While Technics has enjoyed some success in the true wireless earbuds market of late, most recently with its EAH-AZ60 and AZ40, it hasn’t forgotten about the more serious end of the headphones market. At CES 2022, the Japanese audio giant has today announced a brand-new pair of wireless noise-cancelling over-ears (alongside the SA-C600 network CD receiver).
The Technics EAH-A800 (price tbc) have their work cut out for them considering the success and popularity of the competition by Apple, Sony and Bose, but their spec sheet puts them in good stead on paper at least.
For one, their active noise-cancelling technology seems like the real deal, with no fewer than eight microphones on each earcup working to block ambient noise and pick up your voice clearly. Technics claims the A800 offer “industry-leading” ANC performance through their hybrid system, which combines an analogue filter and feed-back mic with a feed-forward mic and digital filter in an effort to effectively minimise noise and isolate the user. Technics has also taken new measures to reduce wind noise, including implementing multiple chambers to limit air vibrations and using a feed-forward mic with small holes installed deep inside the unit to improve air resistance.
There’s a level of noise-cancelling customisation available, too. The increasingly common ‘Natural Ambient Mode’ allows the user to hear surrounding noise while listening to music or making calls, whereas the purpose of ‘Attention Mode’ is to let wearers listen out for, say, airport and train announcements or hold a conversation while still listening to music.
Noise-cancellation aside, the A800 are impressively featured with a 50-hour battery life (or 30 hours of talk time) from a single charge, multipoint pairing allowing them to be connected to two Bluetooth devices at the same time, and support for the high-quality LDAC Bluetooth codec.
Naturally, there’s a certain expectation when it comes to the audio performance of Technics headphones (or any Technics product, really) – something the firm hopes to meet courtesy of its newly developed 40mm dynamic driver. The driver should produce “deep bass with minimal distortion” thanks to the multi-layer materials used in the diaphragm, as well as “precise bass and rich spatial expression” due to the presence of an Acoustic Control Chamber designed to control airflow. The use of thin-film polymer multi-layer capacitors (a component used in Technics amplifiers) promises to deliver a stable current through the audio circuitry, thus limiting distortion, too.
Familiar-looking for those well acquainted with Technics' previous efforts in the headphones department, the A800's aesthetic (in dark grey or silver) should appeal to those fond of minimalist elegance. The Technics EAH-A800 are priced as you might expect at £299 (about AU$550), which is thankfully a lot less than Mark Levinson's just-announced wireless ANC headphones.
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