- by theguardian
- 21 Sep 2023
The British tech firm Nothing is back with some novel rivals to the AirPods: a set of fashion-forward Bluetooth earbuds with an open fit and see-through design. However, those hoping to be cut off from the world may be disappointed.
Like the traditional AirPods, the lozenge-shaped buds simply rest in the concha of your ears with a little grille at one end projecting the sound down your ear hole without blocking it.
The stalks have pressure-sensitive controls similar to newer AirPods, which work well. Squeeze once for pause/play, twice and thrice for track skip and squeeze and hold to adjust volume. Take out an earbud and music pauses. You can change the controls and other settings in the Nothing X app on an Android or iPhone.
Nothing estimates that the batteries in the earbuds and case last for at least 500 cycles while maintaining at least 80% of their original capacity. However, they are not replaceable, ultimately making the earbuds disposable.
Nothing does not offer trade-in or recycling schemes in the UK, nor does it use recycled material in the product or publish environmental impact assessments.
Out of the box they accentuate the mid-tones too much for my liking, particularly at the higher volumes that are needed to drown out unwanted noise. Turning down the mids and turning up the bass a little in the equaliser in the Nothing app makes them sound much better.
Like all open-ear buds, they leak sound at higher volumes. Call quality in noisy environments was excellent but my voice sounded a little processed in quieter settings.
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