Astell&Kern, a global leader in high-resolution audio players and accessories, launches the UW100 MK II, an update to the brand’s popular audiophile-grade True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earphone first released in 2022.
Most True Wireless Stereo (TWS) products available today utilize the generic Digital Audio Converter (DAC) built into the Bluetooth module, focusing on lower power consumption rather than better sound quality. In the UW1000 MK II, Astell&Kern combines the unique amplifier and audio circuit technology developed for A&K’s digital audio players with an Asahi Kasei AKM 32-bit Hi-Fi DAC, to reproduce sound on a whole new level compared to other true wireless earbuds that use the BT-chipset-integrated DAC.
The UW100 MK II enables more precise and more accurate sound reproduction in all music genres by adopting Knowles Balanced Armature Drivers, typically used in expensive IEM (in-ear monitor) systems, instead of the Dynamic Drivers common in generic TWS systems. The AK UW100 MK II uses best-in-class Passive Noise Isolation (PNI) to immerse you completely in the music. Implemented correctly, passive noise isolation is sufficient to reduce noise physically.
Developed with the help of countless simulations, the AK UW100 MK II’s best-in-class PNI capability allows you to escape annoying ambient noise and allows the listener to immerse oneself in an experience where only you and the artist exist.
If the listener wishes to hear ambient sounds, a single tap on the left earbud activates ambient mode. You can switch between the four ambient modes by tapping the left earbud or using the AK Control app, available for iOS and Android devices.
The AK UW100 MK II features powerful wireless performance enabled by the premium-tier Qualcomm QCC5141 Bluetooth chipset and includes support for aptX™ Adaptive, Qualcomm’s next-generation high-quality codec for wireless 24-bit sound quality and Bluetooth 5.2 support, for better connectivity than other TWS products. With the aptX™ Adaptive codec, latency — the downside of Bluetooth audio — has been significantly improved. aptX Adaptive also provides a feature that adjusts the bit rate according to the content or wireless environment and supports 24-bit audio through a bit rate of up to 420 kbps.
In addition, Qualcomm True Wireless Stereo Plus mode minimizes transmission delay by transmitting independent signals to each earbud.
With support for USB-C fast charging and wireless charging support, the UW100 MK II can provide one hour of playback with a ten-minute charge. Fully charged, the UW100 MK II provides continuous playback of approximately 9.5 hours and up to 29 hours of total playback with the case. Five different-sized ear tips are included for the best fit.
The Astell&Kern UW100 MK II will be available in September 2023 at authorized Astell&Kern dealers worldwide for $299.