Here’s a surprise nobody (not even I) saw coming: A software update has added voice assistant (Google Assistant, Siri, and Alexa) to the Nothing Ear (1) wireless earbuds.
In my original Nothing Ear (1) review, I said the lack of any voice assistant support was something to consider — a shortcoming that many other wireless earbuds priced at $100 come with. To get voice assistant support, just update the Nothing app (iOS and Android) and grab the latest 0.6700.1.86 firmware update for your Ear (1) buds. After updating the Ear (1) buds, you can assign a voice assistant to a triple tap via the app.
The firmware update also makes a few other improvements according to the release notes: a stronger connection between the buds and apps / laptops, improved stability when switching between devices, more accurate battery info in the app, and more.
I updated my pair of Nothing Ear (1) Black Edition wireless earbuds and tested them on an iPhone 13 Pro and Galaxy S21 Ultra and can confirm both Siri and Google Assistant work properly. Triple tapping the earbud isn’t a very firm or accurate way to call up an assistant, especially if you’re used to a tap and hold or pinch on wireless earbuds on AirPods 3. But hey, a triple tap is better than nothing IMO. You can’t say the Nothing team left consumers for dead anymore.
More products coming — The Ear (1) were a testing ground for Carl Pei’s new startup. Recently, Nothing hired ex-Dyson design lead, Adam Bates, to launch the company’s first design hub in London.
According to Nothing, Bates will be working with the Nothing team and Teenage Engineering, who crafted the Ear (1) buds, to create new products. Pei, as always, has been coy about what’s coming. Nothing last year inked a deal with Qualcomm for something. For now, Pei’s only said that the company has five new products in store.