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The Nothing Ear (2) wireless earbuds have arrived, marking the brand’s second generation of headphones since their launch in 2020. The new earbuds have maintained their fresh and unique design with a transparent casing, but have also received improvements based on customer feedback, including an IP54 rating for improved durability.
One notable upgrade is the addition of 2 extra hours of battery life with the wireless charging case. The earbuds also feature a more comprehensive software with a customizable equalizer and active noise cancellation with 7 filters. They support dual connection and use the LHDC 5.0 codec.
Overall, these improvements make the Nothing Ear (2) a promising addition to the wireless earbud market.
The Nothing Ear (2) headphones maintain the same style and personality as the first generation, with minor adjustments to improve ear comfort and the addition of an IP54 rating for improved protection (compared to the IPX4 rating of the previous model). The new earbuds also come in a color palette that features more white on the earpiece.
The brand has made efforts to optimize the earbuds, with a slight reduction in weight from 4.7g to 4.5g. The dimensions remain almost the same in terms of width and depth, while the length increases to 29.4mm for the earpiece and rod assembly. These details reflect the brand’s focus on improving their product.
The earbuds have a unique design that features a sphere-shaped chamber made of rigid plastic. The chamber holds most of the hardware and has an opaque finish with a tasteful blend of black and white. The earbuds come with white silicone ear tips in three sizes (S, M, and L), although they may be prone to showing dirt. The earbuds also have in-ear detection that automatically activates and pairs the earbuds when inserted.
The construction of the earbuds has been refined to provide better protection and the design of the earpiece and rod assembly integrates well with the transparent casing. The outer surface of the rod has a black finish with the “Nothing Ear (2)” name printed in dotted font. Overall, the design of the earbuds is well-constructed with attention to detail, including the transparent casing that maintains the brand’s identity.
The position and design of the three microphones on each earbud have been slightly modified. The microphone for calls remains at the end of the rod, and the touch-sensitive area for controls is still located on the edge of the rod. This location is more comfortable since it does not introduce any sounds or pressure to the ear. The two charging contacts for each earbud are located on the inner side of the rod.
The design of the ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) feedforward and feedback microphones has been optimized to improve wind noise resistance with the addition of larger grilles. The earbuds also have excellent passive noise isolation and improved silicone ear tip adaptability. Overall, these changes represent a suitable improvement to an already high-quality product, as expected from a brand committed to delivering premium wireless earbuds.
Carrying case and battery
The storage and charging case for the Nothing Ear (2) earbuds maintains the same design as the earbuds, with minor size optimizations that reduce the case’s dimensions from 58.6mm to 55.5mm in length and from 23.7mm to 22mm in thickness. These changes make the case more manageable and slightly lighter. The case is made of transparent plastic and has an improved IP55 rating for better protection. It also features a magnetized cover for secure closure.
The case provides charging via USB-C on one side and 2.5W wireless charging via Qi on its base. The base is also compatible with the reversible wireless charging system of the Nothing Phone (1). The top of the case has a horizontal docking area with magnetic charging contacts for the earbuds. A small LED indicates the charging status of the earbuds in this area. Overall, the case is well-designed and offers a convenient charging solution for the earbuds.
The earbuds have a battery capacity of 33mAh each, while the case has a capacity of 485mAh, which provides up to 36 hours of total use with ANC (Active Noise Cancellation) off, or 6.3 hours for the earbuds only. With ANC on and during a call, the earbuds offer a total of 17.5 hours of use and 3 hours for the earbuds only. However, the accuracy of these estimates may vary depending on the type of connection, music, and usage distance. Overall, the earbuds provide satisfactory battery life for a premium wireless earbud.
Features of these wireless earbuds
The Nothing Ear (2) earbuds offer high-end features that make them a premium wireless earbud. They are equipped with 11.6mm dynamic drivers with a graphene and polyurethane (PU) diaphragm and an upgraded LHDC 5.0 codec for better sound quality. The earbuds also feature a redesigned double resonant chamber for improved sound resonance and quality. Users can now enjoy an equalizer and audio customization options that were not available in the previous generation.
The earbuds use Bluetooth 5.3 with True Wireless capability (allowing each earbud to connect separately), and Dual Connection, allowing users to connect the earbuds to two devices simultaneously and switch between them. The range of coverage is similar to the previous generation, with a range of up to 20-25m outdoors, depending on the environment. The earbuds also support Microsoft Swift Pair and Google Fast Pair technologies, improving the pairing time with devices. Overall, the Nothing Ear (2) earbuds offer advanced features that elevate them to a higher level of wireless earbuds.
The Nothing Ear (2) earbuds have an upgraded AI-powered noise cancellation system, which improves performance not only by the positioning of the earbuds but also through software updates. The new algorithm adds more noise samples, and the customization system significantly enhances the functionality of the earbuds. The earbuds feature a transparency mode that enhances external noise to improve the user’s perception of their surroundings. There is also an adaptive ambient mode that adjusts the level of noise cancellation based on the environment. Overall, the noise cancellation system is well-designed and improves the overall listening experience of the earbuds.
Android management App
The Nothing Ear (2) earbuds are compatible with devices running Android 5.1 or higher, iOS 11 or higher, and Microsoft Windows with Bluetooth, as tested by the manufacturer. For Android 12, users can download the app by scanning the QR code or from the Google Play Store.
The pairing process is straightforward: users need to ensure that the earbuds have sufficient charge, open the case, and the earbuds will appear in the list of Bluetooth devices on the phone. The In-ear detector will automatically pause playback and activate the earbuds when they are worn. Overall, the pairing process is easy and hassle-free, making the earbuds easy to set up and use.
The earbuds feature touch-sensitive buttons on the stems that perform several functions, including play/pause or answer/end calls with one tap, skip tracks or reject calls with two taps, and go back to the previous track with three taps. Users can activate the ANC or Transparency mode by pressing and holding the touch button. The app provides an assistant that explains the various button functions.
On the app’s main screen, users can see the battery levels of both earbuds (L/R) and the case (C), represented by a color-coded image. If either earbud is disconnected, it will be shown in black and white. Users can access the equalizer, controls, noise control, and settings menu from this screen. Overall, the app provides users with comprehensive control over the earbuds and their functions.
The addition of an equalizer is one of the most useful upgrades, as it allows users to adjust the sound profile to their liking with a custom mode. Out of the box, the earbuds are well balanced in terms of highs, mids, and lows. The noise control feature offers the three standard options as well as a custom mode that detects the type of noise and optimizes the algorithm for that scenario. It is recommended to test the earbuds in different settings, such as at home, on the subway, or outdoors, to achieve the best possible results.
In the device settings, users can manage options such as ear detection, custom ANC, high-quality audio, and a personalized sound profile. New features include dual connection, find my earbuds, and a fit test for the ear tips to help users find the best audio quality once the Nothing Ear (2) earbuds are in place. Overall, the app provides a wide range of customizable options for a personalized listening experience.
Conclusion about the Nothing Ear 2 wireless earbuds
The earbuds are comfortable due to their lightweight design and improved ear pad fit, making them a great option for extended listening. The touch controls on the earbud stems are more comfortable to use and feel more responsive than those on the earbud housing, which can cause discomfort or noise.
The audio quality is excellent when streaming music or watching multimedia content, with a pre-set equalizer that can be further customized through a personalization mode. The bass response is powerful, and the sound quality is on par with other high-end models. The ANC function significantly improves when using the personalization mode, providing an even better audio experience.
The use of Bluetooth 5.3 with improved coverage and efficiency, dual pairing, and a comprehensive app further enhance an already impressive product. The battery life is excellent, with over 5 hours of usage for the earbuds, quick charging, and wireless charging capabilities in the case. The case is now slightly more compact, making it easier to carry, and both the earbuds and case are protected with IP54 and IP55 ratings respectively.