Nothing – the new technology company that's so far been most notable as the next project from OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei – has announced that it will unveil its first product on July 27th 2021 at 2pm BST/9am EDT/6am PDT.
We already know that it will be a pair of wireless earbuds, and that they'll be called Ear 1. We also know that Nothing is putting a big focus on design, though from the sounds of it, that won't mean a flashy look in the vein of the Master & Dynamic MW08 – Nothing says that the headphones will have "stripped-down aesthetic", and adds that "Everything that is Ear 1 is there with purpose. Everything you see and everything you don’t see."
Nothing has released an image that presumably teases the design of the earbuds, which is at the top of this article. If they are similar to this, we can expect something with AirPods-like stalks. This would largely fit with the quotes above about them being designed for their purpose (we're assuming calls are considered an important part of their purpose), though whether people at large will be into this remains to be seen.
Most of the best true wireless earbuds aim to be more discreet in the ear these days, and even the AirPods Pro have toned down the size of the stalks. When companies go off-piste with dramatic new designs – such as Will.i.am's Buttons or Microsoft's Surface Earbuds – they don't always land.
One possibility is that they'll be partly see-through. Nothing has said that "Ear 1 combines notes of transparency, iconic form, and refined functionality", and released a concept image that showed a product with a clear case.
Now, I am 100% on board with a return to see-through electronics. Ideally with a colourful translucent plastic case, but I'll take this kind of thing instead.
We're also expecting something interesting from the Ear 1 earbuds in terms of functionality – Nothing has said that reason it chose its first product to be earbuds is that "we believe the earphones market was begging for differentiation". While that could just mean in terms of the design, I expect something more – we're talking about one of the co-founders of OnePlus after all.
We also know that the earbuds will be on-sale from Smartech at Selfridges in the UK, and at Flipkart in India. We'll presumably find out the price and actual release date when we hear about the design and features in July.