LAS VEGAS — Technics may be known for its turntables, but the tables turned at CES 2019, where its latest headphones are the life of the party.
The Technics F70N headphones have a number of noise-cancelling smarts that look to out-Bose Bose. These include a three-mode ANC selector, so you can choose just how strong the noise cancelling is through the headphones.
The highest level being the sort of noise cancelling you want when on a plane, all the way down to ANC that will drown out that one annoying colleague in your office. Whether it’s an intentional nod to its turntable credentials, you can switch between ANC and ambient mode (where you can hear the world around you) by cupping your ear, much like you would do if you were using the headphones to complete the perfect mix.
On the head, the Technics F70Ns were lovely and comfortable. The earpads are made from polyurethane foam which feels great but also offers up the isolation you need to get a seal for ANC.
MORE: Bosch’s Projector Turns Your Countertop into a Touchscreen
Technics added a ball-joint mechanism that connects the ear cup to the band and this means the headphones fit snug, no matter how lumpy your head may be. There are some great flourishes in the design, too.
Technics laser-engraved its logo on the earcups, which offer up a premium finish. A sensor embedded into the cups automatically pauses music when you take them off, and hits play when you put the F70N’s back on your ears. This is something that can be found in the Plantronics BackBeat wireless range, and it’s a feature I want to see in more headphones.
It’s not just design and ANC that caught our eye but Technics has added some much-needed hi-res audio additions, both when the headphones are used wirelessly and wired up. These come in the form of Sony’s LDAC and apt-X HD. I listened to a number of tracks on the headphones and the sound clarity was fantastic, even though a Technics representative warned me that they weren’t completely tuned to perfection.
The flip between noise cancellation and ambient mode worked really well and the aluminum chassis meant they were nice and lightweight. I didn’t get to try out the Siri integration, but these headphones also have ‘voice assist activation.’
I can’t wait to try them out more when they are release sometime later in the year, with pricing still to be announced.