The Technics A800 headphones were announced at CES 2022, and it’s a bit of a surprise that we managed to get them so early on, just about a month and a half after they were launched, but am I glad we got to try them out.
So let’s talk design. I’m a pretty big fan of how these look. Some people might find it a bit boring, but I like a more understated look, and there’s a bit of flashiness with the ringed metal part where the Technics logo is. Overall, the blend of grey and black is pretty nice. The earcups are plush and very comfortable, and my ears don’t touch the mesh or the sides of the earcup, which is nice. It’s a long oval shape, so I think this won’t be a problem for most people either.
All the buttons are on the right earcup. You get the volume control buttons, and a multifunction button in between those. Press this button once for play/pause, twice to skip forward and thrice to skip backwards. It’s an interesting take, compared to using the volume control buttons for track skipping.
There’s also a power button here, along with a USB-C port for charging and a 3.5mm port for wired connections. The right faceplate of the headphones, by the way, is also touch-sensitive. The problem here is that you’re very limited in what you can use it for. You can only do double taps and triple taps. Either you customise it to switch between ambient sound or noise cancelling, turn on either, turn off ambient sound control or turn off the function completely. Personally, I thought it was okay, since there are physical buttons to control the rest of the stuff. But I would have liked to have more freedom in customising the controls.
These use the same Technics Audio Connect app as the rest of the Technics audio products, and it’s relatively intuitive. You get the battery level on the main screen, along with an option to adjust the noise-cancelling or toggle between ANC and ambient sound. There’s also the Sound Enhancement which is the EQ feature. In the settings page, there’s the option to toggle multipoint on or off, customise the touch sensor and such.
Coming to connectivity, these are on Bluetooth 5.2 and I didn’t experience any dropouts or stuttering, which was good. They also support SBC, AAC as well as LDAC, which is very nice.
Battery life is actually one of the biggest selling points of these headphones, with Technics claiming 40 hours if you’re on LDAC and have noise cancelling turned on. If you choose to go with AAC and turn ANC off though, you can get up to 60 hours, which is kinda mindblowing.
Microphone quality is pretty good as well, I used these for a few calls and everything went excellently.
The ANC on these is also really good. I’d say they block out pretty much all the regular commute noise, although if someone is talking right next to you, some words still do slip in. Aside from that, I think it’s great. Here’s an ANC test.
The sound quality is also great. Technics has done a very good job of ensuring that all their audio products sound great out of the box, and it’s no different here. You get a balanced sound that’s still fun and engaging with a small bump in the lows and highs. The mids also have plenty of clarity and a very slight warmth to them.
Of course, this is with LDAC, so if you’re using SBC or AAC, you might notice a bit less detail in your songs. And as always, sound is subjective.
At S$499 or US$350, these aren’t cheap, but the performance out of them definitely makes it a lot easier to justify that price tag.