Anew U1 - Reviews
Pros: Good build quality,
Lightweight,
Mature treble,
Clarity and details,
Good Cable.
Cons: Fat nozzle (Tricky tip selection),
No carry Case.
Introduction
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.U1 is the only product available from this brand and I would like to thank Penon Audio for sending this U1 unit for review.

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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.

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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).

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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.

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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 unibody 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 faceplate is appropriate and stylish. Gold plated female MMCX port is embedded with the shell and seems very high in quality.

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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 nanotube diaphragm Dynamic driver has been used inside U1, which is unique but driver flex also there.

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Cable – 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.

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Tips – 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.

Source
Anew 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.

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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,

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.

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Bass – 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.

Mids – 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 – 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.

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Soundstage, Imaging & Instrument Separation
The soundstage of U1 is wide but not super wide, the soundstage 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.

Comparison

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.

Conclusion
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.
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Pros: Remarkable resolution, definition, separation, level of detail in all ranges.
- Level of construction and cable.
- Above-average comfort, fit and isolation.
Cons: Lack of accessories, no bag or transport box.
Purchase link:

https://penonaudio.com/anew-u1.html

Link to the Store:

https://penonaudio.com/

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Specifications:
  • Driver unit: 10 mm Dynamic Driver carbon nanotube diaphragm
  • Frequency response: 20Hz - 20kHz
  • Sensitivity: 108±1dB
  • Impedance: 32Ω
  • THD: < 0.2%.
  • Plug: 3.5mm gold-plated
  • Capsule connection type: MMCX
  • Cable length: 12cm symmetrical design
Packaging

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The IEMs are packed in clean white packaging, wrapped in transparent film and sealed. Only the brand logo is shown on the front. On the back there is a silver sticker with the specifications. No trace of the model name.

After separating the lid of the box, inside are found:
  • The IEMs with the MMCX cable connected, inside a foam mould, which protects them.
  • A transparent, sealed plastic bag containing the silicone tips.
  • 3 pairs of opaque white silicone tips, sizes S, M, L.
  • 3 pairs of white translucent silicone tips, sizes S, M, L.
  • 1 pair of dual flange tips, white translucent silicone, size L.
The tips are all silicone, 7 pairs total. The channel of all of them is quite wide.
I miss more types of tips and some bag or transport box.
Overall, the content is below the minimum required by the price level.

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Construction and design

The model received has black capsules (it seems that they are a limited edition), with the brand embedded in silver. The shape of the IEMs is custom type, quite rounded, but has a thickness above the centimeter. The material with which they have been built, looks like some kind of hard plastic or acrylic, is glossy, smooth and polished, lightweight, well-finished and sturdy appearance. The nozzles are approximately 5mm in diameter, metallic. They have a filter of the same material, micro perforated. The MMCX connections are embedded and gold plated. On the sides of the capsules, there are two 3-4mm holes, covered by micro-perforated metal filters. The edge of both holes is a different color, red for the right capsule, blue for the left.

The MMCX cable consists of 4 braided cores, each in silver (high purity single crystal copper silver-plated, as described in the store). It has some stiffness, but is still malleable enough not to cause any problems with the memory effect. The 3.5mm jack plug is gold-plated. The silver cover is suitably long and straight, with a rough area for easy grip. The white mark is inscribed on it. Close to the connector there is a velcro band to collect the cable efficiently. The separator is composed of a black cylinder with both silver cones, one on each side, cut at their narrowest ends. The cable has, in the bifurcated zone, a transparent plastic pin for its adjustment under the chin. The MMCX connections are gold-plated and the connectors are plated, of good size, and have a coloured ring inscribed to distinguish the side (red for the right, blue for the left), as well as the letters R and L serigraphied in white, inside a circle. The cables coming out of the MMCX connectors are covered with transparent semi-rigid plastic, to make it easier to fit over the ear.

The cable in general is of remarkable quality and I do not find it necessary to replace it.

Adjustment and ergonomics

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The fit I get with these capsules is pretty good. It's true that they touch slightly against the crus of helix, but not enough to make them uncomfortable. Overall, the capsules are wide and deep, and their fit on my ears is fair enough. For smaller ears, the friction may be more noticeable.

The insertion is rather superficial, given the diameter of the mouthpieces. To improve the seal I use my L-size silicone tips, filled with foam, thus achieving quite good insulation and a high sound immersion.

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Sound

Profile

The Anew U1 are IEMs with a clear emphasis on the low end, not only on the bass, but also on the lower-mids. It’s true that the mids are more distant, but the highs have a good extension. Thus, it could be said that its profile is in moderate V, slightly warm.

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Bass

The lower zone is very complete, from the sub-bass to the lower-mids, the extension and depth is really good. The level of precision and speed is equally remarkable. The texture of the bass is clearly tangible, being very easy to follow all its lines, due to the almost excellent definition. In this sense, one of the characteristics that most caught my attention, has been how these Anew divides all the low frequencies, in all their amplitude, each tone is perceptible individually without interfering with each other. This gives an idea of the quality of the driver used.

At the level of presence, I find the whole area quite linear, without being able to distinguish greater emphasis on one part or the other.

The bass hit is not at bassheads level, but do not disappoint the lovers of this area at all, like me, the bass has a lot of quality not to enjoy them. As it has an extensive range, it has a lot of body and nothing is missing in the area.

Another great feature of the U1 is its ability to keep the bass out of the rest of the frequencies.

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Mids

The frequency response descends smoothly towards the mids, retaining some emphasis still on the lower-mids. This is easily perceived in male voices, which enjoy an extra presence, body and definition, as opposed to clearly V IEMs.

The virtuosity of the driver is still present in this range and offers, once again, a remarkable definition, as well as a great dose of naturalness, despite a slight distance/presence of veil, only perceptible when compared to other more mid-centric IEMs. In no way can I say that U1 is dark, but the mids are not as exuberant as the bass, speaking in terms of presence, not resolution, as it is still the protagonist. U1's remarkable ability to describe every frequency in this range is still present, and this is noticeable even in the most complex and congested passages, even there, the Anew offer very high precision, clarity and detail.

Another plus point is the fair measure of the upper-middle, the control in this range is remarkable. It is very nice to perceive how wheezing stops at the right level.

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Treble

Surprisingly, it's the first thing that comes to mind when I try to analyze this segment. Its extension, definition, level of detail, resolution, clarity and execution, it seems unbelievable that they come from a single driver, and less that it is dynamic. It can be understood that a good dynamic driver defends well in low and/or mid ranges, but to reach the highs and demonstrate the same capacity offered in the previous segments, is within reach of few IEMs, and less in this price segment.

The trebles are quite clear, well executed, laminated, concise, controlled, without stridency or hard, unpleasant peaks. Without being a fan of this area, I must admit that its presence endows the sound with a wealth of nuances and details quite large, providing a great level of clarity, separation and general cleanliness.

In no case are these treble anemics or extremely smoothed, something to keep in mind for those who are sensitive to this area. There is a clear presence, neither elevated nor exaggerated. Different sources may accentuate the area to a greater or lesser degree.

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Scene, soundstage

The sound offered by the U1s enjoys an excellent spatiality. This aspect generates a scene with a similar height and width, more spherical than not excessively wide. The high resolution favors instrumental positioning as well as stereophonic and image recreation.

The separation is a strong point, in each segment I have been extolling the virtue that have the U1, to execute each frequency in a defined manner. In this way, the separation benefits from it. With these IEMs, one is able to detect the dark background offered by good players.

Comparisons

iBasso IT01

IT01s are far more sensitive than U1s.

Bass of the IT01 have some more emphasis on the sub bass, while the U1 provide a more linear range in this segment and offer some more body and presence in the low midrange. Globally, U1 offers more punchy response than IT01.

Male voices sound more advanced in IT01, warmer and somewhat more focused, but thinner. Something similar happens with female voices, although to a lesser degree. In general the IT01 sound a little warmer, but also a little darker and more veiled, compared to a greater clarity and definition of the U1. The higher mids are more present in the U1, providing more brightness in the mids, in general.

The resolution is higher in the U1, as well as their analytical capacity, the IT01 sound more fuzzy in comparison.
The highs extend more in the U1 and provide more detail, while the IT01 sometimes sound more out of control in this area, offering some more unpleasant situations.
The U1 have greater separation and offer a more accurate image.

NiceHCK M6

The U1 are somewhat more sensitive than the M6.

Bass in the U1 are more complete, the sub bass feels more. Although at punch level the differences are not very big, the U1 are somewhat above the M6.

In terms of mids, the M6 seems to have more of a presence in its lower zone, offering a warmer and somewhat more advanced sound in that zone. In the meantime, the U1s show mids with a higher brightness and a bit more definition. The voices sound closer in the M6.

Treble is more present in U1, while M6 tends to be softer. The same happens with their extension, the U1 reach higher.

M6's are softer in general and their sound is more relaxed and warm. The U1 are more energetic, more dynamic, somewhat faster as well and more direct, but their profile is more V, with the voices further away. The resolution also seems somewhat higher, which is why the U1 sounds a more defined point.

The M6 offers a wider scene, while in the U1, the scene is somewhat narrower, but higher. The separation is slightly better in U1.

By way of conclusion, there is no clear winner in this comparison, so the choice of one or the other is subject to its virtues.

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Conclusion

In my humble opinion, the dynamic driver of these Anew is excellent. Leaving aside the profile of these IEMs, I'm very surprised by the analytical capacity they provide and the clarity they offer, along with their level of resolution. But what makes it even better is that this capacity extends over the entire sound range. It's hard to get to the level of micro detail or the precision of good BA drivers, but it really makes it difficult.
However in coherence it is excellent, the music flows in a very natural way and the tone is very pleasant, it is never unreal or forced.

Other parameters to emphasize are the separation and the image, aspects that generate a very pleasant sonorous experience. This, together with their good comfort and a sound that is not strident at all, makes them very nice, even for long sessions.
On the other hand, the cable supplied is remarkable, at the height of the sound and level of construction of the whole.

On the negative side I put the lack of accessories, the tips supplied are quite common and does not bring any case to keep them.

Having analyzed these U1, in view of the good work, the Anew brand looks quite promising. You'll have to pay attention to it.

Sources used during the analysis
  • Burson Audio Playmate.
  • Sabaj DA3.
Ratings
  • Construction: 90
  • Comfort: 80
  • Accessories: 50
  • Sound: 90
  • Quality/price: 80
Pros: good build quality, excellent amount of details, great resolution, balanced AFR
Cons: not the best fit, no pouch or case
One of the best thing about modern HiFi market is that new companies and new brands are appearing quite often. At first, there are nothing but doubts whether the new player is worthy to try, but on the other hand — such tendency would push the market further. Moreover, new brands are likely to put more efforts into their initial product in order to bite some market share right from the start.

There is not much of the information about Anew brand. We were not able to find their official website or any additional information about their current product on sales. Even its box doesn’t shed more light — it only states the company name behind the brand — Rui Sheng Audio Technology Ltd. So, either the company has just decided to go with sales overseas and would develop their media presence soon, or this is totaly Asia-oriented brand with some sales through international shop like PenonAudio.

Input from Emelya on HeadFi (Thanx, man):

"As far as I understand ANEW brand appeared in 2017 and now offers 3 models of earphones: U1 (TSH-AF518 in Japan), 1 nano-tube driver; C1 Classic (Lucky 7 Original), 2BA+DD; M1 (Maru 7) 4BA+DD.
Manufacturer is Dongguan Shengyan Electroacoustic Technology from Mainland China (has its own site and contacts).
According to this review ANEW earphones designed in cooperation with Japanese team (LZ branch?) and distributed mostly in Japan and Taiwan."




Anyway, today we would try to answer the question whether their new product Anew U1 is worth of our attention…

Anew U1 technical specifications:
  • Driver: 10mm dynamic driver with carbon-nanotube diaphragm
  • Sensitivity: 108db
  • Impedance: 32ohm
  • Frequency response range: 20-20KHz
  • Total harmonic distorsion: < 0.2%
  • Cable: 1.2m, silver-plated copper cable, 4 shares braided
  • Cable connectors: MMCX
  • Plug: 3.5mm gold-plated, TRS
Carbon-nanotube diaphragm…, mmmmm — sounds intriguing… Hope that this would do any good to the resulting sound quality. We’d investigate on that a bit later.

Packaging and box contents:

Pretty neat packaging. We like the white box color with minimalistic approach: only brand logo imprint and company name. Nothing else.



The rest of the infromation is provided on pretty large user manual included in the package. Apart of that, the box includes:
  • Anew U1 IEMs
  • cable
  • 7 pairs of silicon eartips
  • 3.5mm plug protector
  • cable velcro strap


No special revelations here. Unfortunately, there is no storage & carrying bag or case.

Materials, design and feel:

Not really sure about the materials used but Anew U1 IEMs look very attractive. It is pure white with glossy finish and red brand logo under thin layer of lacquer at the top.



Looks like the shells are unibody which makes them very stiff and eliminates any kinds of part friction noises in future. Output nozzles are made of aluminum covered with non-detachable filter grills. There are additional phase inverter openings on the sides also covered with aluminum grills. They are outlined with red and blue which are used as right and left indicators. In overall — very attractive design and unusual color choice.



Cable plays a huge role in making a good impression about Anew U1 IEMs. Both — design and sound quality wise. It is silver-plated copper in transparent braid, twisted, with gold-plated 3.5mm audio jack| MMCX connectors and aluminum plug|connector housing. It also incorporates such elements as: earhooks, red and blue side indicators, aluminum Y-splitter with brand logo and bend protection.



Moreover, one rare but important detail here — cable plug and MMCX connector housings can be disassembled — parts are threaded. Therefore, we can even think of fixing the cable if something went really wrong.

Anew U1 fit is not perfect but more or less comfortable. It is really subjective and not this much universal as we’ve seen in Kinera IEMs, for example. The right choice of eartips plays very important role here while trying to get the best fit and outer noise isolation. Thanks God, MMCX connectors allow IEMs to turn around the center point and we wouldn’t have to heat up earguides in order to give it the appropriate initial direction and angle. The good news are that there are no extra sounds produced by the construcition or separate parts and noise isolation is very good. No discomfort during long listening sessions… shape and weight are pretty good.

Sound quality:

Our testing equipment: Hidizs AP80 DAP, Hidizs AP200 DAP, Hidizs Sonata DH1000 DAC&AMP.



First of all — about carbon-nanotube diaphragm. We see lots of companies experimenting with modern materials while trying to build a potentially better dynamic driver. This fight goes on not only among the manufacturers of IEMs but also on such markets as studio|home HiFi|HiEND audio. All of those companies are trying to acquire the best material in terms of frequency response range, reaction speed, weight and driving load… Not sure what did Anew mean by carbon-nanotube (carbon fiber?) but hope that the advantages of the sound quality of those particular dynamic IEMs originate from the use of such material.



Another thing is the burn-in process which is described in the user manual. Anew talks about 100-200 hours of mid-level volume pink noise in order to disclose the full potential. We’ve done the required but were not able to spot the difference. Either we are getting old or, perhaps, only the precise measurement equipment would be able to register such, if any…

Bass and lows:

Excellent. One of the best IEMs among all that we’ve tested so far. Deep bass presence is at the sweet spot — not distructing other frequiencies, with very good shape and amount. The best characteristics of it — the resolution. U1 IEMs are capable not only of delivering bass at appropriate level but also of reproducing its details and texture. We rarely see such careful tuning of bass section nowadays.



Midbass is nothing to complain either. Full-bodied, powerfull, fast. Articulation and speed are very good. Drum sections sound precisely and very engaging. Such IEMs are definitely a good choise for any kind of genres with lots of drums and bass. We think that Anew U1 large compensation openings and driver cavities are perfectly calculated resulting into such pleasing lower registers reproduction.

In overall bass doesn't lead the entire scene, it is served delicately and just to the point it should be. Its texturing would satisfy the most demanding audience.

Mids and vocals:

Again — everything is good here. This section doesn’t get too much of attention, neither it is laid back. Very good balance with other frequency ranges and no obvious coloration. Older rock songs with tube amplifiers get the proper warm treatment and modern genres don’t suffer either and get shiny and crisp if played so. Joe Bonamassa vintage tube-amplified Gibson or Jean Michel Jarre synthesizer - all get the appropriate treatment. Very universal tuning for any kind of music. Vocals sound clearly and naturally. No problems with excessive lisping. Resolution and amount of details are on very high level concerning the dynamic nature of these IEMs.



Treble:

If you thought that this section would talk about «tar tar in a jar of honey» — you are wrong. Moreover, this is the most impressive part of Anew U1 IEMs — despite using the dynamic driver treble section sound like if we are dealing with balanced armature here. Resolution and amount of details are great but at the same time do not produce extra sibilances or noise. Seems that people in Anew done the impossible — tuned treble so that U1 are able to compete with armature IEMs but didn’t allow any further negative and natural repercussions. Perfect job here!!! And again — treble is in good balance with the rest of frequency ranges. In contrary to many of hybrid IEMs it doesn’t add cool, sparkling or icy colorization to the tonality. Just the proper amount of treble brought to a splendid level of details.



Channel separation and layering:

Layering of instruments is good. There is no feel of promiscuity or overemphasis on certain frequencies that would obscure the details we would search for in our testing material. The only small notice is moderate channel separation resulting into a bit less then usual distance between the instruments in binaural recordings. It doesn’t mean that the disctance is small but some latest IEMs on our tests showed some more instrument distribution on vertical and horizontal planes and were closer to full-sized overheads in this regard. Their multi-driver structure and slight desynchronization helped to acquire better feel of channel separation and layering…



Sound in overall:

Anew U1 could be described as universal IEMs, with balanced gain distribution across AFR resulting with slight tendecy to brighter side due to excellent mids|treble resolution and amount of details. There are no obvious peaks or overemphasis making U1 the right choice for colored audio sources or any kind of music genres. Universal nature and excellent resolution are the main advantages of Anew U1.

The most important and what impressed us the most is the fact that U1 IEMs is balancing on the edge of delicate, intimate, warm sound of dynamic drivers and precise, sharp and detailed delivery of armature rivals. We know people, same as we are, who would stick to dynamic drivers for their advantages but at the same time would regret the lack of treble details and their extent after listening to armature IEMs. Anew U1 would be a perfect choise to end this struggle.

Compared to Magaosi K3HD:



Magaosi K3HD are hybrid IEMs that naturally leads to more sharpness on mids and treble with much brighter tonality. It’s sound is V-shaped with recessed mids. Noise level is much higher due to higher sharpness on treble and lows lacks the amount of presence and details. Anew U1 are superior in terms of AFR balance, thicker mids and warmer tonality. Treble and mids resolution a bit hanging behind but are much more controlled and more pleasing to listen to for a longer period.

Compared to Kinera IDUN:



Kinera IDUN exhibit good AFR balance and much higher amount of details on treble and mids. Moreover, their physical fir is almost perfect. Anew U1 have something as a setoff: warmer and thicker delivery of midsand vocals, more intimacy in sound, better lows and mid bass. And all of that with more than expected level of details.

Compared to Earnine EN1J:



Earnine EN1J are totally focused on the mids and vocals leaving the rest out. Those are very interesting IEMs for musicians and can deliver good and warm sound despite its armature nature. But Anew U1 do exhibit more balanced AFR, better presence of lows and treble. The resolution is equal or even exceeded EN1J tuning approach.

Conclusion:

We get back to what we have started this review with — we should always welcome new brands because they would motivate new spin of competition for every market player. Apart from that, newcomers would often try to bite some market share by introducing their best products at the lowest price point. This is true for Anew — we strongly believe that U1 IEMs are much underestimated in terms of price/sound quality ratio. We can’t think of any other dynamic rival that would come even close to the level of U1. Even hybrid or pure armature IEMs with a slightly higher price and created by the most respected brands would suffer from less balanced AFR. But Anew has gone further with their dynamic driver and managed to come very close to the main technological advantage of armature technology — exceptional resolution and high amount of details. In addition to that, U1 definitely outperforms many IEMs in bass and midbass section.



Our warm greetings to Anew U1 and all the best wishes. We hope that all of their future products would maintain the same approach: delivering great sound quality that is totally exceeding the budget!

You can purchase Anew U1 at PenonAudio store
M
mozzy
So I've been searching for a comparison between KINERA IDUN, ANEW U1, iBasso IT02. So can you compare these please?
I like balanced sound with ample bass, sparkle at the high end. And wide Soundstage. Please do provide some help. Thanks in advance for your help.
Pros: Very good bass, good mids and highs, good details and separation, solid build, very good cable
Cons: The driver flexing isn't so bad, but I'd rather not have it at all.


Introduction: ANEW is, well, a new Chinese audio company that just recently started making IEMs, and this product rather surprised me with it's sound on first hear, the ANEW U1, a single dynamic with a carbon nanotube diaphragm that techwise was not entirely new but rare enough that it is interesting to note. So today, I'll be reviewing the ANEW U1 in white (it's only color so far) and I'd like to thank ANEW and Penon for the chance to review the ANEW U1 in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. You can buy the ANEW U1 at the Penon website or locally if your local retailer carries it.



Specification:
Driver: 10mm Dynamic driver
Diaphragm: Carbon nanotube
Sensitivity: 108 ± 1dB
Frequency Response: 20-20khz
Impedance: 32Ω
Total Harmonic Distortion (THD): < 0.2%
Material: Acrylic
Connectors: MMCX
Cable Material: Silver plated high purity single crystal Copper (SPC)
Cable Length: 1.2 meters
Plug: Gold plated 3.5mm





Unboxing: The ANEW U1 has a simple white box made of sturdy cardboard that is moderately in size, inside you'll find the U1 drivers connected to the MMCX cable in a displayed format that shows off the faceplate and beautiful cable. Along with the cable and IEM, there is a small pouch of tips, 2 duplicated sets of 3 sized tips (S/M/L) that has an unextended length and a rather wide bore, as you can see, one is semi transparent and the other is white to match the U and a double flange tip for more options on fit. As far as packed accessories go, it's a little above the average in terms of necessary tips (the Hibiki SE had 3 pairs of tips and a pouch) though I'm sure there will be others who'd want more.



Cable: The cable is definitely a looker, made of high purity single crystal copper plated in silver, it matches the overall white and light aesthetic of the U1. The velcro strap holding the cable is branded with the ANEW name, same as the plug and Y-split, but that's not what makes the whole thing beautiful. The silvery cable is nicely braided, loose enough that it is flexible with a chain like design, it looks like silver jewelry, the chromed metal plug feels strong and holds the cable with a short clear rubber strain relief, the slightly extended (makes connecting to recessed plugs and phones with cases easy) 3.5mm single end jack is gold plated.



The Y-split is a metal bead with a black middle section where the branding is placed, its a nice minimalist design for me that bucks the trend of using carbon fiber designs on plugs and splitters. The chin slider is made of clear rubber, it does it job and it does it well, cool eh? The mmcx connectors are also metallic with a color band of blue for left and red for right, makes easy identification of which goes where, the ear guide acts as a strain relief while guiding the wire around my ear, the simplicity of an mmcx connector means you don't need to think if you're plugging it in with the wrong polarity, just align, push, snap, and you're done. Overall, the cable is something that raises the value of the package, the braid and cable material prevents any microphonics with both beauty, quality and what seems to me, durability. This alone makes me forgive the U1 for it's rather spartan accessory set.



Build/Design: The ANEW U1 went for a mono white acrylic shell without any fancy face plate design or eye catching carbon fiber design, the white reminds me of piano keys, and is uniform throughout the shell same as the texture which is smooth all around. The ANEW logo is on the faceplate made from a shiny metallic looking paint that is underneath a thin layer of acrylic, ensuring that it will never rub off. The 3 things that break the overall smoothness and uniformity of the shell is firstly, the MMCX plug which feels sturdy and flush with the shell.



The second is the metal nozzle that has a prominent tip lip to ensure any tip stays in place, there is a fine dotted hole grill on the nozzle and would seem to prevent almost anything other than sound to get in and out.



The last is the rather large vent with fine dotted holes atop the ANEW logo encircled by a color to denote left (blue circle) and right (red circle). This helps vent the rigid yet flexible CNT diaphragm of the U1, which I believe is one of the reasons for its very good bass performance.



Overall it's a universal fit design that works, not too big, not heavy, but lacking a vent just after the nozzle does induce a bit of driver flex which can be heard if inserted incorrectly (pulling your ear up and back to straighten the ear canal and at times also opening your mouth helps too) but once inside, it'll stay there and can be easily forgotten for hours on end, you can even sleep on them (and don't have to worry about destroying the connectors since it's MMCX, it'll just disconnect instead of destroying the connection housing or breaking a pin and leaving it inside.



Sound Analysis: Earlier impressions of the Anew U1 was that of a nicely engineered sound with an emphasis on bass, I have thought at the back of my head that the bass on the U1 is truly big and strong, just within the realms of bass head territory. And yet, the mids and treble were not added as an afterthought, it stood out to me as something more advanced bass loving audiophiles might want. And as usual for bass boosted products using dynamics, I've since experienced in most dynamic driven products that it does get better (less overwhelming, more controlled and more agile) as you put more usage time into it. Considering too that the diaphragm is made from carbon nanotubes, there are high expectations on the Anew U1, so after over 200 hours of use, I prepared the U1 for review, using the largest (white) stock tips, a variety of sources (but mostly with the WM1a) and volume matched to 90db to test its capabilities.

Bass: Right from the onset, Dragonborn's war drums resound with good impact, the 10mm carbon nanotubes elastic yet rigid drivers giving it a good amount of bass that fills my ears with a hit that is felt rather strongly, then rumbling deeply with an extension that has very good reach. On Lose Yourself to Dance, the bass shows it's true colors, the intro hits me with a strongly weighted and yet smoothly controlled slam, coupled with a rumbly sound underneath the main attack, clear and detailed to stand alongside the different sounds generated in the this song, it doesn't overwhelm the listener or bleed into the mids. Decay is a little above average in speed, being both able to give a good lingering rumble yet also quite resolving to give The Day The World Went Away guitar reverb and harmonics a clearly sounding intro riff that does not trip on it's own sound. The grungy crunch of of Lithiums bass guitars resound beautifully and energetically in the chorus, blending a smooth, detailed and overall very good bass into a fun musical experience that got my head bobbing around to the beat of the song, definitely one of the main draws of the Anew U1.



Mids: Skipping the "mids is life" monologue I sometimes do, the Anew U1 has a rather interesting mid frequency presentation, the lower mids are a little forward, lifting male vocals up and giving them better representation, which is the same level of forwardness of the upper mids/female vocals. The notes here have a good amount of body, an above average level of thickness which gives more power to each note played, Clair Marlo's Till They Take My Hear Away offers a sweet level of vocals that mixes a good amount of body with the details of her sweet sounding voice that results in a smooth and quite emotive performance. Not to be outdone, Sam Smith's Too Good at Goodbyes reaches into his vocal prowess to deliver a husky touching song that is given strength with the body provided by the U1.

Granted that body isn't the most important part of the mid section, the U1 is also able to deliver a good amount of detail and space it out so each instrument, sound and vocalization is clear and delivered without sound squished together, Pandemic's mid section is littered with sounds, drums, guitars and vocals playing all at the same time and the U1 is able to deliver them without sounding congested or compressed, though there is not a lot of micro detail, you can pick a sound and identify it within the cacophony that is this song. While not the the first thing you'll notice, the mids on the U1 are impressive in their own right and deliver a good amount of clarity, detail and power to my ear, it's quite a pleasant combination.



Treble: There is a good level of extension to the U1's treble section, it provides a good airy presentation that give space and clarity to the harmonics and sounds that reach this area. Kill Em All (Deluxe/Remastered) gives an energetic performance with so much high hats, cymbals and other smashing sounds that are nicely separated, presented without harshness and give shine to the music. Silent Lucidity's harmonics delicately dances in the treble area with crisp and some sparkle, the U1 has good control that prevents sibilance to occur though I'm sure some who are treble sensitive may feel that it's bright and if pushed to the upper registers (100db and higher) sibilance prone songs can start to reach the point of sibilance but stops short of being a harsh jab into your ear. A Question of Lust (101 Live) shows good control of the 7-8k region where cymbal crashes occur where the U1 does not roll off the frequency, but presents it in a clear but controlled smash that blooms outward a bit before decaying into the next hit, sounding quite natural in it's execution. The overall treble of the U1 has good extension, space and clarity that keeps the music exciting.

Soundstage: The U1 has an above average soundstage with a good amount of width that's around 3 inches away from the ear, this stage sounds natural (vs a forced distancing) and has a similar but shorter range from front to back and the up and down (depth/height) giving a fishbowl shape to the soundstage. Giving ample space for orchestral music like Ameriques (1929 revised version by Chou Wen-chung) to play around the stage and sound good and clear. As evident in the mids with songs like Pandemic and Hit the Lights, separation and layering are quite good and gives a nice sense of space as well as a defined notion of what the sound is and where it's coming from granting the U1 an accurate (though not in a laser focused way) imaging of sound.



Comparisons: Each IEM was volume matched to 90db via a dedicated sound meter and to even out the playing field (whether you believe in tips change the sound or not) I used Symbio W tips on all the items for comparison as they fit on all test units easily and have the same material and diameter of bore for a fair comparison. Buyers may hear differently when using the stock tips, but I believe this is the most fair way to compare them and let the user decide on how to shape the sound (using tips, cables and their source signature).

iBasso IT01 and ANEW U1
Bass: The U1 and IT01 has very similar extension, with the U1 edging it by a tiny bit more in depth. U1 has more impact weight than IT01, quantity is the same, IT01 has a little bit slower decay, both have good rumble, bass texture is again similar with the IT01 being a little bit more smoother, both do not bleed into the mids.

Mids: U1 has more forward lower mids and a little bit more forward upper mids than IT01, IT01 has a thicker, bodied midrange, U1 has more clarity and details, both do not sound hollow or tinny, separation and layering is similar, range is similar as well.

Treble: U1 has more extension, both have similar air, sparkle and clarity, both have good control over sibilance and harshness, cymbal crashes are more natural expanding on U1 than IT01, decay is faster on IT01. resolution is the same.

Soundstage: The IT01 has a wider left/right soundstage, and U1 has a more up and down height and depth as well as front and back space than the it01. Accuracy on both is on par.



Shozy Hibiki SE and ANEW U1
Bass:
The U1 has a little bit more extension than the Hibiki SE, The U1 has a has a little more impact weight than the Hibiki SE, the Hibiki SE has more bass quantity than the U1, the U1 has a little bit more faster decay, both have good rumble, bass texture is similar but the U1 has more smoothness, both do not bleed into the mids.

Mids: U1 and Hibiki has a similar level of forwardness in the lower mids, upper mids, the hibiki se is a little more forward. The Hibiki SE has little more thickness, bodied midrange, and the U1 has a little more clarity, both have a similar range in detail presentation and retrieval. Both do not sound hollow or tinny, layering and range is similar in both with the U1 a little bit more spacious in separation.

Treble: The U1 has more extension, both have a similar air with the U1 leading a little bit than the Hibiki SE. There is a bit more sparkle and a little bit more detail with the U1, both have good control over sibilance and harshness though cymbal crashes (7-8kHz) on the Hibiki SE little rolled off, and decay faster, the U1 sounds more natural in this area. Resolution is a little bit better on the U1.

Soundstage: the Hibiki SE has a wider left/right soundstage, and U1 has a more up and down height and depth as well as front and back space than the it01. Accuracy on both is on par.



Conclusion: The ANEW U1 is so much more than an alternative in this price bracket, on sound alone, the balance of the frequencies are very good; a strong, articulate and engaging bass, clear, spacious and forward mids, and nicely extended and crisp highs coupled with a good amount of detail retrieval, separation and layering, and you have the makings of a satisfying IEM that is more compelling than the rest, something that both a basshead and those that aren't can actually enjoy! A good build and a wonderful cable with effective tips rounds out the package that one can easily dismiss as spartan, until you hear the U1 at least, then you'll just easily forget about that little concern.



Sound testing was done using a Sony WM1a (Primarily), Sony A35, Zishan Z1(for comparison), Audirect Beam (for computer convenience) and a phone (for checking driveability) volume matched to 90.X db of max volume for safe hearing below 8 hours of use and calibrated using a 1kh tone on a dedicated DB Meter, all sources patched through a switcher. More information will be available on the About Me page (once I find the time to write it up.)
misteral201103
misteral201103
Excellent review, thorough yet concise. Absolutely ticked all the boxes for me (the review, not the IEMs, although I would certainly audition them if I saw them around)
Great job, keep 'em coming!!!
Kervsky
Kervsky
Thank you for the kind words, these kinds of messages help keep me motivated to do better :)
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