Nothing Ear

Good-sounding True Wireless in-ears with personalised ANC and high-quality codecs

In a nutshell

The third generation of the Nothing Ear features noticeably improved noise cancelling and new sound adjustment options thanks to an 8-band equaliser and the multi-stage bass enhancement function. With LDAC and LHDC 5.0, these wireless in-ears also support two varieties of high-resolution audio codecs.

  • Supports AAC, LDAC and LHDC 5.0
  • Adjustable bass enhancement function
  • Customised sound profile
  • Multipoint connections
  • Fast charging function, case can be charged wirelessly via Qi
  • Comfortable fit
  • No possibility to switch on and off manually
  • Volume loss with "advanced" EQ
  • Hear ID can only be used in conjunction with the app
  • No USB adapter included in the scope of delivery

In purely visual terms, the Nothing Ear hardly differs from the two previous models, as the striking design features the same transparent look.

The dust and water-resistant finish also remain the same, with the earphones certified to IP54 and the charging case meeting the requirements of protection class IP55. This means that nothing stands in the way of using them for sporting activities and outdoor use, especially as these in-ears are stable and extremely comfortable to wear.

As usual with Nothing, the earphones, which are available in white or black, arrive in plastic-free packaging. The manufacturer also states that they are manufactured using a fully recycled tin solder paste and that renewable energies are used for final assembly in order to reduce their carbon footprint.

Comparison: Nothing Ear (2) and Nothing Ear

Compared to the second generation, the current model offers more effective noise cancellation, which better attenuates the mid and upper-frequency range in particular. A lot has also changed in terms of sound reproduction, and this can be specifically customised to suit your own preferences using the adjustable bass enhancement function and an additional EQ section with eight bands. The integration of the optional sound profile has been optimised, and the selection of audio codecs has been expanded to include LDAC. The battery life of these headphones has also been significantly increased.


Comparison: Nothing Ear and Nothing Ear (a)

The smaller Nothing Ear (a) model (test) supports LDAC, a high-resolution audio codec, but not LHDC 5.0. The Nothing Ear (a) also has to do without an individual sound profile and the additional 8-band equaliser with a sharing function for presets. The slimmer charging case of the Nothing Ear (a) is also not dustproof and can only be charged via cable, but not wirelessly via Qi. In contrast, the wireless connection seemed more stable during the test phase than with the higher-priced model. The Nothing Ear (a) also performed slightly better in terms of battery life.

Battery life

In basic mode, you can achieve eight hours of listening time with the Nothing Ear at a high volume if you’re using the AAC codec. If you use noise cancellation, you can expect a runtime of five hours. These in-ears can be fully charged three times in their case and then for a further 30 per cent before the battery reserve is exhausted and an external power source is required.


While refuelling the empty battery takes around 70 minutes, a ten-minute quick charge provides these earbuds with capacity for up to two and a half hours. The case can either be supplied with power wirelessly or via the USB-C port, with the reserve being restored after a good 60 minutes via cable. A USB-C charging cable is included in the package. However, no USB-A adapter is included.

Bluetooth specs

These True Wireless in-ears support Bluetooth standard 5.3, multipoint connections allowing use of two devices simultaneously as well as Microsoft Swift Pair and Google Fast Pair for quick connection. Audio codecs SBC, AAC, LDAC and LHDC 5.0 are also available. During our test, we noticed that the headphones’ connection could drop out if you change floors when inside a building, but the wireless connection on the same floor had sufficient stability to bridge a distance of up to ten metres. Outside in the garden, it was possible to cover a distance of up to 23 metres.


Like the second generation, the Nothing Ear have pressure-sensitive stem control for starting and stopping playback, handling phone calls and skipping forwards and backwards when selecting tracks. It was also possible to switch between ANC and transparency mode, and this can be expanded to include the basic mode via the app. It is also possible to retrofit volume control and your voice assistant. However, it is not possible to switch the headphones on and off manually using a push-button mechanism, but they were otherwise easy to operate and responded reliably. The in-ear wear detection function, which can be switched on and off as required, has also been well implemented. In addition, they also supported one-sided use in single mode.

Nothing X app

The sound control in the app (Android and iOS) is divided into “simple” and “advanced” EQ. While the already familiar first variant has three axes for the low, mid and high-frequency range and offers preconfigured settings to choose from with “More Bass”, “More Treble” and “Voice”, the new EQ section allows you to save your own settings in the form of pre-sets that can be shared using the sharing function. This is a great addition, although there was a noticeable loss of volume with the “advanced” EQ, something which will hopefully be rectified in the future. The bass enhancement function, which analyses the audio material in real time and can then automatically boost the bass range in five stages, was another useful tool.

Sound personalisation was also possible with the help of Mimi Sound technology, which offered a specifically tailored listening experience once you have completed a listening test via the app and generated a sound profile. The intensity can be controlled very precisely, with three application options provided: “Softer”, “Recommended” and “Richer”. However, it was a pity that the Hear ID could only be used in conjunction with the app.

The noise control section included an adaptive ANC mode that automatically adjusted to the environment, as well as three static operating modes – “low”, “medium” and “high” – for manually setting the noise cancellation. A general transparency mode was available to amplify the outside world. In addition to firmware updates, the app also offered a fit test, and there was a search function that could help you find the headphones by playing sounds for you to follow. A low lag mode can also be activated for use when playing games on a mobile phone or computer.

Voice intelligibility when making calls

Although the Nothing Ear’s voice transmission could sound a little more natural, it was perfectly understandable when in a quiet environment. Outdoors, wind noise was also completely filtered out by the AI-supported microphone technology, but this might have a negative effect on the quality of the conversation, as the person on the other end of the line could no longer perceive your voice fluently; indeed it began to sound rather choppy. This was not the case with background noise, which was significantly attenuated and resulted in good speech intelligibility even in a louder environment.

Noise cancellation (ANC) and transparency mode

If noise cancelling is active, the headphones will automatically analyse your ear canal when the headphones are inserted into the ears to create an individual optimisation of the attenuation. This worked quite well, as the attenuation was already significantly increased when in low ANC mode. Both the low-frequency and high-frequency outer ranges were effectively reduced, and this also applied to background noise. The best results could be achieved in high ANC mode, which appeared to be even more powerful compared to adaptive noise cancellation, even if you. have to accept the slight background noise. Aside from this, the ANC modes were pleasingly low-noise. However, it was noticeable that the playback sounded fuller and was perceived as louder when noise cancellation was used.

Something you might miss when in transparency mode was the option to adjust the intensity of the amplification. It was possible to hold a conversation when playback was paused without any problems. When listening to music, however, the external perception was likely to be higher; because of this, it would be a desirable enhancement to add a multi-stage system like with the noise cancellation.

Sound of the Nothing Ear

In the factory settings, the Nothing Ear sounded significantly more fun than the previous model, as the bass enhancement function is set up to be on the third level by default. However, if you don’t want to emphasise the bass range and would prefer a balanced sound reproduction, you can simply switch off the bass boost. Otherwise, the Bass Enhance function offered an easily accessible option for adjusting the bass reproduction to suit your own listening habits. With modern music styles, however, you should choose the level of amplification carefully, as the low bass, in particular, can lose precision with increasing fullness.

In the bass-amplified default setting, the mid-range seemed very tidy and clean, resulting in a listening room that did not appear cramped when more complex arrangements were reproduced. There was also nothing sluggish or ponderous about the reproduction. On the contrary, these headphones conveyed a lot of joy and brightness with expressive voice reproduction that sounded appealingly lively.

The treble range was agile and had a slight liveliness, but was rather defensive with sibilants and did not tend towards overemphasis even at higher playback levels. However, it was noticeable that the upper registers dropped off a little, but this can be easily remedied with the new EQ section. We recommend you use the sound profile here as an alternative to the defaults. Hearing without (age-related) deficits also benefited from a customised listening experience, as this did not cause the listener to tire as quickly, and hearing was protected by lower volume levels. Thanks to Hear ID, the sound reproduction was better illuminated, more spacious and even more precise and detailed. There would be no need to sacrifice the high fun factor, as the sound profile can be combined with the bass enhancement function and the EQ options.


With the third generation of the Nothing Ear, the young British company has done a lot of things right and fixed the weak points of their previous model. Even if not everything was running perfectly smoothly at the time of release, these weatherproof True Wireless in-ears impressed us with effective noise cancellation and very versatile sound personalisation options that left very little to be desired. Thanks to multipoint connections, high-resolution audio codecs and long-lasting, fast-charging earphone batteries, these eye-catching transparent headphones offer excellent value for money.

1 month ago by Maike Paeßens
  • Rating: 4.25
  • Sound
  • Handling
  • Price/Quality
  • Function

Technical specifications

  • Ear couplingIn-ear
  • Typeclosed
  • Transducer principledynamic
  • Frequency response (headphones)20
  • Weight without cable5 g each, case 52 g

What's in the box

  • Eartips in 3 sizes (S, M, L)
  • USB-C charging cable
  • Charging case

Special features

  • Available in black and white
  • BT codecs: SBC, AAC, LDAC, LHDC 5.0
  • BT version: 5.3

Leave a Reply

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