For anyone who may have been as disgruntled with the previous generation of Pixel Buds as I was and may be looking for an alternative, the Pixel Buds A-Series are great. So far as I can tell, they’ve completely fixed the cutouts that Google couldn’t overcome with past iterations, and they’re comfortable in the ear, for the most part (don’t fall asleep wearing them!).
However, if Google has simply lost your ear and you’re no longer listening to what they’ve got to say about what the best bud around may be, then Nothing’s ear (1) earbuds could prove to be a fantastic alternative on the market. More importantly, they now offer something that many Google fanboys have long wished for in the competition’s products as a means of expanding their accessory options.
In a tweet this week, Nothing – the startup founded by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei – revealed that the Ear (1) earbuds can now access Google Assistant (and Siri)! Released just 7 months ago, these oddly designed transparent buds were already direct competition to Google’s offering, especially because they’re sitting at just $99 USD – the same as the Pixel Buds A-Series, but now with direct access to the AI assistant on the go, they should make your ears perk up a bit more than before.
The Nothing ear (1) earbuds offer a splash-resistant design that reveals all of its internals as though you’re watching a phone tear down, wireless charging (A-Series ditched this!), Bluetooth 5.2 for better audio and battery, and even a “find my earbuds” style feature that causes them to emit a loud sound so you can find them buried in the couch.
This is Nothing’s first product, and despite its mantra that states tech should fade into the background, these are obviously very loud in their design. Regardless, they’re a comfortable fit, and offer about the same level of noise cancelation as Apple’s Airpods, while providing more clarity and richness of sound depending on who you ask.
When I saw that Google Assistant was being added via a triple tap to the earbud’s stem, I was a bit surprised as Nothing has previously stated that they weren’t going to add any digital assistant whatsoever. If you already own these and you’d like to give Google Assistant a go, just make sure you’re on firmware version 0.6700.1.86. If you want to pick up a pair of ear (1) earbuds, just visit Nothing’s website and add them to your cart!