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Nothing Ear vs Nothing Ear (a): Which is Right for You?

Nothing has launched two new pairs of true wireless earbuds – the Nothing Ear and Ear (a).

Here’s everything you need to know about these two models and whether an upgrade is worthwhile.

Why Ear and Ear (a)?

Nothing’s decision to simplify the naming convention from Ear 1 and Ear 2 to just Ear and Ear (a) aims to offer consumers more clarity and flexibility.

Unlike before, you’re not pressured to upgrade annually. This approach is akin to Amazon’s Kindle lineup. You simply choose between a Kindle or Kindle Paperwhite without being bogged down by series numbers.

The main difference now lies between the flagship Nothing Ear series and the Ear (a) series, with the ‘a’ denoting a slightly more budget-friendly option.

While the naming change may seem straightforward, it’s crucial to understand which features matter most to you before deciding.


The most significant difference between the two earbuds lies in their pricing.

The Nothing Ear (a) is priced at a budget-friendly $99, while the flagship Nothing Ear commands a premium price tag of $149.

This substantial price gap raises the question: Is the Nothing Ear worth the 50% premium, or does the Ear (a) offer exceptional value for its price point?

Nothing Ear vs Nothing Ear (a): What’s the difference?

SpecificationNothing EarNothing Ear (a)
Drivers11mm custom ceramic driver11mm PMI + TPU dynamic driver
Noise Cancellation45dB Active Noise Cancellation45dB Active Noise Cancellation
Wireless CodecsLHDC 5.0, LDACLDAC
EqualizerAdvanced Equalizer
Battery Life8.5 hours (earbuds), 40.5 hours (with case)9.5 hours (earbuds), 42.5 hours (with case)
ChargingUSB-C, Wireless up to 2.5WUSB-C
ColorsBlack, WhiteBlack, White, Yellow

Design and Comfort

Both the Nothing Ear and the Ear (a) boast a sleek, distinctive design that has become Nothing’s signature.

Nothing Ear vs Nothing Ear (a)

The earbuds’ ergonomic shape and lightweight construction ensure a comfortable fit, even during extended listening sessions.

Nothing’s commitment to comfort is commendable, as many users struggle with the pressure and discomfort associated with traditional earbuds.

Active Noise Cancellation

Noise cancellation is a crucial feature in modern earbuds, and both the Nothing Ear and the Ear (a) deliver impressive performance.

The adaptive active noise cancellation (ANC) automatically adjusts to your environment, ensuring an immersive listening experience whether you’re at home, commuting, or exploring the great outdoors.

Sound Quality

When it comes to audio quality, the Nothing Ear takes the lead with its 11mm driver and support for both LDAC and LHDC Bluetooth codecs.

Nothing Ear vs Nothing Ear (a)

The LDAC codec, in particular, offers high-resolution audio with minimal compression, catering to audiophiles and music enthusiasts.

Meanwhile, the Ear (a) supports only LDAC, which, while still providing excellent audio quality, may not offer the same level of fidelity as its more expensive counterpart.

Customization and Personalization

One area where the Nothing Ear truly shines is its customization options.

The fully customizable equalizer and profile sharing feature allow you to fine-tune the audio experience to your liking and share your preferred settings with fellow Nothing Ear users.

Nothing Ear vs Nothing Ear (a)

Unfortunately, the Ear (a) lacks this level of personalization, which may be a dealbreaker for some.

Battery Life

Both earbuds boast impressive battery life, with the Ear (a) offering a slight advantage. With ANC enabled, the Nothing Ear provides up to 6 hours of playback, while the Ear (a) delivers up to 6.5 hours.

When combined with their respective charging cases, the total battery life extends to an impressive 28 hours for the Nothing Ear and 34 hours for the Ear (a).

Nothing Ear vs Nothing Ear (a): Which should you buy?

For most users, the Nothing Ear (a) emerges as the more compelling choice. It delivers an impressive audio experience, effective noise cancellation, and a comfortable fit – all at an attractive price point.

While the Nothing Ear undoubtedly offers superior features and customization options, the $149 premium may not be justifiable for those seeking a balanced blend of performance and affordability.

However, if you’re an audiophile or a discerning listener who values the utmost in audio fidelity and personalization, the Nothing Ear may be worth the investment. Its support for LDAC and LHDC codecs, customizable equalizer, and premium build quality make it a compelling option for those unwilling to compromise on audio excellence.

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