"Expect crisp, bright audio and incredible high-end design noise cancellation."

  • Bright, clear audio emphasizes the vocals

  • Excellent noise cancellation

  • Light and pluggable

  • Sensitive touch controls

  • Comfortable fit

  • Audio is not balanced in the lower registers

  • A bit bulky when worn

Panasonic was slow and steady with its first entry into the noise canceling earphone market in June, but it was just beginning. Technics' high-end TWS EAH-AZ70W active noise canceling headphones from Technics are trying to make a statement with impressive specifications on paper and a luxurious price of $ 249.99.

Will the specs and high price become earphones you want to own? Let's go into that.

Small and shiny

The Technics TWS earphones share a design philosophy with the Panasonic RZ-S500Ws. They are compact buds that fit perfectly in a small charging case. This case is not the smallest we have ever seen since the Jabra Elite 75t case is smaller, the RZ-S500W case is about an inch shorter, and the Apple AirPods Pro case is also small. Nevertheless, it is about two thirds the size of the housing of the Sony WF-1000XM3 and can easily be put in your pocket.

Each earphone is connected to a blunt, bar-like cylinder, which is covered with a touch-sensitive pad made of brushed aluminum. They are a bit bulky and even when they are fully pressed into my ear canal, the buds stick out noticeably from the sides of my head. This is a complaint that was shared in our Panasonic RZ-S500W review.

Some companies, like Apple, choose to move components down towards the earlobe, or in the case of Sony, inward toward the jaw, but Panasonic / Technics has chosen to go outside of your head.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

Overall, the design meets my expectations for premium earphones. The case is a plastic interior surrounded by brushed aluminum, and the top of the case is nicely embossed with the Technics logo. The combination is easy without feeling cheap. The buds themselves feel solid despite the low weight of only 6.5 grams per bud, which is 8.3 grams less than the Sony WF-1000XM3. Yes, I weighed them.

Fit, finish and function

I have a narrow ear canal, so I used the extra small silicone tips, one of five sizes that are included in the technique. These buds are not designed for use during activity, so they do not have a high IPX rating (IPX4) and they do not contain "wings" to stabilize them in your ear. You feel safe when you are sitting in a cafe, on a plane, or at your desk. To run? Not as much.

As previously mentioned, Technics designed the buds to hang their weight outward from your head, which affects balance. I found that I often adjusted their fit during listening sessions because either the right or left bud fell out of my ear canal.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

Several repeated tests were required to find out. However, if you don't carry the buds exactly right, they can feel uncomfortable. The key is to make sure the Technics logo is flat at the end of the touchpad. Once I did that, they fit well and comfortably in my ear and were comfortable for long listening sessions. If they fit properly, the earplug is at the bottom of the cylinder, with most of the bud over it and resting well in the outer wall of the ear cup.

The Technics TWS have a touchpad on the brushed silver cap at the end of each earphone. It is sensitive. I accidentally touched the pad and paused a song while trying to adjust the fit in my ear. It works with a gloved hand. This is good news if you wear mittens and want to skip a song while listening to music.

The buds are compatible with Amazon Alexa and can be set up quickly and easily using the Technics Audio Connect app. There is also support for Google Assistant or Siri.

Unlike other earphones on the market, the Technics TWS does not recognize whether they have been removed from your ear and pauses automatically. This is not a standard feature in the industry, but it is present in competing products.

Connection and battery life

Getting started with Technics TWS was easy. When you take them out of the packaging, put them in the charging case and then remove them, the pairing mode is activated. My phone was able to connect to them immediately from there. When you put it in your ear, you'll be greeted with a pleasant welcome tone, followed by any bud that tells you that Bluetooth has been connected to a female robot voice.

I found the strength of the Bluetooth connection good, but not the best I have ever experienced. I left my cell phone in my kitchen and went to my back yard, and the buds stayed in touch about 90% of the room. The 10% farthest from my back door resulted in an inconsistent connection, but I was admittedly far away. I'll almost never be that far from my phone.

The Technics TWS are designed for a playback time of six and a half hours, whereby the active noise cancellation is activated with two additional charges from the housing for a total of 19.5 hours of listening time. There is a quick charge function that allows 70 minutes of playing time from 15 minutes of charging time. In a fairly competitive area, the technics in this category are in the middle.

Sound quality

The technology has gone to great lengths to make these earphones sound fantastic, and the company has taken care to mention the 10mm driver (which is larger than the standard 6mm driver in many earphones), and that Emphasis is placed on ensuring that the bass is properly balanced with great mids and highs.

After listening to rock and pop music for several hours, I can say that they mostly did it right.

The bass is very clear and resonates beautifully through my head when it is an important aspect of a song. If the music production team wanted me to feel this bass beat, the technology did an excellent job and translated it for me. At the same time, the singing was incredibly clear and full of life. Sia's Save My Life was highlighted by emphasizing technology on crisp, bright, and energetic audio. I heard an acoustic guitar solo, the melody of Lady GaGa's Stupid Love, and felt like the guitar was right next to me.

In the Technics Audio Connect app you can set the EQ to either bass-heavy, vocal-oriented, neutral or your own EQ. In Custom EQ, you can move five sliders up and down to suit your personal taste.

If you love bright and clear audio that emphasizes a strong beat and clarity of the upper registers, the technics are a solid win for you. However, if you value wealth and general balance, they are not sufficient here. Although the bass beat is strong, the lower audio registers feel underrepresented.

Here is an example. If you play the note “C” on a piano, you can simply play a “C”. Playing this note alone is the purest expression of this note. However, you can play a C major chord to achieve greater depth of sound, although the representation of the C note is not as accurate. The technology seems to me to be more geared towards giving you the singular, accurate C note, while the Sony WF-1000XM3 want to give you that deeper, fuller C major chord.

Of course, that's subjective. For example, in our test of the Panasonic RZ-S800W, Andy Boxall appreciated the emphasis on these higher registers, and the larger drivers in technology provide an even better listening experience than what we found in them.

Amazing ANC

One of the most outstanding and perhaps most surprising aspects of these earphones is their active noise cancellation: The Technics TWS offer really excellent noise cancellation performance, some of the best we have ever experienced.

Jaron Schneider / Digital Trends

I have a pretty noisy mobile air conditioner in my office, and when I was sitting at my desk, the technology turned its booming fan sound into a low hum. Compared to the Sonys, the Technics were about twice as good at reducing the level of consistent sounds. At the side of the road, I found that the technology was on a par with the Sonys, since neither was able to reduce inconsistent noises such as cars or clinking metal pipes.

The Technics use two sets of data inputs to suppress noise. This technology is known as dual hybrid noise canceling. It works with two sets of microphones: one set on the outside of the buds, as is the norm, and one set on the inside to determine how much sound is still getting through. The result is a system that seals noise and can actively adapt to what might come through. Without music, the ANC is so good that I can feel completely isolated in my cozy silence ball.

You can set how much noise suppression or ambient noise should be active on a sliding bar from the app. No noise cancellation, no ambient noise mode, and no full noise cancellation can be performed through any of the touch pads on the buds themselves by holding the touch pad for about two seconds.

Call quality

Technology has done some considerations to ensure that calls sound clear and clean, and I can say they were successful there. I had no problem hearing voices clearly in one of my calls.

Unfortunately, the person on the other end of the line was not blessed with the same pleasant experience that many noise canceling earphones and headphones do. When I was in a room where noise cancellation had to be particularly active, e.g. For example, by a fan or near traffic, my voice has been described as echo-like and far away, like a digital phone call over bad internet.

However, when I was in a quiet room, the call quality on the other end of the line improved dramatically.

Our opinion

The Technics TWS for $ 249.99 are expensive, but not the most expensive in their segment. They cost roughly the same price as Apple's AirPods Pro. The good news is that they largely deserve this price with incredible noise cancellation, lightweight construction, and a clean (but bulky) design. With an emphasis on strong vocals and higher registers, they are best suited for those who want to hear music with clearer, clearer clarity.

Is there a better alternative?

For a cheaper price (we saw that they only cost $ 170), the Sony WF-1000XM3 are a great option if you want above all to get the rounded audio quality.

The AirPods Pro from Apple have very strong noise cancellation functions. Because they're in the Apple ecosystem, they're a better choice for iPhone users for connectivity and synergy between devices.

For $ 180, the Panasonic RZ-S500W is another fantastic alternative with almost identical technical data to the TSWs. The main disadvantage is a smaller driver, which results in slightly lower (but only marginal) audio performance and a less impressive material quality.

How long will they last?

The Technics TWS earphones are guaranteed for one year. Technics is also one of Panasonic's high-end brands. As a result, their products usually last a long time.

Should you buy them

Yes. They are comfortable, have excellent noise cancellation technology and sound great in a variety of situations.

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