Why We Love The Nothing Ear (a): A Review

It’s not nothing—it’s something. Stellar ANC buds for under RM500.
Nothing Ear (a) buds, Nothing Ear (a) review 2024

Almost four years since Nothing first started, we can confidently say that they’ve delivered on their promise of “building a world where tech is fun again.” This year, the new Nothing Ear (a) earbuds prove that you don’t need to splurge to get a more-than-decent, or even exceptional, noise-cancellation earbuds in 2024. Having previously launched the Nothing Ear 2, this year, Nothing introduced the Ear (priced at RM659) and its younger sibling, the Ear (a) (RM479). Today, we take a deeper dive. Keep reading for the complete Nothing Ear (a) review.

Style and Fit

At first look, it’s small and sleek. The semi-transparent case features soft contours and weighs a light 49.2g, with each earbud weighing just 4.8g. It’s pocket-friendly and easy to charge the earbuds in the case. The matte earbud design, with their signature Nothing shape, remains uniquely stylish, and visually sharp. This year, they added a bright yellow option to the previous colors of white and black, which is quite attractive. Tap and hold the button on the earbud to quickly switch from noise cancellation to transparency mode. Simply remove an earbud to automatically pause your music or video (a click on the button does that too). Ready to continue? Just pop it back in for seamless playback.

The buds come in three different ear tip sizes and are super comfy, even when wearing them for up to four to five hours. Soft on one end, yet, they stay in place during the running test. The buds have an IP54 rating, protecting against dust and water splashes, while the case has an IPX2 rating, meaning they are protected against vertically falling water drops when tilted up to 15 degrees. Pinch controls on the earbud stem and in-ear detection are lifesavers. You can adjust your settings as you wish on the ‘Nothing X’ app.

Battery Life and Charging Speed

According to the official site, the Ear (a) delivers over 42.5 hours of listening time (ANC off, with earbuds charging in the case) or 9.5 hours of music. For general use, including daily commutes and moderate use throughout the day, you can go five to six days until the next charge or enjoy five hours of straight music. A fast charge gives you 10 hours of music playback (with ANC turned off) after just 10 minutes of charging. 

Sound Quality

Now, this is what we are all here for. Download the ‘Nothing X’ App to maximize the use of your earbuds. You’ll get to check battery life, custom EQ, adjust Active Noise Cancellation, Bass Enhance algorithm, custom controls on pinch controls, and Bluetooth to two devices. For its affordable price range, the Ear (a) delivers reliable active noise cancellation and transparency ideal for commuting or office environments. Nothing has put audio performance front and center, offering a balanced (though slightly bass-heavy), clean, and enjoyable listening experience that competes with pricier rivals. Even at low volumes, the Ear (a) soundstage impresses with its detailed sound, outperforming many other buds. Its specs include 45 dB active noise cancellation, a dynamic 11 mm driver, sound with LDAC, and a Bass Enhance algorithm. You can switch between three levels of noise cancellation—or select ‘Adaptive’ in the app to allow it to choose the right noise cancellation according to your surroundings. The mic quality is also commendable.

nothing ear a review

For style, sound, and versatility, we highly recommend the Ear (a). If you’re willing to splurge on a pair of earbuds, you can get better noise cancellation and sound quality on the premium tier. But if you’re looking for easy, daily listening to your favorite playlist and podcasts, you can’t go wrong with the Nothing Ear (a).