Nothing Ear 1 earbuds will have 'notes of transparency' and launch in June

The Ear 1 will be the first product from Carl Pei's new tech company, Nothing, which was founded in October.

Katie Collins Senior European Correspondent
Katie a UK-based news reporter and features writer. Officially, she is CNET's European correspondent, covering tech policy and Big Tech in the EU and UK. Unofficially, she serves as CNET's Taylor Swift correspondent. You can also find her writing about tech for good, ethics and human rights, the climate crisis, robots, travel and digital culture. She was once described a "living synth" by London's Evening Standard for having a microchip injected into her hand.
Katie Collins
2 min read
Concept image of the Ear 1 earbuds from Nothing

Nothing released a concept image of the Ear 1 in March.


When OnePlus  founder Carl Pei announced mysterious new tech venture Nothing in January, we knew next to nothing about what to expect. But in June, Nothing is set to launch its first product, the Ear 1 earbuds, which will give us our first proper glimpse of what this company is all about. In a blog post Tuesday, Pei announced the forthcoming launch along with a few more hints about what we should expect from the product.

In March, Nothing released a concept image of the Ear 1 that showed a transparent bud with a black and red bull's-eye design in the center and a silver tip. In his Tuesday post, Pei said the final design for the product "combines notes of transparency, iconic form, and refined functionality."

Nothing's philosophy appears to revolve around stripping back tech to its fundamental parts and allowing it to fit seamlessly into our lives. The idea seems to be to make it almost invisible, so that we can't feel or even notice its presence. But that might not necessarily be what we experience from Nothing's very first product, if we heed Pei's warnings.

"For those hoping for a disappearing act overnight, Ear 1 falls short," he said. "The greatest visions are not realized with the flip of a switch, but instead through countless small successes." Pei was keen to emphasize that Ear 1 is very much a first-generation product, hinting that the company is already thinking about its sequel, which will likely be called the Ear 2.

Pei has already addressed the fact that Nothing, which is backed by Google Ventures and a raft of other high-profile investors, has a whole "ecosystem" of products planned. In his post, he explained that there were several reasons behind headphones being chosen as the product category at launch.

"We believe the earphones market was begging for differentiation, a space where we can elevate design and deliver value from day one," he said. "Additionally, as an area of hyper growth, the earphones market will provide a fertile backdrop as we strengthen our capabilities and prepare to enter new product categories."

It sounds like there's a lot in the pipeline over at Nothing, but before we get ahead of ourselves, we'll stay focused on when its lineup goes from nothing to something. Keep your eyes on CNET for next month's launch, when we'll bring you more details, including pricing and availability.

See also: Best true wireless earbuds for 2021