After leaving One Plus, Carl Pei founded Nothing, to better execute his vision for a seamless digital future. The Nothing Ear One TWS were the company’s first product, and well, the final result was somewhat of a hit-and-miss. There was a lot of hype around the Nothing earbuds, especially with respect to the price, as it seemingly offered everything under the $100 mark.
During the initial launch phase, the $99 price point was a big talking point for the company, but that might just be going away. Nothing will be raising prices for the Ear (1) buds to $149 from October 26th this month.
On October 26, we’ll be raising the prices for Ear (1) to $149 due to an increase in costs.
When we started developing it, we only had 3 engineers. A year later, we have 185. During this time, the Ear (1) has received 15 firmware and tuning updates, and is a completely different product to when we launched it.
Ear (1) was our inaugural product that will always have a special place in my heart. With almost 600k units sold, this product proved our team’s capability to the world and enabled us to leap forward with Phone (1).
– Carl Pei
Nothing CEO Carl Pei mainly blames the increase in price to higher input costs, and even the expanded dev team actively working on the Ear (1). Both are very valid points, especially for a relatively small company like Nothing, which doesn’t ship millions of units every year, and doesn’t have that economy of scale to absorb the costs.
Having used the Ear (1) for a few months, I would say they were very adequate for the $99 asking price. It looked great, touch controls were also reliable, and even the sound quality was very acceptable for the price. But now at the new $150 price, they become very hard to recommend, and more so when there’s some serious competition at this price bracket. For example, the Samsung Galaxy Buds Pro are selling for $119 at the Amazon US store, which easily blow the Ear (1) out of the water.
The Ear (1) has certainly improved a lot after consistent updates from the company, but even then, they will have a hard time moving units at the new $150 price point. The company is also going to unveil its new Ear (stick) TWS earphones on 26th October this month. Hopefully those will be more competitively priced on launch.