Wireless headphones have long been much more than just a device for listening to music. Of course, they have not changed their main purpose. However, the flagship models now have much more additional functionality. They have customizable smartphone apps, can work with multiple devices simultaneously, and have microphones and noise-canceling systems with different modes. We will check how it all works and how Technics EAH-A800 sound in today’s review.
Specifications Technics EAH-A800
|Type of headphones
|Wireless, wired (3.5 mm Jack)
|Android, iOS, PC
|Range of operation
|SBC, AAC, LDAC
|4 per earbud, noise canceling support
|Up to 40 hours on a single charge with noise reduction
|Recommended price in Ukraine
|10 999 UAH
Personally, I associate Technics headphones primarily with DJ models. In this case, the package is different. The headphones will come with a large hard case. It will also contain two cables (for wired connection and charging) and an adapter for connecting on an airplane. This is a standard set for this class.
It is worth noting right away that, like most competitors, the case for Technics EAH-A800 is really large and it will require a lot of space in a backpack or travel bag. And even though the headphones themselves can be folded more compactly, it will not be possible to reduce the size of the case in this way. Therefore, in many cases, a pouch case, as with other headphones from the manufacturer, would be a good addition.
Design and usability
For those who are accustomed to Technics DJ headphones, the design of the EAH-A800 model will look like something from the “business world”. There is no such variation with the position of the headphone to the hoop, although there are enough moving elements. However, taking into account the positioning of the model, it is absolutely logical and convenient, because the model is designed for a wider audience, which does not have such specific needs.
The external elements of the headphones are made mainly of plastic and “eco-leather”. Almost the entire case is matte, except for a couple of polished inserts. The buyer was given the opportunity to choose a dark or light design variant. In both cases, Technics EAH-A800 looks “classic”. The build quality is also not bad, but sometimes you can hear a characteristic plastic creak from the moving elements. Though it is not a problem during the actual use, of course.
The issue of headphone comfort remains subjective. The large ear cushions are soft and pleasant to the touch. They easily adapt to the shape of the head around the ears and I have no questions about them. It is worth considering that it is winter, so they are not hot at all. In summer, the situation will most likely be different, which is a common problem with large over-ear headphones. And if necessary, the ear cushions are replaceable.
The situation with the padding on the hoop is a little different. It is soft, of course, but the “pillow” itself is not very large. Over time, it begins to put pressure on the head. Yes, you need to stay in the headphones for a couple of hours. However, there are more comfortable headbands for headphones of this class. As for the overall dimensions, they are approximately 195×170×85 mm, and the weight is 298 grams.
Adjusting the size will not be difficult. The headphone holders slide out to 12 positions for each headphone and lock perfectly. (However, when you put the headphones in the case, you will have to return them to the first position every time. But the same situation will be with other models). The cups also rotate vertically and horizontally, which will help you adjust to a comfortable position on your head.
In general, if we take among similar competitors, then Technics EAH-A800 looks and feels a little simpler than other flagships. Although this is quite subjective, because each user has his own opinion and requirements for such things. If we abstract from comparisons, the model is still quite successful. You need to pay attention only to the hoop, and only in cases where in standard scenarios the user stays in the headphones for a long time without pauses.
When designing Technics EAH-A800, engineers retained both physical controls and more modern touch controls. All of them are located on the right earbud. So, among the physical elements here you can find volume up and down keys, between which there is a Play/Pause button. The latter can also switch tracks by double and triple pressing, as well as call the voice assistant with a long press. There is a separate power button below this block. All this is well placed and intuitive to use.
At the same time, the right bowl responds to double or triple taps. This allows you to change ANC modes and answer calls. A light touch is enough to trigger the sensor. However, even such taps will be heard in the earbud itself. Over time, such things are hardly noticed.
Connection and functionality
This model primarily provides for wireless connection to an audio source. However, modern headphones always have options. Technics EAH-A800 have a separate 3.5 mm jack for a wired connection. In this case, the headphones do not even need to be turned on, although additional features will remain unavailable. The port itself is also located on the right earbud.
Next to it is USB-C. This model is not designed to be connected using this method, so this port will only be used for charging. Moreover, the headphones will not work during this process. And with such autonomy, this is unlikely to be an inconvenience, but before long trips, virtual rallies, or some such events, it is still sometimes worth checking the remaining charge (if you don’t have an alternative at hand).
But let’s get back to the wireless connection. The headphones have Bluetooth 5.2 and, according to the instructions, will work at a distance of up to 10 meters, although in my case they easily “reached” the smartphone anywhere in the two-room apartment through a couple of walls. The headphones also support SBC, AAC, and LDAC codecs (the latter can be tested by users of Android smartphones and external BT transmitters).
All available settings are available in the iOS and Android apps. On the first page, after connecting, the user will be greeted with the headphones themselves with the battery level, ANC/transparency settings, a choice of equalizer presets with the possibility of custom correction, and a check of the microphones for communication. Actually, the first two items are also duplicated below.
Next, there is a tab with other settings. To begin with, you can change the language of voice prompts and the name of the device. It’s nice that Ukrainian is among the language options. Installing any of them is accompanied by the corresponding download of the language pack and can take a couple of minutes.
Below, the user can change the automatic shutdown, the reaction of the proximity sensor, and turn off the LED activity indicator. Let’s focus on the second point here. The headphones really “feel” well when they are removed. However, there is still a slight delay, so they will play for an extra second or two. And vice versa. You can also turn off the sensor part of the earbuds at the time of removal to prevent accidental changes in ANC mode.
The next group of settings is responsible for the connection. Here, the user can choose the priority between sound quality or connection stability. In the latter case, the only option is to use the SBC codec.
Next, you can enable Multi-Point mode. It is worth noting here that when using LDAC, the headphones will advise you to stay connected to only one device to maintain quality. The connection with a smartphone and laptop works. However, they may conflict with each other a bit. For example, if you have music playing on your smartphone, it’s difficult to start a video on your laptop, you have to stop the player on your smartphone. But the latter can easily intercept the signal. This was the case with my devices, and it’s possible that in other cases you will have a great experience.
The user can control the delay separately. There are also tips to turn off LDAC. This way, the headphones can work in automatic mode or pay more attention to the delay. So the user can choose between playing music or video. In the latter case, with a theoretical loss of quality, the headphones will retain a shorter sound delay from the video. And yes, it’s noticeable, so I chose this option.
In addition, in the settings, you can find options for touch control functions (you can change the actions for taps), fine-tune ANC, transparency, and microphones, and select a voice assistant that the headphones will call when you press the Play/Pause button.
The logic of the application is quite clear. However, some items are scattered between the tabs at the bottom and the settings. Subjectively, this could be organized better. However, given that the app doesn’t need to be accessed often, this won’t be a major problem. You can simply set up the headphones once and not think about the app at all.
In general, all the necessary functions are here. The app is fast, but it takes a couple of seconds to identify the headphones every time it crashes out of the smartphone’s RAM. Everything else is implemented in a clear and accessible way.
After setting up the basic parameters, you can move on to the sound. Let’s start with ANC. The mode works very well. If you want to get rid of external sounds, you will succeed with Technics EAH-A800. Of course, they still have their own noise, but even the laptop keyboard is almost inaudible through it, not to mention other ambient sounds.
Conversely, in Transparency mode, you can hear everything that is happening around you. In standard mode, you can adjust the volume of external sounds and thus adapt to almost any situation. By the way, there are 8 microphones in total (half of them are responsible for voice, two for external sounds, and two more for feedback). The speech-only mode works, but I personally would not rely on it (it does not automatically stop the music, so you have to do it yourself), and other sounds are slightly “deformed” in this mode.
And finally, to the music. The manufacturer describes it as follows:
A clear, immersive sound experience with a sense of range and depth. The PEEK/ Polyurethane 3-Layer Diaphragm 40mm driver lets you lose yourself in smooth, detailed highlights and bass.
Let’s start with the volume level. The speakers are very powerful. If I usually easily tolerate the maximum or close to it, then here it is too much even for me. The speakers are very powerful and you shouldn’t listen to music at maximum for a long time. In the case of a wired connection to a MacBook Pro, the volume becomes even higher, so I did not go beyond half the available power.
The standard sound presets include Bass+, Vocal, Treble+, and Dynamic. Of course, there’s Custom with five bands and Off if you don’t need an equalizer. Then everything is subjective, but I liked the Dynamic option best, which reveals the sound well. In other versions, quiet parts of tracks or vocals may sound as if you are listening to music in a small “empty room”. However, the equalizer corrects this. It’s worth noting that I tested the headphones with an iPhone and a Mac, neither of which supports LDAC.
The manufacturer did not lie about the “deep bass”. These are one of the “bassiest” headphones I have ever tested. First of all, fans of electronic music, Trip-Hop, R&B, Hip-Hop and other similar genres will be satisfied with them. It is with such music that they will reveal themselves best. However, for fans of rock or symphony orchestra recordings, Technics EAH-A800 will also be perfect. The headphones are really versatile and sound quite decent even without support for the best codec options.
It’s also worth noting that the excellent detail is complemented by a cool stereo effect. In compositions where something during the introduction or some instrument in general is “off-center”, the user will feel it well. Thus, the headphones will suit both when listening to music and watching action movies (from Michael Bay, for example), where you will be able to immerse yourself in the scene.
The standard disadvantage of large headphones is that they are not the best choice for answering a phone call or joining a work meeting. Smartphone microphones are much better at such tasks. External microphones are out of the question. However, they can still provide the necessary basic minimum. So, for example, at home, you can easily answer a call without taking off your headphones.
The manufacturer does not indicate the battery capacity of Technics EAH-A800, but it does indicate the approximate operating time. Thus, with the active noise canceling system turned on, the headphones should last up to 40 hours. Without it – 50 hours. And this is subject to operation with LDAC, when AAC increases the approximate playback time by another 10 hours. Thus, during a week of testing with daily use, the headphones lost only a quarter of their charge.
In standby mode, the model can work up to 60 hours with ANC mode enabled, and up to 120 hours without it. Moreover, the headphones support fast charging, which will allow you to get enough charge for 10 hours of work with ANC in 15 minutes. So the average user shouldn’t experience any significant inconvenience during charging.