Technics EAH-AZ80 Earbuds: a Noise Cancelling Contender

Technics EAH-AZ80 Earbuds

Technics EAH-AZ80 Earbuds: True noise-canceling, whether it’s in a pair of headphones or earbuds, is very difficult. A few companies – Sony and Bose come to mind – do an excellent job when it comes to full-sized headphones and Apple is holding its own in the earbud market. Now, however, Technics is rolling in from behind with a real contender.

The EAH-AZ80 earbuds cost $299 and come with six ear tips. They fit deeply and comfortably in the ear, keeping noise out physically even before the ANC kicks in. The earbuds support Bluetooth 5.3 and include wireless charging, LDAC support, and can pair with three devices.

Watch the video version of EAH-AZ80 earbuds here:

How do the EAH-AZ80 earbuds work?

When you charge the earbuds via the included charging case, you simply remove them from the case and pair them with a nearby phone. Once, paired, they will reconnect automatically. The earbuds swivel in, creating a solid seal. You’ll notice an almost immediate ANC effect and you can easily improve the sound by pushing the buds in just a bit more to close the ear canal.

Once situated, you play music or other audio normally. There are no real onboard functions – not even a tap or swipe sensor – but there is separate app that lets you control some features.

The earbuds last about seven hours on one charge and the charging case gives you another two full charges. The earbuds automatically pause your music when you remove them from your ears.

How do the EAH-AZ80 earbuds sound?

The Technics EAH-AZ80 Earbuds sound great. I tried a few different types of music, from EDM to jazz, and noticed a great depth of field and excellent noise cancelling without sacrificing music quality. The buds contain a 10mm free-edge dynamic driver and clever physical design to improve sound quality which, in short, gives a deeper, richer sound. Noise cancelling on these is nearly complete, with plenty of control of noisy environments like cars and planes. You can also activate ambient sound so you can hear when someone is talking to you.

Another feature is JustMyVoice, which uses “8 high-sensitivity MEMS mics, a sensitive voice detection signal, and surrounding noise suppression to capture and transmit your voice clearly.” This means you will be able to use these to converse with others and they will only hear your voice and no outside noise.

Obviously these are bit more expensive than even the AirPods Pro ($249). But I would wager these things are worth it. They fit better than AirPods and they work far better than even the Bose QuietComforts I’ve used for years in my travels. Over time I’ve been more and more drawn to earbuds for travel and these are some of the best. A recent plane trip let me test these in the wild and they were as comfortable – and superior – to my over ear headphones.

Technics has done something really special with these earbuds. I rarely heap praise on audio products – they often need to be tuned specificly to the user and the sound is subjective – but these things are amazing. I’m impressed with the build quality, the sound quality, and the price.

If you’re thinking of picking up ANC earbuds, these are the ones to get. Sorry, Apple. Technics just pushed you out of my pocket.

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John Biggs

John Biggs is an entrepreneur, consultant, writer, and maker. He spent fifteen years as an editor for Gizmodo, CrunchGear, and TechCrunch and has a deep background in hardware startups, 3D printing, and blockchain. His work has appeared in Men’s Health, Wired, and the New York Times.

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