Nothing’s debut earbuds, the Nothing Ear (1), will cost $99 / €99 / £99 and will feature active noise cancellation (ANC), the company’s founder Carl Pei has told TechCrunch. Each earbud will be equipped with three mics to enable ANC, the company says, and will be released initially in the UK, India, Europe, and North America following their announcement on July 27th.
Pei, who previously co-founded OnePlus, is using the Ear (1)’s noise cancellation to position the earbuds as a competitor to Apple’s $249 AirPods Pro. However noise cancellation is increasingly common on mid-range true wireless earbuds. The Soundcore Liberty Air 2 Pro cost $130, for example, while Amazon’s second-generation Echo Buds include ANC and start at $120. However, there are still plenty of earbuds without noise cancellation at this price point, like Google’s recently released Pixel Buds A-Series.
Nothing’s founder also used the TechCrunch interview to clarify why the company decided to acquire the Essential brand. “[B]efore we were called Nothing, ‘Essential’ was one of the names we were brainstorming, internally,” Pei told TechCrunch. “So that’s why we’ve acquired the trademark. We don’t have any plans to do anything with Essential.” The smartphone manufacturer, which was started by Android creator Andy Rubin after he left Google, shut down in early 2020 after releasing just one phone.