With fine sound, elegance, comfort and a special focus on speech intelligibility, the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds headphones are said to stand out, which Panasonic Corporation sees as the ideal solution for music enjoyment, but also for everyday home office use.
Panasonic Corporation recently presented the Technics EAH-AZ40 and Technics EAH-AZ60, two new true wireless in-ear headphones from the renowned Technics brand, thus expanding the product range with two models that pursue a very special orientation.
Normally, in-ear headphones are designed for application scenarios such as flexible use in everyday life or for very special areas such as sports. Panasonic Corporation, however, is focusing on a use case that, interestingly, not many manufacturers have yet focused on so clearly, namely business use, especially home office.
In return, the new solutions are not only equipped with fine sound, but also with quite remarkable innovative technologies.
Technics EAH-AZ60 True Wireless In-ear Headphone or Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds
If we compare the two newcomers to the Technics range, the Technics EAH-AZ60 True Wireless In-ear Headphone is of course clearly ahead of the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds, but the little brother also has a lot to offer, as we will now try to explain in detail.
Excellent sound and first-class speech intelligibility
As we have just described, Panasonic Corporation did not only focus on excellent sound quality when developing the new Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds, but also on the best possible speech quality. The aim is to provide the user with a flexible tool for a wide range of applications. The spectrum of the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds ranges from music enjoyment for relaxation to use in the office environment.
Technology meets tradition
There is no doubt that the developers of the new in-ear headphones are committed to the decades-long tradition of the Technics brand as one of the traditional Japanese hi-fi manufacturers. They know what they have to offer customers when the Technics brand is emblazoned on a product.
Thus, they clearly advertise with the slogan to combine tradition with the latest technology in the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds, and this is certainly not an empty promise, as our test shows. This much we can already anticipate from the conclusion at this point.
But before we look at the outstanding features of the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds, let’s first take a look at what is still the essential component of headphones, namely the driver.
Unique acoustic design
The manufacturer itself refers to the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds as having a unique acoustic design. This is based on a construction with an acoustic control chamber in which the actual driver is housed separately from the electronics. The 6 mm diameter driver is preceded by a harmoniser.
Different earpieces for optimal fit and good sound
A very important point with in-ear headphones is the choice of the right earpieces. Obviously, the main focus is on comfort, because on the one hand, they should provide a good fit in all situations, but on the other hand, they should not pinch, even during prolonged use.
What is brought up far too rarely, however, is that the choice of the right earpieces is also essential for good sound. If the in-ear headphones are too loose, for example, the bass is quickly lacking and the sound seems thin and not very powerful. On the other hand, if they are too low in the ear, there will be too much bass, apart from the fact that this is not at all good for your hearing.
An optimally fitting earpiece also ensures very good passive shielding from ambient noise, which should also be explicitly mentioned at this point, especially since our test candidate, unlike its bigger brother Technics EAH-AZ60 True Wireless In-ear Headphones, does not have any sophisticated active noise cancellation.
In this respect, it is a bit of a pity that the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds only come with four earmoulds in different sizes – XS, S, M and L – moreover, in the same design and silicone alone.
Nevertheless, the right variant should be available for almost every need, at least that’s what we found.
Signal transmission via Bluetooth 5.2
The Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds use the latest version of this standard for signal transmission with Bluetooth 5.2, whereby the profiles A2DP, AVRCP, HSP and HFP, as well as the codecs SBC and AAC are supported.
Codecs such as aptX or even aptX HD or LDAC are missing here, that must be clearly stated.
On the other hand, Bluetooth 5.2 offers the great advantage that it guarantees very reliable signal transmission. This standard is also characterised by a very low power consumption, so that significantly longer battery runtimes can be achieved with solutions equipped in this way.
By the way, the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds support Bluetooth Multipoint, which means that they can be connected to two source devices simultaneously. This makes it possible to watch films or enjoy music on a tablet or notebook, and as soon as a call comes in on the smartphone, to answer it immediately.
Technics JustMyVoice Technology and MEMS microphones for best possible speech quality
As already mentioned in the introduction, the developers of these in-ear headphones placed the highest value on the best possible speech quality. To achieve this, no fewer than six so-called MEMS microphones were initially installed, three per earpiece. It is one thing that these are placed in such a way that they alone have a negative impact on the speech quality, for example due to wind noise, but there is also the so-called Technics JustMyVoice Technology.
The Technics JustMyVoice Technology is a DSP-based solution that is supposed to guarantee a particularly clear voice quality by amplifying the voice while effectively suppressing background noise.
High wearing comfort and simple operation
We have already mentioned that the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds are supplied with four earpieces for individual adjustment and thus for high wearing comfort.
On the subject of wearing comfort, however, it must also be mentioned that these True Wireless in-ear headphones are very flat and, at only 5 g each, very light models. Due to the ergonomic shape, similar to a teardrop, these headphones fit almost completely into the ear cup, i.e. they lie flat.
The Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds are also IPX4 certified and therefore resistant to splash water. This means that nothing stands in the way of their use in a wide range of weather conditions. They are also suitable for sports, which is also explicitly mentioned.
In daily use, the earplugs are controlled via an intuitive touch control on the outside of the earplugs, which can also be adjusted with the help of the appropriate app, the Technics Audio Connect App for Apple iOS and Google Android.
Natural Ambient Mode and Attention Mode
Even though these in-ear headphones do not have the sophisticated active noise cancellation of the calibre of the Technics Dual Hybrid Noise Cancelling Technology, the two modes Natural Ambient Mode and Attention Mode are still available in order to better perceive the surroundings.
Natural Ambient Mode comprehensively captures voices and other ambient sounds, resulting in a more natural sound than if you were not wearing headphones at all, while capturing a broad spectrum of sound from low to high frequencies.
Attention Mode, on the other hand, reduces unwanted outside noise so you can hear other people’s voices better. It is ideal when you want to hear announcements at the airport, etc.
Voice control included
Intuitive operation also includes the fact that the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds can be used for voice control, whereby the manufacturer itself describes this as a solution with Amazon Alexa built-in.
Of course, this does not mean that the in-ear headphones can only be used with this platform; Apple Siri is also available for smartphones with Apple iOS and Google Assistant for smartphones with Google Android.
However, as soon as the headphones are paired with the Apple iPhone for the first time, it is automatically suggested that Amazon Alexa be installed.
Long battery life
Considering the extremely compact dimensions of the Technics EAH-AZ40, it is all the more astonishing that these are headphones with a very long battery life.
According to the manufacturer, the built-in battery has a capacity of seven and a half hours, which proved to be quite realistic in our extensive practical test. Of course, the actual playing time depends strongly on the individual use, above all on the volume.
As usual, a transport case is included in the scope of delivery, which not only protects the headphones but also functions as a power bank. This is also extremely slim and light, so that it fits easily even in a trouser pocket. Nevertheless, it provides up to 25 hours of battery life, and a short charge of just 15 minutes is enough for another 90 minutes of music playback.
Charging is via USB, specifically a USB-C port, and the corresponding USB-A to USB-C cable is included in the scope of delivery. Unfortunately, this is quite short at just under 20 cm in length.
From the practice
First of all, it should be mentioned that Panasonic Corporation knows very well how to convey to the customer from the very first moment that he has purchased a particularly high-quality product. And that starts with the packaging. It may be a minor detail for many, but ultimately it is not.
With such an established brand with decades of tradition, one may expect that really everything conveys a certain value, and this is exactly what the company succeeds in doing once again with the Technics EAH-AZ40.
The box is of high quality, and when you open it, the headphones are immediately presented in the elegant transport box. The various earpieces are also placed directly in front of the user, so that nothing stands in the way of immediate use without any fiddling with cumbersome packaging.
Pairing with the source device works right away, and if desired, the aforementioned app offers enough options to quickly adjust the sound character according to one’s own preferences.
Personally, however, we always prefer a neutral reproduction, especially since this leads to very, very fine results in the specific case anyway.
The sound of the Technics EAH-AZ40 can best be described as balanced, surprisingly rich in detail and dynamic, and thus very pleasant over a long period of time.
Especially in view of the fact that we also tested the big brother, the Technics EAH-AZ60, we were pleasantly surprised to find that the difference between the two is not as great as one might initially expect. Especially if you use an Apple iPhone as a source, for example, and thus have “equal opportunities” via AAC, the two brothers are quite close to each other, with a slight advantage in fine detail and sovereignty in the bass.
It is clear, however, that the Technics EAH-AZ60 can deliver a good bit more detail than the Technics EAH-AZ40, and that it is even more rounded and agile, especially when using a hi-res audio player as a source that relies on the Technics EAH-AZ60’s LDAC for signal transmission.
What the Technics EAH-AZ40 also lacks, and only the Technics EAH-AZ60 offers, is the particularly accurate Technics Dual Hybrid Noise Cancelling Technology. Whether you need it or not is a question of individual preference, but there is one feature that is just as important in both models, and that is the truly outstanding voice quality that the manufacturer places particular emphasis on.
And quite rightly so, in our opinion, because with the growing importance of video conferencing in everyday working life, it is hard to see why one has to rely on lousy headsets, which many companies expect their employees to use as standard. A high-quality headset, which on the one hand allows for better and ultimately more relaxed communication at work, and on the other hand can be used for more, is clearly the better choice.
Three versions are available
Those who opt for the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds can choose from three available design variants. These headphones are available in silver, black and rose gold, whereby we personally consider two versions to be particularly elegant, but that is a purely subjective story anyway…
There are two things that we particularly liked about the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds. Firstly, there is the really very, very fine sound, which is rarely found in this price range. At this price, it will also be difficult to acquire such an elegant, high-quality product with practical functions, that must also be clearly stated. In our opinion, the only points of criticism are the four earpieces and the lack of Bluetooth codecs for higher-resolution signal transmission.
However, the price of the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds puts this into perspective, especially since we found a suitable solution for us in the test, even with the earpieces offered, and use with an Apple iPhone, for example, does not allow more than signal transmission via AAC anyway.
As you can see, the linchpin of this test is the price, and with that in mind, we can only recommend the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds. For price-sensitive users, they are a good alternative to the Technics EAH-AZ60 True Wireless In-ear Headphones presented at the same time, and they also position themselves as very fine solutions with regard to the rest of the offerings on the market in this segment.
Getting to the point
The Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds convinced us completely in the test, because you get a solution for tasks that hardly any other manufacturer has really thought of so far, let alone had correspondingly sophisticated solutions ready. Of course, in-ear headphones are primarily perceived as lifestyle products, as solutions for leisure time, and here they are supposed to provide relaxation with the finest possible sound. But since in the modern world of work, too, nothing is possible without headphones, be it for classic telephone calls, but increasingly also for video conferences, it is obvious to combine the private with the professional in the best possible way. And that is exactly what the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds can do with flying colours and at a very attractive price.
|TECHNICS EAH-AZ40 TRUE WIRELESS EAR BUDS
|Panasonic Deutschland – Eine Division der Panasonic Marketing Europe GmbH
|More about this manufacturer at HIFI BLOG
In the test, the Technics EAH-AZ40 True Wireless Ear Buds proved to be extremely fine in-ear headphones that offer good sound, a high level of wearing comfort, smart features and, last but not least, an elegant design and high-quality workmanship. And all this at a very attractive price!
- Very compact and light
- appealing feel and impeccable workmanship
- high wearing comfort even for hours on end
- can be flexibly adapted to individual requirements
- excellent sound
- impeccable voice quality
- Very attractive price
- unfortunately no aptX, aptX HD or LDAC
- no wireless charging
- sufficient earpieces in the scope of delivery, but only in different sizes and not different shapes
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