Nothing Earbuds (1) Assessment: These actually fashionable earbuds are virtually good

Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) has been a big selling point for these buds and is intended to make them stand out from competitors for the same price. The three integrated microphones emit sound to suppress background noise and not just block it. Here, too, the app offers four options: off, light, maximum and “transparency” that lets voices through.

While the ANC worked well, easily blocking traffic, background construction noise, and the booming dance music in the gym, we couldn’t see much difference between the modes. Above all, however, the “Maximum” option reduced the sound quality of the music a little. But overall, it’s an excellent feature at this price point that’s missing from Samsung’s Galaxy Buds + (£ 99) and Google’s Pixel Buds A-series (£ 139).

But now to the disadvantages. Telephone calls were unfortunately a mess. Voices warbled and crackled through the buds, while the sound quality was distorted on the other end. It’s disappointing when you consider that ear (1) marketing boasts of high-resolution microphones and sound-enhancing algorithms. Of course, this is a common complaint with the much more expensive AirPods too – but we ended up switching to wired earbuds for Zoom meetings.

Quick pairing was another catch. The Buds use the latest 5.3 Bluetooth connectivity, and Android phones are meant to pair instantly by simply holding them near the ear case (1). After a few tries, we gave up and paired via the bluetooth menu, which was painless.

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