FiiO UTWS1 Review

 

 

 

 

 

FiiO UTWS1 True Wireless BT Adaptor Review

 

Introduction:

The UTWS1 is a True Wireless Bluetooth Module of the company FiiO for In-Ear Monitors with MMCX and 2Pin (0.78mm) connector configuration.

The UTWS1 features some interesting specs like Intelligent DSP noise cancellation, Bluetooth 5.0, a FPC Bluetooth antenna, Qualcomm QCC3020 Bluetooth SoC and many more.

 

Disclaimer:

The FiiO UTWS1 was provided to me by the company FiiO for review purposes. I am not affiliated with FiiO beyond this review and these words reflect my true and unaltered opinions about the product.

 

 

Price:

The MSRP price for the FiiO UTWS1 is 45,99 USD and can be purchased from the links below;

FiiO Offical Amazon Store

 

 

Package and Accessories:

The FiiO UTWS1 came in a small box which is wrapped with a white cardboard that shows the illustration of the UTWS1.

This box contains the following items;

  • 1 pair x True Wireless BT Adapter Module
  • 1 pair x PU Zipper Case
  • 1 pcs x USB Dual-Head Charging Cable
  • 1 pcs x User Manual

 

The Dual-Head USB Charging Cable that was included to the package allows you charge both BT Modules at the same time which is a nice/useful addition.

    

     

 

 

The Design, Build Quality, Fit & Comfort:

The FiiO UTWS is a True Wireless BT Adapter module for In-Ear monitors. All parts with exception of the mechanical buttons and the connector interface are made of rubber or plastic materials with an above average build quality.

The UTWS1 features a waterproof nano coating that protects the internal parts of the modules from sweat/water that is a nice ability if you want to use it while exercising.

The main body of the BT module contains internal parts like receivers, sound processors, battery and the Qualcomm QCC3020 BT SoC, etc.

On the front of each module is a multifunctional mechanical button which looks a bit loose but that is fairly responsive. Here is also the FiiO brand logo and a small opening/hole that features a LED status indicator and a microphone.

At the bottom of each TWS BT module is a Micro USB charging port that is protected with rubber blind plugs.

At the backside of each monitor are the left/right markings and descriptions about the product.

On the of each module is a short profile cable with rubber coating that features the MMCX (Micro Miniature Coaxial) or the 0.78mm diameter 2-Pin male connectors, depending on the model you will purchase.

Each Connector sports also Left (blue) and Right (red) ring indicators.

What makes the UTWS1 so special is that it transforms all your In-Ear Monitors with MMCX or 2-Pin connectors (depending of the variant you have purchased) to True Wireless IEM’s.

 

 

Technical Specifications:
  • Model                                     : UTWS1
  • BT SoC                                  : Qualcomm QCC3020
  • Bluetooth Version                   : Bluetooth ver.5.0
  • Transmission distance           : Approx. 10m
  • Codec                                    : AAC, aptX and SBC
  • Output Power                         : 5mW (32ohm)
  • Battery Life                             : Max approx. 8 hours
  • Charging Time                       : approx 1.5 hours
  • Standby Time                        : approx 180 hours
  • Waterproof Level                   : IPX5
  • Charging Connector Type     : Micro USB
  • Weight (Single Unit)               : approx 6.5grams

 

 

 

Battery Life:

Each TWS BT Module has a build in battery which offers a playtime of approx 7.5 – 8 hours while listening to music, which is a pretty ok result.

The charging time takes about 1.5 hours while the standby time of each module is about 180 hours according to FiiO official specs that sounds pretty good on paper.

 

 

Pairing, Navigation, Signal Strength, Latency & Call Quality:

The pairing of the FiiO UTWS1 with your source like a Smartphone, Tablet, DAP, etc is pretty easy. You only need to turn on the left and right monitors when you first use them and do some easy steps to pair it with your source that is detailed described in the user manual.

Once you have pair the left and right monitors by the first use the pairing action will be done automatically. You only need to take it out from the charging box/case at the same time. A female voice is announcing the status of your FiiO UTW1 like power on/off or pairing.

The operating distance of the UTWS1 is approx. 10 meters which is also quite stable, while the call quality is on an average level.

The FiiO UTWS1 performs very well in terms of latency, while I have watch some TV Shows on YouTube and movies on Netflix, paired with my Samsung Galaxy S9 Plus and FiiO M11 Pro. I didn’t notice any significant lip sync issue. (Update 09.06.2020)

 

 

Some Key Features:
a) Qualcomm QCC3020 Bluetooth 5.0 chip:

The UTWS1 utilizes the Qualcomm QCC3020 Bluetooth 5.0 chip, which supports the SBC, AAC, and aptX audio codecs.

b) Detachable earhook design supporting 0.78mm/MMCX

The UTWS1 is available with either 0.78mm 2-pin or MMCX connectors, allowing a greater variety of earphones to be True Wireless.

c) CSR intelligent noise cancellation:

An advanced DSP combined with sensitivity microphones in both the left and right units allow for clear calls even in noisy situations.

d) Custom FPC Bluetooth antenna:

The custom FPC antenna allows for better signal reception than a traditional BT antenna, ensuring more stable calls and better music listening experinece.

e) Qualcomm TWS+ Dual Transmission Technology:

The TWS+ technology allows your smartphone to directly connect to each 2 wireless earbuds/IEM’s seperatly. This is a useful features for a lower level of latency and more stable connection.

 

Equipment’s used for this review:
  • Paired IEM’s             : FiiO FH7, FiiO FH5, FiiO FA7
  • Paired Sources         : FiiO M11 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S9+, iPad Air2

  

 

Albums & tracks used for this review:
  • Elton John – Your Song (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • David Bowie – Black Star (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Eric Clapton – Unplugged Album (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • First Aid Kit – My Silver Lining (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • London Grammar – Interlude (Live) (Flac 24bit/88kHz)
  • Laura Pergolizzi – Lost On You “Live at Harvard and Stone” (Wav 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Liquid Tension Experiment 2 – Acid Rain (Flac 16bit/44.1kHz)
  • Megadeth – Sweating Bullets (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Slayer – Angel of Death (Flac 24bit/96kHz)
  • Gogo Penguin – Raven (Flac 24bit/192kHz)
  • Otto Liebert& Luna Negra – The River (DSF) – Binaural Recording
  • Vivaldi – Le QuarttroStagioni “The Four Season” (Wav 24bit/88kHz)
  • Armin Van Buuren – Vini Vici (Spotify)
  • Lorde – Royal (Flac 24bit/48kHz)
  • Massive Attack – Angel (Flac 24bit/192kHz)

 

 

     

 

The Sound:

The FiiO UTWS1 is a source with a V shaped sound signature that shows an entertaining and musical overall tonality. The bass is strong but on the softer sight, while the midrange is musical and the treble mildly bright and controlled.

PS: This review is written after a burn-in process of approx. 50 hour and reflects my true and unaltered impressions for the FiiO UTWS1.

 

Bass:

The FiiO UTWS1 shows a good performance in terms of subbass dept and extension for a Wireless Bluetooth device. The subass quantity is on an average level and is in general not very dominant. The tonality of this range is warm and pretty soft.

The subbass performance in some of my reference tracks like Lorde’s “Royals”, Armin Van Buuren’s “Vini Vici” and Massive Attack’s “Angel” was quite exiting for a BT source in this price range.

The midbass region of the FiiO UTWS1 is more dominant than the subbass region and is pretty strong in terms of impact without to shows any remarkable midbass hump. The slam effect of the midbass is accented but soft. The general bass presentation of the UTWS1 can be described as tight, controlled and fast for a source at this price range, which was especially noticeable while listening to instruments like trumpets and bass guitars.

 

Midrange:

FiiO UTWS1 is a source that has a V shaped sound signature with a warmer than neutral tonality and entertaining presentation.

The upper midrange of the UTWS1 is pretty well tuned and is adding a good amount of clarity and detail to female vocals. Female vocals do sound in general soft and lush. Male vocals on the other hand do sound deep and slightly thick due to the lower midrange character. Male voices have in general nice level of fullness without to show any remarkable muddiness and mixing.

The instruments tonality on the other hand is a bit warm, fairly clear and musical.

Instruments such like guitars are slightly bassy and a bit bright, while the speed and clarity is pretty good for a BT source with such a price. Other instruments like violas do sound warm and emotional, while pianos are mildly bright and soft in tonality. The general performance in terms of separation and placement of instruments is quite good for a entry level device.

Upper Midrange & Treble:

The FiiO UTWS1 has a pretty balanced upper midrange tuning which is neither low nor too high. The upper midrange is mildly bright and fairly controlled what I do really like. Here are no remarkable issues like over sharpness or sibilance, while listening to some IEM’s like the FH7 or FH5.  The upper midrange intensity and extension is on a sufficient level from female vocals up to instruments like violins.

The treble range of the UTWS1 is a bit bright, lightly warm and controlled. The general emphasis and airiness of the treble range is on an average level. The hits of instruments like Hi-hats do come slightly from the background and the extension is a bit short, while instruments like ride and crash cymbals are more pronounced and do shows better extension.

In short, the treble performance of the FiiO UTWS1 is in general pretty good with exception of a slightly shortage of extension.

 

Soundstage:

The FiiO UTWS1 shows a pretty sufficient soundstage performance for a precise positioning and separation of instruments and vocals. The performance in terms of soundstage depth and wideness is pretty close and shows in general an average performance.

  

           

Conclusion:

FiiO offers with the UTWS1 a budget friendly Wireless Bluetooth Adaptor solution that has some nice features like the Qualcomm QCC3020 SoC, a FPC Bluetooth antenna, 8 hours of battery life, IPX5 Water & Sweat resistance and many more. All those features are packed in to a very lightweight and comfortable to wear device that pairs pretty well with almost any sound source.

 

 

Pros & Cons:
  • + Nicely Tuned Musical Presentation
  • + Lightweight and Comfortable
  • + IPX5 Sweat & Water Resistance
  • + Battery life and Connection Stability
  • – The Mechanical buttons are a bit loose
  • – LDAC support is missing

 

 

 

 

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