The CMF Nothing is a fresh sub-brand from Carl Pei’s popular brand, Nothing, known for co-founding OnePlus. CMF, representing Color, Material, and Finish, embodies the design essence, pivotal in creating a product’s visual appeal. The inaugural CMF products include a smartwatch, true wireless noise-canceling earbuds – the CMF Buds Pro, and a convenient USB charger.
As the first of three products under the CMF brand, the CMF Buds Pro are positioned as entry-level, affordable options, distinct from Nothing’s premium offerings. These budget wireless earbuds, unveiled by CMF (Colour-Material-Finish), showcase a 45dB hybrid ANC, Transparency mode, 5000Hz wide-band noise cancellation, a 55mAh battery, six microphones, and an IP54 rating. Boasting premium design and active noise cancellation, these earbuds excel in both aesthetics and audio quality, making them noteworthy in their price range.
|Dark Grey, Light Grey, Orange
LED charging status
Low Lag Mode: Nothing X app & Game Mode for Nothing smartphones
Find My Earbuds
|Driver: Dynamic Boost Bass Driver
Diaphragm: LCP (Liquid Crystal Polymer) + PU (Polyurethane)
Audio codec: AAC, SBC
|Hybrid Active Noise Cancellation Depth: Up to 45 dB
Frequency range: 5000 Hz
|Capacity: 55mAh (each bud) / 460mAh (case)
Playback with ANC off: 39 hours with case and 11 hours with buds only
Playback with ANC on / Transparency Mode: 22 hours with case and 6.5 hours with buds only
Talk time with ANC off: 21 hours with case and 6 hours with buds only
Talk time with ANC on / Transparency Mode: 18.5 hours with case and 5 hours with buds only
Fast Charge ANC off: 10 mins for 5 hours with case
ANC on / Transparency Mode: 10 mins for 2.8 hours with case
Wired charging: USB Type-C
|Bluetooth version: 5.3 Bluetooth profiles: BLE, SPP, HFP, A2DP, AVRCP
View full specifications here.
Packaging, Design & Build
The CMF Pro Buds make a striking first impression with their unique packaging, showcasing Nothing’s meticulous attention to detail. Inside the compact point-of-sale packaging, you’ll find the Pro Buds snugly placed in a small round charging case, accompanied by a USB-C cable and silicone ear tips for optimal comfort.
- CMF Buds Pro in Light Grey color
- USB Type-C Cable
- Ear tips in small and large sizes (Medium pre-installed)
- User Manual, Safety, and Warranty Card
The earbuds feature a distinctive round form factor, standing out in the market. Despite a plastic build, the product showcases durability, highlighted by a metal hinge that withstands frequent lid openings and closings. The USB Type-C port allows convenient charging using smartphone adapters, complemented by a battery indicator LED on the case.
The stem-designed earbuds, with a glossy-matte finish, offer a secure fit and effective noise isolation. An optical sensor facilitates wear detection, automatically pausing and playing audio as you remove or wear the buds. CMF branding adorns the touch-sensitive area, providing control over play/pause, ANC, and volume.
With an IP54 rating for dust and water resistance, the earbuds can handle splashes or light rain. Additional silicone buds in various sizes cater to different users, ensuring comfort and a secure fit throughout the day. Despite their affordability, the Pro Buds boast three microphones on each side, incorporating hybrid noise canceling for exceptional call quality.
The touch control area allows customization for music control, ANC modes, and more, offering a seamless user experience. The lightweight design ensures a perfect fit during various activities, from workouts to running. While lacking the Earbuds fit test option, the CMF Buds Pro deliver impressive features at a competitive price point.
Performance & Audio Quality
The CMF Buds Pro boasts a 10mm liquid crystal polymer (LCP) and polyurethane (PU) bass driver with a premium diaphragm, enhancing elasticity and precision. The polyurethane (PU) bass driver’s soft material ensures purer and more accurate bass reproduction.
Offering up to 45dB of ANC with an extensive 5000Hz frequency, the Pro Buds excel in eliminating a wide range of unwanted noises, ideal for diverse environments. The sound quality is exceptional, delivering a dynamic audio experience with clarity and depth across various frequencies and volume levels.
The Buds Pro deliver deep and punchy bass, complemented by crisp and clear treble. An intelligent bass enhancement algorithm enhances bass in real time, while the Nothing X app allows personalized adjustments to bass and treble levels.
In terms of Bluetooth audio codecs, the Pro Buds support SBC and AAC, offering compatibility with both iOS and many Android phones. The Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) effectively blocks ambient sound up to 45dB, surpassing competitors like Ear (1) and Ear (2) with 40dB ANC. The three ANC modes (Low, Mid, High) lack Adaptive Mode but provide manual adjustment for quality.
Switching between noise cancellation, transparency, and no noise cancellation is convenient with a tap and hold gesture. Despite occasional challenges with the hybrid ANC system, the CMF Pro Buds offer an outstanding audio experience for the price. The well-tuned sound profile, precise bass, and clear vocals make them versatile for various musical genres.
Equipped with a 55mAh battery, the earphones promise 11 hours of standalone use without ANC and 6.5 hours with ANC activated. In our testing at 60% volume with AAC and noise cancellation, we achieved slightly over 6 hours, a decent performance.
With noise cancellation completely off, the earphones provided close to 9 hours of playback, also commendable. For calls, the battery lasts 4.5 hours with ANC enabled, leveraging call noise cancellation technology—a duration surpassing competitors like Ear (2) due to a larger battery.
The 460mAh charging case extends the listening time to an impressive 39 hours before requiring a recharge. The Pro Buds case supports Fast Charging, delivering up to 5 hours of listening time with just a quick 10-minute burst charge, provided ANC is turned off.
Nothing X app
The Nothing X app provides customization options, allowing users to configure touch controls and switch between ANC modes—noise cancellation and transparency. It offers four presets in the equalizer: Balanced, More Bass, More Treble, and Voice, with the flexibility for users to fine-tune to their preferences.
The app displays battery percentages for both earbuds and the case, providing clarity on usage duration. Notably, the option to choose whether music stops when earphones are removed adds a user-friendly touch. On-ear detection, a feature uncommon in the budget range, can be enabled through the app.
The app’s equalizer works well for a customized sound experience. Pairing with Android devices through Google Fast Pair is quick, but connecting to iPhones and Windows devices can be challenging, especially if previously paired with an Android device. Due to the absence of multi-device connectivity support, unpairing and putting the earbuds into pairing mode is necessary for connecting to other devices.
CMF Buds Pro Review Verdict
The CMF Buds Pro impress with their exceptional design, effective ANC, and rich audio quality. The thoughtful packaging, comfortable fit, and user-friendly Nothing X app enhance the overall experience. While battery life is decent, the fast-charging feature adds convenience. At this price point, the CMF Buds Pro stand out as a well-tuned and competitively priced option for users seeking a blend of style and performance.