Review: Technics EAH-AZ70W – the Good Old Days Is Back!

Technics EAH-AZ70W
Technics EAH-AZ70W

After exiting the Singapore audio industry for years, the Technics return with the debut of its first true wireless model, EAH-AZ70W.

Thank you, Grace Leong, from Panasonic Singapore for sending me the Technics EAH-AZ70W true wireless earbuds. The products were provided to me free of charge in exchange for my honest review and opinion.

General Usage 84.1
Audiophile Usage 88.0

Score Breakdown

82.4
What We Like
  • Durable and high quality charging case
  • Excellent ANC
  • Comfortable and secure fitting
  • Great detail retrieval capability
  • Non-fatiguing sound
  • Sensitive and responsive control on both earbuds
  • Well-extended and smooth highs
  • Transparent mids
  • Useful smartphone application
What We Don't Like
  • Microphone unable to suppress surrounding noise during voice pickup

Where To Buy

The Technics EAH-AZ70W is available on:

Introduction

Technics is a Japanese audio manufacturer, from the well-known Panasonic Corporation. Since 1965, they have been producing a variety of hi-fi products, such as turntables, amplifiers, receivers, tape decks, CD players and speakers. In 2002, Technics products were rebranded as Panasonic and the brand of Technics exited the Singapore audio market.

After 18 years, Panasonic Singapore decided to re-introduce Technics back in the Singapore audio market because of the maturity of the industry. More audio enthusiasts are heading towards high-end hi-fi products and Technics will definitely be one of their choices. One of the products which Panasonic Singapore used to re-introduce Technics is their very first true wireless model, Technics EAH-AZ70W.

Will Technics continue to lead the high-end hi-fi market like during their good old days? We will find out in this article!

Technics EAH-AZ70W
Technics EAH-AZ70W

Case

Battery

  • Battery Life: 13 hours
  • Connector: USB Type-C
  • Wireless Charging: No
  • Battery Capacity: 500 mAh

The charging case of Technics EAH-AZ70W can provide additional 2 charges to the earbuds, giving up a total of 19.5 hours battery life (13 hours from charging case and 6.5 hours from earbuds). The battery life is expected to be slightly longer if the ANC is turned off.

At the back of the charging case, users can find the USB Type-C charging port. The bottom of the charging case is flat so it can stand firmly when it is placed on a flat surface.

Wireless charging feature is not enabled on this model. I hope Technics can include this feature in their next release because I hope to charge my Apple Watch, iPhone and wireless earbuds on a single wireless charging station.

The USB Type-C charging port
The USB Type-C charging port

UX

  • Can be open easily with one hand: Need some effort
  • Pass the shake test: Yes
  • Light Indicators: Display battery level

It is possible to open the charging case with one hand but some effort is needed. I normally open it with both of my hands. The earbuds are firmly secured in the charging case by magnet. There are three LED light indicators at the opening. When the charging case is opened or closed, the LED light indicators will show the battery level of the charging case.

The charging status can be known by checking the LED light indicator on the earbuds. However, I realised that the charging case does not stop charging the earbuds, even if they are fully charged. The LED light indicator is constantly red on the earbuds, when they are in the charging case.

This is one of the reasons why the standby hour for Technics is shorter as compared to the majority of the models in the market. I have to charge it at least once a week even though I did not even use it.

The three LED light indicator on the case indicate the battery level of the case
The three LED light indicator on the case indicate the battery level of the case
The LED light indicator on the earbuds show the charging status of the earbuds
The LED light indicator on the earbuds show the charging status of the earbuds

Design

  • Shape of the case: Rectangular
  • Material: Aluminium
  • Build Quality: Premium

This is how Technics introduces their EAH-AZ70W’s charging case:

The charging case has a lightweight and high-grade appearance that utilises aluminium material, and features an upper surface hairline and engraved logo that symbolise the hi-fi audio products of Technics.

It is an undeniable fact that the build quality of the charging case is really premium. The premium build immediately feedback the durability of the charging case to the users. It is rare to see manufacturers to use such expensive material in building the charging case. Well done, Technics!

The charging case has a lightweight and high-grade appearance that utilises aluminium material, and features an upper surface hairline and engraved logo that symbolise the hi-fi audio products of Technics.
The charging case has a lightweight and high-grade appearance that utilises aluminium material, and features an upper surface hairline and engraved logo that symbolise the hi-fi audio products of Technics.

Portability

  • Weight: 79g (With earbuds inside, 7g each)
  • Volume: 7.5cm x 3.5cm x 3.6cm = 94.5cm cu}} (~5.8 in cu)
  • Portability: Average

One of the downsides of using a more premium material to build the charging case is the portability is compromised. The charging case is relatively heavier as compared to those made of plastics. Besides the weight, the size of the charging case is thick. It is hard for me to put it into my pocket. I definitely need a bag for it if I am heading out with it.

The charging case isn't that pocket-friendly
The charging case isn’t that pocket-friendly

Earbuds

Battery

  • Battery Life: 6.5 hrs (with ANC on)
  • Charge Time (15mins): 70 mins playback time (with ANC on)

Each full charge on the earbuds can give users 6.5 hours of playtime. I am satisfied with the battery life. It is more than sufficient for my daily commuting and gym session. For those who need battery life longer than 6.5 hours, you can simply put the earbuds back to the charging case and get another 70 minutes of playback.

Technics EAH-AZ70W
Technics EAH-AZ70W

UX

  • Control Mechanism: Touch
  • Touch Accuracy: Good (Almost alway register the right action)
  • Control Symmetry on both earbud: No
  • Mono Use: Yes
  • Voice Assistant (Siri, Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa) can be triggered from earbuds

I particularly like the touch control of Technics EAH-AZ70W. The entire faceplate of the earbud is covered with the surface. As long as you touch on the faceplate, most of the time the earbuds can register the gesture accurately. The control is not as symmetry as some of other earbuds but it is easy to remember – volume on the left and changing of track on the right.

Users can use either side of EAH-AZ70W alone under mono mode. I find this useful when I am working out in the gym because I might need to communicate with others. Another great feature that is enabled on EAH-AZ70W is users can trigger voice assistants by using the earbuds. It basically covered all the features that are needed on a pair of earbuds.

The faceplate of EAH-AZ70W
The faceplate of EAH-AZ70W

Design

  • Profile: Medium
  • Material: Aluminium and plastic
  • Comfort: Good
  • Fit: Good

The size of the earbuds is average – for users with big ears like me, there’ll be no fitting problem when using the EAH-AZ70W. For those with smaller ears, I would encourage you to try the fitting first before purchasing. The shell is made of aluminium and plastic. I can wear the EAH-AZ70W for hours during work and exercise. The comfort and fitting is great to me.

EAH-AZ70W in my ear
EAH-AZ70W in my ear
Some protrusion when wearing the EAH-AZ70W
Some protrusion when wearing the EAH-AZ70W

Mic

  • Noise Cancellation: Average
  • Voice Pick-up: Average

Unlike Aukey EP-N5 which try to maximize the noise cancellation while the mic is triggered, Technics maximizes the voice pick-up by increasing the microphone sensitivity. The voice pick-up is indeed better as compared to Aukey EP-N5. However, the background noises are picked-up by the microphone as well. Fortunately, the voice is still clear and audible.

Personally I find this is more acceptable than having your voice to be cancelled by the ANC during calls.

Mic Demo

Sound

  • Driver: 10 mm graphene coated dynamic driver
  • Sound Signature: Balanced
  • Sub-bass: Average
  • Bass: Good
  • Mids: Good
  • Treble: Good
  • Sound Detail: Good

Active Noise Cancellation

The active noise cancellation (ANC) on Technics EAH-AZ70W is one of the best among those true wireless earbuds that I reviewed, including ATH-ANC300TW from Audio Technica and Sennheiser MOMENTUM True Wireless 2.

The ANC of EAH-AZ70W can accurately identify different noises, including wind noise that a lot of models cannot differentiate with high precision. It gives me a background that is almost close to silent. I always use it when I am working in the office and I really enjoy myself in that silence, with my favourite music flowing.

Technics EAH-AZ70W and Audio Technica ATH-ANC300TW
Technics EAH-AZ70W and Audio Technica ATH-ANC300TW

Overall sound quality

The overall sound signature of EAH-AZ70W can be considered as balanced, with slight touch on the brighter side. The treble is getting slightly more emphasis as compared to the mids and bass. It has the typical Japanese tuning, which can be found on IEMs from Sony in their earlier days. The emphasis on the treble gives a spacious presentation with sufficient amount of air. You will not feel congestions or stuffiness when listening to the EAH-AZ70W.

Lows

Powered by a single 10mm dynamic driver, the bass of EAH-AZ70W is going to give users sufficient rumbles. However, I do not think the quantity of the bass is going to satisfy the crave of bass-head audiophiles on bass.

The bass of EAH-AZ70W is punching tightly, without any bleeding to the mids. I call the bass of EAH-AZ70W a good quality bass. It has a precise attack and decay, faster than a typical dynamic driver’s bass. This enhances the overall detail retrieval capability.

Technics EAH-AZ70W
Technics EAH-AZ70W

Mids

This is where I love the EAH-AZ70W the most. It presents a clear and transparent mids to the audiences. There is almost zero coloration from the mids and vocals are presented in their most natural form – lively and sweetly. I have auditioned numerous true wireless earbuds in the market and I find this is one of the best.

A lot of true wireless are manufactured by companies that are immature in tuning. They tend to smoothen and color the mids, so the overall sound signature seems to be more enjoyable and fun to listen to. However, the downside of smoothening and coloring the mids is the mids will sound unnatural and even out of tone.

Technics has good maturity in tuning audio equipment, based on their long history in this market. Instead of steering the tuning to cater to immature users, Technics chose to preserve their mentality in producing a high-end hi-fi product. EAH-AZ70W is the baby of their mentality.

Technics EAH-AZ70W
Technics EAH-AZ70W

Highs

As mentioned in the overall sound quality section, the highs are getting more emphasis as compared to the mids and lows. ‘Fraid not, the emphasis on the highs does not make the treble to be a sharp knife that can pierce through your eardrums. The highs are smooth and well-extended. The overall space and air are mostly introduced by the silky smooth highs, causing the overall presentation to be airy and spacious.

Technics EAH-AZ70W
Technics EAH-AZ70W

Connectivity

  • Audio Codec: AAC and SBC
  • Bluetooth Version: Bluetooth V5.0
  • Auto-connect when: Taken out of case
  • Average drop-outs in an hour: 1 – 2 times
  • Multi-point connection: No

Technics EAH-AZ70W supports both AAC and SBC Bluetooth codecs, which are the most commonly found in the market. It is equipped with relatively new Bluetooth V5.0. It will auto-connect to the last paired device once it is out of the charging case.

Within this period of audition and trial, the stability of EAH-AZ70W can be considered as stable. I only experience mild signal drop-outs when I am in a crowded gym. Similar to the majority of the true wireless earbuds, multi-point connection is not supported by EAH-AZ70W.

Technics EAH-AZ70W
Technics EAH-AZ70W

Waterproof

  • IP Rating: IPX4

Technics classified EAH-AZ70W to be certified for IPX4. Users can use it for exercise, such as jogging and gym workouts. I personally tested it and I find it to be useful. I have been working out with it within the reviewing period. It has been a great companion!

Software

  • Manual EQ and Presets
  • Amazon Alexa compatible
  • ANC level can be adjusted
  • “Find my Earbuds” feature

I highly recommend those who owned or are going to get EAH-AZ70W to install the application on their smartphones. With this application, the sound profile of the earbuds can be slightly tweaked with the built-in equalizer. You can manually tweak it or use the preset profiles, which is tuned by Technics.

The homepage of the smartphone application
The homepage of the smartphone application
The built-in equalizer
The built-in equalizer

Besides that, for those who use Amazon Alexa voice assistant, instead of conventional Siri or Google Assistant, you can change the setting in this application too. One of the best features that I like the most is that the ANC level can be adjusted. I normally adjust the ANC to be slightly lower so I will not get affected by the “vacuum suction” due to the strong ANC.

Amazon Alexa can be enabled in the application
Amazon Alexa can be enabled in the application
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) setting in the application
Active Noise Cancellation (ANC) setting in the application

Like Bose SoundSport Free, EAH-AZ70W is equipped with the “Find my Earbuds” feature, which is another selling point. Earbuds are small and they can go missing easily. This feature will come in handy when this happens.

Find my Earbuds” feature in the application
“Find my Earbuds” feature in the application

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