Nothing Ear Vs. Nothing Ear (a): Which Newly Launched Earbuds Is Better For You?

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Along with their global debut, Nothing Ear and Nothing Ear (a) have also arrived in India. For the price, the earbuds offer some really good features and, more importantly, aesthetics (that’s how the company differentiates itself). However, given that the devices come with a lot of similar features, here’s a detailed comparison to help users decide which one suits them better.

Nothing Ear Vs. Nothing Ear (a): Design, Sound Quality, And Noise Cancelation

Nothing-Ear-a-sound-quality

Design

While Nothing Ear carries forward the same form factor as Ear (2) released last year, Ear (a)’s charging case is rectangular. Further, the latter comes in a new vibrant yellow color. Apart from this, both earbuds ship in black and white colors.

Sound Quality

First things first, the Nothing Ear come with an 11mm ceramic driver that produces clear audio with less distortion. The earbuds are designed to detect and elevate low frequencies in music to deliver bass-rich audio prevalent in the market. Further, the earbuds also support high-resolution streaming over Bluetooth (LHDC or LDAC). 

Interestingly, the Nothing Ear (a) also seem to feature the same 11mm driver. However, it doesn’t have the ceramic driver of its pricier sibling. Instead, the driver is made of traditional polymers. The Ear (a) supports high-resolution streaming via Bluetooth (LDAC), along with the bass-enhance algorithm.

Moreover, both earbuds provide a similar sound, as mentioned in a review by Wired. The ceramic coating on the Nothing Ear does add a bit of definition to the bass.

Noise Cancelation

Nothing Ear noise cancelation

Both the Nothing Ear and the Ear (a) support up to 45dB of active noise cancellation. According to the company, the Smart ANC feature checks for noise leakage between the earbud and the user’s ear canal and applies cancellation accordingly. Further, they come with three levels of noise cancelation or an Adaptive mode, like the one on the AirPods Pro.

They also include a Transparency Mode that lets users stay aware of their environment.

Nothing Ear Vs. Nothing Ear (a): Battery Life, IP Ratings, Wireless Charging

Nothing Ear dual connection (1)

Battery Life

Interestingly, both the Nothing Ear and the Ear (a) feature a 46 mAh battery on the earbuds and a 500 mAh battery on the charging case.

Even so, the Ear (a) is rated to last up to 9.5 hours on a single charge and 42.5 hours with the case (without ANC). At the same time, the Ear is rated to last up to 8.5 hours on a single charge and up to 40.5 hours with the charging case (without ANC).

Even with ANC, the Ear (a) earbuds offer a playback time of up to 5.5 hours with buds and 24.5 hours with the charging case. However, following the same pattern, the Ear offer a listening time of 5.2 hours with the buds and up to 24 hours with the charging case.

IP Ratings

The Nothing Ear feature better water and dust resistance with IP54 certification for the earbuds and IP55 for the case. Even though the Ear (a) come with an IP54 rating for the earbuds, the charging case is only IPX2-certified.

ChatGPT Integration

Nothing Ear and Ear a integration with ChatGPT

Both the Nothing Ear and the Ear (a) come with ChatGPT integration, which allows users to pinch-to-speak to the AI chatbot directly from the buds. However, for the feature to work, users must have the latest Nothing OS and ChatGPT app installed on their Nothing smartphone. The feature will start to roll out to Phone (2) (review) users from April 18, 2024, followed by a gradual release for Phone (2a) (review) and Phone (1) (review) users.

Other Features

Both the earbuds include touch/pinch controls for controlling playback. Further, they offer in-ear detection, Google Fast Pair, Microsoft Swift Pair, Dual Connection, Clear Voice Technology with three microphones per bud, LED charging indicator, and a Low Lag Mode for playing games or watching action movies.

And yes, the more expensive Nothing Ear features 2.5W wireless charging, a feature that’s missing on the Ear (a).

Nothing Ear Vs. Nothing Ear (a): Dimensions And Weight

Nothing Ear a

Nothing Ear

  • Buds dimensions: 29.4 mm x 21.7 mm x 24.1 mm
  • Buds weight: 4.62 grams 
  • Charging case dimensions: 55.5 mm x 55.5 mm x 22 mm
  • Charging case weight: 51.9 grams

Nothing Ear (a)

  • Buds dimensions: 30.9 mm x 21.7 mm x 24.3 mm
  • Buds weight: 4.8 g
  • Charging case dimensions: 47.6 mm x 63.3 mm x 22.7 mm
  • Charging case weight: 39.6 g

Nothing Ear Vs. Nothing Ear (a): Price And Verdict

Nothing Ear wireless charging (1)

While the Nothing Ear costs Rs. 11,999, the Ear (a) costs Rs. 7,999. Both earbuds will be available via Flipkart starting April 22, 2024.

Considering the price, the Nothing Ear (a) is a better deal. It offers sound quality and noise cancelation similar to the pricier version while providing better battery life. However, those who want better water and dust resistance and wireless charging should go with the Nothing Ear.

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Shikhar MehrotraShikhar Mehrotra
A tech enthusiast at heart, Shikhar Mehrotra has been writing news since college for an undergraduate degree in Journalism and Mass Communication. Over the last four years, he has worked with several national and international publications, including Republic World, and ScreenRant, writing news, how-to explainers, smartphone comparisons, reviews, and list-type articles. When he is not working, Shikhar likes to click pictures, make videos for his YouTube channel, and watch the American sitcom Friends.

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