As Nothing forays into the TWS market with its first product called ‘Ear 1’, priced at Rs 5999, Thing are expected to spicy up in the Audio space.
Sandeep Budki From The Mobile Indian had a free-flowing interaction with Manu Sharma, VP and General Manager, Nothing where the discussion revolved around product strategy, competition and the way forward. Here is the complete interview.
Nothing is a new brand, and its first outing is in the TWS space. So what was the reason for choosing the audio segment to start the journey?
This is the first step in our journey, during which we have an aim to bring a suite of connected smart devices to the consumers. We do have plans to expand our reach beyond the TWS Audio category, but we chose it for our first product as it is amongst the fastest-growing categories in India and on the global scale.
Nothing is looking forward to bring a differentiated product to the market with an ‘Iconic’ design. Entering this category is creating a base for our plans to foray into various other product groups.
Interestingly, you have announced the price of your first product, Ear 1, even before launching it. So wouldn’t many customers looking to buy budget TWS get disappointed because of it?
Our core objective behind the launch of the Ear 1 has been consumer experience and not the price. Our product development philosophy isn’t focusing on what specifications our TWS product has or how it is priced.
It is more about what the consumer actually demands and what it needs today for a better experience, be it quality or design. On the basis of that, we decided what price we will set for Nothing Ear 1 in India.
And that is why we set a price of Rs 5,999 for the Ear 1 in India. Many buyers in India are looking for a good pair of TWS earbuds with a unique design, so we are clear and confident that we will seek up the market with Ear 1 and satisfy those consumers.
We have brands like Xiaomi, Realme, Noise, BoAt in the budget segment, while the more premium segment has Samsung, Sennheiser and more. Will Nothing be able to compete with them?
We will create our own path and benchmarks. TWS in India currently looks very similar in terms of design and even specifications.
We don’t want to be a part of the ongoing race in this particular Audio category, and we want to stand out of the crowd, be it design or the music experience. We are confident that the design language we have followed and the features we are providing will definitely be attractive to the consumers, irrespective of what’s already available in the market.
The Ear 1 from Nothing is based on a transparent design. So was it just about the design or is there something more to it?
Our product strategy is to keep things simple: the App for the Ear 1 or the TWS earbuds itself. We want the interaction between the consumers and our products to be frictionless and easy to use.
We went with the transparent design because we wanted the consumers to see how beautifully crafted the Ear 1 even from the inside.
We want to be as transparent with the consumer as possible. What we have provided inside the product is what we want to show the consumers to be confident about the product and company. This also helps us make a connection with the consumer.
Many TWS earbuds launching in the market are getting smaller in size. But the Nothing Ear 1, along with the transparent design, also gets a stem. So what’s the reason behind giving a stem in the product?
We have a very experienced design team and our product has been designed after thorough market research. We have given a stem in the Ear 1 to give consumers a better calling experience. The stem on Ear 1 accommodates two microphones, one at the top and one at the bottom.
One of the microphones can block out ambient noises when you have activated ANC. The stem design is functional and enhances the look of the product as the stem is transparent in Ear 1. The transparent design gives users a peek at the circuit board, the magnets and the microphones.
ANC in Nothing Ear1
The Ear 1 also comes with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). The products arriving in sub-Rs 3,000 range also come with ANC, but as per our experience with those products, ANC is not as effective as TWS arriving in Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 range. So will consumers be really able to feel the effect of ANC in the Ear 1 or will it be for the name’s sake as it is in cheaper products?
Our product has three high-definition mics that achieve ANC. The testing of the technology has been done for millions of hours in the lab. This is done to check how ANC performs under the circumstances like when wind speed is above 40km/h and when the earbud is inserted in the ear at various angles.
We have also given three modes with our ANC, including ANC on, off and a transparency mode. The transparency mode is for situations when you want to talk to someone and don’t want to remove the earbud from your ear. Our ANC technology can block up to 40dB of noise and is superior to our leading competitors.
Future Products from Nothing
What is Nothing’s future product strategy?
We do plan to create a whole ecosystem of products and services in the future. So give us a chance to create another interaction between the company and your audience. So many products from Nothing are coming, and we will be happy to provide you with more updates and information regarding those in the future.
The brand is currently offering the Ear 1 via Flipkart. Is there any plans to sell the product through offline retail channels as well?
We want to cater to all our customers in every corner of India. So the partnership between Flipkart and Nothing is important. We will continuously evaluate new opportunities in the future so that our product reaches everyone who wants it in the country.