It’s always a very critical situation; when I have prepared myself to evaluate a product but instead listening to my playlists for hours without writing anything. Anew U1 is something like that and after almost three months of daily usage, I am doing this review. Anew as a brand is not that popular and very little information is out there. Anew U1 is the only product available from this brand and I would like to thank Penon Audio for sending this U1 unit for review.
Anew U1 Specifications
- Brand – Anew,
- Model – U1,
- Color – Ivory / Black (Limited Edition),
- Headphone sound principle – 10mm single carbon nanotube diaphragm Dynamic driver,
- Shell material – Acrylic + Aluminum,
- Nozzle diameter – 6 mm,
- Sensitivity – 108dB/mW,
- Frequency Response Range – 20-20KHz,
- Impedance – 32Ω,
- Distortion – < 0.2%,
- Plug diameter – 3.5mm gold plated,
- Connectors – MMCX,
- Cable length – 1.2 M,
- Cable type – High purity SPC Copper (Litz) 4 shares braided with ear hook,
- Plug Type – straight plug.
Buying Link – Here
What’s in the Box?
- U1 IEM Limited Edition Black,
- Single crystal copper silver-plated Litz cable,
- 3 Pairs of white silicone ear tips (S, M, and L) wide bore,
- 3 Pairs of transparent silicone ear tips (S, M, and L) wide bore,
- 1 Pairs of double flange silicone ear tips (L).
Anew U1 Presentation, Design & Build Quality
Anew U1 comes inside an 11 X 17 X 4.5 cm (W*H*D) white box, branding has been done on top of the box and specifications backside of the box. U1 IEM & cable placed inside using some foams and ear tips are beneath that foam layer. The overall presentation is simple and elegant.
Anew U1 IEM
I have received the limited edition Black Anew U1 for review and no doubt it’s very good looking. The entire shell is made out of acrylic and the surface is totally smooth. No visible scratch or bubble is present on U1’s uni-body shell. The 6mm front nozzles have been made of aluminum. Perforated plates also have been applied in front of it to stop dust and dirt inside. Silver color branding on the face-plate is appropriate and stylish. Gold plated female MMCX port is embedded with the shell and seems very high in quality.
Another hole covered with a perforated plate on sides of the U1 drivers is there; red and blue color on them shows L and R driver. These holes are to minimize the pressure inside the IEM. Overall Anew U1 is not too small or too big. Medium size, smooth surface, lightweight and custom IEM like designed Anew U1 is a comfortable and good looking IEM without any doubt. 10mm single carbon nano-tube diaphragm Dynamic driver has been used inside U1, which is unique but driver flex also there.
The stock cable is one of the best cables that comes bundled with IEM under 200$ price range. The cable is totally handmade. 1.2 m silver-plated copper; Litz 4 core cable beautifully braided, not so soft or not so hard. High quality 3.5 mm gold plated plug, small Y splitter, lightweight chin slider, soft ear-hook and good MMCX connectors everything matches the total aesthetics of the cable. Even a white cable tie has been supplied to organize the cable.
Tip selection is average. Both transparent and white tips are a wide bore. Only one large size double flange tip has been supplied which is strange. Narrow bore, foam and other double flange tips could be added but not present. Carry case or pouch also has been not supplied.
Fit & Comfort
From the aspect of fit and comfort, I can say it depends largely on the selection of tip. The nozzle size of Anew U1 is around 6mm so only a few aftermarket tips works. Wide bore tips really help to improve the lower frequency of U1 but that double flange tip was most comfortable for me.
U1 is easy to drive but. Sources I have used for this review are –
- DAP – Hiby R3, Dethonray DTR1.
- DAC AMP combo with PC – Audioquest Dragonfly Black, Fiio Q5, Schiit Modi 3+ Topping NX3s.
- Phone – RealMe C2 + USB audio player pro.
- More than 100 hours of burn-in has been done before this review.
Tracks / Albums Listened
- Adele – 25,
- Amy Winehouse – Back To Black,
- Michael McDonald – Wide Open,
- Eagles – The Very Best Of The Eagles,
- Eric Clapton – Riding With The King (Tidal MQA),
- Eric Clapton – Unplugged (1992),
- Etta James – At Last!,
- Michael Jackson – Scream,
- Sia – This Is Acting (Deluxe Version),
- Kacey Musgraves – Golden Hour,
- Legends- Elton John,
- Daft Punk – Random Access Memories,
- Fleetwood Mac – Rumours,
- Sting – The Best of 25 Years,
Anew U1 Sound
At first contact; Anew U1 may sound like a conventional ‘ V ‘ tuned IEM. Extended lower and higher frequency part with recessed Mids. Surprisingly after a long burn-in period, it has recovered the distance in mid-frequency quite a bit. The natural representation of Mids sometimes feels recession but for my ears, Anew U1 is an almost balanced IEM.
When comes to the lower frequency part, Anew U1 just mesmerizes with its outstanding performance. Both extension and depth are too good. With moderate speed and accuracy, the lower frequency part can reach deep easily. Both quality and quantity can be found in U1’s lower frequency part. Overall a full-bodied approach with the right amount of texture in mid-bass also can be noticed. Non-exaggerated sub-bass region is capable of a smooth rumble effect.
In Songs like ‘ I miss you ‘ by Adele, the opening drum hits sound full and well-controlled, in ‘ Instant Crush’ by Daft Punk the constant drum hits in backgrounds create a dance floor inside you. Bass lovers should try Anew U1 to experience a rich and resolving bass experience.
First things first, no bass bleed in Mids noticed in Anew U1. Mid-range has presented itself almost a natural way and no such coloration present at all. Crisp, clear rendering with lots of details in mid-range. A little boost in lower mid-range results male vocals more crispier than female vocals. No harshness in upper mid-range but details are well preserved. The sense of naturalness and lots of details proves U1 is not a conventional ‘ V ‘ tuned IEM.
Anew U1 renders songs like ‘Crocodile Rock’ by Elton John and ‘Back To Black’ by Amy Winehouse in a linear way and sound more neutral but the texture remains untouched.
Treble is the most, interesting part of Anew U1. Higher frequency part is well-extended with lots of details but nowhere near sibilance. Good to mention that even with bright sources Anew U1 remains calm. The whole treble part is airy and specious but lack of brilliance keep U1 in the dry side like a multi B.A crossover. For example in the song like ‘ Dream ‘ by Fleetwood Mac, the cymbals sound accurate but the sparkle is not there.
Soundstage, Imaging & Instrument Separation
The sound-stage of U1 is wide but not super wide, the sound-stage is more and more natural. Imaging another hand very good. Each and every instrument can be clearly identified. Busy tracks handled properly and each and every note is well articulated.
Ibasso it01 vs Anew U1
Both it01 and U1 priced very similarly. Soundwise they are very close too. Ibasso it01 offers more bass than Anew U1 but in a less controlled manner. It01’s bass response is not as impactful as U1. Maybe the quantity is more but the quality is better in U1. U1 has more texture and can go deeper than It01. Mids a bit better in It01 though. In the treble part, U1 is a clear winner. U1 has a more clear and sharper treble area in comparison to It01. The soundstage on both this IEMs is almost the same.
Buying one IEM over another from Chi-fi market under the budget segment is now quite challenging. Undoubtedly many really good and budget-friendly IEMs are now available and Anew U1 one of them. Anew U1 presents a well-balanced and mature sound that an audiophile really likes to have.