Have you ever wondered about how a company, or a product can be named “Nothing”? This unique name instantly catches your attention and makes you think, right? The co-founder of OnePlus and the founder of Nothing, Carl Pei, had the vision that a normal-looking product would not encourage customers to shift from the brands they are loyal to. But what if they are provided with something that is simple yet elegant, weightless, timeless, and so effortless that it integrates with one’s life seamlessly as if “Nothing” has changed? This is how Nothing’s first product, Nothing Ear (1), a set of wireless earbuds, was launched globally on July 20, 2021. But what came as a shock was Manu Sharma’s statement in November 2022, who is a member of the Nothing team in India, that all units of these wireless earbuds have been sold out and will not be available. This news has created quite a buzz and raised a few eyebrows. Many were and are speculating that this is just a marketing strategy to sell their new product, Nothing (Stick). Read the blog to understand the comparison and decide for yourself.
Nothing Ear (1) Vs. Nothing (Stick)
The comparison will be divided into various sections to analyze both products.
Design: There is no argument when it comes to the design of Nothing products. Quirky and eye-soothing in their own accord, both earbuds come with a transparent design in unique cases made of clear plastic, which will make you reminiscent of the “Clear craze” of the ’90s.
Nothing Ear (1) and Nothing (Stick) are both comfortable to wear and will not come undone while dancing, walking, or running. The Nothing Ear (1) earbuds come with a square case, whereas the Nothing (Stick) has a cylindrical case that almost looks like lipstick. The small bump-like structure in the Nothing Ear (1) case and the rotating mechanism in the Nothing (Stick) act like an integrated fidget toy, which is quite unique. Apart from such futuristic designs, what has fascinated and hooked the audience most is the transparency, where minute details like small chips on the circuit board or antennas are visible. The presence of color codes in both of these products helps to understand where each earbud belongs in the case. Nothing (Stick) weighs slightly less than Nothing Ear (1), with the former weighing 4.40 g and the latter weighing 4.70 g.
Audio: Nothing Ear (1) earbuds seal the entry of the ear canal with their silicon tip, whereas Nothing (Stick) is devoid of such a mechanism. Now the company claims that without the silicon tip, Nothing (stick) is more comfortable to wear. To back its claim, the company has tested this feature in several 3D-printed ear models. But this particular feature totally depends on the user, and making such tall claims is going a bit too far. Nothing (Stick) lacks ANC (active noise cancellation) support as compared to Nothing Ear (1) earbuds. However, the Nothing (Stick) has larger custom dynamic drivers (12.6 mm) than the Nothing Ear (1) (11.8 mm). Large drivers tend to produce more loud and compact sounds. It is also backed by a new equalizer and bass lock, which provide an immersive audio experience with minimal sound leakage. Both products have three high-definition mics, but Nothing has assured its users that Nothing (Stick) comes with an updated algorithm that tactfully clears out loud background noises and amplifies the voice of the user. This feature, which allows a user to hear their own voice while speaking on the phone, appears to blend in and is natural.
Battery: The Nothing (stick) can play music for up to 7 hours (or talk for up to 3 hours), and the case has a backup charge capacity of 22 hours. Nothing Ear (1) earbuds last up to 6 hours without ANC, while with ANC, they last only 4 hours. The charging case provides a backup of 34 hours without ANC and 24 hours with ANC. Though Nothing (Stick) offers a longer battery life, it lacks the wireless charging feature present in Nothing Ear (1). Both of them come with a USB Type-C charging port.
Controls and connectivity: The Nothing (Stick) comes with a press control, whereas the Nothing Ear (1) earbuds have touch controls. The press controls can come in handy when doing any activity and trying to adjust volumes or change songs with sweaty fingers. Both earbuds have Bluetooth version 5.2, and by long pressing the Bluetooth icon, controls can be accessed, and different types of gesture controls can be set up. This icon includes a simple equalizer and also displays the charging status. People who want to use these earbuds with Android or iOS devices can easily do so by downloading the Nothing X app.
Price: When the Nothing Ear (1) earbuds were first released, the price of the white variant was Rs. 5,999, and that of the black variant was Rs. 6,999. But in October 2022, the prices were hiked, and the white variant became Rs. 7,199, while the black variant became Rs. 8,399. The cost of “Nothing” (Stick) is Rs. 8,499.
Now the speculation is a bit ambiguous. Hiking the price of Nothing Ear (1) before the launch of the Nothing (Stick) and then making it unavailable sure seems like a stunt to increase the sales of their new product. This story can also have another side, where the company has discontinued the production of Nothing Ear (1). But if it is the former reason, the strategy is not future-proof, and the company is surely going to get its fair share of flak for such a move. Similar to Apple, Samsung, OnePlus, and many other brands, Nothing is trying to build an ecosystem with its products, and if it fits your bill and matches your taste, you can surely go for the Nothing (Stick). It is safe to say that with the implementation of new technology and a few omissions like ANC and wireless charging, Nothing (Stick) is a polished version of Nothing Ear (1).