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Home / Hot Stuff / Audio / Astell&Kern premieres AK UW100 – its first-ever true wireless buds

Astell&Kern premieres AK UW100 – its first-ever true wireless buds

Hi-res audio specialist Astell&Kern has debuted the AK UW100 – its first-ever set of true wireless buds. Entering such a saturated market is going to be interesting for Astell&Kern, but it’s managing to hit a decent price point for the $260/£249 buds, which launch next month.

These aren’t noise-cancelling buds – instead, they include passive noise isolation to block mid-to-high ambient noise, so it’ll be interesting to hear how effective this is. A tap of the left earbud activates ambient mode, so you can hear your surroundings more effectively.

The chunky-looking case boasts wireless charging and you will get a now fairly standard six hours of battery life from the earphones themselves, with a further 18 hours in the case. So battery life isn’t exceptional, but it’s far from disappointing.

The earphones are underpinned by a Qualcomm QCC5141 chipset including support for the latest Bluetooth 5.2 protocol and aptX Adaptive codec that adapts the bit rate to reduce latency. Plus there’s a 32-bit DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter) which works alongside Astell&Kern’s proprietary AMP technology also found inside the company’s renowned hi-res audio players.

The AK UW100 also use Knowles Balanced Armature drivers to reduce distortion – basically, a step up from those drivers found in cheaper true wireless earphones.

The AK UW100 use touch controls on each ear for control and ambient mode (four different levels) while there’s a bespoke iOS and Android app for fine-tuning or selecting settings, too.

Profile image of Dan Grabham Dan Grabham Editor-in-Chief


Dan is Editor-in-chief of Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website.  Our Editor-in-Chief is a regular at tech shows such as CES in Las Vegas, IFA in Berlin and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona as well as at other launches and events. He has been a CES Innovation Awards judge. Dan is completely platform agnostic and very at home using and writing about Windows, macOS, Android and iOS/iPadOS plus lots and lots of gadgets including audio and smart home gear, laptops and smartphones. He's also been interviewed and quoted in a wide variety of places including The Sun, BBC World Service, BBC News Online, BBC Radio 5Live, BBC Radio 4, Sky News Radio and BBC Local Radio.

Areas of expertise

Computing, mobile, audio, smart home

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