A clear favorite
Nothing ear (1)
The obvious upgrade
OnePlus Buds Pro
You don’t have to pay over $100 to get great-sounding wireless earbuds with many extras, and that fact is clearly illustrated with the Nothing ear (1). These are among the best wireless earbuds available for $100, delivering an incredible sound signature along with wireless charging and ANC. The OnePlus Buds Pro builds on that formula with a few unique additions, so if you’re in the market for new wireless earbuds and are unable to choose between the two, here’s what you need to know.
Nothing ear (1) vs. OnePlus Buds Pro: Design and featuresSource: Apoorva Bhardwaj / Android Central
The biggest differentiator for the Nothing ear (1) is the design; these earbuds don’t look like anything else in the market today. Nothing has collaborated with Swedish audio giant Teenage Engineering for the design and audio tuning of the ear (1), making them stand out from the pack. The clear case lets you view the earbuds in all their glory, and the stalk of the buds has a straightforward design that shows off the battery and internals.
The ear (1) have a standout design, but the Buds Pro are built to last longer.
This design doesn’t extend to the driver, with the ear (1) featuring a more modest white plastic housing here instead. Even then, the earbuds have a distinctive look, and at 4.7g, they’re incredibly lightweight. They have a comfortable fit as well and are great for all-day use.
As for the OnePlus Buds Pro, the earbuds emulate the AirPods Pro’s design, so you find a short stalk with a bulbous housing for the driver that nestles into your ear canal. Coming in at 4.35g, the Buds Pro is marginally lighter than the ear (1), and of the two, I found the Buds Pro to be more comfortable for extended listening sessions.
The Buds Pro doesn’t have much in design flair, but the fit and finish here are excellent. In particular, the Matte Black variant feels excellent, and thanks to IP55 water resistance, you can use these earbuds for workouts without any issues. The ear (1) has an IPX4 rating, and while that is decent enough in its own right, the water resistance doesn’t extend to the case. With the Buds Pro, you get an IPX4 rating for the patient, giving it the ability to withstand the elements. Both earbuds have auto play/pause, and they do a good job automatically pausing music playback when you take a bud out of your ear. You’ll find a large gesture control area on the stalk of the ear (1)
It is effortless to control music playback on the ‘buds. The Buds Pro relies on a squeeze gesture on the stalk, and while it works admirably, it is not as easy to use as the ear (1). The Buds Pro has a unique addition called Zen Mode Air, and like Zen Mode in OxygenOS, the feature is designed to promote mindfulness. The feature streams ambient sounds — forest sounds, ocean waves, piano notes, nighttime sounds — or white noise to the earbuds, and the best part is that it works even when the ‘buds aren’t connected to your phone. The sounds are sourced from OPPO’s Relax feature, and if you’re looking to unwind or need white noise in the background, the Buds Pro is a great option.