FiiO UTWS3 Review

Fiio UTWS3

Fit & Comfort

As I mentioned in the design section, the units are very light and compact. I did not experience any discomfort while using them. They can be used during a run as well, as they can be adjusted to fit quite snugly. You can bend them however you like up to a certain degree which I think will be enough for 99% of the population. The cable part is smooth and I think you won’t experience any discomfort, at all, after finding a comfortable position with your IEMs.

Fiio UTWS3

Amplitude & Chipset

FiiO’s UTWS3, by far, is the most powerful True Wireless IEM Adapter that we’ve reviewed on Headfonia. Thanks to the new amplifier chip from Texas Instruments, they can deliver a whopping 25mW (32Ω) into your IEMs. In comparison, iBasso’s CF01 delivers 9mW (32Ω) and FiiO’s older-gen UTWS1 delivers 5mW (32Ω). It has enough power to feed your most-demanding IEMs. As you can see, this is quite an improvement over the UTWS1 and it does not stop here.

The new chipset increased the signal-to-noise ratio from 88dB to 100dB and reduced the noise-floor from 25uV+ to <8uV according to FiiO. This means cleaner background and sharper dynamics for us, audiophiles. The Bluetooth chip remains the same, Qualcomm’s QC3020. It supports SBC, AAC, aptX. It unfortunately does not support any high-fidelity-focused codecs. FiiO, please bless us with LDAC & LHDC in the next UTWS product! 

Connection Stability & Latency

FiiO’s UTWS3 features Qualcomm’s QCC3020 Bluetooth 5.0 chip. It is one of the popular chipsets among Bluetooth audio devices. It also supports Qualcomm’s TrueWireless Stereo Plus (TWS+) feature. TWS+ is a great technology that helps increase battery efficiency for each side. Normally, BT earphones and adapters work in a master-slave configuration. The master side handles the connection and the slave stays connected to the master. This means higher battery usage for the master one. TS+ means that both of the chips left and right stay connected to the source and use less power to transmit & receive.

TS+ optimizes the master-slave system to equalize the battery usage between sides. Fiio’s chipset also supports the AptX codec. It does not have an AptX-LL support although conducting tests on the Android operation system, I found out that there was practically no delay with either YouTube or Netflix. Moving on to connection stability, I’ve used the UTWS3 for 2 weeks and I’ve never had any connection dropout. The range was also optimal at about 7 meters. 

Features & Battery Life

The unit comes with a huge 800 mAh battery case. According to FiiO, you can charge the units up to 5 times so this means that you’ll be able to use them up to 30-35h. Of course, the TWS+ feature improves the battery usage and these numbers are for TWS+ available devices such as Snapdragon 700+ processor equipped Androids. This means that iOS users won’t be able to enjoy 7hs of use. After testing it on both Android and iOS, I can confirm this. My iPad gets around 5hs of use based on a single charge. My Android phone, however, gets around 6hs out of a single charge.

The battery life is satisfactory in my opinion and it should be enough for active, on-the-go days. UTWS3 is significantly better than many of its rivals in this regard, as well. The battery case features a USB-C port and it can be fully charged in about 2 hours. 

Another new feature of the UTWS3 is the FiiO Control App support. You have the option to upgrade the firmware of your unit via this app, through Bluetooth. It is a very nice move from FiiO as they have a good support track record and they release hotfixes regularly. In the app, there is also an integrated EQ setting that you can play around with. You can also change button functions and adjust channel balance. With the new chipset, FiiO also introduced a 26-step volume control. It does remember your setting per device and it automatically adjusts it when you connect to the unit. Additionally, the multi-purpose button on the device can be used to play/pause the playback, skip to the previous or next track, activate your voice assistant, answer or reject calls.

FiiO UTWS3

Call Quality

Many TWS earphones on the market suffer from bad call quality as it is more of a physical issue rather than a software one. However, some companies take this seriously and one of them is luckily FiiO. The UTWS3 comes with a new dual-mic per unit layout and it does a good job of both blocking the ambient noise and picking up your voice. I have conducted several tests in several environments, such as semi-crowded diners and FiiO did a good job of picking up my voice through the chatter.

If you wonder about its call performance, I’d say it’s satisfactory compared to many many offerings in the market.

Sound & Performance

It is obvious that FiiO takes this section seriously as they upgraded the chipset and included a better performing, new amplification chip. My findings are in line with the technical side of things. The FiiO UTWS3 may be the best true wireless IEM adapter that we’ve reviewed on Headfonia.com. It does not saturate the signature of your IEMs to start with. I am using Mangird Tea & Earsonics Velvet V2 for this review with the UTWS3 and I can honestly say that the UTWS3 does a great job liberating these two from their cables. The flat and balanced signature of the UTWS3 does not manipulate your favorite IEM’s curve, so you get to enjoy what you love without any unwanted change. Output power is certainly impressive and I can’t listen past %50 volume with these 2 IEMs in my inventory.

The Velvet V2 still has its beloved punchy low region with a clean midrange and pristine highs. PRaT is also impressive as it is with, for example, the Hiby R2 dap. It is really impressive how good these Bluetooth offerings got in such a short time. This excites me. Compared to iBasso CF01, UTWS1 & Fostex TM2, the UTWS3’s technical capability is impressive. The UTWS3 is more powerful and cleaner than its rivals. 

Fiio UTWS3

Last Words

To wrap up the article, I would like to point out the major advantages of FiiO over other devices. First of all, these have great build quality despite being an all-plastic device. The LEDs, buttons, hinges all feel high quality, and the new chipset did wonders to the performance, especially output-wise. It does exactly what it was designed for.

The battery life is satisfactory and it has a water-resistant design so you can enjoy good music while running or doing sports. FiiO’s app support means upgradeable firmware for increased lifespan of the unit and smoother operation. Overall, in my opinion, this is a very good device and the price to performance ratio is, as always with FiiO, great.

The only negative I could find was the fact that it does not support AptX-HD. However, AptX-HD enabled true wireless adapters have yet to hit the market. For $79 USD, this may be the best true wireless IEM adapter available right now to liberate you from cables. Give it a try! To our Recommended Buy list it goes!

 

4.4/5 - (216 votes)

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Long time Tech Enthusiast, an ambitious petrol-head, Yagiz likes his gadgets and always finds new ways into the tinkerer's world. He tries to improve anything and everything he gets his hands onto. Loves an occasional shine on the rocks.

7 Comments

  • Reply March 7, 2021

    Jonathan

    I wonder how well these would pair with the HA-FDX1. Though considering they don’t really color the sound sig of the IEMs you paired them with, it sounds like it should be fine.

    • Reply March 8, 2021

      Yagiz

      Sadly I haven’t heard the FDX1. Though I occasionally miss my JVC HA-FX1200. Good old days.

  • Reply March 8, 2021

    Eric

    Good to hear you have not experienced and drop outs. Mine had drop outs regularly when my phone is on the opposite pocket to my earpiece paired via Android phone bluetooth (Samsung s9). Also unable to upgrade device via firmware in Fiio control app regardless of wait time. Used for a few months with no improvement so maybe it’s just the batch.

    • Reply March 8, 2021

      Yagiz

      Yes it may be a batch issue. I am using Android 11 (F2 Pro) that may also be a factor. There are a lot of wireless devices featuring the QC3020, it is a very common chip.

  • Reply March 8, 2021

    Sp12er

    I’m waiting for a TWS dingle that can do both Transparency mode And Independent L/R playback

    • Reply March 8, 2021

      Sirdax

      Edifier noise cancelling can do both.

  • Reply March 9, 2021

    Stefan

    any chance you will be reviewing the Shure True Wireless Secure Fit Adapter?

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