The Ear Stick are Nothing’s second pair of true wi-fi earbuds, however they ditches the in-ear tip for a extra open design. Conserving the identical consolation degree, the Ear Stick supply extra consciousness, higher controls and mics, and a clearer and extra customizable sound. All of this comes on the value of in-ear stability and passive isolation, however for those who actually should have a pair of open-design buds, then the Ear Stick are a really first rate worth.

Launching a little bit greater than a yr after it debuted the Nothing Ear 1, Carl Pei’s firm is again with one other audio product, this time devoted to individuals who wish to hear their tunes however dislike the sensation of getting one thing lodged of their ears. The Nothing Ear Stick are one other tackle true wireless buds, with an open design that sits exterior your ear canal. And though it could appear that that is the one distinction between the Stick and the Ear 1, that isn’t the case. Nothing packed a number of refinements into this new pair within the hopes of justifying the $99 asking value, however are they sufficient? Let’s discover out in Android Authority‘s Nothing Ear Stick overview.

About this Nothing Ear Stick overview: I examined the Nothing Ear Stick over a interval of 1 week. The unit was offered by Nothing for this overview.

What it is advisable to know in regards to the Nothing Ear Stick

Nothing Ear Stick inside the case, top view, with plant and white Pixel 7 Pro

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

  • Nothing Ear (Stick): $99 / £99 / €119

The very first thing that’ll catch your consideration with the Nothing Ear Stick is the tubular case. Nothing needs you to have a look at it as a style accent first and a tech object second — it succeeded. The case is paying homage to lipsticks; you twist the underside half to open it, then twist to shut it. It’s a superb fidget too — I’ve usually discovered myself opening it and shutting it for no motive aside from it was at arm’s attain.

Nothing’s design ethos nonetheless dictates every little thing in regards to the case and the buds inside it. Transparency, white and black with some crimson accents, and a dot matrix font for each branding ingredient. You possibly can’t confuse this model with every other firm’s.

Nothing Ear Stick case next to Nothing Ear (1) case

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Inside, the buds look almost similar to the Nothing Ear 1, save for the absence of a silicone tip. As an alternative, the entire bud is manufactured from plastic with three seen grills that conceal the speaker and new microphones.

A big custom-built 12.6mm driver inside every earbud was added to compensate for sound leakage.

A brand new custom-built 12.6mm driver sits inside every bud, and it’s supposedly giant sufficient to compensate for all of the sound leakage from the open design. There are three microphones to cancel any background noise that’s louder than three decibels and be sure you sound very clear throughout calls. Clearly, these microphones don’t play any function in active noise cancellation (ANC) whilst you’re listening to audio — the design merely makes any isolation inconceivable.

Nonetheless, Nothing is sticking with AAC and SBC; there’s no assist for aptX or every other high-resolution Bluetooth audio codecs. However at the least there’s a brand new Ear Stick-only low-latency setting that ought to scale back lag whereas taking part in video games, even on the AAC and SBC codecs. In my exams, I observed a small, very small latency discount with this setting enabled on my Pixel 7 Professional.

Nothing Ear Stick buds next to Nothing Ear (1) buds, inner side

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

For controls, Nothing has opted for a brand new stress mechanism as an alternative of swipe gestures. You must maintain the stem of every earbud between your fingers and squeeze it to set off any actions. It’s a extra deliberate motion that ought to scale back, if not take away, any unintended swipes.

The Ear Stick additionally profit from a barely extended battery life — seven hours with out the case. With the case, this could go as much as 29 hours. Our exams have been in-line with these numbers. A two-hour listening session at 70% quantity drops the battery all the way down to 70% on common, and the case lasts round two weeks on a cost with a few hours of day by day use. Each of those are stable stats, although needless to say ANC is often an enormous drain for true wi-fi earbuds — one thing the Ear Stick would not have.

The Ear Stick present up natively within the Fast Settings space of the Nothing Phone 1, however they will additionally connect with any Bluetooth machine. It helps Google’s Fast Pair, which simplifies connections to any subsequent machine after you’ve paired them with the primary one beneath your Google account. Plus, Nothing’s new app allows you to customise the totally different controls and decide between 4 preset equalizers. You may as well use a {custom} EQ to set the bottom, mids, and treble to your liking.

Out there solely in white, the Nothing Ear Stick retail for $99 now, the identical because the launch value of the Ear 1 (which has now been raised to $149).

What’s good?

Nothing Ear Stick bud in hand, side angle

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Every time you’re taking the Nothing Ear Stick out of your pocket in public, you’ll get a look or two as a result of these aren’t your typical earbuds. The case’s design is exclusive and it’s extremely enjoyable — and a bit addictive — to twist it open and closed on a regular basis.

Nothing says it examined the Ear Stick’s form on 200 totally different ear fashions to verify it’s comfy and safe. For my particular ears, the match is nearly as nice because the Ear 1, which I’ve lauded repeatedly as the most comfortable buds I’ve ever worn. The Ear Stick simply don’t exert stress wherever in my ears, which is a really bizarre feeling to get used to. And even throughout lengthy listening classes, there’s not a second the place I felt that rising clogged-ear sensation that pushes me to take away some in-ear earbuds each hour or two.

The Ear Stick are an awesome pair of true wi-fi buds for anybody who simply does not like several in-ear annoyance.

This can be a nice pair of true wi-fi buds for anybody who simply doesn’t like several in-ear annoyance. The shortage of a tip to stabilize them does hold me on my toes, nevertheless, however extra on that within the subsequent part.

As somebody with medium-length unfastened hair that usually triggers earbuds’ gestures inadvertently, I welcome Nothing’s transfer to pressure-based controls. The entire pausing, quantity altering, and monitor skipping I’ve finished on the Ear Stick to date has been intentional.

The Ear Stick additionally sound surprisingly loud and clear. Quantity-wise, it appears to go as loud because the Ear 1, regardless of the extra open design, although I couldn’t tolerate it that top for lengthy. At round 70%, there’s nonetheless sufficient quantity to take pleasure in your music, podcasts, or audiobooks.

The mids and highs are positively clearer than the Ear 1. The bass is just barely improved; the open design tends to deliver down the thumping feeling of bass with it, however Nothing’s “bass lock” algorithm balances that out. And for those who don’t just like the default sound signature, there are three totally different presets and a {custom} equalizer to tailor it in 12-step increments (-6 to +6 for bass, mids, and treble).

Regardless of the open design, the Ear Stick sound surprisingly loud and clear.

In comparison with the Ear 1, there’s a marked enchancment within the built-in microphones’ audio high quality too. Voices come out clearer (although with some odd artifacts in calmer environments) and background noise is decreased, even when it’s erratic and inconsistent. I examined this out by recording a pattern subsequent to a Nest Hub that was taking part in wind, nature, fan, and thunderstorm sounds. Whereas the Ear Stick canceled out each little bit of noise, the Ear 1 nonetheless let a number of the louder thunders and noises come by means of.

Nothing Ear 1 pattern recording with close by thunderstorm sounds:

Nothing Ear Stick pattern recording with close by thunderstorm sounds:

Due to the buds’ design, transparency and consciousness are default options. You don’t must allow any setting to listen to your environment, so you’ll be able to — roughly — safely put on these on the road and at residence with out worry of lacking out on a honk, bell, alarm, crying youngster, or barking canine.

What’s not so good?

Nothing Ear Stick USB-C port and pairing button

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

One aspect impact of the Nothing Ear Stick’s tubular case design is the shortage of wireless charging. I’m used to plopping my Ear 1 case on a Qi pad at my desk, and I can’t try this with the Ear Stick. I’ve to be deliberate about plugging it in with a USB-C cable after I must cost it.

The Ear Stick have a spiffy new case but it surely does not assist wi-fi charging and collects mud and pocket lint.

One other aspect impact is the case’s propensity to choose up mud and lint. The grainy white plastic attracts small particles when the case is in your bag or pocket (and even sitting at your desk), then you definately twist it and every little thing will get carried inside. Because of the clear plastic, you see each little annoying speck. I’ve already used a small air blaster — the identical one you employ on digicam lenses — to take away a number of the mud. I don’t know what the case will appear to be in just a few weeks or months.

Nothing Ear Stick buds on a desk, focus on stem and pressure controls

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

Transferring on to the buds, the route Nothing took with the open design creates two weaknesses. One is the shortage of any stabilizing anchor for the bud contained in the ear. They only sit there, free, unattached to something. It all the time seems like they’re one minor nudge away from falling out. I’ve bopped and shaken my head many instances with out dislodging them, however that doesn’t imply they’re firmly secure. A flick of my finger on the stem takes them out. I’m certain a little bit of sweat may even trigger them to slip proper out (I’ve been sick and unable to train so I couldn’t take a look at this). This isn’t the pair of buds you go on a run with or put on on a jam-packed subway.

The Ear Stick is not the pair of buds you go on a run with or put on on a jam-packed subway.

Talking of subways, the one time I dared put on them there, I couldn’t last more than 10 minutes. There’s no isolation with this open-bud design. Zero. You hear every little thing, each little hum and drum and whir round you. Even on the loudest quantity, I may nonetheless hear each deafening noise from the Parisian metro. As a matter of truth, the loud quantity made the expertise extra painful; it was irritating to attempt to differentiate between the music and every little thing else occurring.

One final weak point to bear in mind is the shortage of Bluetooth Multipoint, a characteristic that’s making its strategy to a number of different true wi-fi buds just like the Pixel Buds Pro. You possibly can’t join the Nothing Ear Stick to 2 gadgets concurrently, and you’ll’t simply change them from one to a different. You’ll have to decide on whether or not these are paired to your cellphone or laptop (or pill, smartwatch, TV, and so on.) and be proud of that single alternative.

Nothing Ear Stick specs

Nothing Ear (Stick)


Earbuds: 29.8 x 18.8 x 18.4mm
Case: 87.1 x 29.8 x 29.8mm


Earbuds: 4.4g
Case: 46.3g


Bluetooth 5.2
Google Quick Pair
Microsoft Swift Pair


In-ear detection
Stress sensor for controls

Battery life

Earbuds: As much as 7 hours of listening
Earbuds with case: As much as 29 hours of listening




12.6mm dynamic driver

Water resistance




Nothing Ear Stick overview: The decision

Nothing Ear Stick inside the case, laying vertically on a desk with white Pixel 7 Pro and jewelry and make-up accessories

Rita El Khoury / Android Authority

The Ear Stick are positioned in a reasonably distinctive spot within the true wi-fi earbuds market. Competitors within the semi-open and open-ear section isn’t as fierce because the totally in-ear section, regardless of some customers’ demand for a pair of earbuds that don’t clog their ears or trigger any discomfort whereas carrying them.

Nothing is providing a solution right here with a pair of earbuds that may be worn for a number of hours with no stress or ache and with out skimping on sound high quality. However in doing so and in prioritizing aesthetics over operate, it finally ends up shedding some essential options like wi-fi charging and passive isolation.

Nothing’s second pair of buds is extra refined than the Ear 1, but it surely targets a completely totally different market.

Finally, the Ear Stick proposition comes down to at least one easy query: Do you want sticking silicone or foam ideas in your ears? If that’s the case, then you definately’ll most likely dislike the laborious plastic feeling of the Ear Stick’s buds, and also you’ll miss the additional stabilization and passive isolation offered by a pair of in-ear buds. The shortage of ANC, even for those who don’t all the time use it, is one other huge loss to cope with.

But when the reply is not any and you actually should have a pair of earbuds with no in-ear ideas, then the Ear Stick are a really first rate worth at $99. The Apple AirPods (3rd generation) ($19.99 at Amazon) value $80 extra and aren’t your best option for Android customers, whereas the Sony Linkbuds WF-L900 ($128 at Amazon) are additionally $80 costlier and have a bizarre design that may not match all ears. The Bose Sport Open ($229 at Amazon), are steadily discounted, and an fascinating different with a extra secure design, however they require a proprietary cradle for charging and don’t mechanically activate/off while you take them out of the case or put them again in. As compared, Nothing’s proposition with the Ear Stick appears very cheap.

Nothing Ear (Stick)

Nothing Ear (Stick)

Open earbud design • Environmental consciousness • Highly effective drivers

True wi-fi earbuds designed to stop the sensation of clogged ears

The Nothing Ear (Stick) is a pair of true wi-fi earbuds with an open-design that emphasizes environmental consciousness and reduces the sensation of clogged ears. They’re properly outfitted with 12.6mm drivers, USB-C charging, and seven hours of battery life (29 hours with the case.)

High Nothing Ear Stick questions and solutions

The Nothing Ear 1 have an in-ear bud design with passive isolation and lively noise cancellation. They provide gesture controls on the stem, wi-fi charging for the case, and lasts 5 to 6 hours on a cost. The Nothing Ear Stick have an open bud design with no isolation. They solely cost over USB-C, use stress for controls, and final seven hours on a cost.

No. The Ear Stick don’t supply any isolation or noise cancellation.

No. The tubular Ear Stick case doesn’t assist Qi charging. Solely USB-C charging is on the market.

The Nothing Ear Stick are IP54-rated. They’re immune to mud, water splashes, and sweat, however you’ll be able to’t totally submerge them in water.

Sure. Similar to the Ear 1, you’ll be able to pair the Nothing Ear Persist with iPhones and iPads. The companion Nothing X app is on the market on the iTunes Retailer for extra customization.

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