CES 2021: Technics teases cheaper wireless earbuds to rival AirPods Pro

Technics teases potentially cheaper AirPods rivals at CES 2021
(Image credit: Technics)

From an AV point of view, the majority of Panasonic's CES 2021 press conference this afternoon focused on its flagship JZ2000 OLED TV and, to a lesser extent, an exclusive Final Fantasy version of a rather interesting Dolby Atmos gaming speaker

Mentioned to an even lesser extent was its Technics brand, which looks to be having a quiet CES this year – understandable considering it went big in 2019 and 2020 with the launch of the SL-1200/SL-1210 MK7 turntable and its first pair of true wireless earbuds respectively.

But it wasn't completely hush-hush from the Technics camp. The press conference confirmed that the premium audio brand will be launching new true wireless earbuds this year, either to succeed or sit alongside the 2020-released Technics EAH-AZ70W. We don't know where they will sit yet, but there was a hint that they could be a cheaper model: “Now, for the first time, that legendary audio experience is available to everyone,” the speaker announced.

As the AZ270W launched at £240 ($250), could Technics go after the more affordable end of the market currently dominated by the likes of the Sony WF-1000XM3 and Apple AirPods Pro? We single those popular models out as likely rivals as it seems Technics is sticking with noise-cancelling.

While details on the forthcoming Technic wireless earbuds are scarce – today's announcement really did just serve as a teaser – the spokesperson said: “Our engineers have worked on every precision detail, from the unmatched bi-directional noise-cancelling to high-performance sound-isolating microphone.”

The promise? “Excellent sound, call quality and fit,” obviously!

Whatever their price and market positioning, here's hoping Technics can stamp its authority on the true wireless earbuds space with its next efforts, because while the AZ270W were expensive and ultimately up against some tough competition, their impressively solid, punchy and spacious performance shows that Technics is capable of making good-sounding buds.

With the likelihood of the Sony WF-1000XM4, AirPods Pro 2 and potentially next-generation Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless models arriving soon, 2021 is bound to be an invigorating year in the headphones world.


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Becky Roberts

Becky is the managing editor of What Hi-Fi? and, since her recent move to Melbourne, also the editor of Australian Hi-Fi magazine. During her 10 years in the hi-fi industry, she has been fortunate enough to travel the world to report on the biggest and most exciting brands in hi-fi and consumer tech (and has had the jetlag and hangovers to remember them by). In her spare time, Becky can often be found running, watching Liverpool FC and horror movies, and hunting for gluten-free cake.