Apple AirPods has long dominated the wireless earphone market. Since the introduction of the first generation AirPods, several companies have begun replicating designs, and the TWS earphone boom has arrived.
But so far, nothing has given Apple AirPods Pro a real competition. Now we have valuable competitors that can pose a serious challenge to Apple’s AirPods Pro. Nothing, a tech startup founded by OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei, recently launched a unique and innovative pair of earphones called Nothing Ear (1). Let’s see how it works for the powerful Apple AirPods Pro.
Apple AirPods Pro vs. Nothing Ear (1): Specifications
Before digging into the core, review these specifications for both earphones and make a fair comparison.
|spec||Empty ears (1)||AirPods Pro|
|design||In the ear||In the ear|
|Case size||2.3 x 2.3 x 0.9 inches||1.8 x 0.9 x 2.4 inches|
|weight||5.4g per earphone||4.70g per earphone|
|Battery life||– 4 hours at ANC
– 5.7 hours without ANC
– 27 hours ANC with charging case
– 38 hours ANC off in charging case
|– 4 hours at ANC
– 5 hours without ANC
– 18 hours ANC with charging case
– 24 hours ANC off with charging case
|water resistant||IPX4 rating||IPX4 rating|
|Additional features||– Transparent mode
– EQ preset
– Find my earphones
– Customizable gesture settings
– Fast pairing
– In-ear detection
|– Transparent mode
– Adaptive EQ
– Dual beamforming microphone
– Spatial audio with dynamic head tracking
– Audio sharing
– Siri support
– Automatic switching
– Live Listen Audio
|price||$ 99||$ 249|
As you can see from the table above, Nothing Ear (1) and Apple AirPods are just as feature-rich, at least on paper. Now let’s compare both with the other parameters to see which one is the winner.
It is safe to say that the design is a USP of Nothing Ear (1). The company gave the earphones a “transparent” look to make the design stand out from the competition. Through the transparent design, I could almost see the circuit inside the earphones. L and R are marked with red and white spots to avoid confusion.
The Apple AirPod Pro, on the other hand, has a very special design with a short, slanted stem. Both earphones have a similar Earth design with an oval tip that fits snugly in the ear.
There is also a difference in weight between the two, and the Nothing Ear (1) is lighter. If you’re wearing earphones for a long time, the Nothing Ear (1) may be more convenient because it’s lightweight.
As for the charging case, the AirPods Pro has a wide and small case that’s easy to carry in your pants pocket. Like earphones, none of the charging cases take a transparent design approach.
Another advantage of having a transparent case is that you can see if the earphones are inside the case. Often you forget if you put your earphones inside. However, Nothing’s charging case is a bit large and can be cumbersome and uncomfortable to carry in your pocket.
winner: Empty ears (1)
Comfort and fit
Comfort and fit are the main concerns of many users when buying earphones. When buying these wireless earphones for a gym or cycling session, it’s even more important to own a pad that fits snugly in your ear and won’t fall off easily.
Due to the short cannula, there is no ear (1) that offers a high level of comfort in ergonomics. However, if you move your head frequently, you may have to readjust your head over and over again.
In comparison, the AirPods Pro doesn’t make much of a difference. The short stem design and slightly tilted earphones fit snugly inside your ears, but you can always be afraid that your earphones may fall out of your ears during active walking or cycling.
Customizable silicone chips provide a cushioned surface for the ears. You can quickly wear both earphones for a long time without feeling tired in your ears.
In the comfort and fit category, the Nothing Ear (1) and AirPods Pro are pretty square. If you’re looking for wireless earphones for jogging or gaming, we recommend that you consider other options.
winner: sea bream
Here is the most important parameter, sound quality. Undoubtedly, the Apple AirPods Pro falls into the premium earphones category with a $ 249 price tag. So you would expect premium sound quality, and Apple wouldn’t be disappointed at all.
Equipped with custom high excursion Apple drivers and custom high dynamic range amplifiers, Apple AirPods Pro provides excellent balanced sound.
I was able to feel the clarity and detail of the sound on the AirPods Pro. In addition to the details, Apple’s attempt to use DSP to tune the sound quality according to the anatomy of the ear results in, of course, tuned sound quality that varies according to the user’s taste.
No Ear (1) has tried to provide the same sound quality as an AirPods Pro with a graphene-coated 11.6mm dynamic driver, but you may notice a slight attenuation in the music.
The midrange, treble, and treble sounds are well-balanced. No Ear (1) comes with sound tuned by the audiophile wizard Teenage Engineering.
However, Ear (1) is incomparable to AirPods Pro in terms of sound quality. Premium earphones such as the AirPods Pro and Jabra Elite 85t are clearly lacking in punch. But it’s still much better than other less than $ 100 earphones.
winner: AirPods Pro
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC)
If you’re in the earphone market, ANC has recently turned out to be an important feature to watch. Active noise canceling is a function that blocks ambient noise and focuses on the sound you want to hear. Unfortunately, the ANC of Nothing Ear (1) is not at the same level as Apple AirPods.
Turning on ANC in the ear (1) minimizes the sound, but does not provide the noise cancellation provided by the AirPods Pro. Apple AirPods don’t cause problems in noisy environments such as moving trains or busy areas, but Ear (1) ANCs aren’t very effective at blocking treble.
Nothing deserves brownie points for earphones under $ 100 including ANC, but it’s not justified to compare to the AirPods Pro. It’s not Ear (1)’s fault, but competitors set the standards so high that it’s almost impossible to beat them.
If you are buying earphones for the first time and want to experience this feature, there is nothing to disappoint.
winner: AirPods Pro
Controls and features
Apple AirPods Pro includes premium features such as fast switching between Apple devices, Siri support, spatial audio, head tracking, and Siri’s ability to read messages aloud.
On the other hand, Nothing Ear (1) is not lacking in functionality. Get a fast pair of Android and find my earphones, customizable gesture settings and more.
Gesture controls are equally noteworthy on both AirPods Pro and NothingEar (1). You can customize the gesture by pairing the ear (1) with the dedicated app. There are also several EQ presets to adjust the sound according to the music you are listening to.
Here, Nothing Ear (1) appears as the winner, as it comes with a dedicated app that provides the user with a customizable experience.
winner: No ears (1)
On the spec sheet, the Nothing Ear (1) has a clear advantage over the AirPods Pro in terms of battery life. While Apple promises 5 hours of uptime, no one claims to offer 5.7 hours of uptime without ANC.
With charging cases, both offer about the same battery life. However, Apple’s H1 chip is far superior in battery management because Apple’s optimization levels have been found to be excellent.
Actual results may vary depending on usage, but it does not seem to make a substantial difference. In addition, both Nothing Ear (1) and Apple AirPods Pro support wireless charging.
In this category, Apple may face fierce competition with Nothing’s transparent earphones.
winner: sea bream
Value of money
When comparing AirPods Pro and Nothing Ear (1), price is an important factor.
Nothing has done the amazing job of bringing earphones to less than $ 100. In addition, Nothing Ear (1) is currently sold in 45 countries, including the United Kingdom and the United States, through official stores and select retail stores.
In India, it is available via Flipkart.
Note: You may have to wait someday to get them!
Apple AirPods are premium and can be purchased from Amazon and the official Apple Store for $ 249.
There is a big difference between the two prices. However, if you need a product that is worth the money, we recommend choosing Nothing Ear (1).
winner: Empty ears (1)
AirPods Pro or Nothing Ear (1): Our Verdict
As the comparison states, the Nothing Ear (1) isn’t better than the AirPods Pro, but it’s very close. Packing a lot of features under the $ 100 tag is a fruit in itself.
If you have an iPhone, you’ll need to choose an AirPods Pro, but NothingEar (1) is the perfect budget alternative to AirPods Pro for Android users.
This is Nothing’s first product and already shares the podium with one of the best products in its segment. They are on the same level as their premium competitors. Next time, we don’t expect to ship a better pair of earphones that could be positioned as a true Apple AirPods Pro killer.
You may want to peep: