Former OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei’s new company, Nothing, is set to unveil its debut wireless earbuds on July 27th. In a new interview, Pei shared some details about the earbuds, dubbed ‘Nothing Ear (1).’
Speaking with TechCrunch, Pei said that the Nothing Ear (1) earbuds will be priced at $99 USD / €99 / £99. Going by the USD price, that means the Ear (1) buds could cost about $123.33 in Canada, although it seems the company plans to sell the earbuds at the same price in different countries (for example, $99 USD is about €83.73 and £71.74).
Further, Nothing plans to launch the earbuds in the U.K., India, Europe and North America to start. It’s not clear at the moment if that includes Canada (hopefully it does).
Interestingly, Pei also told TechCrunch that the Nothing Ear (1) buds will sport active noise cancellation (ANC). That would make the Nothing earbuds among the cheapest true wireless earbuds with ANC.
Apple’s AirPods Pro, for example, retail at $329 in Canada. Samsung’s Galaxy Buds Pro clock in at $264.99 while the Buds Live (aka the Beans) cost $199.99, but are currently on sale for $129.99. As for Google’s earbuds, the Pixel Buds (2020) had ANC and cost $239. However, it seems the search giant has phased them out in favour of the Pixel Buds A-Series at $139 without ANC.
Pei actually name-dropped Apple’s earbuds, describing the Ear (1) buds as “similar to the AirPods Pro,” but cheaper.
Of course, it isn’t hard to find wireless earbuds for less than $100, but quality and features vary greatly. If Nothing can deliver excellent, AirPods Pro-level earbuds at this price point, I think they may prove popular.
Along with talking about the Nothing Ear (1) buds, Pei also spoke about Nothing acquiring the Essential brand. As a refresher, Essential was started by Android co-creator Andy Rubin, who was reportedly ousted from Google with a $90 million USD exit package due to an investigation into his alleged sexual misconduct. Essential shut down in 2020 after releasing only one phone.
Pei told TechCrunch that Nothing acquired the Essential brand because it was one of the names brainstormed for the company before it settled on Nothing.
“So that’s why we’ve acquired the trademark. We don’t have any plans to do anything with Essential,” Pei said.