Beats Studio Buds + vs. Sony LinkBuds S

By Tinh Lee, September 28, 2023

If you're trying to decide between Beats Studio Buds + and LinkBuds S . They are both great sports ANC TWS earbuds. There are a few major factors you should consider: Fit and comfort, build quality, sound quality, ANC performance and voice call quality.

Beats Studio Buds + vs. LinkBuds S at a glance

 Beats Studio Buds +LinkBuds S
Release yearMay, 2023May, 2022
Photo Beats Studio Buds + Sony LinkBuds S
Bluetooth versionBluetooth 5.3Bluetooth 5.2
Battery lifeRated up to 9.00 hoursRated up to 6.00 hours
Weight5.00 grams (per bud)4.80 grams (per bud)
Water-resistantIPX4 (earbuds only)IPX4 (earbuds only)
Driverø8.2mm dual-element dynamic driversø5mm dynamic driver
Noise reduction Tech3 Mic with Noise ReductionTwo mics: once for voice pickup and for feedforward NC + one for feedback NC
Fast charging5 mins = 1 hour5min = 1 hours
Wireless charging caseNoNo
Transparency modeYesYes
MultipointAuto-switching between Apple devicesYes
Personalized hearingNoNo
Spatial AudioApple's Spatial AudioSony's 360 Reality Audio
HR Tracking
Dynamic head tracking

Beats Studio Buds + vs. LinkBuds S : The good and The bad

 Beats Studio Buds +LinkBuds S
Pros Great for making and taking voice calls, Lightweight with secure fit, Comfortable fit Lightweight with secure fit, Comfortable fit, Ear detection sensor for auto-pause
Cons No wireless charging, No spatial audio with head tracking, Missing: in-ear detection sensor No wireless charging
Short reviewThe good is made to the better. Redesigned to the transparent housing - you're exposed to the components that's haven't been seen on the old Beats Studio. The Beats Studio Buds Plus are not the most secure fit earbuds we've tested, but they deliver excellent call quality, solid NC performance and just a better sound for sports. While I was really impressive with the LinkBuds S's soundstage, their bass presentation, details in mid and clarity are way better than rivals in the same price range. They also fit firmly and comfortably in the ear and offer excellent noise isolation in the any situtations you need them to stay put.

Beats Studio Buds + vs. LinkBuds S : Fit and Comfort

The Beats Studio Buds + are the refine look and feel of the original Studio Buds, they even have a translucent model for both earbuds and charging case, which the inner components are exposed. Apple claimed they resigned both hardware and refine the design of the original Studio Buds.

The LinkBuds S have an interesting look with matter textured plastic, that feels solid every time you take them out of charging case and put on ear. The build quality is great too. The LinkBuds S have a longer nozzle and its design allow it to go deeper into your ears than Beats Studio Buds +, giving a bit better noise isolation. 

Both pairs are equal in weight (5.00 grams vs 4.80 grams), the LinkBuds S are far smaller in size. However, both pairs give comparable high level of comfort and secure fit. 

Winner: Draw

Beats Studio Buds + vs. LinkBuds S : App and Control

The LinkBuds S have voice control with Siri and physical control button located on outer surface of earbud.

On either earbuds, you can press once to play/pause the mussic, answer/end a call or answer a second coming call, press and hold to decline an incoming call, press 3 times to stop listening from your earbuds and send the call to your phone. For track navigation, press the control button twice to skip to the next track, press 3 times to listen to the previous track. Apple doesn't give users option to control volume by pressing the button, you have to tell Siri to increase/decrease the volume or do it on the music app you're listening to. You can also toggle back and forth between ANC, Transparency mode by press and hold the control button. 

There are a few reports that users may sometimes accidentally tap the control button on Beats Studio Buds +, while adjust earbuds in their ears. If it's true and happens a lot the winner will be LinkBuds S .

The LinkBuds S have touch panels on each buds. They are really responsive that sometimes you may accidentally tap on the touch panel. The controls are assigned to L, R earbud differently. On the right you can do tap to play/pause the music, double tap to skip to the next tract, triple tap to listen to the previous track. You can customize the volume control on Sony | Headphones Connect” app - tap to increase the volumen by 1 increment, tap and hold to decrease the volume continuousy and release when it reaches to your desired level. On the left you can tap on earbud to toggle between ACN and Ambient Sound mode, tap and hold to activate quick attention mode. other controls can be assigned to double tap and tripble to on Sony App. 

Beats Studio Buds + vs. LinkBuds S : Call quality

Both pair have trouble separating voice from the noise the mic picked up. They work quite well for calls in quiet environments. But when increasing the background noise, like it gets a bit more windy or people chatting in coffee shop, the other end will start to to hear your muffled voice - probably because they pick up the noise, but it's still fine since they are supposed to be sports earbuds and call quality isn't a priority outdoor. 

Back to quiet places, the Beats Studio Buds + have better voice call quality in terms of clarity and loudness. They also pick up voice and do noise-filtering better. 

Winner: Beats Studio Buds +

Beats Studio Buds + vs. LinkBuds S : Sound quality

The Beats Studio Buds + sound dynamic and lively. Soundstating feels really spacious, however for high-range you get less sparkle than LinkBuds S .

The Beats Studio Buds + have a balance sound profile, they are forward sounding, meaning that the mids and highs lift up a bit. We also like their mid-ranges which render details nicely (more resolving). But they don't miss the bass - which I would say still punchy and plenty and it bass performance is better than Beats Studio Buds + that have a roll off from sub-bass to mid. 

The LinkBuds S have EQ function in app, that lets you play with the sound, the EQ features 10 preset settings, 3 custom presets and 4 bands and bass control. 

Winner: we leave it here to your liking.

Beats Studio Buds + vs. LinkBuds S : Battery life

There is a slight improvement in battery life, the Beats Studio Buds + provide up to 9 hours of listening time, while you get 6  hours of listening time for LinkBuds S . 

Winner: Beats Studio Buds +

Beats Studio Buds + vs. LinkBuds S : Codecs

iPhone users don't care much about codecs since Apple implements the AAC brilliantly. Just in case you (as Android users may be concerned about) want know which codec both pairs support. 

The Beats Studio Buds + support AAC, SBC while LinkBuds S support AAC, LC3, LDAC, SBC, Android users will benefit with support for LDAC codec for better sound quality.

Beats Studio Buds + vs. LinkBuds S : Immersive Sound

The Beats Studio Buds + support spatial audio that applies to Dolby Atmos content, and they don't have head-tracking feature, so the experience is far less immersive than AirPods Pro. The Beats Studio Buds + aslo let you enjoy the content mastered with Sony 360 Reality Audio, so it largely depends on the streaming music you are listening to, you'll get the 3D feature. 

Winner: Draw

Beats Studio Buds + vs. LinkBuds S : Noise Cancelling Performance

Apple claimed the Beats Studio Buds + perform 1.6x better than the original Studio Buds in term of noise cancellation. After conducting some test in harsh conditions (intense noise background) we can conclude that the Studio Buds Plus is superior to the Beats Studio Buds + especially at low frequency noises - the noises are common in places like stations, coffee shop or noisy streets. The Beats Studio Buds +'s transparency mode is also better, listening ambient sound feels more real natural, and its quite close as if your weren't wearing earbuds.

Winner: Beats Studio Buds +

Beats Studio Buds + vs. LinkBuds S : Which pair should you buy?

The LinkBuds S have a better bass which you can customize on app, they also have Hi-res wireless streaming and you have an option to switch on volume control on righ earbud. You can't control volume on Beats Studio Buds + earbud, either you have to tell Siri or go to the streaming music app or hard press button on your phone to adjust the voluem. The $149 Beats Studio Buds + also lack in multipoint and sound customization, though it outperforms $148 LinkBuds S in terms of ANC, transparency and voice call.