Technics’ EAH-800 Headphones score a perfect 10 out of 10

June 22, 2023
3 mins read
Start
10/10

Summary

Technics EAH-800 Headphones REVIEW

PAT PILCHER really tried to find fault with the new Technics EAH-800 wireless headphones but came to the conclusion that they were flawless.

$519.99

Wireless headphones have become an ultra-hot and hugely competitive part of the consumer audio market. With many players already well established, Technics has taken another tilt at the over-ear headphone space with their the EAH-800 cans. Technics has  a long and storied history when it comes to audio, but does the EAH 800’s have what it takes to compete with the likes of Sony, BOSE and Sennheiser?

From a design perspective, the form and fit of the EAH 800s are fairly generic, which makes perfect sense. As the saying goes, if it isn’t broken, why fix it? That aside, a lot of attention has been paid to detail. Starting with aesthetics, the designers used a combination of matte and brushed alloy accents which give the cans a definite whiff of sophistication. The attention to detail is also noticeable when it comes to comfort. They use memory foam on their earpads and headband, plus a lightweight design which ensures minimal discomfort.

 

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I took them on a medium-haul international flight, and their fit was a good balance between sealing out external noise and staying on my noggin, but doing so without exerting too much clamp force. That and the fact that they weighed in at just shy of 300g allowed me to almost forget I was wearing them, freeing me up to focus solely on music and inflight movies. Another factor often overlooked is durability. In this regard, the EAH-800s feel sturdy and come with a bundled carry case, ensuring they’ll withstand lots of use.

In terms of their audio performance, the EAH-800s made good use of their 40mm dynamic driver. They also use what Technics calls an ‘acoustic control chamber’ for controlling airflow, freeing up the drivers to move more air. The sound signature they delivered felt both controlled and balanced; highs were clean, mids rich, and bass was both warm and deep. The soundstage was detailed. This was particularly noticeable with Bach’s Brandenburg concertos, with woodwind, percussion and strings nicely separated, which many similarly priced cans struggle with. It wasn’t just classical where the EAH-800s shone either. Air’s gentle downbeat electronica shone thanks to the plentiful warm bass, while Diana Krall’s sultry vocals were rendered beautifully. They impressed me regardless of what genre I put through them. Much of this probably comes down to their audio being helped along by support for LDAC codecs for hi-res wireless audio.

The EAH-800s support wired and wireless connections, allowing you to use Bluetooth or their bundled cables/airline adaptor. Taking the EAH-800’s walkies around Wellington’s crowded RF environment, Bluetooth connectivity proved to be very stable indeed. There were no dropped connections at all. Taking them travelling, I was also impressed by their active noise cancellation chops.

The EAH-800 uses what Technics calls Dual hybrid noise-cancelling technology. In non-techie speak, it uses an analogue filter, feedback mic, and a digital filter and feed-forward mic. Noise-cancellation and ambient noise levels can be tweaked using the ‘Audio Connect’ app (iOS/Android). There’s 100 levels of ANC adjustment. With ANC enabled, the constant drone of jet engines was reduced to a barely audible whisper. The other feature that stood out while travelling was the  excellent battery life. Technics say they’re rated for 50 hours of use from a single charge, and in practice, this was borne out as I managed to use them flying to my destination, at my destination and returning home, all from a single charge.

A key factor in their impressive battery life is Bluetooth 5.2, which is very energy-efficient. I’ve yet to see another brand offer similar battery life with ANC and a hi-res codec enabled. The other positive is their fast charging support. I found that just 15 minutes with a charger gave me another 10 hours of use.

As much as I tried to find fault with the EAH-800, the reality was that I couldn’t. They really are exceptional. Solid audio, great comfort, and a well-executed design make the EAH-800 cans an outstanding offering. They may carry a $519.99 RRP  price tag, but they’re available for less, and it goes without saying that you’ll get a hell of a lot for your investment. Other headphone makers should be more than a little worried.

https://www.technics.com/nz/products/headphones/wireless-headbanded/eah-a800e.html

 

 

 

Pat has been talking about tech on TV, radio and print for over 20 years, having served time as a TV tech guy and currently penning reviews for Witchdoctor. He loves nothing more than rolling his sleeves up and playing with shiny gadgets.

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