Panasonic says its new Technics EAH-A800 ($ 350) over-ear headphones ($ 350) will deliver impressive battery life, exceptional noise cancellation, outstanding call quality, and high-fidelity sound. In a market segment led by Sony, Bose, and Bowers & Wilkins, Technics is promoting the microphones in these headphones as a distinctive feature.
In an age where large numbers of people work from home, there is a desire for great-sounding headphones that can seamlessly transition from listening to music to a Zoom call. The best headphones in this category don’t always get high marks for their microphones, so Technics has a chance to shine in that regard.
The EAH-A800 features four MEMS (Microelectromechanical System) microphones that work together to capture the speaker’s voice on a phone call. The microphones are combined with active noise cancellation technology to reduce background noise and give voices a three-dimensional quality.
Panasonic engineers also changed the microphone design to reduce wind noise, using a forward microphone built into the interior of the device to improve air resistance and minimize wind vibration. There are multiple cameras designed to monitor vibration, a new mesh material on the primary conversation microphone, and a windshield on the secondary conversation microphone.
Technics claims “industry leading” noise cancellation through its Dual Hybrid technology. This design combines two pairs of noise-canceling functions, an analog filter and feedback microphone with a feedback microphone and a digital filter in an effort to reduce noise both inside and outside of the headphones.
On the audio side, the headphones feature a new 40mm dynamic driver and a free-edge diaphragm on the dome and rim that is made up of different multi-layer materials for optimal strength and flexibility. Technics says its acoustic control chamber controls airflow to allow the driver to deliver accurate bass and great spatial sound. The company used multilayer thin-film polymer capacitors from Technics’ high-quality audio amplifiers to ensure stable current through audio circuitry, limiting distortion and improving sound reproduction. The EAH-A800 supports Bluetooth Hi-Res Audio and Sony’s LDAC codec to deliver audio at 96 kHz / 24-bit resolution.
In addition to the full noise cancellation setting, Technics offers two transparency modes to help users be aware of their surroundings: the natural ambient mode captures a wide range of frequencies, producing a more natural outside sound that allows the user to pay attention to the surroundings while listening to music or making calls. Attention mode reduces external noise in a way that makes it easier for the user to hear outside voices, making it easy to hear airport or train announcements or have a conversation at home while listening to music. The EAH-A800 headphones also offer Bluetooth multipoint pairing, making it possible to connect two devices, for example your smartphone and a high-resolution digital audio player, at the same time.