Sony launched the LinkBuds series of TWS earbuds in early 2022. The first product, Sony LinkBuds, adopts a subversive new ring-shaped open-ear design in appearance. Wearing earbuds can still easily obtain external ambient sound. At the same time, it also brings a more futuristic wide-area click touch solution, which can realize intelligent control by clicking on the area close to the cheek.
By mid-May 2022, the Sony LinkBuds S true wireless earphones, the second product of the LinkBuds series, will be officially launched. It continues the core concept of innovative design, comfortable wearing and excellent sound quality, and also provides excellent noise cancellation performance, high-resolution sound quality and high-definition call effects. But in terms of appearance, due to the addition of the active noise cancellation function, it adopts a design that is closer to the Sony WF-1000XM4.
We have previously made detailed reviews and teardown reports on both products. This time, according to the teardown report, the Sony LinkBuds and the Sony LinkBuds S are dismantled and compared to share the similarities and differences in the design, internal structure and main configuration.
01/ Product Appearance
The packaging boxes of Sony LinkBuds and Sony LinkBuds S use the same series of designs, are compact and square, and use environmentally friendly materials to respond to the concept of environmental protection. The front of the box shows the appearance rendering of a single earbud, as well as the “SONY” brand LOGO and product name.
Although the Sony LinkBuds and Sony LinkBuds S belong to the same series, they are very different in appearance. The Sony LinkBuds charging case uses a shape similar to a “pillow”, and the earbuds use an “8” open-ear design. The hollow ring unit makes the earbuds do not block the ear canal when wearing, and can still easily obtain external information when listening to songs.
The overall design of the Sony LinkBuds S is more inclined to the Sony WF-1000X series. It uses a rounded square charging case and bean-shaped in-ear earbuds, but the overall volume is smaller and lighter. The earbuds increase the contact surface with the ear, and the eccentric design further enhances the stability and comfort of wearing.
Charging case interface
Both Sony LinkBuds and Sony LinkBuds S use the current mainstream Type-C interface, which has a wide range of compatibility and can be shared with Android phone charging cables. Compared with the Sony WF-1000X series, both also cancel the wireless charging function.
The overall weight of Sony LinkBuds is about 41.6g, and the weight of two earbuds is about 8.1g. With the open-ear structure, it brings a comfortable and non-sensing wearing experience.
The overall weight of Sony LinkBuds S is about 42.3g, and the weight of two earbuds is about 9.4g. Compared with the WF-1000X series, which is also designed as a bean-shaped in-ear type, the overall size has also been greatly reduced.
Bluetooth Audio SoC
Both Sony LinkBuds and Sony LinkBuds S are equipped with V1 processors. The former is the MediaTek/Airoha MT2822 platform solution, which supports Bluetooth 5.2 version and Airoha MCSync TWS dual-transmission bluetooth transmission mechanism, providing excellent listening experience and enjoyment. It has the characteristics of fast operation speed, good noise cancellation performance and low power consumption.
The latter uses Sony’s new integrated processor V1 chip, model “GSBR-0001”, which provides earbuds with powerful noise processing capabilities and higher noise cancellation accuracy. Efficiently process ambient noise captured by the new microphone and perform reverse acoustic wave cancellation to provide an immersive, high-quality audio experience.
Both Sony LinkBuds and LinkBuds S earbuds are equipped with ZeniPower steel shell button batteries, and both use metal shrapnel to connect the positive and negative poles of the battery, which improves the convenience of production, assembly and after-sales maintenance.
Sony LinkBuds built-in battery model: Z32H, voltage: 3.85V, capacity: 0.12Wh.
Sony LinkBuds S built-in battery model: Z52H, voltage: 3.85V, capacity: 0.21Wh.
Sony LinkBuds is equipped with a specially developed ring drive unit, with high-performance neodymium magnets, to achieve a wide sound field and clear mid-to-high frequency performance. Sony LinkBuds S uses a newly developed 5mm highly flexible diaphragm drive unit to achieve surging low-frequency sound.
The Sony LinkBuds are equipped with a single MEMS microphone for voice pickup. The Sony LinkBuds S are equipped with two MEMS microphones for active noise cancellation and precise pickup of calls.
Both Sony LinkBuds and Sony LinkBuds S are also equipped with BOSCH six-axis gyroscope ICs, which are used for 360 on-the-spot sound effects to collect user head movement data.
In the in-ear detection function, both Sony LinkBuds and Sony LinkBuds S use optical sensors, which are used to automatically pause music playback when the earbud is removed, and automatically resume playback when the earbud is worn.
03/ Charging Case
The MCUs of Sony LinkBuds and Sony LinkBuds S use the same solution, the NXP K32 L2B series microcontrollers customized for Sony. The built-in ARM-M0 core is used to realize charging case control functions such as charging and discharging module management, battery power management, indicator light control, and headset communication.
Power management chip
The power management of Sony LinkBuds and Sony LinkBuds S also uses the same scheme, which is the TI BQ25618 single-cell battery charger. Switch charging, synchronous boost converter and voltage protection are integrated. It supports 22V withstand voltage, and can reduce battery leakage to 6uA in transport mode, which is used to charge the built-in lithium battery and charge earbuds.
Both the Sony LinkBuds and Sony LinkBuds S charging case batteries are from Springpower Technology Co., Ltd. Sony LinkBuds built-in lithium battery model: 621733, rated capacity: 300mAh/1.11Wh, nominal voltage: 3.7V, charging limit voltage: 4.2V.
Sony LinkBuds S built-in battery model: SP 731834, nominal voltage: 3.85V, charging limit voltage: 4.4V, rated capacity: 450mAh/1.732Wh. Compared with LinkBuds, the high-voltage battery + larger capacity enables it to provide relatively longer battery life in ANC mode.
The Sony LinkBuds and Sony LinkBuds S are built with innovative design, comfort and sound quality at their core. The charging case is small in size and easy to carry. Sony LinkBuds earbuds provide users with a safer music listening experience through a unique open-ear structure design. Sony LinkBuds S earbuds increase the contact surface with the ear and match the eccentric design to provide a high-quality noise cancellation effect while still maintaining a light and comfortable wearing experience.
In terms of main internal configuration, the charging case adopts the same power management and MCU solution. The battery capacity of the Sony LinkBuds S has been greatly improved, and a 3.85V high-voltage battery is used to provide longer battery life. For earbuds, different drive units are used. The main control chip is upgraded to a new integrated processor V1 in a SiP package, the battery capacity is increased, and it is equipped with dual microphones for the ANC function to accurately pick up ambient noise.
Check the Sony LinkBuds price:
Check the Sony LinkBuds S price:
Sony LinkBuds S Teardown: New Integrated Processor V1 Chip, 5mm Driver Unit
Sony LinkBuds Teardown: Using a hollow diaphragm to achieve a sense of air
Microsoft introduces Soundscape technology to bring novel experience to Sony LinkBuds wireless earbuds