Technics EAH-AZ60 Review
The Technics EAH-AZ60 are a competent set of premium true wireless earbuds that offer excellent battery life, reliable ANC and wonderfully precise audio. The only downside is that they don’t quite match the dynamism you’ll find on the slightly more expensive Sony WF-1000XM4.
- Reliable ANC
- Detailed audio
- Lengthy battery
- Sound could be more dynamic
- UKRRP: £199
- USARRP: $229
- Active noise cancellationThe earbuds feature ANC, ambient and attention modes
- 7 hour battery lifeWith 24 hours worth of charge in case
- Bluetooth 5.2, LDAC supportThe buds do not support apt X or apt X HD, however
- IPX4 water resistanceThey can survive splashes and use in the rain
The Technics EAH-AZ60 are the premium earbuds from the Japanese audio heavyweight that have ambitions of ruffling a few feathers at the premium end of the true wireless market.
After a fortnight with the AZ60, they offer a refinement on the Technics EAH-AZ70W rather than a complete rethink of their original true wireless offering. For people yet to invest in a premium set of true wireless this is no bad thing.
I’ve found they offer wonderfully detailed audio, reliable battery life and effective ANC (active noise cancellation), making them a valid and worthy alternative to the Sony’s WF-1000XM4. There are a few flies in the ointment stopping them earning a perfect score.
- Have a smaller case than their predecessor
- 7 sizes of silicone buds for a decent seal and fit
- IPX4 water resistant, but aren’t designed for the gym use
At first glance the AZ60 looks very similar to the AZ70W. They come in a pebble shaped charge case and the buds share the same “ear trombone” shape as most of the recent premium true wireless to pass through our labs, including the Sony WF-1000XM4.
The design is pleasantly unassuming with the only obvious flourishes on the case outside of my review unit’s distinctly 70’s Sci-Fi silver colouring, is a front facing LED light, rear-facing USB C charge port and Technics logo.
The design isn’t revolutionary and doesn’t match the luxurious feel of some competing sets like the Bang and Olufsen E8 3rd gen, but from a functionality standpoint they tick all the right boxes.
The included silicone tip options made it quick and easy for me to get a solid fit and seal after swapping to the appropriate size. I’m also a fan of the fact that Technics has reduced the size of the case. Though it’s still not as compact as some cheaper sets, like the Galaxy Buds Pro, the case comfortably fit in my front pocket.
While the case feels well built, it’s distinctly more plastic than the EAH-AZ70W, which had a brushed metal finish. The hinge also isn’t quite as rugged as I’d expect for a $200-£200 set of true wireless, offering noticeable flex when met with moderate force.
Outside of this the buds feel wonderfully well made and feature an IPX4 water resistance rating, so they can survive the odd downpour intact.
Even with correctly sized tips, the buds are only suitable for lightweight gym use. During testing I found, while they do stay seated for basic things, like using an exercise bike, even moderately heavy stepped jogging could cause the seal to break. However, given their “serious music” listener focus this isn’t a surprise. If you’re after a gym set you should look at the Jaybird Vista 2 or BeoPlay E8 Sport.
- Effective ANC
- Solid battery life
- Decent mic quality
The Technics EAH-AZ60 have the features you’d expect from a premium set of true wireless. These include an impressive 8-mic setup (4 per earbud), advanced active noise cancellation, Bluetooth 5.2 connectivity and fast charging.
The mic array worked excellently during testing. Using the buds out and about I was able to take and make calls on the Technics with zero issue, with the two mics in the buds dedicated to voice chat performing admirably. During one particularly difficult test, the mics let me take a call while crossing Tower Bridge on a windy day. The person on the other end of the line reported noise, but was still able to hear me, which is impressive and an achievement beyond many cheaper sets I test, such as the Panasonic RZ-S500W.
Noise cancellation is also solid. This is a feature that uses a feed-forward and feedback mics in the buds to cancel inside and outside noise. With the setting active and set to full blast in the mobile Technics app (available on iOS and Android) the buds easily blocked out background office noise and were surprisingly capable at mitigating the rumbling engines of my morning commute. Like most premium true wireless the level of noise cancellation can be tweaked using a sliding dial. There are also ambient and attention modes available.
Ambient appears most ANC buds, using the buds’ mics to filter through surrounding noise to let people use them without losing awareness of where they are. The mode works well enough, but could on occasion be a little overzealous. Walking past a busy road the sound of car horns all but deafened me with it active on a couple of occasions.
The attention mode is a little more interesting. It’s designed to offer similar experience as the ambient mode, but with the caveat that it lets voices through. This is so you can block out background noise in offices, but still know when someone is talking to you.
During testing I found the feature is pretty neat and worked well in office spaces. But in busier more active settings it became pretty pointless, picking up distant conversations when used in a café. It also seemed to think my cats were speaking human when meowing for food…
Fast Charging works admirably and makes it quick to top up the Technics AZ60’s already reliable battery life. Technics quotes the buds as offering around 7 hours listening off a single charge and the case as carrying an extra 24 hours worth of battery.
During testing I found listening time is heavily informed by the level of ANC and volume. With ANC I managed to get an average of 4-5 hours out of the buds listening at moderate volumes. Lowering it to around 50% ANC or using ambient mode I got around 6-7 hours use before having to reach for the charge case. This is pretty good considering how effective the ANC is. The quick charging tech also lets the buds regain a decent amount of their charge fairly fast, with 10 minutes from 0% giving me more than enough juice for the morning commute.
The only downside is that, while the buds support the LDAC codec, which is great news for serious listeners, there’s no support for aptX and aptX HD codecs.
- The 8mm drivers deliver wonderfully detailed audio
- The earbuds support the LDAC codec, but not aptX or aptX HD
Thankfully, even without this, the Technics EAH-AZ60 still deliver excellent audio quality and are a clear step up on the older model.
The buds feature a custom design that pairs 8mm drivers with a Technics acoustic chamber and harmonizer. Testing them on a variety of genres, I found they deliver a controlled, mature listening experience.
The highlight is the level of detail in the sound. Listening to complex neo-classical and post-rock arrangements, every layered and textured part held a distinct audible place. The same remained true when I listened to big band “wall of sound” prog arrangements, where once again the AZ60 managed to deliver a detailed experience that let me discern every instrument and wail in the cacophony. This is impressive as the buds also offer a noticeably more powerful low end than their predecessors.
Switching between the two sets of Technics, walking bass lines had a noticeably more powerful rumble while offering a sense of control to maintain the audio’s tonal balance. The buds also dealt with incredibly difficult genres, like Industrial remarkably well, with the mid-heavy aggressive guitars maintaining a pleasing bite without taking on the acidic quality you experience on many cheaper sets.
All-in-all, my experience with the Technics was incredibly positive as they offered an accurate, refined experience that felt accurate to the original recording.
My only quibble is the same I had with the first generation EAH-AZ70W. While they are wonderfully detailed the AZ60 audio doesn’t offer as much dynamism as what you’ll find on their Sony rivals.
To be fair, the audio is more dynamic than many affordable sets, and the AZ60 slightly lower price than the Sony’s makes the difference understandable, the difference was clearly noticeable, especially when listening to certain genres. Attacking punk rock breakdowns didn’t land with the same impact as the Sony’s and classical music crescendos didn’t have the same swell.
Should you buy it?
You should buy the Technics EAH-AZ60 if you want an all round excellent set of true wireless earbuds Though the Technics don’t match the Sony WF-1000XM4 for features, they remain an excellent option for serious music listeners with improved sound quality over their predecessor, excellent battery life and reliable ANC.
You shouldn’t buy the Technics EAH-AZ60 if you want THE best audio quality possible The Technics AZ60 offer wonderfully detailed audio that is more than good enough for most listeners. But if you want THE best experience possible the Sony’s offer slightly better dynamism.
The Technics AZ60 are a fantastic set of true wireless earbuds and a clear step forward on the audio-heavyweight’s first generation EAH-AZ70W. They offer excellent active noise cancellation, wonderfully detailed audio and a lengthy battery life that’ll easily last a week’s listening. The only minor issue is that the ruling Sony WF-1000XM4 still offer better dynamism.
How we test
We test every headphones we review thoroughly over an extended period of time. We use industry standard tests to compare features properly. We’ll always tell you what we find. We never, ever, accept money to review a product.
Find out more about how we test in our ethics policy.
Used as our main headphones for two weeks
Tested with a variety of genres and various qualities
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The Technics EAH-AZ60 are IPX4 certified, meaning they are splash resistant, but not fully waterproofed.
The Technics EAH-AZ60 do not feature any form of wireless charging.
The Technics EAH-AZ60 feature fully customisable active noise cancellation.