FiiO UTWS5 Bluetooth Earbuds: HiFi Sound + Low Latency, The Liberator for Wired Earbuds

Published on June 1, 2023, 3:26 p.m.

The FiiO UTWS5 is an ingenious device that frees your wired earbuds into the wireless world. As a high-fidelity Bluetooth earhook, it brings convenience and high-quality listening experience to audiophiles on the go.

Overview

The FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds stands out with its independent DAC chip, flagship Bluetooth 5.2 chipset, large charging case and long battery life. With Qualcomm’s latest codecs like aptX Adaptive, it can transmit 24-bit/96kHz hi-res audio wirelessly to your earbuds. The FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds ushers your analog earbuds into the wireless future.

 FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds

Key Features

  • Bluetooth 5.2 with Qualcomm QCC5141 chip
  • Supports aptX Adaptive for 24-bit/96kHz wireless audio
  • Ultra low latency for immersive audio experience
  • Independent DAC and amplifier for superior sound
  • Up to 8 hours playtime, 30 hours with charging case
  • IPX4 rating against sweat and splashes
  • 0.78mm 2-pin and MMCX connectors available

Design - Understated Yet Functional

In terms of design, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds keeps things clean and minimalistic. The all-black color blends in elegantly whether you wear it outdoors or in the office. The earhooks are crafted from skin-friendly materials with adjustable memory metal stems. This lightweight and non-intrusive design offers fatigue-free all-day wearing. The charging case has a matching stealthy look with rounded edges for easy portability.

Ease of Use - Seamless User Experience

Once you get accustomed to the intuitive controls, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds proves to be very easy to operate. The tactile multifunction button makes controlling music and calls a breeze. The earhooks connect instantly when removed from the case, thanks to instant pairing. The FiiO Control app allows convenient firmware updates and settings adjustment on the fly. Overall, FiiO made the user experience smooth as butter.

Sound Quality - Impressive Fidelity

With its independent DAC and amp, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds delivers stunning sound quality over Bluetooth. The level of detail and resolution exceeds expectations, approaching wired levels. The excellent dynamic range and spacious soundstage bring your music to life. Thanks to aptX Adaptive support, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds remains hi-fi even with more complex music genres. Audiophiles can rejoice over this level of wireless fidelity.

Microphone - Serviceable for Calls

The FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds comes equipped with dual microphones for phone calls and voice assistant access. Call quality is decent in quiet environments but starts to struggle in noisier locations. The mic setup focuses more on voice transmission rather than noise reduction. For important calls, users may want to switch to their smartphone’s mic. But for quick calls, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds gets the job done.

Noise Control - Lacks ANC

Being an earhook accessory, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds does not come with active noise cancellation (ANC) technology. It relies purely on the passive isolation of your earbuds. ANC would have been a nice bonus, especially for frequent commuters. However, the ambient mode can be useful to augment spatial awareness when required. Overall, noise control is not a strength of the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds.
 FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds

Battery & Charging - Room for Improvement

Battery life is a mixed bag on the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds. The earhooks themselves last around 8 hours, which is decent but not outstanding. The charging case boosts it to 30 hours total, but only if it charges reliably. Some users faced intermittent charging issues with the case or earhooks. More consistent QC would improve the battery situation. On the plus side, the case supports wireless charging.
 FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds

Connectivity - Up to Date Standards

The FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds utilizes the latest Bluetooth 5.2 and high-quality codecs like AAC and aptX Adaptive. Wireless range is sufficient for indoor use, but struggles at larger distances. Some users experienced occasional dropouts, but a firmware update may improve stability. The situation seems marginally better than competing wireless earhooks.

Controls - Highly Customizable

A major advantage of the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds is customizable controls via the FiiO app. You can configure the multifunction button for various click combinations. This level of customizability is rare among Bluetooth headphones. Each earhook has independent volume control as well. Overall, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds offers a seamless control experience for users.
 FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds

Build Quality - Premium Feel

FiiO designed the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds to look and feel durable. The matt finish on the earhooks and case resist scratches well. The sturdy hinge mechanism of the charging case should survive regular opening and closing. The MMCX/2-pin connectors feel sturdy. While not built like a tank, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds has better build quality than typical Bluetooth plastic earbuds.

Comfort - Unobtrusive Fit

Weighing just 13g each, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds are a joy to wear comfort-wise. The over-ear fit stays secure without applying pressure on the ears. The earhooks come with different sized eartips for a personalized fit. Adjustable memory metal stems keep them flush against the ear. Overall, the lightweight and ergonomic design of the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds makes them easy to wear for extended periods.

Water Resistance - Sweat Protection

The FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds comes with an IPX4 rating for water and sweat resistance. This makes them suitable for sports and workouts without damage concerns. However, the IPX4 rating does not cover submersion. Users should avoid exposing the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds to heavy rain or dropping them in water. But for exercise sessions, the IPX4 rating provides adequate protection.

Usage Scenarios

With its stable fit and high-fidelity sound, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds shines in active situations like sports and workouts. Gamers will love its lag-free audio for immersive gaming. Its ambient mode enhances spatial awareness during your daily commute or in the office. The FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds brings an audiophile-grade wireless experience to any scenario.

User Feedback Analysis

Reviews of the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds reveal a divided user response. When functioning properly, most users applaud the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds for its stellar sound quality and low latency. They describe an immersive listening experience that brings wired-like audio over Bluetooth. The ability to use their favorite IEMs wirelessly is also a big plus.

However, a significant number of users faced reliability issues that hampered the experience. The most commonly reported problems include:

Battery drainage: Some users found the battery draining unusually fast. Both the earhooks and case batteries depleted quicker than advertised. This resulted in reduced playback times. FiiO should look into potential hardware or software bugs affecting battery life.

Charging problems: Sporadic charging failures were highlighted by many customers. Sometimes only one earhook would charge in the case while the other remained dead. Other times the case itself would stop charging the earhooks. Such glitches created frustration.

Connection drops: While connectivity was fine for most, some users came across occasional audio cutouts or disconnections. This points to potential stability issues when connected to certain phones or in busy wireless environments.

Quality control: There seems to be considerable unit-to-unit variation based on reviews. Some units work flawlessly while others come with glaring issues right out of the box. FiiO needs to step up quality control and testing.

Lack of features: A few reviewers were disappointed by the lack of wireless charging support and active noise cancellation, which competing products offer.

Comfort issues: A minority of users with smaller ears found the earhooks bulky and uncomfortable to wear for long stretches.

To conclude, when functioning as intended, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds satisfies users with its audio fidelity and wireless convenience. However, recurring issues like battery drainage, charging problems and QC anomalies need to be addressed by FiiO to make this product recommendable.

Pros and Cons

Pros

  • Superb sound with aptX Adaptive
  • Lower latency for videos and gaming
  • Good battery life with charging case
  • Sweat/splash resistant (IPX4)
  • Support for 0.78mm and MMCX connectors

Cons

  • Battery and charging problems reported
  • No active noise cancellation
  • No wireless charging for earbuds
  • Connectivity drops occasionally

Value for Money

With high-resolution wireless audio, customizable controls and IPX4 rating, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds offers great value at its price point. Competitors lack certain features like aptX Adaptive or wireless charging case. If FiiO improves the battery life and stability through firmware updates, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds would be an even more compelling purchase.

Conclusion

Overall, the FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Wireless Earbuds is a compelling product that frees wired earbuds into the wireless world. With its great sound, low latency and long battery life, it’s an excellent choice for audiophiles who want to cut the cord without compromising audio quality.

Specifications

  • Bluetooth Version: 5.2
  • Supported Codecs: SBC, AAC, aptX, aptX Adaptive
  • Connectors: MMCX, 0.78mm 2-pin
  • Battery Life: Up to 8 hours (earbuds), 30 hours (with charging case)
  • Charging: USB Type-C, wireless charging for case
  • Water Resistance: IPX4
  • Wireless Range: Unknown
  • Other Features: Independent DAC and amp, ambient mode

Box Contains

  • 1x FiiO UTWS5 Bluetooth earhook
  • 1x Charging case
  • 1x USB Type-C cable
  • 1x Quick start guide
  • 1x Warranty card

How To Use

To use the UTWS5, first insert your wired earbuds into the MMCX/2-pin connectors. Then turn on the UTWS5 earhooks and enter pairing mode. On your phone, go to Bluetooth settings and select “UTWS5” to connect it. You can adjust settings like EQ and controls in the FiiO Control app. Always store the earhooks in the charging case when not in use.

FiiO UTWS5 Amplifier Bluetooth Earbuds