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Nothing ear (2024) review: Excellent audio

Nothing ear (2024) review: Excellent audio

Nothing ear 2024

If you want something better than the affordable and good Nothing ear (a), the Nothing ear (2024) is worth it for the better soundstage and audio quality. Noise cancellation, however, is similar to the ear (a).

Quick specs

  • 11mm ceramic driver
  • ChatGPT support
  • IP54 buds/IP55 case water and dust resistance
  • Supports in-ear detection, Google Fast Pair, Microsoft Swift Pair

Unlike the ear (a), the Nothing ear (2024) uses a ceramic coating for its 11mm drivers. This, as mentioned, gives you a fuller soundstage. Music sounds better with plenty of detail and depth. You get great highs and mids, with a solid bass. And if you want more bass, you can also turn it on with the Nothing X app, which is available on Android as well as iOS.

Battery life is good, though it's less than the ear (a). You get up to eight and a half hours with ANC off and five hours and 12 minutes with ANC. Using the case to charge gives you 40.5 hours with ANC off, and 24 hours of power with ANC on. The case can also be charged wirelessly, unlike the ear (a)'s.

Nothing ear 2024
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

Design-wise, the fit is similar to the ear (a). The Nothing ear (2024) sits snug in the ears, and stay on pretty comfortably during my workouts. I note that it is slightly smaller than the ear (a), but you won't be able to tell visually. Like the ear 2 and the ear (a), the Nothing ear (2024) uses pinch controls along the stem.

Pinch once to pause and play music, double to fast forward, and triple to go back. Pinch and hold to switch between noise cancellation and transparency modes. I did notice that sometimes the pinch controls would be slow to react, and I had to take the earbuds out of my ear and put them back in to get them to work again.

Nothing ear 2024
Credit: Aloysius Low/Can Buy or Not

A new feature that wasn't available at launch is ChatGPT integration. Once you have a Nothing Phone 2 updated to the latest OS, you can set the earbuds to connect to the ChatGPT app and have a conversation with it. You do so by pinching and holding the left ear bud, though you can reassign this. There are limits to this feature though, ChatGPT doesn't have access to the internet to give you real-time information, so it's limited to what it has been trained on.

This means you cannot check the weather or bus timings. You also cannot get it to call contacts or set alarms on your phone unlike with Siri or the Google Assistant. Based on my conversation with the AI, it is only updated up to January 2022. Free account users will also get rate limited once you use it too much, and you'll have to pay to chat more. It's also a tad slow at times, so sometimes I thought it wasn't working (but it was). Still, it was fun chatting with it compared with typing to search for information.

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Noise cancellation is decent, but not the best. Compared with say, the Apple AirPods Pro 2, the noise cancellation isn't as strong. It will keep background noise slightly distant. It cancels the noise of air-conditioning and fans easily, though. But the Nothing ear (2024) will struggle with loud bus engines, though the earbuds are passable if you have music playing. Transparency mode is also something that isn't that good. The AirPods Pro 2‘s transparency mode feels like you're not even wearing earbuds. In comparison, the Nothing ear (2024)'s transparency mode is a bit muddy, and not as clear.

At S$229, the Nothing ear (2024) are mid-range earbuds that deliver pretty good audio and decent noise cancellation. It's a good buy, for sure, if you can accept the middling transparency mode. With any luck, this feature will get tweaked in a future update. Get these earbuds from Shopee, Lazada, or Nothing.

Note: Review unit provided by Nothing.

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Great sound with AI support

Buy it at Shopee
Buy it at Lazada

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