Nothing (Ear) 2024 review: the headphones we want to recommend to everyone

Nothing recently unveiled its new wireless headphones called “Nothing Ear”.

Nothing (Ear) 2024 review: the headphones we want to recommend to everyone

Nothing recently unveiled its new wireless headphones called “Nothing Ear”. We were able to try them for several days to give you our opinion.

Back in 2021. The young company Nothing has only been founded for a few months and is already arousing the curiosity of the tech community by raising $7 million in investment for its future projects. The idea of ​​the firm: to make tech products fun again and to free ourselves from leading brands that no longer make people dream.

It is with this idea in mind that Nothing unveils its first product in July 2021: the Nothing Ear (1). Wireless headphones with an original design and displayed at the very attractive price of 99 euros in France. A successful bet in view of the various tests and feedback from the specialized press.

It's 2024, the company is now unveiling the Nothing Ear. No more numbers to differentiate these from the brand's other models (we will therefore call them "Ear 2024" to differentiate them from the Ear (1)). The Nothing Ear therefore stands out as a little return to basics for the firm.

Launched at a price of 149 euros in France, the Nothing Ears therefore come up against competitors such as Samsung's Galaxy Buds or the Jabra Elite. We were able to try them before their official release and were much more surprised than disappointed.

Fans of the Nothing brand will not find much to sink their teeth into when it comes to the design of the Nothing Ear 2024. The firm's new headphones completely take up the design initiated by the Ear (1) and the Ear (2) with a transparent case that stands out from the competition. The latter has a matte coating on one side and a transparent opening with a magnetic system to keep the case closed. Once the case is opened, we logically find the headphones housed on a magnetic system which keeps them in place with a new matte coating which looks great. The words “Nothing” have replaced the old writing “Ear (case)” and an indicator light remains visible to keep an eye on the charging of the case and headphones.

This indicator lights up white if the battery life of the box is greater than 30% and red if it is lower. A rather imprecise data therefore, but at least we don't bother with 40 color codes. The Nothing Ear case is, however, quite thick, which may be difficult to put in a pocket, even if the product remains very light in the hand.

The Nothing Ear 2024 headphones benefit from a small facelift compared to their predecessors released in 2023. The tip of the headphones as well as the silicone tips now benefit from a matte coating that is more pleasant to the touch and which looks a little less " cheap" than the previous plastic coverings of the Ear (2).

Nothing has therefore not altered the shape of its flagship headphones, to our great pleasure. The Nothing Ear 2024 fits very well in the ear and does not need to be fully inserted to hold in place, which avoids damage to the ear canal. It is also possible to run or play sports indoors without the headphones falling out of the ear or listening being impaired. A very good point for the headphones which also have three sizes of tips (S, L and M) to adapt to all ears.

The 2024 Nothing Ears have small clickable borders on which different commands can be associated to control your use. By default, the Nothing Ear commands are as follows:

Using the Nothing X app allows you to change the controls to your liking. It is thus possible to launch the voice assistant of your smartphone (Google Assistant, Siri, etc.) by pinching the earphones once, to lower the sound by pressing and holding on the edge of the earphones, etc., etc. If this personalization turns out to be pleasant, it still remains frustrating that Nothing has not integrated a functionality allowing you to raise or lower the volume of your music by sliding your finger along the stem of the headphones (as is notably the case on Apple AirPods Pro)!

The first thing that catches the eye (or rather the ear) the first time you wear the Nothing Ear 2024 is the power of the bass. We tested the new Nothing headphones with several devices (Nothing Phone (2), Honor Magic6 Pro and iPhone 15 Pro Max) as well as on a wide variety of music from different genres. Pop, electro, rock, metal, rap... The majority of sounds we tested clearly denote deep and powerful bass which is gripping on certain music with marked bass like "Bad Guy" by Billie Eilish or "Seven Nation Army " by the White Stripes.

These fairly pronounced bass, however, have the unfortunate tendency to muffle the lyrics of certain songs a little and it is sometimes recommended to use the equalizer of the Nothing application to remedy this, but we will talk about that a little later in this test.

Concerning the mids and highs, these are rather well managed by the Nothing Ear of 2024. It is however possible to use the equalizer of the application to make them stand out more on certain songs. Overall, there is very little to complain about. The Nothing Ear transcribe quite well the different instruments that litter the different pieces tested. Guitars, pianos and violins are perfectly audible and recognizable, which is an excellent point for Nothing's headphones.

The “wow” effect is particularly felt the first time we use the headphones as the quality is there. Without necessarily having to go through the headphones' companion application, the Nothing Ear 2024 impresses upon first listening.

The 2024 Nothing Ears are in-ear headphones, which are often accompanied by noise reduction technology to isolate themselves from their environment as well as a transparency mode to, conversely, hear more sounds. ambient conversations.

The noise reduction of the Nothing Ear 2024 is very good. The headphones manage to identify ambient noise well and isolate it to fully concentrate on your music, video or conversations. The latter are also very clear even when you are in a particularly noisy environment such as a road intersection or an amusement park.

Transparency mode, on the other hand, turns out to be quite disappointing. Like the Ear (2) released last year, the Nothing Ear of 2024 do not manage to sufficiently isolate conversations from other ambient noise and are content to filter everything by attenuating your entire environment to allow you to Hear both your music as well as the discussions around you. Unfortunately, when trying to combine the two, the Nothing Ear crashes and you will quickly remove the headphones from your ears to hear your interlocutors clearly. Used outdoors, the results are similar and the Nothing Ear will make you hear your music as well as the truck honking in the distance.

More and more manufacturers are accompanying their headphones with a companion application allowing you to personalize your audio experience. Nothing is no exception to the rule with the “Nothing X” application available on both Android smartphones and iPhones.

The latter is also very intuitive and reflects the very “geek” identity of the brand. The headphones are automatically detected when the sync button is held and the application is launched.

The Nothing X application mainly consists of four sections: equalizer, controls to configure, noise control and bass boost.

The equalizer has four pre-installed profiles that focus on a balanced experience, more bass, treble or vocals. On a majority of music, we will tend to switch to the manual equalizer which will then allow us to reduce the intensity of the bass a little to benefit from a more "fair" sound. Fans of really powerful bass, however, will be able to accentuate it, in particular by using the “bass reinforcement” option.

Using the Nothing X application on a daily basis is relatively pleasant and intuitive. The navigation is clear and the menus are well thought out to find what you need. It's also easy to juggle between our different brand headphones if you still have an old model.

The autonomy of the previous Nothing Ear (2) disappointed us a little last year since the headphones could be used for 5 to 6 hours straight (with active noise reduction). For its new Ear wireless headphones, Nothing announces improved battery life of up to 8.5 hours without noise reduction.

A data that we were able to verify on the copy that we received at the editorial office. The Nothing Ear headphones lasted a little less than 8 hours without noise reduction and around 6 hours with it. A fairly honorable score even if we still find better among certain competitors and Nothing does not seem to improve too much on this point. The case supplied with the headphones allows you to benefit from 4 to 5 full charges of the headphones, which allows you to enjoy them for a total of around 40 hours before having to recharge the case.

In terms of charging, the Nothing Ear can be charged for around ten hours of use in just under 10 minutes. Enough to quickly refuel. Allow a little less than an hour to fully recharge the Nothing Ear. The case is also compatible with wireless charging of another device such as the Nothing Phone (2).

By keeping the comfort of these previous headphones while improving the audio quality, Nothing hits hard with its new Nothing Ear. The latter surprise with their powerful sound which rings true straight out of the box despite some slightly too pronounced bass. Fortunately, the Nothing X application allows you to readjust everything if you want to have a cleaner and more balanced sound. Lovers of big bass will be in heaven. The noise reduction, although not the most effective on the market, is still very good for enjoying your music without being disturbed by ambient noise.

On the disappointment side, we regret that the autonomy has not changed much since the last Ear (2), but especially the transparency mode which turns out to be quite useless as it stands and will force you to remove the headphones to hear your surroundings distinctly.