Airpods Pro And TWS Are Driving The Growing Demand For Rechargeable Lithium Ion Button Cell Battery

Apple released the third-gen of Airpods, called Airpods Pro in October 30, 2019. As expected, they are sealed earbuds that fit into the ear with eartips.

The Airpods Pro’s housings and its charging case are very compact and with ‘industry leading” ANC, it shows Apple’s ambitious plan for TWS market.

While Airpods Pro features well-known transparency mode, wireless charging for case and quick charging, pressing control on stem is quite interesting and interactive.

Airpods Pro meet the unexpectedly high demand, which pushed Apple’s suppliers to their capacity limits, but it seems for batteries Apple could find a lot of alternatives.

iFixit shared Airpods Pro’s teardown, showing earbuds have built-in rechargeable lithium ion coin cells (button cell battery).

As the ANC function requires power to work and it’s impressive that it just consumes less power.

Airpod Pro can unsurprisingly last up to 4.5 hour between charges (if ANC is switched ON and transparency mode is turned OFF).

Lithium button cells used in Airpods are identifed by CP1154 A3H0C, which is 11mm in diameter, 5.4mm height, running at 3.7V and 0.16Wh. And it’s made in Germany. Lithium-ion battery is known for its high efficiency (store large amount of battery and minimum discharge loss), and they can be packed small, so the adoption of this kind of battery is significantly growing for TWS. Galaxy Buds and Airpods Pro reportedly uses CP1254 that is a bit larger than CP1154.

I conducted a research on TWS’s teardown (52Audio and iFixit), and found out that Sony WF-1000 series, Galaxy Buds, Bose SoundSport Free, Beoplay E8 and others are powered with the same-specs batteries.

Here are a few battery makers to give you an overview that help decide which one for your TWS and the feature TWS’s battery.

1. Varta

Photo: iFixit – Apple Airpods Pro’s CP1254 battery. It weighs 1.6 grams that’s almost a third of Airpods’ weight (5.4 grams)

VARTA ( VAR1 – Listed on Xetra, Frankfurt, Germany) – a company with a long history in Europe, it has over 125 years – experience in manufacturing batteries and offers a full range of rechargeable button cells, which has been spotted in high-quality Bose SoundSport Free, Beoplay E8, Bragi, Galaxy Buds, Gear IconX, Sony WF-SP700N, Sony WF-1000X and Sony WF-1000XM3.

These earbuds are quite expensive and I guess one of reasons is the pricey Varta’s battery. As AirPods Pro and Airpods get a repairability score zero out of 10, it’s not likely that you can replace by yoursefl the battery after it no longer hold charges. It costs $49 to replace the Airpods Pro’s battery and another $49 for charging’s case battery, though you can buy $30 AppleCare+ that covers TWO years for battery replacements if they wear out.

Chinese TWS brands opt to choose domestic battery makers, which is cheaper and highly available.

2. GreatPower

Guangzhou Great Power Energy &Technology CO.,LTD (Listed on Shenzhen’s GEM, Stock Code: 300438 ) was founded in 2001 with the initial capital of $36 millions. Their products cover a wide range of batteries such as lithium iron, lithium manganese, and nickel-hydrogen batteries.

Spotted in JBL Free Truly Wireless and Funcl AI

Photo: 52audio – GreatPower’s button cells have the same specs as ones used in Airpods Pro

3. LIDEA Electronics

Lesser known the Dongguan Diandian Electronics Co., Ltd. mainly manufactures lithium ion button batteries. With nearly 20 years of experience, their products meet the strict standards.

Photo: Audio52 – LIDEA LIR1254 with diameter 12.0mm, thickness 5.4mm, 3.6V, capacity 55mAh.

Spotted in: Funcl AI, JBL Free True Wireless

4. MIC-POWER new energy

Mic-Power was founded in December 2017. The company’s main products are lithium rechargeable batteries and button cells for Bluetooth headphones and headsets.  

Photo: 52audio – MIC-POWER with 8mm diameter, 6.3mm thick, 3.7V, 0.111Wh

Spotted in Meizu POP2, ViVo TWS Earphone, X-PODS 

5. VDL

VDL designs, manufactures, and markets small polymer lithium batteries. It is recognized as one of top high tech companies in China.

Photo: 52audio – LIR ZJ1254 Rechargeable Coin Cell Battery (3.7V, 55mAh, 0.204Wh)

Spotted in cheaper TWS, 1More Stylish True Wireless, Soundcore Liberty Air – by Anker, Air by crazybaby, Huawei Freebuds, Meizu POP, Nubia Pods, Libratone TRACK AIR, TicPods Free, Ticpods Free Pro and Xiaomi Air

6. ZeniPower

Zhuhai Zhili Battery Co., Ltd specializes in manufacturing Zinc Air hearing aid batteries. Their products are retailed on Amazon.

The company also invested the rechargeable lithium ion battery technology as ear-worn devices/hearables/true wireless are growing at an unprecedented rate.

Their button cells, the ZeniPower Z105 is reportedly used in Philips SHB4385 True Wireless.

The Best Earbuds’s Key Takeaway

  • Button battery has a lot of advantages, it is small, durable and safe for TWS.
  • The button batteries such as Airpod Pro rated for 93 milliwatt hour, we don’t know yet it has reached the maximum capacity, but with new ultra-low Bluetooth cheap developed, TWS can definitely longer-lasting battery.
  • The demand for this type of battery will continue to grow in the near future.
  • To keep the price low, button cells won’t used in semi-wireless earbuds because lithium polymer battery is cheaper and is suitable for the form factor of these earbuds.
  • Until the receiving coil can be made small with diameter equal to 12mm or lesser, it can be installed in button cells. And the day button cells are wirelessly charged and the charging case becomes Qi wireless charger is not far.

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