Technics is a brand I am familiar with thanks to my older brothers' many years as a DJ. They were always known for excellent build quality and fantastic sound quality. Whether from the company's famous turntables and amplifiers, Technics is an audio giant, but could they have just mastered a market dominated by Sony's Sony WF-1000XM4 earbuds, Apple's AirPods, and others? Yes, they could.
The Technics EAH-AZ80 ($299) delivers the kind of performance audiophiles will love for its clean natural sound, and after a quick adjustment in the app, audio bassheads like myself crave. If the stunning audio quality wasn't enough, the active noise canceling is the best I have experienced.
When you add excellent mic performance that uses Just My Voice technology, which impressed all those I called, and superior design that leads to a super comfortable fit, you almost forget about the 7.5 hours of music listening, 25 hours of use (without noise canceling on, 24 hours with ANC on) and the wireless Qi charging.
The AZ80s also feature Bluetooth Multipoint connectivity that allows users to connect up to three devices simultaneously, and move between them seamlessly. There are many positives; the other buds on our best wireless earbuds page should quake in their charging cases as the Technics AZ80s are seriously making a case for the top spot.
Technics EAH-AZ80 pricing and availability
The Technics AZ80s cost $299, which puts them in the top tier with the Bose Quite Comfort Earbuds 2’s ($299), Bowers & Wilkins PI7 ($399), and the Sony WF-1000XM4 ($279). All the earbuds listed feature excellent sound quality and active noise canceling that separate them from other buds in the market. I didn’t forget the Apple AirPods Pro 2nd Gen, which will run you $249, but since they never stay in my ears, they don’t exist for me.
Technics EAH-AZ80 design
The EAH-AZ80 feel premium and perfectly aligns with your ear's concha to improve stability without applying the pressure you start to feel when using earbuds for extended periods. The AZ80s are available in deep pure black and silver — each features a stylish spinprocessed touch-sensor surface that gives the user a tactile experience. Also, the gold Technics logo in the center of the touch sensor adds a little panache to the overall styling.
The Technics silicone earpieces come in sizes ranging from XXS to XL, which help you find the perfect fit for your ears. The silicone earpiece I selected provided an excellent fit, and solid noise insulation. I found myself wearing them all day without discomfort, and they stayed in place even during my travels through the New York City subway.
The black oblong charging case features a high-quality aluminum finish and a hairline-engraved Technics logo. The point is compact and lightweight, quickly slipping into my pocket. On the front of the case, we find a small indicator light that alerts you when the unit is charging when eating on a wireless QI charging surface or plugged in via the USB-Type C port on the back.
The Technics AZ80s are rated at IP4 for water and sweat resistance, meaning you won’t have to worry about them if you’re running around on a hot day. Weighing in in at 0.23 ounces, they align with the other top-tier buds. The Bose Quite Comfort Earbuds 2’s come in at 0.2 ounces, with the Bowers & Wilkins PI7 weighing 0.24 ounces and the Sony WF-1000XM4 being our heaviest at 0.26 ounces.
Technics EAH-AZ80 comfort
I have large, oddly shaped ears, which makes finding good-fitting earbuds challenging. Thankfully, these buds come with several pairs of silicone earpieces ranging in size from XXS to XL, so finding your perfect fit should be easy.
The AZ80 buds are lightweight, thanks to the specially designed Concha Fit Foam that ensures a comfortable fit within the ear, making them comfortable to wear for extended periods while staying firmly in place.
I found myself leaving them in while I worked because I have them connected to my two phones and my work laptop, and they never felt uncomfortable or caused any discomfort. On average, I had the Technics AZ80s in my ears for periods as long as seven hours without feeling the slight pain that can happen with some buds.
I took them to work, rode the subway with them, ran up the stairs, and they never dislodged, came loose, or felt like they would pop out and fall into the subway tracks.
Technics EAH-AZ80 setup
Setting up the Technics AZ80s was quick and easy. Within minutes of taking them out the box, I had both my iPhone and OnePlus 11 recognized them and connected.
I popped open my laptop, and it was just as quick. Now all three were attached to my AZ80s, and switching between them was seamless. You'll seriously find it super simple to be flipping across devices on the fly.
Technics EAH-AZ80 controls
The AZ80s can be operated easily using only the left or right earbud. Within the Technics Audio Connect App, users can freely adjust the touch and hold, single, double, and triple tap actions (such as volume up/down, skip forward/back, ambient or noise canceling mode on/off).
You also get the ability to customize these controls in any way you wish — meaning you can fine tune your UI experience in any way you see fit.
I tend never to use tap controls on earbuds, and pefer to control everything via my phone. However, the tap controls due to enjoying the textured feel of the spin-processed touch sensor area convinced me to keep that slab in my pocket.
Technics EAH-AZ80 app and special features
The free Technics Audio Connect App quickly helps you set up a Bluetooth connection with up to three devices. You can connect your computer, smartphone, or tablet and enjoy various features across your chosen devices.
With the app, you can customize noise cancellation, ambient levels, and sound (bass, spatial audio, etc.) Technics provides users with software and firmware updates for free. Within the app, you can also change the functions assigned to the touch sensors and use the Find your headphones feature while also checking how much-remaining battery life you have.
Technics EAH-AZ80 active noise cancellation and ambient listening
The AZ80s have unique ambient sound modes that can be set to “Natural Ambient” or “Attention” mode. Natural Ambient Mode captures all surrounding noise, allowing you to listen to music or talk on the telephone while paying attention to your surroundings.
Attention Mode captures sounds in the human voice frequency range, ensuring you can hear human voices nearby, such as announcements at the airport or a family member’s Voice at home, while reducing other unwanted external noises.
Using the Technics Audio Connect app, you can adjust exactly how much external sound you want to hear in both modes using an innovative slider interface.
Now that all the technical jargon has been shared, I have never experienced noise canceling on this level before. How good is the ANC on the Technics? I was riding the train in New York City on my way to work one morning, and a would-be contestant for the Voice decided it was time to hold his Bob Marley tribute concert. This person whipped out a guitar and started wailing No Woman No Cry right next to where I was sitting, which was awful.
I popped in the Technics EAH-AZ80s and put on my music, and without even opening the app to adjust the levels of noise cancelation, the F train off-key warbler and his guitar disappeared, and I was left to enjoy my music and read my book in peace. I was blown away as I couldn’t believe he was performing right next to me, and it was like he wasn’t there; it was magical.
Technics EAH-AZ80 audio quality
The 10mm, free-edge aluminum diaphragm drivers deliver crystal clear, natural audio, and when you use the app to adjust the bass levels, they satisfy the needs of this thirsty basshead. Technics' true wireless earbuds produced a wide-ranging audio experience that was never distorted, no matter how loud the volume. The drivers extended high and low-frequency responses while reducing unwanted resonance and distortion. I found they produced thunderous bass with excellent mid-range performance and excellent treble.
I enjoyed listening to the New York Philharmonics rendition of Tchaikovsky's - Symphony No.4 as the AZ80s flawlessly reproduced every note from the strings section, and I floated off into my imagination. I moved on to Lenny Kravitz's "American Woman"; his powerful vocals were crisp and clear, and the guitar was sultry and sexy. There was never a hint of distortion nor a moment where the buds felt like they were straining.
I closed out my public dance party on the subway by listening to Megan Thee Stallions' "Her" with its pounding House Music bass line and giggled when she questioned, "What does a ho know?".
The only earbud audio experience I can compare the Technics to is when our Editor in Chief invited me to an audiophile event where the headphones and earbuds were so expensive I would have to sell a kidney to afford just one bud.
That is the level of high fidelity I have been experiencing with the Technics, as its audio profile can be adjusted from a neutral, natural quality to a thumpy super bass that reminds me of my days going to clubs to dance the night away.
Lastly, using a hi-res streaming service such as Qobuz takes your listening options and the quality of those options up another level.
Technics EAH-AZ80 battery life
I averaged a little over seven and half hours of continuous use on one charge, got three total costs plus out of the wireless charging case, and went 24 hours without a plugin. I use ANC, so the 24 hours was spot on with the suggested battery life. Without using ANC, I got 27 hours of use before recharging the case, but I also used the unit less that day.
I enjoyed charging via my portable battery pack that also features QI charging. Placing them on top of the battery pack while sharing one of my phones was handy. I also set them via the USB-Type C port on the rear of the case and found whether I was plugged in or charging wirelessly; they usually reached full charge within 40 mins.
Technics EAH-AZ80 call quality and connectivity
Thanks to the Just My Voice technology focusing on my voice and reducing ambient background noise during calls, the EAH-AZ80s provided standout performance, with my daughter reporting that she thought I was directly using the phone held to my face while walking around my neighborhood during rush hour traffic.
When using my laptop during Google Meets, my meeting cohorts reported my voice is crisp and clear without any choppiness.
The AZ80s use Bluetooth 5.3 with Multipoint connectivity, allowing users to connect up to three devices simultaneously. The earbuds never dropped the connection over most distances, which I’ve dealt with with other earbuds. I could walk away from my phone or tablet and go from the main room in my studio apartment to the bathroom and front storage room without losing connection.
The ability to use three devices seamlessly is such a great feature; it was endlessly rewarding. My iPhone rang while I listened to music on my OnePlus phone, and I picked up the call without a hitch. It worked just as well when going from a phone call to entering a Google Meet on my laptop. It was a smooth experience; it led to me using them throughout my day as they allowed for smooth device transition and multitasking.
The Technics EAH-AZ80s are feature-rich and pack powerful audio and ANC to launch them onto our best wireless earbuds list. From the concha foam ear-friendly design, high-quality audio High-Resolution Audio Quality, and LDAC technology, delivering a wide dynamic range of sound with fast response and high definition. Audiophiles and bassheads are both satisfied.
The free Technics Audio Connect app takes it to another level granting users tight control of the earbuds, including the 100 levels of ambient sound control is a massive plus, especially when riding the Subway in New York City and someone thinks it's time for Karaoke. The find my headphones feature is a great and helpful option.
When you add all that to Multipoint Bluetooth connectivity allowing users to connect to three devices, the AZ80s offer standout performance in every area. They are worth every penny of the $299 they cost. I highly recommend you give them a try.