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Technics EAH-AZ80 review: These earphones do everything well

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At first sight

Expert evaluation


Excellent audio quality Connect to 3 devices simultaneously Long battery life Lots of customization


No automatic optimization options. Sturdy case

Our verdict

The Technics EAH-AZ80 are among the best high-end true wireless earbuds around, with class-leading customization and connectivity supported by excellent audio.

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Technique $299.99

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Technics is one of the great old audio brands. Half a century of hi-fi hasn’t left the brand with much sex appeal, but instead there’s a reassuring feeling that they probably know what they’re doing.

And so it is with the new EAH-AZ80 flagship earphones. It takes confidence to go head to head with Apple, Bose, and Sony at the $300 end of the wireless earphone market, but Technics has earned it.

With an understated design, excellent audio, and the near-unique ability to connect to three devices at once, these are one of the best options out there for those who care more about the sound of their earbuds than the brand on the box.

The audio performance of the Technics EAH-AZ80 is sublime.

Design and build

Premium build quality Choice of seven earplug sizes Sturdy carrying case

The AZ80 buds look simple enough. Available in black or silver, the buds are made of plastic, but with a brushed metal-effect finish on the touch-sensitive outer side.

That surface is compact, the buds almost form a circle when inserted into the ear, and they don’t stick out much.

This review is part of TechHive’s in-depth coverage of the best noise canceling headphones.

Technics has prioritized both comfort and fit security in two ways. First, the buds’ bodies are curved here and there in a way that apparently encourages them to sit comfortably inside the shell, nestling into the actual shape of the organ.

Secondly, the company provides the earbuds with not the usual three pairs of silicone eartips to choose from, but a full set of seven in various shapes and sizes, so you’d have to have really oddly proportioned ears not to find a fit.

Of course, every ear is different, but with a little experimentation I quickly found myself with a setup that stayed in place while running and lifting weights and proved comfortable during multi-hour listening sessions.

A IPX4 water resistance rating helps, ensuring they can survive a rain spot or gym-induced sweat without too much trouble.

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Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

My only real complaints are with the charging case that comes with the earbuds. It looks nice enough, with a top that matches the brushed effect of the buds and an engraved company logo, but after just a week it already has a few nicks and scuffs that detract from the effect.

It’s also on the larger end of the spectrum, which is good for battery life, but makes it feel bulky when you stick it in the pocket of a pair of jeans.

Specs and sound

Large 10mm aluminum drivers Rich, expansive sound Good noise cancellation

The sound is the reason to buy the AZ80. These earbuds sound fantastic and can hold their own against any other premium pair you’d like to try.

Technics has equipped them with newly designed 10mm drivers made of aluminum. Combined with an acoustic control chamber and harmonizer, the company says the entire setup offers extended high- and low-frequency response compared to other high-end earphones, while minimizing distortion.

Normally I’d tell you to take this with a grain of salt, but the performance here is truly sublime. These have one of the most open and expansive soundscapes I’ve ever heard from earphones, with sound clarity that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Dive into the accompanying app’s EQ settings to crank up the bass and they can deliver uncompromising pulsating bass, bringing out the best of the slinky baseline of Men I Trust’s “Oncle Jazz” or pushing some of the Chemical Brothers’ punchiest tracks . forward.

Technics has also included support for high-resolution audio thanks to the LDAC codec, with compatibility on Android and some other devices, although iPhones don’t support it. You won’t have to compromise on quality if you have high-resolution files or sign up to one of the streaming services that handle high-end audio.

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Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Of course there is also noise cancellation. The technology here is good, but perhaps the main audio area where you would find the likes of Bose and Sony strays slightly from Technics.

I found it mostly effective at blocking out my surroundings, especially lower-level background noise, but loud traffic or music playing at my gym still tended to push through a bit. You can customize the level of noise cancellation, but there’s no smart mode that tailors it to your hearing.

However, getting an exact fit with the silicone tips helps, and this may be where some people find the AZ80 buds Better compared to rivals, because the seven sets can allow those with unusual ears to find a fit that they couldn’t find elsewhere and therefore passively block out more noise.

As standard, there’s now also an ambient mode, which lets in outside noise and amplifies it slightly – perfect when you need to hear your surroundings or hold a conversation.

Technics has also worked on noise cancellation and voice isolation technology for calls, and that’s impressive. Call quality in noisy environments is better here than with most other earbuds, making them an especially good choice for remote workers who may need to take calls or meetings on the go.

Smart features and apps

Connect to three devices simultaneously Fully customizable controls Built-in Alexa

The smart side of the EAH-AZ80 earphones is managed via the Technics Audio Connect app, available on Android or iOS.

The coolest feature here is support for three-way multipoint connections. That’s a lot of jargon to say you can connect to three devices at once, rather than the one or two usually supported elsewhere, so you can, for example, seamlessly switch between phone, tablet and laptop.

The only caveat here is that you won’t be able to take full advantage of both this and the earphones’ high-resolution LDAC support. If you enable LDAC you’ll be limited to two simultaneous connections, and in fact the app will even encourage you to limit yourself to one device at a time, so there’s a trade-off to be made.

However, the app allows for more control beyond that. The sound can be tweaked, with six predefined sound profiles plus a five-track custom EQ option, and you can also adjust the strength of the noise cancellation and ambient modes.

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Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

Surprisingly, the earphones’ touch controls are also fully customizable – a rarity. You can change the effect of single, double, triple, and long taps for each bud independently, for a total of eight possible interactions, with nine possible controls to assign to them (plus the option to disable some inputs, if desired) . rather keep things simple).

Smaller options include switching between a voice notification or a simple sound when changing the ANC mode; adjusting auto-off settings; and change the behavior of the earphones when one is removed from the ear during playback.

In short, the app offers a amount of flexibility.

What it doesn’t offer are smart tools to optimize the sound for you. Rival earbuds now often include tests to correct the fit of the earbuds, optimize noise cancellation, or fine-tune EQ for your hearing and ear shape – everything is manual here.

Finally, Amazon Alexa support is out of the box, although you can also use your phone’s default virtual assistant through them or, of course, none at all.

Battery charging

Up to seven hours on a single charge 24 hours a day including case Wired or wireless charging

Battery life is another impressive selling point here. Official numbers from Technics indicate that the earbuds can last up to seven hours of continuous use, with a total of 24 hours of battery between the earbuds and the case.

These figures are based on listening with noise cancellation turned on, but with the more power-intensive LDAC codec turned off, so the figures may rise or fall depending on usage.

Flitting through the settings, I was always struck by how slowly the battery drains on the earbuds – easily visible in the official app, which also shows the case battery, and most Android phones will automatically display it too.

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Dominik Tomaszewski / Foundry

It took a full week of regular use before I felt the need to connect the case to a charger. Even better, you can then choose between wired USB-C charging or just drop the case on any Qi wireless charger.

Price and availability

At $299 / £259, available from Amazon and elsewhere, the Technics EAH-AZ80 buds are by no means affordable, but they offer excellent value for money, meaning they’re as good as anything else you could spend that much on.

The obvious competitors are the likes of SonyWF-1000XM4, Bose QuietComfort II earphonesand of course the AirPods Pro2.

In terms of sound quality, the Technics earphones easily compete with those of the competition, and they also have an advantage in terms of battery life and comfort: of these three, only Sony also offers high-resolution LDAC audio.

The AZ80s probably lag a little behind in the quality of the noise-canceling technology, but they might be the most complete package of the lot.

Should you buy the Technics EAH-AZ80?

The Technics EAH-AZ80 earphones are an unexpected delight.

There’s not much room for error in earbuds this expensive, and Technics has provided a set that ticks all the key areas: audio, noise cancellation, connectivity, and battery life.

Other pairs might seem a little flashier, and while the ANC here is good, it’s not quite the best, but few rivals are as well-rounded as these – and the combination of high-resolution audio support and three-way connectivity is really unique .


10mm aluminum drivers SBC, AAC and LDAC codecs Bluetooth 5.3 Active noise cancellation (ANC) Up to 7 hours of battery with ANC Up to 24 hours of total battery with ANC Wired (USB-C) and wireless charging Multipoint pairing at 3 Way IPX4 Rating 7 Sets Earplugs Charging Case 69mm x 36mm x 29mm 7g per Earphone 50g Charging Case

Editor’s note: This review was previously published by TechHive’s sister site, Technical adviser.