Astell&Kern UW100 MKII true wireless buds up the ante for premium in-ears

Audiophile audio brand A&K announces its second-gen in-ears

Astell&Kern UW100 MK II earbuds in lifestyle shot
(Image credit: Astell&Kern)

Audiophile audio brand Astell&Kern has announced a second-generation of its popular true wireless earbuds, the A&K UW100 MK II.

Sporting a similar aesthetic to the Astell&Kern UW100 released last year, the UW100 MK II in-ears nonetheless tweak the ergonomics for a more comfortable fit, improve the wireless playback tech, and boost the battery for good measure.

They come with an embedded 32-bit DAC and full range Knowles Balanced Armature driver for a clean, neutral sound that aims to deliver recordings as artists intend. There is also Qualcomm's aptX Adaptive wireless tech on board for near lossless audio streaming.

The UW100 MK II buds offer passive noise isolation rather than ANC, which isolates the wearer from external sounds rather than actively cancels it. This is to maintain the premium playback performance, although we'd have to test them on a commute to find out exactly how effective it is.

We have seen the Astell&Kern UW100 MK II in-ears up close ourselves, during a summer event in London, but haven't yet had a chance to listen to them.

Another improvement A&K has made to this generation of earbuds is through a redesigned acoustic chamber and refined circuit design. This not only enhances audio quality, we are told, but the battery life, to boot.

The new model comes with a claimed 9.5 hours of playback time in the buds, with a total of 29 hours including the charging case. The case has been reduced in size too, but can still offer an hour of playback for just 10-minutes of charge time.

Call quality is another highlight, with Qualcomm's Clear Voice Capture Generation 8.0 employed, while multi-pairing and multi-point support enables the in-ears to pair to multiple devices simultaneously. That way you can switch between mobile phone and tablet, for example, without having to disconnect manually.

A&K offers a dedicated Android and iOS app for its headphones, which includes a 10-band equaliser to adjust the sound signature, if you choose. The buds also come with touch controls for easy access to volume, voice assistants, and other functions.

The Astell&Kern UW100 MK II true wireless earbuds will be available from early October 2023, priced at £269 in the UK, $280 in the States, €319 in Central Europe, and $499 in Australia.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.