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EAH-AZ80: Modern and versatile TWS headphones from Technics

Technics EAH-AZ80 Review
Technics EAH-AZ80 Review

Apart from the catchy slogan on their website, “Never miss a beat,” and the enticing presentation of “Wireless clear sound. From work to life, and everything in between,” we also know that these headphones come with some impressive features. We’re talking about the LDAC codec, Multipoint capability for three devices, ANC hybrid noise reduction, a powerful system of microphones, and a rather hefty price tag of $300. It’s definitely an interesting combination, I must say.

But the big question remains: will the sound blow me away?

Visual impressions

The company is committed to staying on-trend and proudly announces that all their packaging is completely free of plastic. They even use a special DURABIO plant-based bioplastic for the headphones and case. The delivery package is minimalist, consisting of a short USB-C/USB-C charging cable and 7 pairs of ear pads in various sizes. Oh, and let’s not forget the abundance of books and instructions included. These are truly eco-friendly audiophile products.

Now, let’s talk about the case. It has a sleek matte finish and a compact size with a metal cover. You can easily slip it into your pocket without any hassle, as it only weighs 50 grams. The surface is resistant to scratches and doesn’t show any branding. Plus, it supports Qi wireless charging, making it even more convenient.

Design

The Technics EAH-AZ80 headphones have a sleek and elegant look that I really appreciate. They come in either black or silver. Each earbud weighs 7 grams and has a durable plastic case with an aluminum finish, along with basic IPX4 moisture protection. Despite their large size and somewhat unusual shell shape, I was pleasantly surprised by how well they fit in my ears. While I wouldn’t recommend wearing them while doing intense physical activities, they are comfortable and stay in place.

The EAH-AZ80 model features touch controls that allow you to easily switch tracks, adjust volume, change modes, answer calls, and interact with a virtual assistant. You can customize the controls in the app to suit your preferences. I did notice that the touch panels are quite sensitive, leading to accidental activations, but at least the response time is quick.

Functionality

These headphones come with 10 mm aluminum alloy speakers and unique acoustic chambers. They also support Bluetooth version 5.3, which is great. I’m happy to say that they also support AAC and LDAC codecs. And here’s an interesting detail – they have Multipoint, which allows you to connect up to three devices simultaneously. However, there’s a catch. If you want to connect three sources, you won’t be able to use LDAC. So, if you’re an audiophile with multiple devices, you’ll have to settle for two. On the bright side, the connection with these headphones is instant and remains stable. The standard working distance is 10 meters. One of the most popular features is the active noise reduction.

The Technics EAH-AZ80 headphones come with a Dual Hybrid Noise Canceling Technology system, and it works pretty well. It may not reach the level of Sony, but it’s definitely a good alternative. I have no complaints about the noise cancellation, even though the sound cables are a bit short. You can adjust the intensity of the noise cancellation independently. However, I did notice a slight negative effect on the sound quality. On the other hand, there’s also a transparent mode available, which provides a natural and clear sound, although there’s a slight hissing sound. As expected, these headphones come with a proprietary application that allows you to customize your listening experience. You can play around with the equalizer, choose the size of the ear pads, and adjust settings for features like “smart” pause, noise reduction, sensor, wireless codecs, and automatic shutdown. It’s great to have such control over the settings.

When it comes to call microphones, they really delivered. Each earcup has 4 MEMS microphones and features patented JustMyVoice technology to reduce wind noise. I tested it out and the outcome was pretty impressive. Unless you’re in extreme conditions, the voice comes through clearly, loudly, and intelligibly.

The Technics EAH-AZ80 can last up to 7.5 hours without ANC and 7 hours with ANC, 25 hours or 24 hours with the case, respectively, when using the AAC codec. However, if you switch to LDAC, the battery life decreases to 5 hours without ANC and 4.5 hours with ANC, 4 hours or 17 hours with the case, respectively. Personally, I think for the price, these TWS earbuds should have better battery performance. It’s worth mentioning the cheaper Noble Audio FoKus H-ANC, which offers up to 13 hours of playtime, and it’s not even a flagship model. The only silver lining is that the Technics earbuds support fast charging – just 15 minutes gives you 70 minutes of music playback.

Sound

 

The main testing was carried out on Astell&Kern A&Ultima SP3000 , iBasso DX320 and iPhone 15 Pro.

The Technics EAH-AZ80 are enjoyable, luxurious, and comfortable. The overall atmosphere it creates is filled with velvety tones, giving it a warm and sweet color. While it may not excel in micro-detailing, the headphones deliver clean, precise, and intelligible sound. I also noticed the energetic dynamics, with the melodies being lively, mobile, and punchy. Combined with a wide soundstage, it offers an exciting, natural, and vibrant listening experience that suits various genres without being overly demanding. The entertainment aspects are not excessively emphasized, so they won’t be harsh on anyone’s ears.

In terms of sound, this model is cheerful and friendly, requiring no separate adjustment. You can easily imagine it: a solid bass, a detailed midrange with added physicality, and confident yet not overly bright high frequencies. It prioritizes emotionality and vocals. The limitations of Bluetooth signal transmission are compensated by the richness of the sound palette and the holographic presentation.

Any downsides? I wished for more resolution, subtle nuances, and control. Personally, I found the presentation of the Technics EAH-AZ80 to be “normal,” neither evoking passionate love nor dislike. You know my preferences—I’m a fan of more analytical and transparent audiophile experiences, especially in devices priced at $300 or above. However, for those who appreciate smooth musicality, these TWS earbuds could be a great upgrade option. As always, I recommend giving them a listen yourself, as they still have their own unique appeal.

Frequencies

The bass has a strong presence, it feels collected and flexible. The attacks are punchy and confident, and the textures have exceeded my expectations in terms of variability. The sub is moderately deep and massive, without any buzzing or overpowering the rest of the range.

Moving on to the middle frequencies, they are vibrant, natural, and soft. The vocals particularly stood out to me, as they are incredibly expressive, passionate, and clear. The soundstage may not be the largest, but it still feels open and three-dimensional. The midrange is well-balanced, without any dryness or irritation from synthetic sounds. However, one drawback is the lack of instrument separation and clarity.

As for the high frequencies, they sound natural, melodic, and warm. While the spectrum may be compromised to some extent, it is not completely cut off, and the headphones handle acoustic genres quite well. The high frequencies are delicately presented, with a slight roundness to the sound that adds to the overall comfort.

Competitors

Currently, my top picks are the Devialet Gemini II, but their price is significantly higher, so it wouldn’t make sense to compare them with the headphones in this review. The Noble FoKus Mystique model is a closer match, even though it comes at a slightly higher cost. Its sound signature is powerful, impressive, and bright, with emphasized, rolling bass, a detailed and transparent midrange, and incredibly beautiful, rich, crystal-clear, and extended highs. The soundstage is also better with these headphones.

Overall, if you’re looking for detail and scale, I recommend checking out Noble’s flagship models. However, the FoKus Mystique might be too vibrant for some listeners, as there’s quite a bit of bass. Their expressive nature may not be for everyone. On the other hand, the Technics EAH-AZ80 offers a warmer and more natural sound delivery, which is more delicate and less demanding on the quality of the recording.

Conclusion

I wouldn’t necessarily label the Technics EAH-AZ80 as audiophile TWS, but rather TWS headphones for music enthusiasts. It’s modern, versatile, and delivers pleasant sound. While not exceptionally detailed, its key strength lies in introducing regular wireless users to a world where sound quality matters. With these headphones, you can elevate your music listening experience and feel like a connoisseur. They are user-friendly, comfortable for long periods, and efficient for daily use. As for battery life and price, I do have some queries, but overall, it’s a strong contender in its class.

 

Technics EAH-AZ80 Review
Technics EAH-AZ80
8.5

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