Nothing has aimed to differentiate its products from the clutter with a visible passion for design and what it likes to call artistry. The Nothing Ear Stick walks the talk on the design front. We were floored by the design language of the company’s first product Ear (1), Nothing has done it yet again with the Ear Stick. The big question is whether this product offers more than just standout design and whether it ticks the right boxes if you’re in the market for a pair of TWS Earbuds under Rs 10K. After a few days with the Stick, we think we have the answers.
It’s a funky charging case, one that looks more like a fashion statement than a gadget. The unique cylindrical case is bound to spark conversations. Your buddies are likely to ask you if they can slip into your skinny jeans, whether the unique twist and turn mechanism will keep the buds secure. The answer to both those questions is a resounding yes. The buds sit securely in the case when you twist to open and at 4.4 gm each they also feel feather light in your ears. We like the design of these buds even better than the Ear (1) with their customisable silicon tips. Just like the first-gen Apple AirPods, they’re likely to spark love or loathe reactions. They fit snugly in my ears and didn’t fall off even during a light gym workout. Just like the Ear (1) the buds are colour coded, so you won’t mix ‘L’ with ‘R’.
It’s incredibly easy to pair, especially with an Android smartphone. I paired this with an iPhone 14 Plus and a Google Pixel 7 Pro. The Google fast pair option makes pairing even more effortless on Android phones. The companion Nothing app detected these buds on both phones and offers the same user experience on the Android and Apple apps. We didn’t get to pair this with the Nothing Phone (1) where there are additional features like low lag (for gaming) and where the settings and features are directly integrated into the Phone (1) without the need for the app.
We like the soundstage of these buds. Nothing has packed the Stick with 12.6 mm custom dynamic drivers and they don’t jar even at high volumes. I enjoyed Ellie Goulding’s vocals on Easy Lover with the ‘Balanced’ mode on the Equaliser. Call quality was quite good too. It’s a refreshing change not to be cut away with a complete sound seal when you’re on a call. You can hear yourself and also external sounds. The flipside is the lack of ANC (Active Noise cancellation) which is available on multiple buds at this price. These buds also miss out on wireless charging that may not be a major deal breaker for most users. Battery life is acceptable – 7 hours for the buds and 29 hours with the case. The buds also charge in quick
time (a 10-minute charge gives you 2 hours of playback).
If there’s one reason to consider the Nothing East Stick, it’s design. This is like ‘nothing’ else you can buy in the market. It misses out on some key features like ANC but the design, battery life and the overall acoustic experience make it a serious contender in a market full of similar looking TWS earbuds.
The Nothing Ear Stick costs Rs 8,499