Earlier this year, Nothing released a pair of relatively cheap $99 Ear 1 earbuds with a fun transparent case, wireless charging and decent sound quality. Now, the company (created by OnePlus cofounder Carl Pei) has unveiled the new Ear 1 "Black Edition" that retains the transparent case and funky design, but adds a smoky finish and black matte colorway. Nothing also announced that the Ear 1 is now carbon neutral, and that it will start accepting Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in select countries, including the USA.
Other than the color change, the Ear 1 Black Edition has the same features of the original, like active noise cancellation, a wireless charging case and a transparent design that harkens back to gadgets like the iMac from the late '90s. They feature an 11.6mm driver paired with software and hardware from Teenage Engineering, and we found that they deliver decent, clear sound quality, especially in mid-range frequencies, but have no spatial options.
Nothing was launched by Carl Pei after he acquired the branding and logos from Essential, the smartphone company founded by Andy Rubin. The Ear 1 buds are the company's first product, but it plans to launch "an ecosystem of smart devices" down the road, according to Pei.
Nothing plans to sell 100 individually engraved versions of the Ear 1 Black Edition at a popup store in London, with the buds going arriving nothing.tech starting at 6AM ET on December 13th, for the same $100 price as the original. On top of cash, the company will accept Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), USD Coin (USDC) and Dogecoin (DOGE).