Today we’re going to be checking out the new FiiO UTWS5! It’s selling for $129 USD
Disclaimer: FiiO sent us the UTWS5 for this review. I only covered the import taxes and fees. All thoughts and experiences with the product are naturally my own.
FiiO UTWS5 Wireless Bluetooth DAC & AMP
Today we are looking at their new and upgraded UTWS5. It is a direct upgrade to UTWS3 that we reviewed a while ago. We have reviewed and awarded a lot of FiiO gear here on Headfonia over the years and you can read those reviews here: Headfonia FiiO Reviews.
FiiO’s UTWS line-up consists of 3 products including UTWS5. The UTWS1 is the first product of this series, released at the end of 2019. The UTWS3 was released back in 2020 and now we have the UTWS5, released on FiiO 2021 Autumn Launch Event. The UTWS5 is somewhat special compared to the older generations because now, each side of the UTWS5 adapter features an independent DAC from AKM. The AK4332 is an advanced, low-power, 32-bit DAC that is designed for ultra-portable devices by Asahi Kasei Microdevices. The UTWS5 also features a new premium-tier Bluetooth chip from Qualcomm. The QCC5141 offers Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and 24bit-96kHz decoding via aptX Adaptive.
I am including the major highlights and specifications of the new UTWS5, below.
DAC: AKM 4332 32-bit DAC
Bluetooth Chipset: Qualcomm QCC5141 Bluetooth 5.2
Supported Codecs: AAC / SBC / aptX / aptX Adaptive
Sampling Rate Support: Max. 24bit-96kHz
SNR: ≥109dB (dbA) | Noise Floor:＜2μV (dbA)
THD+N:＜0.002% (1 kHz/32Ω/dbA)
Output Impedance: <0.4Ω (32Ω）
Output Power: ≥54mW (16Ω / THD+N＜1%)
Battery Capacity: 60 mAh per side + 800 mAh Charging Case
Battery Life: ＞8h + x4 case re-charge (AAC)
Features: App Support, IPX4, MMCX/2-pin, Type-C, OTA Updates & more.
Dimensions & Total Weight: Approx. 93.5 x 71.1 x 34.6mm – 122 grams
MSRP: $129 USD
UTWS5’s dedicated web page can be found here. Also, be sure to check the FAQ for detailed info about the features.
Packaging & Accessories
The UTWS5 comes with FiiO’s new, glittery packaging. The outer surface of the package is covered with a coating that gives a kind of rainbow effect. We saw a similar packaging on the BTR5 2021 and BTA30 Pro. I personally like this packaging much better than the old one. This one feels much more exciting!
Removing the glittery outer box grants you access to the densely packed inner compartment where the carrying box is safely held by the protective foam material. I noticed the new gold-plated FiiO brand logo on the charging case as I was unboxing the unit. Under the carrying case, there is another compartment where the manuals and the short USB-A to USB-C cable are located. This cable is for charging the case, however, it is a little too short in my opinion. I would want to see a cable that is at least 30 centimeters long. There are no other accessories in the box other than the short cable.
Build Quality & Design
The build quality is just as good as the previous-gen UTWS3. The case is anodized aluminum, finished with matte black paint. The latch feels durable, hinges seem rigid and strong. There is enough room for storing even larger IEMs with multiple drivers inside the case. The case features a USB-C charging port and it is located on the rear side, under the hinge mechanism. There are 3 LEDs on the front of the case, providing information about the charging status and battery.
FiiO has placed a multipurpose button in the middle. If you long-press the button for about 3 seconds, it will go into the pairing mode. If you hold it for about 12 seconds, you will start the resetting process. Lastly, if you only tap it once, you will be informed about the remaining battery. However, the battery indicator is not the best one out there. It will only go red when the battery life is below 20 percent. Moving on to the units themselves, they are quite light to start with. They are 8 grams each. The rubber-covered ear hooks look and feel good. The rubber finish enhances comfort and contributes to the premium look. There is a small grille under the unit and according to FiiO, that is the primary mic that picks up your voice. There is another grille near the top of the unit and that’s for picking up the ambient noise. The layout remained unchanged.
Each adapter features a touch-sensitive button on the outer side of the bottom end. These buttons are really light to touch or press and they are quite responsive. I don’t like hard to push buttons on true wireless products because it messes up the seal and hinders comfort. Apart from that, the smooth surface that is in contact with your ears has a memory wire inside. You can adjust it to fit your ears perfectly. The adapters themselves are made partly from aluminum as well. The MMCX sockets are gold-plated and seem quite rigid. The unit is also available with 2-pin 0.78mm sockets. You can also try ultra-short adapters if you have both 2-pin and MMCX IEMs in your inventory.
Overall, I like the design and build quality of the UTWS5. It feels rigid and high-quality in hand and up-close. The most vulnerable part of these cases, the hinges, seem very sturdy. My UTWS3 is still going strong after a whole year of abuse. FiiO has been quite consistent with their build and material quality and I want to congratulate them on this. Kudos to the team of engineers behind the UTWS series, nice work!
Fit & Comfort
The case is not very heavy or big. It is practical and easy to carry around. Combined with the adapters, the total weight is 122 grams, which is quite light for a unit that has an aluminum build and an integrated battery. As I mentioned before, the adapters are quite light with smooth-to-touch hooks. They feel comfortable and can be worn quite snugly. You can even take them for a run and not worry about the sweat thanks to the IPX4 water-resistant design. Although, I would not recommend going full Rambo with your 10BA enthusiast IEMs as they might not be as durable as the UTWS5. Frankly, I don’t think anyone will have a problem with the comfort. The UTWS5 offered me a very comfortable and convenient experience during my time with it.
The unit comes with a huge 800 mAh battery case. According to FiiO, you can charge the units up to 4 times so this means that you’ll be able to use them for up to 30h. After testing it on both Android and iOS, I can confirm this. My iPad gets around 7hs of use based on a single charge. My Android phone, however, gets around 6.5hs out of a single charge.
The battery life is satisfactory in my opinion and it should be enough for active, on-the-go days. The battery case features a USB-C port as I mentioned before and it can be fully charged in about 1.5-2 hours.
The review continues on Page Two, after the click HERE or by using the jump below.
Page 2: Amplitude & Bluetooth Chipset, FiiO Control, Call Quality, Sound & Performance, Conclusion
Would it be enough to handle the Monarch MK2?
Sure thing, Bill.