Skip to main content

Technics’ new earbuds focus on call quality and wireless hi-res audio

Editor’s note: Prior to the official launch of its new true wireless earbuds, Technics provided Digital Trends with pricing information for the EAH-AZ40 and AZ60. This set the price of the AZ40 at $130 and the AZ60 at $200, which we initially reported. However, following the launch, Technics informed us that the pricing had been changed. We’ve adjusted the prices accordingly in the article below.

Following on the heels of the EAH-AZ70, its first set of noise-canceling true wireless earbuds, Technics is back with two new true wireless models that are more compact and offer better call quality than their predecessor. The $230 EAH-AZ60 come in silver and black, and the $150 EAH-AZ40 can be ordered in silver, black, and rose gold. Both models will be available in October. In the U.S., the EAH-AZ60 replaces the AZ70.

Though the two models look a lot alike, there are some significant differences under the hood. The more expensive AZ60 come with active noise cancellation (ANC) and support for Sony’s LDAC Bluetooth codec, two features that the more affordable AZ40 lacks. LDAC can deliver a much higher quality of audio over a Bluetooth wireless connection than the more common SBC and AAC codecs, but your phone will need to support LDAC, too, otherwise you won’t get the benefits. Currently, only select Android models support LDAC.

Man wearing Technics EAH-AZ60 noise canceling true wireless earbuds in black.

Technics claims that using the optional LDAC codec (both models let you use SBC or AAC, too) consumes more battery life, something we’ve seen on similarly-equipped earbuds like Sony’s $280 WF-1000XM4. You’ll get 4.5 hours of playback time when you use LDAC in conjunction with ANC, but that jumps to seven hours when you opt for AAC instead of LDAC. If you then turn ANC off as well, you can get a maximum of 7.5 hours per charge on the earbuds, with a total of 25 hours when you include the charging case’s capacity — the same numbers Technics quotes for the AZ40.

Another difference is in the driver designs that Technics has used. For the AZ60, the company has incorporated 8mm drivers, while the AZ40 get slightly smaller 6mm drivers. Presumably, the smaller drivers will equate to sound quality that isn’t as high as the AZ60, but Technics points out that the AZ40 are smaller as a result, which some folks might prefer. We found the AZ70 sounded great, but they were also pretty bulky.

Both models include Technics’ JustMyVoice technology, providing you with what the company says is “crystal clear voice communication during calls.” After a few seconds of use, the voice detection mics detect your voice when speaking, while the two other mics capture your voice and reduce surrounding noise with beamforming technology. Both models also offer two kinds of transparency mode for hearing outside sounds. Natural Ambient Mode brings in a wide variety of sounds, while Attention Mode zeroes in on just people’s voices.

Both the AZ40 and AZ60 possess something that is fairly rare in the true wireless world: Bluetooth multipoint pairing, which lets you connect the earbuds to two devices simultaneously, like a smartphone and a PC. They also have IPX4 protection from water, offer wind-noise reduction, and can be customized using the Technics Audio Connect app.

Simon Cohen
Simon Cohen covers a variety of consumer technologies, but has a special interest in audio and video products, like spatial…
The most innovative headphones and earbuds of 2023
The Hed Unity were the most innovative headphones of 2023.

In 2023, we saw plenty of great new wireless headphones and wireless earbuds emerge, like the Bose QuietComfort Ultra Headphones, Bose QuietComfort Ultra Earbuds, Anker Soundcore Liberty 4 NC, Sony WF-1000XM5, and the new USB-C variant of the Apple AirPods Pro 2.

Each of these products delivers better performance than its predecessors in one or more categories like sound quality, active noise cancellation (ANC), battery life, or spatial audio. But for a product to be considered innovative, it can't just offer incremental improvements. It needs to break new ground by offering us something new or by getting us to think about an existing feature in an entirely new way.

Read more
JLab jumps into hi-res and Bluetooth LE audio with $200 Epic Lab Edition earbuds
Tech of the Week JLabs

JLab has a reputation for making very affordable headphones and earbuds that also deliver good sound quality and features. But today, the company has decided to try its hand at satisfying a more upscale buyer -- its JLab Epic Lab Edition are its first wireless earbuds to promise hi-res audio, as well as its first earbuds to use a hybrid dual-driver architecture. Preorders , with the first orders getting shipped about 12 days later.

The $200 Epic Lab Edition use a dynamic driver along with a Knowles balanced armature driver and are among the first wireless earbuds to be tuned using the Knowles Preferred Listening Response Curve -- a sound signature that places a greater emphasis on boosted treble, something that Knowles claims listeners across age ranges and hearing abilities prefer.

Read more
Creative’s Aurvana Ace are the first wireless earbuds to use MEMS drivers
Creative Aurvana Ace 2 wireless earbuds.

Creative has broken new ground in the wireless earbuds space. The company has announced that its upcoming Aurvana Ace and Aurvana Ace 2 noise-canceling wireless earbuds will use a hybrid dual-driver architecture featuring MEMS drivers from a company called xMEMS, making them the first products of their kind to employ this new audio technology. The Aurvana Ace has been prices at $130 while the Ace 2 is $150. Both will be available for preorder November 10.
What's a MEMS driver?
The xMEMS Cowell drivers, used in the Creative Aurvana Ace and Ace 2. xMEMS Labs

MEMS stands for micro-electromechanical system -- essentially a tiny device that incorporates both non-moving electronics as well as moving mechanical parts. In the case of the xMEMS-designed audio drivers used in the Aurvana Ace, the moving part is a miniscule silicon membrane that can move air (and thus create sound) when an electrical signal is passed through the flap.

Read more