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Nothing Ear (1) vs AirPods Pro: Earbuds Comparision

The manufacture of Nothing ear (1) is already less striking since it almost completely meets what we already know about headphones under 117 USD. Transparency does not make the product less serious than the others or even lighter. Everything is on a perfect average, if not premium. The certification reaches the IPX4 (water projection), which is not innovative but remains above the Huawei and Honor models.

To say that Airpods have made headphone history is an understatement. This little accessory did not invent True Wireless but popularized it for the masses.

Headphones described as in-ear, the Apple Airpods Pro are True Wireless with active noise reduction (ANC). They have two microphones per side, one outward the other just next to the ear, an arrangement allowing both noise reduction, sound feedback, and personalized equalization in analyzing the morphology of the wearer’s ear.

Today we are comparing the Nothing Ear (1) vs. AirPods Pro. For more detailed explanation of Airpods Pro. Check out this Link.

Pros and Cons

Nothing Ear (1) Apple AirPods Pro
Lots of features for $99Strong audio performance
Good sound qualityModern, functional design
Qi wireless charging supportGood active noise canceling
No voice assistant supportMore expensive


Nothing Ear (1) Apple AirPods Pro
ColorsWhiteBlack, White
Battery life34 Hours4.5 Hours
Weight57.4 grams250 grams

Comfort is also in line with recent semi-intra (very short cannula) products. The part that wedges into the hollow of the ear is elliptical, quite close to that of the Oppo W51 (with some differences), more elongated, and less wide than what we find in Huawei and Honor. All these models fit in a pocket square and will stand out only by a few specificities of the target ear. The headphones are not intrusive, with a good fit (short stem, very balanced). Sports use is not what we recommend in the first place, but it is still possible.

Without being revolutionary on paper, the Nothing Ear (1) charging box remains very well thought out by effectively playing on its transparency. The simple fact of checking, without opening it, that the ear (1) are present is a plus in use. The presence of induction charging is also a good point. Finally, the arrangement of the headphones in this box, almost entirely on the surface and not in a notch, allows them to be taken out much more easily than on the other models. Partly because of this layout, the case isn’t the most compact of its kind, but it is enough to fit into virtually any pocket.


Noise CancellingYesYes
Weight57.4 grams250 grams
Foldable DesignNoNo

Closer in terms of ergonomics to the Oppo Enco Free 2 than to the asceticism of the Huawei / Honor of this price range, Nothing has chosen fairly complete controls with its ear (1). The highlight is the possibility of controlling the volume by sweeping the stem vertically.

The rest is pretty classic. By default, a double-tap starts play/pause, a triple tap skips to the next song, and a long press toggles between both headphones’ different noise reduction modes. Finally, a port detection is present (autoplay/pause) and enabled by default.

The dedicated application, for its part, is only half convincing. It is very light in features as beautiful and sleek as it is, although some great ideas are already out there. It is possible, first of all, to modify the action for the triple tap independently for the left earphone and the right earphone, allowing to go back to the beginning of the track or the previous track in addition to the next track. . For the long press, it is simply possible not to assign any function. The change of orders, therefore, remains minimal.

Next to that, a Hear tab allows you to switch between the different noise reduction modes (ANC, Transparency, Off), with the possibility of setting the ANC to Max or Light (light), which does little of a difference. Finally, 4 equalizers allow you to modify the sound signature. Unfortunately, Nothing does offer a customizable EQ. The idea is good but incomplete.

Finally, it is possible to deactivate the headphones’ automatic detection and access a search for headphones. Nothing ear (1) are fairly classic on this point since they start to whistle at high volume when this function is engaged. Simple but effective.

The ergonomics are therefore closer to that of the Enco Free 2 than the Earbuds 2 Lite. It really isn’t anything revolutionary but is absolutely correct.


Music ControlsYesYes
Quick ChargeYesYes
Stereo speakersYesNo

Quite effective noise reduction is almost commonplace at less than 100 € now, and Nothing ear (1) lacks this sense of quality while retaining flaws.

Probably more than with any other pair we have tried, choosing the right size tip is really essential and completely changes the isolation in the bass.

In the ideal case, Nothing ears (1) are already very effective from the lowest frequencies, with an attenuation of 20 or even 25 dB in the best cases (our measuring head slightly accentuates the phenomenon here: the front curve the 100 Hz is a little less spectacular in practice). As such, the headphones are placed in the best in the field. The isolation in the low frequencies, even in the low mids, seemed to be at the top of the basket of this price range, a little superior even to the Oppo Enco Free 2 (but difficult to be categorical).

In contrast, the upper mids are not as effectively eliminated. Headphones dampen voices, but not enough to make them forget. We find the usual cross between active and passive noise reduction (tips only), with shallow isolation around 1 kHz, allowing certain precise and harmonic voice sounds to pass through.

Overall, the result is broadly the same as the Oppo Enco Free 2, with even a very slight advantage for the latter.

The Transparency mode is rather effective because very natural up to the treble (2 kHz). Beyond that, we can clearly see the attenuation in the frequencies. Nothing ear (1) logically does not have the mastery of the Airpods Pro, but the result is more than valid in this price range, even for headphones under 235 USD in general.

The hands-free part is just fine, which is already a disappointment compared to the brand’s promises. Nothing ear (1) picks up the voice fairly faithfully in a calm environment, even if the highs are a little too short. In a noisy environment, everything becomes a little more complicated. Microphones can effectively reduce background noise, but they too often train the voice, making the message difficult to understand.

A promise of resistance to the wind (up to 40 km / h) was there, which is not kept more than the average since a simple gust will already come to disturb the different modes (ANC, Transparency, hands-free).


Battery TypeLithium-IonLithium-Ion
Battery Life34 hours4.5 Hours Buds
Charging Time2 hoursApprox 1.5 Hours
Charging PortType-cLightning Port

The company promises up to 34 hours of playtime with the box and 24 hours with ANC turned on. Apple’s AirPods Pro can be in ANC or transparency mode for up to 4.5 hours on a single charge. Usually there is more than 24 hours of listening time.


BluetoothBluetooth 5.2Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth RangeApprox. 10 meterApprox. 10 meter

The models follow and resemble each other. Like their few serious competitors, the Nothing ear (1) lean towards what the true top of the range can offer in terms of functionalities and codecs but develop a pragmatic approach, quite well established.

The codecs go to the simplest with the support of the duo SBC / AAC while drawing a line on the multipoint connection. It’s anything but a surprise at this price, but Nothing undoubtedly misses the opportunity to stand out, especially on the multipoint.

Connectivity is pretty good, with decent range and good overall stability. However, we can note that the sound cuts were more numerous than the Oppo Enco free 2, for example. Nothing impressive for 2021 headphones; therefore, faithful to what we expected.


Design and already effective, Nothing ear (1) is placed next to some perfect products for less than 117 USD. But, despite interesting specifics, they do not offer an experience superior to what already exists.

The Airpods Pro is an actual technological demonstration, the Airpods Pro offers a more straightforward approach, much more comfortable and more compact, but a simply fabulous active noise reduction. The sound is not the most technical of True Wireless but has some valuable advantages and allows itself to be very versatile.


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