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Technics’ new SU-GX70 streaming amp plays nice with TV audio

Renowned audio maker Technics is bringing HDMI ARC to its high-end amplifiers for the first time with the announcement of the new SU-GX70, a versatile streaming amplifier with a ton of connectivity options for easy integration of sources, including TVs. The Japanese company also announced a new matte white version of its popular SL-1500C turntable.

The Technics SU-GX70 Network Audio Amplifier.

Since Technics’ brand revitalization in 2014, the company has been pumping out some excellent earbuds, new turntables, and beautiful hi-fi components. But until now, the company hasn’t offered a way for customers to easily integrate a TV into their hi-fi systems. The SU-GX70 Network Audio Amplifier is the first Technics product to include HDMI ARC connectivity. Technics says that the new amp is addressing demand in the market for “high-quality amplifiers allowing easy integration of a TV into the home hi-fi system for superior sound without the hassle of a complex multichannel system.”

Leveraging the wealth of knowledge of its parent company, Panasonic, and its decades of experience with video processing, Technics hopes to tap into the full potential of the HDMI connection to deliver “noise and distortion-free sound” for your television, “generated by Technics’ proprietary full-digital amplification technology,” a press release says.

The SU-GX70 is built on the same low-noise JENO Engine (Jitter Elimination and Noise-Shaping Optimization) amp technology found in its flagship Grand Class amplifiers, and also shares the Grand Class’s minimalist looks — it’s available in slick silver and black finishes. But it’s not just a pretty face, offering 40 watts per channel into 8 ohms and 80 watts per channel into 4 ohms, making it a capable integrated amplifier that’ll handily fill most rooms.

Speaking of filling rooms, the Technics SU-GX70 has a feature that’s somewhat unique for most integrated amplifiers with its “Space Tune” function that lets you use an app to tune the system’s speakers to the room it’s in. With the Technics Audio Center app (for iOS only, sorry Android users), you can use positioning presets to tell it whether you’ve set things up “Free,” near a “Wall”, “Corner,” or “In a Shelf” to have the sound adjusted accordingly. It will even let you choose a “L/R Custom” setting to specify the positioning of each individual speaker.

Connectivity-wise, the Technics SU-GX70 is a bit of a Jack of all trades. Built on Google’s Chromecast platform, the amplifier has support for a wide range of music streaming services, including Spotify, Tidal, Deezer, Qobuz, and Amazon Music, and will support those services’ hi-res music streaming options. The SU-GX70 also has support for MQA audio, although the future of the hi-res streaming format is a little unclear at the moment.

Wi-Fi, AirPlay 2, and Bluetooth (with SBC and AAC codec support) handle the wireless connectivity (it also has an FM radio), while physically the SU-GX70 features two Line inputs, two optical inputs, one digital coax input, USB-B, USB-A, Ethernet, and the aforementioned HDMI ARC. And last, but certainly not least, the Technics SU-GX70 has an integrated Moving Magnet (MM) phono input, because, with Technic’s reputation for producing legendary turntables, it’d be a big gaffe if it didn’t.

The Technics SL-1500C-W turntable in matte white.

This brings us to the second product announcement Technics made yesterday, the addition of a “matte white” edition of its popular SL-1500C direct-drive turntable. Joining the silver and black models of the turntable, the SL-1500C-W matte white version shares the clean minimalist design aesthetics of the lineup, as well as all of its premium features and components that vinyl collectors will surely appreciate.

Its direct-drive motor is perfect for DJs as it’s stable and gets up to spinning speed quickly. The SL-1500C-W also benefits from the line’s high-performance, pre-mounted Ortofon 2M Red cartridge, and built-in phono preamp so you can get up and running fast. An automatic tonearm lift feature removes the needle from the record at its end to prevent unnecessary wear and tear on it and your records, and the SL-1500C’s aluminum tonearm and dense, heavy platter help keep resonance down for a quiet operation.

The matte white version of the SL-1500C turntable will be available in May 2023 for $1,300, while the SU-GX70 Network Audio Amplifier will be available in July 2023 and will cost $2,000.

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Derek Malcolm
Derek Malcolm is a Toronto-based technology journalist, editor, and content specialist whose work has appeared in…
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