Nothing Ear 1 wireless earbuds are coming sooner than we thought

Nothing Ear 1
(Image credit: Nothing)

Nothing, the London-based tech startup formed by OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has revealed more details on its first product: the Nothing Ear 1, a pair of wireless earbuds.

The Nothing blog post didn’t fully reveal the Ear 1’s design, only what appears to be a stylized silhouette, but did announce that the wireless earbuds will launch in June: the same month as the rumored Sony WF-1000XM4 launch.

“Design is still top secret but what we can tell you is that Ear 1 combines notes of transparency, iconic form, and refined functionality,” wrote Pei. “It is the starting point that will define the artistry, confidence and craftsmanship that will carry our products and services for years to come.”

The earbuds' "stripped-down aesthetic” may not have been on show, but it’s hard not to notice that the teaser image doesn’t show anything like the Nothing’s Concept 1 earbuds prototype unveiled earlier this year. That’s a bit of a shame, as the Concept 1’s transparent casing and tiny stalks would have made for a unique look.

The Ear 1 may still deliver a highly distinct design, though the shape in the teaser image is downright baffling. With the pill-like proportions and circular inset, the topmost part looks like the Sony WF-1000XM3 earbuds, but with a very long stalk or boom arm mic sticking out of the underside. Or perhaps the silhouette is only of the earbuds’ internals, which will be enrobed in a more conventional earbud chassis.

We’ll have to wait and see, though with a June release it won’t be long. It will also be interesting to see if Nothing loads the Ear 1 with high-end features like active noise cancellation (ANC) and/or some form of spatial audio, in order to better take on the Sony WF-1000XM4 and the upcoming AirPods 3.

If nothing else, Pei's post also mentioned “the sequel,” so it already sounds like Nothing’s first set of true wireless earbuds won’t be its last.

James Archer

James is currently Hardware Editor at Rock Paper Shotgun, but before that was Audio Editor at Tom’s Guide, where he covered headphones, speakers, soundbars and anything else that intentionally makes noise. A PC enthusiast, he also wrote computing and gaming news for TG, usually relating to how hard it is to find graphics card stock.