May 23, 2024
Nothing Ear (a): sunny side up Best Ear in 2024

It didn’t start as an audio brand, although the phone’s lineup of great graphics and Glyph interface-packed offerings has gained popularity in the past. Nothing Ear (1) (review) was released in 2021 and not only marks the brand’s debut but also sets the tone for its rapidly evolving design language. There is nothing followed by ear (stick) (review) and ear (2) (review) TWS is leaving, it now has two new competitors in the audio segment in the form of something that is not ear and ear (a). The former follows in the footsteps of its predecessors, at least in terms of design, but the ear (a) brings a new direction to the mix. The ear (a) comes as a cheaper version of the ear (review), reducing some capabilities like wireless charging but retaining good features like ANC.

Design

Perhaps it’s just me, but every time I see the Nothing Ear (a), it makes me think of a tiny tiffin box with a few poached eggs inside, showing off their splendor through the clear top. Put it down to the design of the case these TWS buds arrive in and the use of vivid yellow hues. To be more precise, bright yellow is used for the buds and the bottom half of the case, which is effectively its cover, while translucent, clear plastic is used for the top half. Of course, you could choose the black or white version in place of the yellow one, but what would be the fun in that? The case is fairly small, and its flat shape makes it very portable.

A tiny LED and a virtually undetectable pairing button are situated next to where the buds lie within the case, and there’s a type-C connector on the back. The buds themselves still have the recognizable oval form that the brand is known for, and their transparent stems expose their insides. The buds have an excellent fit and polish, weigh little less than 5 grams per, and are comfortable to wear for extended periods. The case feels a little bit plasticky, though, and it might be prone to scratches and scuffs.

Specifications and features

The offering includes 11mm drivers, Bluetooth 5.3 connectivity, and IP54 resistance. Supported audio formats include SBC, AAC, and LDAC. The headset (a) supports dual synchronization and can seamlessly switch between two audio tracks. Moreover, there are limited ways to play the game. A group of functions can be controlled using functions; by wetting the wood.

One field is designed for play/pause and answer/end call, while two fields are designed for skipping forward, three for skipping back, and long-term switching between audio modes (ANC, transparency, etc.). This can of course be programmed with an accompanying program. I found these controls difficult to grasp at first, as the logs must be properly aligned in the center for the transaction to be recorded. But once I learned that I was good to go.

Furthermore, Nothing’s attempts to include ChatGPT with its most recent TWS services are intriguing, given that AI is currently a hot topic. Thus, you may use a touch-and-hold gesture to activate ChatGPT as a smart assistant if you have one of the Nothing phones running the most recent Nothing OS 2.5.5 release and it is loaded. It appears to be still a little sketchy for the time being because I tested it with a Nothing Phone (2a) and didn’t have much luck. Nevertheless, the company should be commended for trying, and perhaps in the future, it will develop into something beneficial.

App

Nothing The app uses Nothing’s signature points and it offers options to adjust EQ, select controls, adjust volume, and adjust bass. Bass booster has five different levels, ANC has three levels, and an adaptive mode is available. The Equalizer is set to High Bass by default, but you can choose Equalizer, Over, or Volume mode or adjust a setting to your preference.

Suffice it to say, there are plenty of options available to customize the sound to your taste. Dig into settings that let you switch between features like ear-to-ear, low-latency mode, and dual sync. There is also a Find My Ears feature that includes an ear test that guides the user to find the best ANC for optimal performance.

ANC and sound quality

About that, the 45dB ANC is respectably good at canceling out background noise. The transparency mode is very appealing to me. When one wishes to maintain awareness of their surroundings without having to take off their earbuds, it’s pretty helpful. Also, the call quality is respectable. By default, the overall audio quality is biased toward the bass, but you may adjust it to have a rich, full, and well-balanced sound that is suitable for a variety of musical styles. The buds can provide clear highs and mids without allowing the bass to become overpowering, and the soundstage is broad. However, if you enjoy bass, the bass boost function aids in producing energetic beats. Overall, you shouldn’t be dissatisfied with what the Nothing Ear (a) has to offer.

Battery life

The Ear (a) does not support wireless charging, in contrast to the more expensive Ear. However, they are quick to charge, and when fully charged, the buds alone guarantee 5.5 hours of battery life with ANC turned on; if the case’s reserve tank is included, that amount of time increases to 42.5 hours. Using the buds every day for different amounts of time each day, I was only able to use up approximately half of the charge in a week. The battery life is decent, in my opinion.

Verdict

The Nothing Ear (a), which starts at Rs 5,999 and goes up to Rs 7,999 over time, is a worthwhile investment and offers better value than its more expensive siblings. The OnePlus Buds 3 (review) and the OPPO Enco Air 3 Pro (review) are the Ear (‘s main competitors; both are worthy of serious consideration, especially since they are less expensive. At Rs 7,999, the whole price of the Nothing Ear (a) seems a bit pricey, but you get a funky-looking pair of TWS buds with excellent sound quality and long battery life, along with a helpful feature set, for your money.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *