Technics has launched two pairs of new wireless earbuds: a brand new flagship EAH-AZ80 model and the EAH-AZ60M2, the successor to the EAH-AZ60 we tested a couple of years ago.
The new buds are designed to be versatile enough to handle everything the busy commuter and music lover demands: all-day comfort, sound quality and a raft of clever features. They're certainly gunning for the mantles currently held by the Bose and Sony class leaders.
While the two new models differ mainly on audio performance, they incorporate many of the same key features, such as advanced voice call technology, hybrid active noise cancellation, long battery life, Bluetooth Multipoint for up to three devices (an "industry-first"), and a choice of seven eartip sizes. The feature list, on paper, is impressive.
The flagship EAH-AZ80 is fitted with a new 10mm "free-edge" aluminium driver that aims to reduce distortion and offer greater frequency extensions. The EAH-AZ60M2 sports an 8mm bio-cellulose driver instead, but both models feature a “unique acoustic box design” housing an acoustic control chamber to optimise airflow and, along with a harmoniser, deliver a wide soundstage, more detail and natural-sounding vocals. Technics says the EAH-AZ80 will offer a "better performance overall" compared to its smaller sibling in terms of sound, ANC and secure fit.
Both the EAH-AZ80 and EAH-AZ60M2 have LDAC codec support for higher-quality Bluetooth streaming (but still no aptX or aptX HD). Critically, they can be connected to three devices simultaneously thanks to Bluetooth (5.2) Multipoint – the first we've seen in consumer earbuds, with most buds offering only up to two device connections.
ANC, meanwhile, comes courtesy of Technics’ Dual Hybrid Noise Cancelling Technology, which combines a digital software filter with mics that suppress noise from outside the buds. There are eight mics in total in both models (four in each bud): a feed-back mic, a feed-forward mic, a voice detection mic and a talk mic – all of which work together to deliver what Technics claims is a new industry standard in ANC.
Improved JustMyVoice call technology analyses your voice signal and suppresses surrounding noises accordingly to capture speech more clearly, and is available in both the EAH-AZ80 and the EAH-AZ60M2. There’s also improved ambient noise reduction to cut out environmental noise when it's windy, for instance.
Both the EAH-AZ80 and EAH-AZ60M2 have IPX4 water resistance, voice assistant compatibility, support wireless charging, and the touch controls designated for each earbud and the sound modes are customisable using the Technics app.
Battery life is also consistent across both models, with a claimed 7.5 hours of music playback without ANC (25 hours with the charging case) and seven hours of playback with ANC on (24 hours with the case).
Design is another differentiator between the two models. The more premium EAH-AZ80 has a specially-contoured housing that aligns with the shape of your ear, which claims to offer a more ergonomic and secure fit so they're comfortable to wear all day long. The EAH-AZ60M2 retains the same "drop shape" as the previous EAH-AZ60 model. Those seven eartip sizes, by the way, range from XXS to XL. There's no ear tip fit test in the app, however, with Technics confident users will be able to get the best fit with the included tips.
Colour-wise, the flagship EAH-AZ80 is available in deep pure black and silver, while the EAH-AZ60M2 is available in black, silver and midnight blue. They both come with matching charging cases.
Both models are available now. The flagship EAH-AZ80 will cost you £259 / $299 / AU$499, while the step-down EAH-AZ60M2 will set you back £199 / $249.99 / AU$399.
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