We loved Nothing’s first attempt at ear buds in the Ear (1) so were excited to try out the follow-up tech.
And music lovers looking for a comfy, high performing pair of all-round ear buds at a mid price point will be very happy with these babies.
The Ear (2)s boast a few improvements over their 2022 originators.
We’ve a longer battery life, an extra hour in the buds themselves, and up to 36 hours when you take into account case charging too.
Adaptive noise cancellation is also an improvement and a new clear voice technology with the ability to really personalise your own preferred sound in the app.
None of them are world breaking, but collectively the improvements are all sensible upgrades to the base unit that boost the overall finished product.
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The Ear (2)s look incredibly cool with their white see-through design. While they stand out far more than the original version its not too flashy and delivers the right mix of design and subtlety.
The same goes for the case, a curved box that sits in the palm of the hand designed in both a clear plastic and white plastic mix that aims to show off the buds and give them a thoroughly modern vibe.
The buds themselves are similar in look and size physically to the 1s but are slightly smaller, weighing just 0.16 oz per bud.
That means that once they’re fitted into your ear you can easily forget they are even in there.
The buds sit secure in the ear itself and, having done a rigorous 45-minute run with them, I can confirm they stay in firmly without worry.
They Ear (2)s connect to your phone via bluetooth and it takes a matter of seconds to have songs belting out through the buds.
The default EQs are just fantastic but if you download the free app you can customise your sound by up to five points across treble, mid and bass levels.
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Sound wise, the Ear (2)s up the ante on their already excellent parent unit by fleshing out the active noise cancellation.
Whereas before, it was able to suck away all the day-to-day noise, leaving you with pure music, now it not only does that but adapts depending on the passing sounds outside.
So a busy commute will see the ANC ramp up to maintain that you-and-the-music feel, dropping off when you enter a quieter place, like the office.
The 11.6mm drivers are so well attuned that the Ear (2)s seem able to deliver not only an attack on dance and rock music but also maintain smooth edges so nothing feels forced or unwanted.
It’s able to excite your ears while always staying in control, giving an overall polished sound to even the most aggressive of tunes.
Little extras that help to justify the £129 price tag include IP54 buds and IP55 case resistance, which means they are resistant to both sweat, water and dust.
That’s obviously very helpful in both the gym and when in the rain.
You can also charge the case on a wireless charging pad, so no cable is necessary, although one is provided.
And the package comes with small, medium and large replaceable ear cups so that they fit perfectly in whatever shaped ears you have.
Overall, the Ear (2)s don’t reinvent the wheel dramatically but they do deliver an incremental improvement on the already excellent originals.
And, despite all the tweaks, the makers at Nothing have ensured that the key thing – the sound – remains on point.
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