CMF by Nothing Buds Review

CMF by Nothing Buds Review: Best Budget ANC Earbuds

ByGeekman3.8k Views
6 Min Read
CMF Buds Review

Nothing recently dropped its most affordable earbuds ‘ CMF by Nothing Buds’ in India. The new Nothing Buds is a more affordable version of the Nothing CMF Buds Pro. The new CMF Buds carry a price tag of Rs 2,499, putting them in India’s budget ANC earbuds segment. Let’s find out how they fare for a pair of entry-level TWS earbuds.

CMF Buds Specifications

ColorsDark Grey, Light Grey, Orange
Drivers12.4mm dynamic
Bluetooth codecsSBC, AAC
ANCYes, Up to 42 dB
Mic6-mics array
SupportAndroid 6.0+, iOS 12+
App SupportYes, Nothing X
Battery45mAh (earbuds) / 460mAh (charging case), 7-8h (single charge) / 32-35h (with charging case)
Charging time1.5h
Other FeaturesTouch control customizes, Google Fast Pair, Dual pairing, In-Ear detection, Microsoft Swift Pair, Dirac Opteo, Ultra Bass Technology 2.0, Gaming mode, Custom EQ

Box Content

  • CMF Buds
  • Ear tips in Small and Large sizes (Medium pre-installed)
  • USB Type-C Cable
  • User Manual
CMF Buds Unboxing

Design, Build & Comfort

The Nothing Buds really stands out in terms of design. It has quite a unique and stylish look. Initially, they might seem a bit unusual, but you’ll find them cool over time. I’ve been using this for the last month and have taken it outside several times. Believe me, it has caught the attention of many people. A few people even asked me which brand of earbuds these are. So, yes, the Nothing buds are definitely attention-seeking. And if you prefer a more aggressive look, I would suggest you go with the orange colour variant.

CMF Buds design

The main highlight of the earbuds is the aluminium alloy dial, which feels solid, and I personally like it. The earbuds have been sitting on my desk for a month, and I use them like a fidget spinner.

CMF Buds design

It’s a unique design approach that gives these earbuds a great aesthetic. Additionally, there’s an option to attach a lanyard cable, although the cable is not included with the retail unit.

CMF Buds design

The charging case isn’t the most compact, but it’s still easy to carry daily, fitting easily even into the tight jean pockets. The matte finish gives it a premium feel, though it could get scratched over time, but scratches won’t show as prominently as they would on a glossy finish.

The build quality of CMF by Nothing Buds is good, especially considering the price. It feels strong and durable—you can easily feel that strong build as you open and close the lid.

CMF Buds build

The earbuds’ design is almost identical to the previous Nothing Buds Pro. I have no complaints about comfort or the experience of using the earbuds. While these earbuds might not be the most comfortable out there, they’re still pretty good. You can easily use these earbuds for 3-4 hours and continue without any problem. It also offers a secure fit, making it ideal for activities like gym workouts.

CMF Buds build

The Nothing Buds have an IP54 waterproof rating, so they’re protected against sweat and light rain. Please note that the charging case doesn’t have any waterproof rating.

CMF Buds comfort

Connectivity & Controls

The new CMF Nothing Buds supports Bluetooth 5.3 with AAC and SBC codecs. Pairing these buds with your Nothing Phone is very easy. Just turn on Bluetooth on your phone, open the charging case of the buds near your phone, and follow the prompts to connect.

To pair with other brands of smartphones or laptops, put the Buds back into the charging case with the lid open. Press and hold the setup button inside the case for about 2 seconds to enter Bluetooth pairing mode. Then, select ‘CMF Buds’ from your device’s Bluetooth settings.

For Android users, it has Google Fast Pair support. It also supports Microsoft Swift Pair, making it very easy to pair with Windows PCs without extra effort.

CMF Buds control

The Nothing Buds also features a dual-connection option so that you can connect two devices at once. However, remember that activating or deactivating this feature will cause the headset to restart.

The CMF Buds use touch controls similar to the previous Buds Pro. You can play/pause or answer/hang up calls with a double tap on the earbud. Triple tapping skips to the next track while tapping and holding switches between noise cancellation modes. For volume control, double tap and hold. By default, volume control is disabled, but you can customize these controls using the Nothing X app on Android or iPhone.

CMF Buds microphone

The Earbuds also come with an in-ear detection feature. You also have the option to turn off in-ear detection and dual pairing.


Let’s talk about its key feature, the Active Noise Cancellation (ANC). The CMF by Nothing Buds supports ANC up to 42dB with a frequency of 2900Hz, which is quite good considering the price. I’ve used it a few times outdoors, even in noisy traffic areas, and it does a decent job.
However, the new Nothing Buds uses a wide frequency range of up to 2900 Hz, compared to 5000 Hz in the Bud Pro and the premium Ear series, so the cancellation is not the best in varied sound conditions like switching from traffic or crowded areas. We can’t complain much about this price point.

Nothing X app ANC

It also has a transparency mode, allowing you to listen to ambient sound to recognize the surrounding situation and any potential risks. Just like ANC, the transparency mode is just average. There’s not much difference between normal and transparency modes, so the transparency mode is definitely the downside.

Nothing X App

You must download the Nothing X app on Android and iOS platforms to access all Nothing Buds features. It has a custom equalizer option with four pre-set audio modes. There is a Find My Buds option along with touch control customization.

Nothing X app

It has a low-latency gaming mode option, which I tested once. It generally works well, though there is still some latency, which is typical for earbuds. Overall, it’s suitable for day-to-day gaming.


Let’s talk about another important feature: the microphone. It has a total of 4 microphones, which easily pick up your voice while minimizing background noise. Even during outdoor calls, its performance is good. There might be a bit of background noise outdoors, but the person you’re talking to will still hear your voice clearly. So, don’t worry, the microphone is good, and you won’t have any complaints about it.

Battery Life

The CMF Buds come with a 45mAh battery that gives you around 7-8 hours of use without ANC and approx 5 hours with ANC turned on. In my testing, using AAC and occasionally turning on ANC, I got slightly over 4 hours at around 60% volume, which is pretty good.

CMF Buds battery

When I turned off ANC completely, the battery lasted close to 7 hours. For calls, it lasts about 4 hours with ANC on. The charging case has a 460mAh battery, offering up to 35 hours of total battery life without ANC and 24 hours with ANC. Unfortunately, it doesn’t support wireless charging. It takes about 1.5 hours to charge the case fully with the earbuds inside. Additionally, it supports fast charging, giving you 6 hours of playback after just 10 minutes of charging.

Sound Quality

When it comes to sound quality, my opinion is somewhat mixed. The CMF by Nothing Buds features large 12.4mm drivers with DIRAC tuning and Nothing’s Ultra Bass Technology 2.0. After hearing these specs list, you might expect impressive sound quality, but that’s not entirely the case.
I’ve tried many DIRAC-tuned earbuds and headphones; I like DIRAC tuning a lot. However, I didn’t find it as enjoyable with Nothing Buds. After a recent update, there has been some improvement, but there’s still room for more improvement.

CMF by Nothing Buds Review

Overall, the sound profile leans towards heavy bass. The bass response is quite strong, which many Indian users might like. However, some users, including myself, might find the tuning to be bass-heavy, where the bass overpowers other frequencies. You can use the built-in equalizer to balance the audio to some level, although the preset modes in the app are not very effective. You’ll need to create your own custom mode.

You might enjoy this heavy bass tuning more if you listen to many Bollywood, pop, and rock music. There’s also an ‘ultra bass’ option to adjust bass levels across five levels. This option wasn’t very useful before the recent update, but it’s better now.

Nothing X app

The mid and high frequencies are decent, but due to the heavy bass, the vocals and mid-range instruments may feel a bit crowded. However, compared to other high-bass earbuds, the CMF by Nothing Buds perform quite well. Some high frequencies may seem a bit subdued, but you can adjust this easily with the app equalizer.

In simple words, the sound quality is not bad at all, although it has some downsides. Still, considering the price range, these are among the best-sounding earbuds, even ranking higher. You’ll likely appreciate the Nothing Buds sound quality if you enjoy EDM, pop, high bass tracks, watching YouTube videos and movies, and playing games.

Worth to buy CMF by Nothing Buds?

After testing numerous true wireless earbuds in the sub-Rs 2,500 price range, it’s clear that the CMF by Nothing Buds stand out as a top recommendation. Priced at Rs 2,499, they offer an impressive array of features and deliver a good audio experience, making them a standout choice in this competitive market.

One of the most striking features of the CMF Buds is the ANC, which surprisingly proves to be effective in blocking out unwanted noise. Moreover, the solid build quality ensures durability, while the microphone delivers clear sound during calls.

In conclusion, the CMF by Nothing Buds provides a balance of features, performance, and aesthetic design, making them a compelling choice for anyone looking for budget-friendly earbuds.


When it comes to comparisons, there are a few best-selling options available for the Rs 2500 budget. The Realme T300, Oppo Enco Buds 2, Nord Buds 2R, and Noting CMF Buds Pro are among them. However, the biggest competitor to the Nothing Buds is its older brother, the CMF Buds Pro. Without going into too much detail, the CMF by Nothing Buds is currently the best option in the Rs 2500 range.

If you extend the budget to Rs 3000, then there are a few good options, such as the Realme Buds Air 5, Redmi Buds 5, Nord Buds 2, and JBL Wave Flex. In terms of design, build quality and features, the Nothing Buds are slightly ahead. However, when it comes to sound quality, I would prioritize the Realme Buds Air 5. The Nord Buds 2 also offers good sound quality with heavy bass tuning, while the JBL Wave Flex also delivers impressive sound quality. But when it comes to features, the Realme Buds Air 5 is a little bit ahead of Nothing Buds.

CMF Buds Review
Overall Sound Quality4.0
Value For Money4.6
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Mayur is known as the 'Geekman' on Youtube. He is the Admin and Executive Editor of Geekman. When he's not writing or making videos, then maybe he is working on a new Idea.
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