Colors: Black, silver
Battery life (rated): 7 hours (ANC on), 7.5 hours (ANC off), 24 hours (charging case with ANC on), 25 hours (charging case with ANC off)
Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.2
Processor: Not stated
Size: 1 x 0.87 x 0.87 inches (earbud)
Weight: 0.24 ounces (earbud)
The Technics EAH-AZ60 is the newest pair of flagship wireless earbuds from the hi-fi audio specialist. It comes equipped with an impressive spec sheet, highlighted by adjustable active noise cancellation (ANC), Alexa integration, Bluetooth 5.2, and acoustic architecture that creates exceptionally rich sound. Features are also abundant via the companion app.
These buds are not without their flaws. Call quality is decent, but several notches below the market’s top performers. Some of the unique features introduced by Technics are hit or miss. The lack of standard features like wireless charging, which is becoming more common on sub-$200 wireless earbuds, also acts as a blemish on the EAH-AZ60’s resume.
Despite these shortcomings, Technics has an audio disruptor at their disposal that puts the competition on notice. Check out our full Technics EAH-AZ60 review to learn more about this sonic gem.
Technics EAH-AZ60 review: Price and availability
The Technics EAH-AZ60 is sold for $229 at major online retailers, including Amazon and Adorama. Color options are black and silver. Inside the box is a charging case, USB-C charging case, and five sets of different sized tips.
By comparison, these buds are less expensive than category leaders like the AirPods Pro ($249) and Sony WF-1000XM4 ($248), but also carry a higher MSRP than sub-luxury models like the Beats Fit Pro ($199) and Samsung Galaxy Buds 2 ($149).
For all of the latest wireless earbuds sales, bookmark our best headphones deals page.
Technics EAH-AZ60 review: Design and comfort
The EAH-AZ60 is a fine representation of Technics’ luxury design pedigree. Even if it’s mostly made from plastic, aesthetically, the buds leave the impression that they were built from premium materials. There is also plenty of detail to admire, from the discrete mic placement to the vinyl-like finish on the touch panels. Construction feels nice too. An IPX4 rating also provides these buds sweat and water resistance.
It’s a shame that Technics didn’t put that same effort into designing the charging case. The matte finish and debossed logo on top are eye-catching, but the build quality isn’t as durable as rival cases. Dropping it on any surface will scuff the exterior easily. At least the slim, elongated shape makes it easy to slip into tight pockets for portable convenience.
I can say the EAH-AZ60 is a more comfortable wear than the EAH-AZ40. The plastic isn’t as rough on the skin and the buds mold better to the ear. Wearing them for 2 to 3-hour stretches wasn’t a problem.
Fit was also secure. Having multiple tips to accommodate different ear sizes is a thoughtful gesture from the brand, and each of them form a tight seal. The angled sound port slides seamlessly into the canal.
Technics EAH-AZ60 review: Controls and digital assistant
A full suite of media controls is programmed into the EAH-AZ60. These include playback, call management, volume, digital assistance, and listening mode activation. You can assign each of these to either bud in the companion app. On-ear detection to auto-pause/play content when removing or placing the buds back on your ears is unavailable.
The controls are responsive to input gestures. Rarely did the sensors misinterpret multi-tap commands, and it’s great having the full control scheme available out of the box with commands split between the two buds.
Alexa integration comes part of the package, meaning you can either fire off Alexa commands manually (long touch and hold for 3 seconds on the left bud) or through voice activation via wake word. Siri, Google Assistant and Bixby are also compatible with the buds. All four AI bots operate smoothly and return results as quickly as they receive them. Most importantly, Technics’ 8-mic array is highly intelligible and picks up commands with precision.
Technics EAH-AZ60 review: Sound quality
The EAH-AZ60 is fantastic for casual listening. Technics combined their 8mm drivers with an acoustic chamber and harmonizer, creating detailed, spacious sound in the process. The inclusion of Sony’s LDAC Bluetooth codec ups the ante to enjoy lossless audio tracks on compatible hi-res streaming services. Most of my listening time was spent with the AAC codec, as well as the default sound profile, which is flat and delivers exceptional frequency range.
Orchestral treasures like Yusef Lateef’s “Love Theme From Spartacus” were well represented, thanks to some fantastic instrument separation. The double bass comes across as musical and bass rich, hi-hats have a vibrancy to them, and every piano key exudes soulfulness. It all comes together beautifully for a serene listen. Rhythm & Blues-inspired tracks like the Rolling Stones’ “Just Your Fool” followed suit with a driving beat highlighted by energetic harmonica and honky-tonk piano play that sounded clean.
Bass lovers will be satisfied with the EAH-AZ60’s low-end performance. The deafening 808s on Roddy Ricch’s “Thailand” are well balanced and knock hard without compromising other sonic elements. EDM bangers like Kaivon’s “Reborn” also sound lively; the monstrous bass drops send a rush of adrenaline through the body.
If you feel the need to tweak sound, there is a customizable EQ to manually adjust frequencies. The other option is selecting from a handful of well-engineered presets (Bass+, Dynamic, Treble+, Vocal) that cater to different music genres.
Those who choose to go the LDAC route will notice subtle improvements in detail, particularly with highs, which sound cleaner on lossless audio tracks. Enabling ANC will slightly bump up the low end as well.
Technics EAH-AZ60 review: Active noise cancellation
According to Technics, these buds “feature industry-leading noise cancelling.” Bose and Sony would say differently, as well as most audio critics. The EAH-AZ60 has solid noise neutralization that outperforms the AirPods Pro and many mid-range models, but it isn’t competing with current ANC kings like the QuietComfort Earbuds or WF-1000XM4.
There is an adjustment dial to change the amount of ambient noise you want to block out, though you’ll want to keep it at max level to get maximum results. Doing so allowed me to block out the daily fracas that transpires in the house, be it loud family chatter in the living room or household appliances running at different times. Common distractions like doorbells and washing machine tumble didn’t draw my attention. Using the feature outside was also pleasing. Landscaping tools and talkative pedestrians were silent for the most part.
The EAH-AZ60 put up a noble fight against high frequencies. Bird chirping and crying babies won’t break your concentration, but sirens and whistles will. Wind resistance isn’t the greatest either, but at least you won’t have to do deal with the loud whisking effect that most cheap wireless ANC earbuds produce when worn in gusty conditions.
Ambient Sound Control is one of the better ambient listening modes available and comes with two modes: Transparent for full ambient feedback and Attention to emphasize vocals. Transparent captured most external sounds and increased my awareness during nightly walks. However, Attention was great for communication. The mics picked up my wife’s vocals clearly from across the room, which made it easier to hear and answer any questions she had.
Technics EAH-AZ60 review: App and special features
The Technics Audio Connect app is up there with some of the category’s best companion apps. This thing is loaded with features that enhance the user experience in numerous ways. I already touched on specialties like adjustable ANC, Alexa integration, control customization, LDAC, and the EQ with presets. It turns out there’s a lot more to unravel on the back end.
The Settings page on the bottom right opens the door to more advanced sound perks. There is a noise suppression setting with three options, but each of them comes with a trade-off, resulting in either latency or frequent interruptions. The noise reduction feature comes with two settings – Normal and Strong – to minimize background interference on the caller’s end. It is a work in progress that mildly improves call quality and even has a disclaimer stating that Strong can affect voice quality.
A noise cancelling optimizer is available to better ANC performance. It works well for eliminating low and mid frequencies, but you can feel the pressure increase vastly when raised several notches.
JustMyVoice is the app’s most advertised feature, which analyzes your voice and reduces surrounding noise with beamforming technology for clearer calls. But no one I called noticed a huge difference when chatting over the phone or on Zoom.
Rounding out the app is an Auto Power setting, Connection Mode for prioritizing sound quality or connectivity, Find Headphones feature, and firmware updates.
Technics EAH-AZ60 review: Battery life and charging case
Technics rates battery life at 7 hours with ANC on. This is respectable when factoring in high volume and other features, though 'hi-res' LDAC dramatically reduces playtime to 4.5 hours. Turning off all major features extends battery life to 7.5 hours.
The charging case holds a maximum of 25 hours, depending how you use the buds. Do the math and you’ll find this is only one hour more than the AirPods Pro case. Rapid charging is another bummer with the buds generating 1 hour of playback in 15 minutes. Wireless charging did not make the cut.
Technics EAH-AZ60 review: Call quality and connectivity
The EAH-AZ60 isn’t a model you’ll find on our best headphones with a mic for voice and video calls list for several reasons. It’s serviceable for chatting in quiet settings, but muffling is a serious issue, along with the mics’ weak wind resistance. Whether indoors or outdoors, my wife complained about not hearing sentences fully. The influx of background noise that entered the mics when answering calls in rowdy environments also hindered the quality.
At least Bluetooth 5.2 was reliable. These buds instantly connected to my Android devices and MacBook Pro. Range extended up to 50 feet, offering just enough flexibility to move around the house with very little dropout. Multipoint technology also allowed me to pair the buds with two devices simultaneously.
Technics EAH-AZ60 review: Verdict
For $220, the Technics EAH-AZ60 is quite a bargain. Not only are you getting high-end sound that can be enhanced via EQ or LDAC support, but also dynamic noise neutralization and a wide feature set that not many luxury models offer. The addition of Bluetooth 5.2 and intelligible controls for responsive operation add to the buds list of strong selling points.
Not all functions hit their mark. Call quality is surprisingly disappointing considering how well the mics and ANC perform, and the lack of wireless charging feels like a considerable oversight at the price.
Most of these drawbacks are forgivable, especially when considering Technics’ audio specialty, which is where the EAH-AZ60 excels. This alone makes it well worth the investment for music lovers, though spending a little extra on the Sony WF-1000XM4 gets you more functionality.
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