Astell & Kern is renowned for their premium DAPs and has produced a handful of IEMs too. The UW100 was the company’s attempt at a true wireless model and was one of the first made entirely in-house without collaboration with another brand. The new UW100 MKII represents an evolution of that design.
What sets the UW100 aside from typical TWS designs is a discrete low-noise amplifier and Asahi Kasei AKM 32-bit DAC built-in as opposed to using the in-built Qualcomm audio hardware. Moreover, it utilises a single Knowles balanced armature driver that is placed close to the ear for minimal reflections and maximum accuracy. The UW100 also has a tuned acoustic chamber for greater dynamics and high-end extension.
The UW100 MKII focuses on excellent passive noise isolation that the company claims bests ANC competitors in terms of ambient noise reduction. It sports AptX Adaptive using Qualcomm’s high-end QCC5141 BT chipset. A complete redesign of the power system as opposed to last year’s model has yielded huge improvements to playback time, delivering 9.5 hours of playback and up to 29 hours including the charging case.
The UW100 MKII is now available from Addicted to Audio for $499 AUD!