True audiophile bass in a few grams: the Hi-Fi audio experience by Technics we heard it all during our review tests of the brand’s new earphones, the AZ80. These earphones let you hear every nuance of music, thanks to 10mm freeboard aluminum driver. The result of over 55 years of Technics experience in the audio field, they also offer many advanced technological solutions, from noise cancellation to Multipoint connection. But with a price close to 300 euros, can they compete with the best earphones around? We will help you decide it with ours Technics AZ80 review.
Our review of the Technics AZ80
In the last period, we are seeing more and more historical brands in the audio field that launch themselves into the market of true wireless earphones. It’s not just about “following the moment”, it’s a technological shift: the ability to use l’audio Hi-Fi tramite Bluetooth has led several highly experienced companies to launch in this area.
Technics was born in 1965 in Japan, a brand of the Panasonic Corporation for audio equipment. Over the years, it has produced a variety of hi-fi products, such as turntables, amplifiers, receivers, tape recorders, CD players and speakers for sale in various countries. But for some years now the company has also been focusing on wireless earphones and the new Technics AZ80 want to concentrate over 55 years of experience in just seven grams per earphone.
Already from the packaging, Technics seems to want to underline that this product is designed for those who have an unbridled passion for music and want to listen to it with the highest quality. The packaging itself has nothing special, but inside we find (together with the USB-C cable and the documentation) seven pairs of silicone and foam eartips. They range from double XS up to size XL, in order to find the right size to improve noise cancellation. Which as we will see is good in any case, but with the right fit in the ear it increases significantly.
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The “rubbers” seemed to us higher quality than the average true wireless earbuds, even better than many products in this premium price range: Technics has paid attention to the details. Something that we also notice in the packaging finished in aluminum, with an engraving with the Technics writing. The quality feels, pur maintaining a weight of only 50 grams.
The attention to Hi-Fi audio can also be seen in the earphones, finished with a metal touch control surface, while the body is made of resistant plastic. But above all, they are earphones “big“: Technics wanted to give space to 10mm aluminum driver, to the microphones, to all the technology he put into these headphones. Despite this, the weight remains 7 grams per headset: slightly above average for true wireless earphones, but not for Hi-Fi ones – which usually weigh more.
In the ears, i Technics AZ80 enter easily and remain stable without any fatigue. Size could be deceiving – they are really comfortable. We wore the earphones for hours at a time without them bothering us in the slightest, although we were used to earphones that weigh almost half in daily use. A really good compromise, considering the audio quality.
The earphones are IPX4, so they resist splashes of water and sweat. The touch controls and size don’t make them perfect for racing, but you can adapt to them. If you work out at the gym, you won’t have any problems using them.
Technics AZ80 review: Audio quality (and the importance of downloading the app)
We started i first tests of this review using the Technics AZ80 without downloading the dedicated app, Audio Connect by Technics (iOS and Android). We do this all the time, because most users don’t adjust audio with dedicated software. But when it comes to Hi-Fi headphones and earphones, having the app on your smartphone becomes almost mandatory. Without the app, the sound is of good quality – the driver in 10 mm freeboard aluminum offers great dynamism, avoiding distortions of any kind. And the sound box in earphones (one of the reasons they are bulkier than average) makes the sound rich.
But everyone listens to music differently and every song requires a different calibration. The app’s equalizer lets you hear your tracks at their best. You can also manage noise cancellation and transparency from the app. You can enable listening with instead codec LDAC directly from the Android and iOS settings.
Our music tests
To start, we wanted to test the Technics AZ80 on some pretty basic tracks, but dynamics come Piece of me di Levante (with Max Gazzè) and the latest album by Nuclear Tactical Penguins. The good “seal” given by the eartips and the aluminum driver have released all the nuances of the songs, making us appreciate the various production choices: all the details are felt very distantly.
But the earphones really shined when we listenedo Kendrick Lamar, Childish Gambino e Biggie Smalls with the setting “Super Bass+“. The internal sound box reverberates bass in a way that smaller, lesser quality headphones cannot achieve, we really felt the thunderous vibration that usually only achieved with good quality woofers – all in just seven grams of earphone.
However, the “Dynamic” setting gave us the best experience listening to tracks across various genres. The good deal of bass in jazz-like pieces Take Five di The dave Brubeck Quartet e A Mother’s Love di Gabriel Latchin Trio it did not obscure the high brilliants of the brass. And he really convinced us how Technics AZ80 handled such a complex track Free di Florence + The Machinewith vibrant bass playing along with violins and powerful vocal trebles.
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When compared to medium-high-end earphones (approximately under 200 euros), the Technics win without question. At the premium end of the spectrum, we’ve got to admit that we’ve found earphones that handle nuance better on some heavily produced tracks. But if he plays with the best, without a doubt.
Noise cancellation and call management
Technics has equipped their headphones with dual hybrid noise cancellation, that allows for noise cancellation with a software digital filter and a feedforward microphone to suppress external noise, while the feedback microphone and analog hardware eliminate internal noise and resonances.
The result? Good, especially after changing the eartips to better fit our ears. However, you will hear particularly high-pitched or low-pitched external noises, as well as very loud ones (the roll of the departing plane or the arrival of the subway). But it allows you to isolate yourself in a full office or on public transport with good effect. We liked it.
The ambient mode is less brilliant: you won’t be able to follow a conversation without lowering the audio a lot. Although it might help to hear traffic more easily as you walk. Both ANC and ambient mode are not bad: the problem is that in this price range there are excellent competitors.
For calls it is interesting the multipoint connection up to three devices, although this will prevent you from using LDAC audio with three connected devices. So it is advisable to enable it only if you are in the office and have to make several video calls, and then remove it when you want to relax with some Hi-Fi music.
Technology JustMyVoice allows you to analyze the voice signal and eliminate background noise, making phone calls clearer. You can use two different levels of noise cancellation, depending on your needs. The result is good, especially thanks to the four headset microphones: two eliminate external sounds and two capture your voice. You will have no problems making calls with these earphones.
Technics has chosen to enable i touch controls on the main surface of the AZ80 earphones, which proved to be responsive during our review. One tap pauses the music, so you’ll have to get used to adjusting them in your ear using two fingers on the sides of the earpiece. Luckily, the great fit means there’s little need to do so, and the generous sizing helps pack them in with ease.
Interesting is the possibility to adjust also i touch controls when using only one earphone, perhaps for a call or while listening to a podcast. With one or more taps, rather than long presses, you can activate the ANC, move forward or backward through the tracks of a playlist, rather than raise or lower the volume.
We usually prefer physical or side-mounted controls, but we have to admit that we were happy with the Technics earphones.
Battery and wireless charging
Headphones ornominally offer 7.5 hours of play time without noise cancellation and 7 with, which become 25 (or 24) with the case. For calls with noise cancellation and JustMyVoice, the autonomy is four hours. These appear to be data in line with our tests: autonomy is excellent and allows you to listen to music even on long journeys or during working hours without too many thoughts.
Very comfortable the…