Nothing Ear (a) review: fashion-focused earbuds for style gurus

The Nothing Ear (a) is a first for the brand with a snappy yellow case design

The Nothing Ear (a) in yellow on a grey background
(Image credit: Sam Cross)
T3 Verdict

If you're the kind of person who favours form over function, this is the pair of earbuds for you. As the first Nothing product to come in colour, this is a statement which offers fair performance and a stunning design.

Reasons to buy
  • +

    Gorgeous yellow hue

  • +

    Comfortable buds

  • +

    Good sound

Reasons to avoid
  • -

    ANC is poor

  • -

    Colour won't be to everyone's taste

  • -

    Pricey for what is on offer

Why you can trust T3 Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing products and services so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

While many will be happy to spend a small fortune on a pair of the best wireless earbuds, that's not always the case. Other users are more inclined to find the best bang for the buck.

That sees brands attempt to strike the delicate balance between the ticket price and the specs and performance on offer. While, inevitably, many miss the mark, this balance can often yield truly fantastic results.

Enter the Nothing Ear (a). The latest effort from everyone's favourite tech start-up is here to try and whisk away your hard-earned cash with a stylish, spec-heavy solution. Any good? Let's take a look.

The Nothing Ear (a) in yellow on a grey background

(Image credit: Sam Cross)

Nothing Ear (a) review: Price and Release Date

The Nothing Ear (a) wireless earbuds launched on the 18th of April 2024. They were launched as part of a Community Update, which also saw the Nothing Ear unveiled.

The Nothing Ear (a) costs £99 / £99.

The Nothing Ear (a) in yellow on a grey background

(Image credit: Sam Cross)

Nothing Ear (a) review: Design and What's new?

This release marks a little bit of a departure for the brand. Previously, they had split their earbud offering between a standard in ear model, and the Nothing Ear (stick). That's a half-in design, with a pared down spec sheet to match.

This doesn't fit that mould, however. Instead, the Ear (a) fits in beneath the Nothing Ear, which acts as the flagship. Still, it's quite close in terms of both spec sheet and price point.

So, what's different here? Well, for starters, there is that design. It's the first Nothing-branded product that isn't made in Black or White, with a stunning custard yellow hue.

It's a bold choice, but I'm a fan. It's certain to be a Marmite choice, and does feel a little unusual out on its own.

Elsewhere, we find a decent spec sheet. There's actually a little more battery life reported than on the flagship Ear, which seems like an odd choice.

Beyond that, though, the spec sheets are broadly identical. You won't find the Advanced EQ or the wireless charging here, while the case resistance is IPX2 – down from IP55 on the flagship – but otherwise things look identical here.

The Nothing Ear (a) in yellow on a grey background

(Image credit: Sam Cross)

Nothing Ear (a) review: Performance

Let's start with the audio quality. That is broadly pretty good here – though you'll need to do some work to get it there.

Initially, I found myself slightly underwhelmed by the sonic capabilities of these buds. Out of the box, there was a heavy midrange presence, which left things sounding particularly boxy.

Thankfully, Nothing employs one of the better apps in the earbud market. Even without the Advanced EQ, I was able to tweak these to a more pleasing place.

Where the sound quality was salvageable, the ANC sadly wasn't. These are rated to enjoy the same 45dB of active noise cancellation that the flagship earbuds do, but in practice, that just wasn't the case.

Using these with the highest ANC setting still found quite a lot of external noise leaking in. It's doing a little, but certainly not as much as we'd hope for. Fingers crossed that's something which can be rectified with a software update.

It's also worth noting that these are really comfortable. It's something which is true of the whole Nothing range, but it's worth mentioning again here. You'll easily be able to wear these for a full day of listening without feeling fatigued.

The Nothing Ear (a) in yellow on a grey background

(Image credit: Sam Cross)

Nothing Ear (a) review: Verdict

This is an unquestionably tough sell for Nothing. On the face of it, for just £99 these offer a decent spec sheet. In practice, though, I find they can't quite keep up – particularly with the flagship Nothing Ear sitting just £30 more expensive.

While most will opt for those buds, there is certainly still a market for these. Fashion-focused individuals will love the colourful aesthetic, and leaning into that with a wider colour palate could be the answer for this range.

The Nothing Ear (a) in yellow on a grey background

(Image credit: Sam Cross)

Nothing Ear (a) review: Also Consider

If you're undecided over this one, take a look at the flagship Nothing Ear. That was unveiled at the same time, and offers quite a bit more in terms of the spec sheet, for only an extra £30.

Alternatively, the Sony WF-C700N is a great alternative. Coming from a big name brand, the buds offer good all-round performance, for a really great price.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.