to do just that. I would find a small complaint here with the workmanship. The lid does not fit as well as it should. It shifts about a millimetre and makes an unpleasant sound. The strength of the opening mechanism is exemplary. It is neither strong nor weak.

Two important elements are covered at the bottom. The first is the USB-C connector for charging. Next to it is a round button, whose task is to connect with a smartphone or other product. It’s also worth saying that although the design is virtually unchanged from the first generation, the whole box is a little smaller.

Different (but decent) resistance

Of course, the new Nothing Ear (2) also offers some basic durability. As such, the charging case boasts IP55 certification. Dust and water drops will therefore not harm the product. The same applies to the earbuds, however, where the certification is only IP54. If you plan to play sports with the headphones, you don’t have to worry.

The plugs have a distinctive style

The first generation of Nothing Ear headphones (1) arrived with a so-called earbud design. In the subsequent Ear Stick series, we saw the highlights. So the question was how the new generation would fare. But since these are almost identical headphones to the original Ear (1), earbuds are available here as well.

The foot sticking down is transparent and you can see the arrangement of the components inside. On the view side, you can then see the inscription indicating which headphones are which.

Each earpiece also contains a white or red dot. This is the manufacturer’s way of letting us know which one belongs to which ear. White is for the left and red for the right. The end of the stem hides the microphone, which is used for voice pickup and ANC. The body, which mouths the earbud, houses an 11.6mm dynamic transducer and other technology for listening to music. There’s a microphone here too.

Perfect ergonomics

How the headphones fit the user is perhaps one of the most important elements in the purchase decision. In general, headphones that have a plug design instead of a stack design are more popular. However, this is still a purely subjective impression and everyone may be suited to something different. Personally, however, I rank the ergonomics of the Nothing Ear (2) among the best on the market. This is of course due to both the design and the weight of the individual headphones. Specifically, we are talking about a weight of 4.5 grams. Thanks to this, the earbuds do not press in the ear.

But of course you have to choose the optimally sized silicone attachment. There are three sizes in the package and everyone can choose. Here it only slightly disappoints that the headphones do not have a function for ear mapping and subsequent recommendation of the optimal size. You simply have to try one extender at a time. The headphones are very comfortable to insert into the ears. You just put them on and push lightly. Then the earbuds do not fall out even with active use.

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