Amazing EAH-AZ70W earphones from Technics, smart thermostats on a budget (Week 27, 2020)

Sound Advice
By Don Lindich

Week 27, 2020

Amazing earphones that I could not wait to tell you about: To start us off this week I will take your back to December 2017 when I wrote about the Technics Ottava-f SC-C70 Premium All-In-One Music System with integrated CD player. When I first saw, touched and heard the SC-C70 I thought it would sell for $3,000 to $5,000 given the amazing sound, jewel-like build quality and Technics’ high-end, luxury market presence, typically with pricing to match. My jaw hit the floor when I was told the SC-C70 was $999. When I wrote about it in the column I used an analogy, saying “…you go to the jewelry store to buy a Citizen or Seiko watch for $500, but you end up coming home with a brand new Rolex for $999. That’s the difference between the Technics SC-C70 and its $500 competitors.” It was very gratifying to receive dozens of emails from readers who purchased the SC-C70, all agreeing with what I had to say. It really is that good.

The new Technics EAH-AZ70W true wireless earphones are the personal audio equivalent of the Ottava SC-C70, but in this case you don’t have to pay any premium for the technology and performance they provide. At $279 they are right in the thick of the high performance earphone market, and they put comparably priced competitors to shame, while giving the owner the pride and satisfaction of owning something beautiful from a true luxury brand.

The technological tour de force begins with the Technics Audio Control App, which allows you to adjust the level of active noise cancellation, activate the Clear Voice setting, access a graphic equalizer or turn on the Bass Enhancer. The app also shows remaining battery power and will record the GPS location where the Bluetooth connection was disconnected so you can locate a lost earphone. The earphones work with Siri, Google Assistant Amazon Alexa, and also feature class-leading technology for clear phone calls. There is much more to the included technology than I can say here, and I suggest you visit to learn more.

The Bass Enhancer pays big dividends with the huge 10mm driver inside the earphones. Get them placed correctly in your ears and you experience a satisfying full sound and presence that is very rare in earphones, and the Bass Enhancer does not obscure the sound or make it muddy or bass-heavy. It is really quite extraordinary, especially given the clarity and beautiful, highly defined and detailed sound of the EAH-AZ70W. It sounds like you are listening to a really big pair of speakers, and with good recordings you feel like you are at a concert.

The Technics EAH-AZ70W earphones are available for pre-order on Amazon now, and will be shipping to customers on July 13th. They will be available at authorized Technics dealers in the near future as well. Treat yourself, you deserve it. You really do!

Q. What do you recommend for an alternative to a Nest smart thermostat? Mine broke after just a few years, and I am not sure if I want to spend $250 on another one.

-B.M., Camp Hill, PA

A. My personal choice is the $169 Ecobee 3 Lite. I’ve had one since they were introduced and have always been pleased with the thermostat itself, as well as the matching app. I would purchase another without hesitation.

Honeywell makes several models of smart thermostats, some starting for as little as $79. Reviews of the cheaper models are somewhat mixed, but it would still rather have one of them than an ordinary thermostat.