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Nothing ear 2 review: Personal sound

Nothing ear 2 review: Personal sound

Nothing ear 2

The second-generation Nothing ear 2 keeps the same unique design as the original, but adds sound personalisation. For this, you'll need to test your hearing in the Nothing X app, though I personally found the resulting sound to be strange, and flat. However, I do like that these earbuds sound great overall, and they are quite comfortable to wear, too.

Quick specs

  • 11.6mm dynamic driver
  • Codecs: AAC, SBC, LHDC 5.0
  • IP54 buds/IP55 case water and dust resistance
  • Supports in-ear detection, Google Fast Pair, Microsoft Swift Pair, Clear Voice Technology with three mics
  • Personalised sound and ANC with app for hearing test

Unlike the ear 1, the ear 2 now uses pinch controls like the Ear Stick. This feels more precise, and prevents accidental touches. Pinch and hold to switch between noise cancellation, and pinch to play or pause. You can also customise the double pinch and hold action. I used it to raise or lower the volume. I found it a lot easier to control. The ear 1 had a feature where if you take out one earbud, the other switches to transparency. It's no longer present in the ear 2. Nothing still lets you customise the EQ, but the default sound seems good, there's a nice strong bass, with clear mids and highs. Other new features include dual connection, which lets you connect the ear 2 to your phone and PC simultaneously. I also like that when you turn off ANC, the earbuds play a sigh to let you know.

Nothing ear 2
The ear 2's case is noticeably smaller compared with the ear 1. Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

I mentioned earlier that one of the new ear 2 features is sound personalisation. It's similar to the Apple AirPods Pro, which uses an audiogram profile to boost the volume for frequencies that your ears have trouble hearing. Likewise, the ear 2 has something similar, but comes with a built-in hearing test. This test basically plays a beep at different frequencies at increasing volumes, but with a background track. I'm not a fan of this test, which comes with a extremely loud background audio, making you strain to hear the beep. I've done professionally administered audiometry tests before, and they don't try to drown out the beeping like the Nothing version.

Nothing ear 2
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Once you have completed the test, you can apply the results to audio playback, and in my case, the sound felt flatter, especially vocals. There's a bit more dimension to the mids, but also artificial, and forced. I felt the earbuds sounded better with it turned off. Noise cancellation is decent, and the ear 2 will keep most of the background noise out of your ears. However, it's not as strong as the Apple AirPods Pro 2, and will let in just a bit more — especially on a plane. The ear 2's battery is rated at 36 hours with ANC off, and 22.5 hours with ANC on with the case. The earbuds can last up to 4 hours with ANC on. I'm still testing the battery life, and will update this review later.

At S$199, the Nothing ear 2 offers a lot more than expected for its price. Nothing's aggressive pricing means it's a better deal compared with the Google Pixel Buds Pro and the Apple AirPods Pro 2. Definitely a Can Buy. You can now try these earbuds at select Challenger stores at Bugis Junction, Vivo City, and Causeway Point. And from April 8, the ear 2 will be widely available from Nothing's official stores on Shopee and Lazada.

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Note: Review unit provided by Nothing.

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Nothing like good sound.

Buy it at Shopee
Available at Lazada

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