CMF by Nothing earbuds review – A great budget earbud option

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REVIEW – Nothing is a brand that popped up a few years ago with a different take on earbuds. The first version, Nothing (1), was VERY difficult to get and they dropped a limited batch every Tuesday and you had to get in and place your order quick before they sold out. I was finally able to get a set and loved them. They lasted for several years and I didn’t replace them until the microphone started going out on the left side. When the opportunity came up to review these CMF by Nothing earbuds, I had to give it a try and see how they stacked up against the original.

What is it?

CMF by Nothing earbuds are Bluetooth earbuds with Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) and a case that provides multiple charges.

Nothing CMF 3

What’s included?

  • Earbuds
  • Three different sizes of tips (Small, Medium, Large)
  • Storage/Charging Case
  • User Guide

Tech specs

Click to expand Specs


Earbud: 32.6 x 20.4 x 24.4 mm
Charging case: 54.7 x 54.7 x 22.9 mm

Earbud: 4.57 g
Charging case: 43.7 g

Sound Specs
Driver: Custom 12.4 mm dynamic
Diaphragm: Bio-fibre + custom TPU
Audio Codec: AAC, SBC
Depth: Up to 42 dB
Frequency range: 2900 Hz
4 microphones in total

Capacity: 45 mAh (each bud) / 460 mAh (case)

Advertised Battery Life
Playback with ANC off: 35.5 hours with case and 8 hours with buds only
Playback with ANC on / Transparency Mode: 24 hours with case and 5.6 hours with buds only
Talk time with ANC off: 24 hours with case and 5.2 hours with buds only
Talk time with ANC on / Transparency Mode: 21 hours with case and 4.7 hours with buds only
Fast charging with ANC off: 10 mins for 6.5 hours with case
Fast charging with ANC on / Transparency Mode: 10 mins for 4.3 hours with case

Wired charging: USB Type-C

Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.3

Dual-device connection

Bluetooth profiles: A2DP V1.2, AVRCP V1.5, HSP V1.1, HFP V1.6, SPP1.2

OS Compatibility: Android 5.1 and above, iOS 13 and above

IP54 (buds) water and dust resistance


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Nothing CMF 1

Design and features

I’m fairly picky about sound quality. The design of the CMF by Nothing earbuds is very similar to the original earbuds that Nothing created several years ago. CMF is a sub-brand of Nothing that they created to make more accessible devices while also maintaining their high-end line. The materials are different and opaque instead of the original transparent design that showed off all the interior components.

Comparison of CMF by Nothing earbuds to the original Nothing (1) earbuds.

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Assembly, Installation, Setup

Setup of the earbuds was pretty straightforward. Fitting the earbuds was just trying out the different tip sizes by sliding them off and on. They are very snug on the body of the earbud, which helps prevent them from coming off during regular use. They are light and the included small tip fit my ears well.

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Pairing the earbuds was simple with the Nothing app. I just had to open the case and press the button on the side of the case and the app helps facilitate the connection. Pairing to other devices such as my laptop didn’t use the app but was pretty standard for a Bluetooth device. Press the button on the case to get it into pairing mode and search for it in your Bluetooth settings.


These earbuds sound great. The depth of sound impressed me immediately. I’m not an audiophile, primarily because I can’t bring myself to spend the time and money to chase that hobby, but these match or exceed any other earbud I’ve used.

The one issue I’ve had with these earbuds is the same issue I had with the originals. They tend to gradually loosen up over time and require a little nudge back into place. This is probably more a me issue than an issue with the earbuds, though. I wouldn’t trust these earbuds on a hard run or activity with a lot of active movement. The IP54 rating has come handy because they’ve taken a tumble into one or two garden beds as I’ve been out working outside.

The charging case on these earbuds works well and bring the earbuds back up to a full charge quickly, but it seems like it doesn’t hold as many charges as other cases I’ve used. Not a showstopper, I just needed to pay a little more attention and charge it more frequently.

The Nothing X app is a great way to explore the different options and configurations of these earbuds. They are also actively updated, which also is a great sign that this company cares about continually improving its products.

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The initial page of the app provides a quick view of power levels both of the buds and the charging case.

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The equalizer option has several options to optimize the sound per your liking.

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The controls option gives  several options to configure the tap features on the phone to your liking. Pretty intuitive.

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The Ultra Bass option seemed to work well. No complaints there.

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Noise cancellation and pass-through both seemed to work well. Perhaps not as perfectly as higher-end buds, but I couldn’t tell.

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What I like about CMF by Nothing earbuds

  • The design looks great
  • Sound quality is excellent.
  • Active noise cancellation works very well. It doesn’t block 100 percent of noise, but it dials it down by about 90 percent.
  • Pass-through mode works very well so you can still hear things going on around you
  • The Nothing app is probably the best earbud app I’ve seen so far. Lots of modes and options to tweak and customize the sound quality and tap functions

What needs to be improved?

  • Minor issue, perhaps a more grippy material to keep them in your ears better when you’re active

Final thoughts

These CMF by Nothing earbuds are a great continuation of the Nothing brand. The price point of these earbuds is also fantastic. Excellent sound, good battery lifespan, and a great app for customization all make this a good earbud choice. I definitely recommend them.

Price: $39.00
Where to buy: Amazon
Source: The sample of this product was provided for free by CMF by Nothing. CMF by Nothing did not have a final say on the review and did not preview the review before it was published.

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