Technics, a brand that’s under Panasonic just came out with the EAH-AZ80, a pair of true wireless stereo earbuds that is set to compete in a very competitive audio consumer space with its RM1,599 price tag.
The problem for the earbuds is the competitors that occupy that same over RM1,000 price bracket, with offerings from Bose, Sony, and even Apple to name a few, who are also eyeing to bring great wireless audio products to consumers.
It’s a tough space to be in, so can the EAH-AZ80 dish it out with the competitors?
What’s In The Box?
Just like the EAH-AZ60M2s that we reviewed previously, the EAH-AZ80 comes with a USB-C charging cable, ear tips and the usual documents such as the quick start guide and the warranty.
Overall, with the aluminium case which has brushed accents on the top, the EAH-AZ80 is a package that feels premium but doesn’t look too brash which blends in quite nicely with your existing devices, at least in the case of my black review unit. They also come in silver if you prefer other colours instead.
As for the earbuds themselves, the tips that come with the buds snug quite nicely in my earlobe and if you’re having trouble fitting them, the EAH-AZ80 comes with 7 different-sized ear tips that you can try out to get the best fit possible.
This is further enhanced with software as their Technics app (more on that later) will calibrate the earbuds with your ears.
Moving on to the case, it houses the buds with pretty strong magnets and they feel good in the hand. It’s also quite small, about the size of a Tictac box which makes it pretty pocket-friendly.
The EAH-AZ80 is a pretty comfy pair of earphones, the buds seal your ears quite nicely which minimizes outside noise from coming in. If it doesn’t, as mentioned earlier, there’s a bunch of different-sized tips that you can try.
In terms of listening for long periods, the buds will sit nicely in your ears without feeling too obtrusive, so whether I was doing evening walks or just chilling at home, the EAH-AZ80 is nestled in nicely without hurting my ears.
Just like other premium buds, Technics has its own app – Technics Audio Connect which allows you to tweak things such as the equaliser, noise cancellation and set up the multi-point function.
One thing that I really like is that you can pair it with your Google account which means if you have other Android devices around, they can also pair to the buds instantly.
But to me, the star of the show is multi-point, which allows your buds to connect with up to 3 devices at the same time.
However, the only caveat is that you won’t get to use LDAC, the codec that allows for high-resolution audio, but for me, it’s not really an issue because to be really honest, you’re not sacrificing a lot of audio quality for the convenience.
So if you have a multiple-device setup, you should take note of this feature because it is really seamless to switch between your devices.
I don’t use the EAH-AZ80’s touch controls that much but it’s responsive enough when I need to use it. They allow you to play, skip and rewind your music and also turn on the ambient or noice cancellation function. You can also activate the Google Assistant if you want.
You can also customise the controls on the Technics Audio Connect app according to your preferences.
To put it simply, these buds sound great, regardless of whatever genre you throw at them. The EAH-AZ80’s 10mm drivers will deliver and the noise cancellation feature is a pretty neat thing to have if you want to block out noises from your air conditioner and such.
The bass is powerful but it doesn’t sound muddy or overwhelm the other frequencies while the treble is clear enough but it doesn’t sound sharp which makes it a pleasant listening experience overall.
It gets even better if you’re listening to music on TIDAL with that LDAC codec function turned on, that’s when it truly shines in my opinion.
But, for everyday listening, these buds will still do the job very well and deliver great sound regardless of what platform you’re using.
As for the mic quality, Technics has fitted the buds with their JustMyVoice technology which features 8 separate mics and advanced wind noise reduction. From my experience, voice calls over Google Meets have been pretty good with no complaints so far.
If you opt for LDAC, Technics clocks the battery at around 16 hours with the case (ANC on) or 17 hours (ANC off) while for AAC, you’re looking at about 24 hours with ANC on and 25 hours with ANC off.
Based on my experience, the battery life is roughly similar to what they claim, so if you turn the LDAC function on at all times, expect to charge the device much more frequently than using AAC.
Ultimately, it all depends on your usage at the end of the day and the battery life will vary according to how often you use the buds.
Is It Worth The Money?
Are these buds worth considering if you have the budget to splash on a pair of earbuds that cost over RM1000? The short answer is yes mainly because of the multi-point function.
As mentioned earlier, that feature stands out the most about the Technics EAH-AZ80 because of the convenience of easily switching devices is a very useful function to have and I kinda miss that function when I put on other wireless audio gear.
The only problem that I see is the space that it occupies as the RM1,599 price tag puts it in line with Sony’s WF-1000XM5, Bose’s QuietComfort Earbuds II, Sennheiser’s Momentum Wireless 3 and even Apple Airpods Pro, which sounds like, a very tough market to compete in.
But in terms of overall value, it’s what you would expect from earbuds of this price range and Technics has made a great product that is worth your money.