Technics’ EAH-A800 Wireless Headphones feature Bluetooth 5.2 wireless technology with the LDAC codec that delivers 96kHz/24-bit audio from any LDAC supported devices. A stout battery promises 50-60 hours of playback time, or you can use them wired with the included cable. An app lets you control equalization and noise canceling levels to tailor the sound just so. Slick styling, premium materials, and a super comfortable fit mean you can wear them all day no matter what your activity.
Technics EAH-A800 Wireless Headphones
- Over-ear wireless headphones with 40mm driver
- 40-60 hours of battery life between charges
- Made from premium materials
- Bluetooth 5.2 and LDAC hi-res wireless technology
- Eight microphones for phone calls and advanced noise canceling
- Available in black or silver with all necessary cables and case
In days of old, headphones were the only way to listen to the stereo without bothering others. You plugged a quarter-inch connector into the front of your preamp or receiver and, if the cable was long enough, sat back on the couch for some private music time. You can still do this today, but most audio enthusiasts use headphones in order to take their music with them. Smartphones and digital players let us carry an entire music library around in our pockets. And who wants to have a wire dangling from their ear? Bluetooth lets us listen to hi-res music with no wires to get in the way.
In-ear monitors are commonplace; you see them everywhere when out and about. But not all listeners want to stick something into their ears. There are plenty of lightweight and comfortable wireless headphones for those who don’t mind some extra headgear.
The Technics EAH-A800 is a luxurious over-ear headphone with the latest Bluetooth 5.2 wireless technology and LDAC for 96kHz/24-bit transmission of audio from any LDAC supported devices. You can even connect wirelessly to two devices at once so you can play music and hear your laptop’s alerts. Advanced noise canceling uses multiple microphones to keep ambient sound out of your ears. Pickup mics let you make phone calls with high quality sound as well. And with Technics’ free app, you can control every aspect of the headphones’ operation and sound.
Over-ear closed back wireless headphones
40mm, 3-layer polyurethane
105 dB/mW @1kHz
Playback Time with Battery:
Approximately 3 hours
15 minutes for 10 hours playback
The EAH-A800s are an over-ear closed back design. The ear cups are finished in a buttery soft leather-like material that is supremely comfortable. They seal well around the ears which means they will get a little warm when worn for long periods. I was able to listen as long as I wished indoors without noticing any discomfort. The headband is padded and finished in the same material. All padded parts are filled with memory foam which conforms perfectly to any shape. They are light as well, just over half-a-pound. Once I clicked the headband to the right size, I barely noticed them on my head, even after several hours of listening.
Each earcup has a single 40mm driver made from three layers of polyurethane. This gives them more bass emphasis and indeed, when I first fired them up, I found them very bass heavy. Luckily, a free app from Technics has a five-band equalizer along with several preset frequency curves to help tailor the sound to your preference. As I listen to mostly classical, I created a custom setup that emphasized midrange and high frequencies. By turning the bass down some, I was able to get a neutral and accurate presentation.
One thing I missed here was any sort of spatial audio. I’ve become spoiled by this feature on my Apple AirPods. If you haven’t tried this, you should. In a nutshell, it sounds like the music is around your head rather than inside your head. That said, the EAH-A800s created a broad soundstage that fills the virtual space between my ears. (no sniggering in the back please)
The wireless interface is Bluetooth version 5.2 with available LDAC compression. This codec supports 96kHz/24-bit transmission which is more than double the CD sample rate of 44.1kHz. In practice, it is crystal clear, though if you want a bit more presence, the EAH-A800s can be used wired like traditional headphones. Technics includes a cable for this purpose. You can also enable them as an Alexa device for listening to music and issuing voice commands.
The headphones include a power toggle button, volume up/down and a pause button on the back edge of the right earcup. Also here is a charge port compatible with USB-C cables, one of which is included in the package. You also get a 3.5mm adaptor for airplane dual-mono jacks. The carrying case is a nice rigid zippered pouch that keeps the headphones fully protected with a small space for extra cables. The only thing not included is a charge block. If you have one with a USB-A port, you can plug into a wall outlet for a charge. 15 minutes will get you 10 hours of listening time. A full charge takes about three hours. Total wireless listening time is 40-60 hours depending on how much noise canceling you employ.
Speaking of which, the EAH-A800s have very effective noise canceling that uses two mics per earcup to eliminate all but the loudest ambient sounds. You can control the level of compensation in the app. I could only tell a difference in sound quality when turning it
on or off, or when switching to and from the transparent mode.
The pictorial instructions that come with the EAH-A800s direct you to charge them before initial use, so I plugged the included cable into my PC’s USB port and left them for a few hours. The app was a quick download and once the headphones were fully charged, it found them right away. The home screen shows the battery status.
The app is very powerful and I daresay necessary for full enjoyment of the EAH-A800s. You can set a whole host of options for noise cancelation, touch sensor, eq and other convenience features. Once you turn the power on (hold for two seconds), a voice says “Bluetooth connected” in your ear and you’re off.
I used the eq to create a rising compensation that increased midrange and upper frequencies. There are five bands with plus or minus 10dB at 100, 315, 1k, 3.15k and 10k Hertz. There are also four presets, dynamic, treble, vocal and bass+. None of them presented classical music in a neutral manner but they worked well for different genres of pop and rock material.
I also tried the EAH-A800’s wired option. This is for when the batteries run down, or you want a pure unaltered listening experience. The headphones do indeed play wired when the power is turned off and I found the presentation a bit more forward. But the eq is not in use so the sound is more bass-heavy, not something I would use for classical music.
The app also has options for the ear sensors to have the headphones pause your music when you remove them. You can also press the center button to do the same thing. Clicking the volume buttons on the right earcup raises or lowers the volume as expected. One minor quirk I discovered is that the music doesn’t resume when you put the headphones back on. You have to click the button.
Before settling into some tunes, I tried the different noise canceling options while letting the TV play a dialog-focused show. With NC turned off, I heard a muffled version of the TV sound, as I’d expect when wearing cups over my ears. Turning Ambient Sound on was impressive. I heard the TV almost as if I were not wearing the EAH-A800s at all. Compared to my Apple AirPod Pros, the noise cancelation was equally effective at removing all but the loudest sounds without adversely affecting the music.
Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony “Chicago Symphony performing Brahms Symphony No. 1”
My first listening session was with no eq, before I’d installed the app in fact. The headphones connected with my iPhone 12 right away, so I cued up Sir Georg Solti and the Chicago Symphony performing Brahms Symphony No. 1. This recording is an oldie; one of London Digital’s first releases using a digital master. Its dynamic range isn’t huge and the EAH-A800s presented it that way. I had to turn the volume up almost all the way to get any presence. After a movement or two, the headphones loosened up a bit. I’d say an hour or two of break-in is a good idea. I still missed the detailed highs though. Installing the Technics app and tweaking the eq solved that problem. This recording, and all the classical music I listened to thereafter, really needs a curve that boosts the high and midrange frequencies. I backed off the two bass sliders a bit as well.
Tamas Benkocs “Vivaldi Bassoon Concertos”
Turning to a more modern recording, I listened to a few Vivaldi Bassoon Concertos as played by Tamas Benkocs. This presentation is much more dynamic with delicate pianissimos and strident forte passages. The bassoon stays front and center, and I could hear all the lovely partials in the soloist’s singing tone. The plucked strings of the harpsichord were particularly well-rendered both tunefully and percussively. Cadences followed by silence gave me the echo and decay commensurate with a well-engineered concert hall.
Foo Fighters“The Color and the Shape”
Rock music was a very different experience. I started with an older album from the Foo Fighters, The Color and the Shape. Their sound is very thick with layered guitars and better balance than many modern groups can boast. Here, the Dynamic eq preset was superior to my custom curve. It emphasizes the lowest bass, drops a few dB in the mid-bass, then rises gradually to the highest range. It worked well to bring out vocals, keep harmonies intact, and retain the crisp drumming of Taylor Hawkins (RIP).
Nickelback “Dark Horse”
Hard rock tunes like Nickelback’s album Dark Horse revealed more bass heaviness. I could still hear the vocals clearly, right down to the back of Chad Kroeger’s throat in fact, but the bass was a little too forward for my taste. If you’re a bass-head, you will love the EAH-A800s! But I prefer a more neutral balance.
I also tried out a few TV shows streamed from Discovery+ and Disney+. Discovery’s product is mostly encoded in stereo and the EAH-A800s did not extend the soundstage past the confines of my head. Here, I missed the spatial audio of the Apple AirPods that makes the sound envelope much wider. The Dolby Surround track from Obi-Wan Kenobi was better. I got a completely realistic emulation of multi-channel sound with ambient effects that came from the sides and behind. The soundstage was a little larger though again, the AirPods are better at this particular game.
The TECHNICS EAH-A800 WIRELESS HEADPHONES deliver a premium build and feel for less than the cost of high-end models. With the right eq, they deliver excellent sound and musicality.
- Premium build, styling, feel and materials
- Extremely comfortable for long periods
- Crystal clear vocals and ambient detail
- Long battery life
- More neutral frequency response with better balanced bass
- Processing for spatial audio
At $350, the Technics EAH-A800 Wireless Headphones deliver a high-end experience in look, feel and sound for a reasonable price. They’ll save you about $200 over a pair of Apple AirPod Maxes and give you most of their performance with a better case, nicer materials and almost triple the battery life.
My final impression of the EAH-A800s is that they are best suited for music when used with either the Dynamic or Custom eq settings. If you wire them, there is more presence but also more bass. If you like a lot of bass, these headphones really deliver. For more neutral sound though, you really need the eq. And if you like the spatial effects associated with movies and TV shows, there is none of that here. I wish Technics could include some sort of processing to help enlarge the sound stage.
If you’re looking for an alternative to the in-ear monitors that are currently flooding the market, the Technics EAH-A800s are a great way to get into a nice set of cans with little to no compromise. They look and feel like the most expensive headphones I’ve experienced and deliver great sound. Highly Recommended.