The Technics EAH-TZ700 in-ear headphones stand out from all other earphones on the market due to their use of drivers featuring a completely unique magnetic fluid technology. This technology was developed to enhance the movement of the drive unit, which results in a more dynamic sound, an extended frequency response, and deeper lows. Sold for €1200, will the Technics EAH-TZ700 revolutionize the world of in-ear headphones?
Technics EAH-TZ700: the brand
Technics was created in 1965 in Japan to represent the high-end hi-fi electronics branch of Matsushita, which is known today as Panasonic. Technics inherited the expertise of its parent company and released the Technics 1 speaker in 1965. This two-way compact model features a 4.75” (12cm) woofer combined with a horn-loaded tweeter. The speaker’s rich and detailed sound was lauded by the press, which put Technics on the map right off the bat.
After the success of the Technics 1, the Japanese manufacturer decided to specialize in the production of tube amplifiers and preamps. As a result, the iconic Technics 10A was released in 1966. This stereo amplifier employs negative feedback circuitry which reduces distortion and increases the dynamic range. This amplifier was acclaimed upon its release and the series was quickly completed with numerous other models, such as the Technics 20A power amp, which was released the same year, the Technics 30A stereo amplifier introduced in 1968, and the Technics 50A released in 1969.
The early 70s were a new milestone for Technics with the release of the company’s first turntable, the Technics SP-10, which was the very first direct drive turntable in the world. This system ushered in a new era in the world of vinyl by eliminating the vibration and rotation irregularities caused by the belt-driven system. A year later this model was replaced by a more consumer-oriented turntable, the Technics SL-1100, then by the iconic Technics SL-1200 turntable in 1972. With more than 5 million units sold worldwide, a large number of which are still used today, the Technics SL-1200 earned a legendary reputation amongst DJs and audiophiles. The latest version of this turntable, the Technics SL-1200 MK7, inherited the performance that made the reputation of the Technics SL-1200 (read about the history of the Technics SL-1200 on our blog).
While still manufacturing iconic turntables and amplifiers, Technics recently extended its range of products by adding to its catalog a selection of smart speakers, compact stereo systems, Bluetooth headphones, and in-ear headphones with the Technics EAH-TZ700 we are reviewing today.
Technics EAH-TZ700: packaging & accessories
The Technics EAH-TZ700 IEMs come in a minimalistic box which is simply stamped with the name of the brand. Inside the box, the earphones are held inside a stylish leather carrying case. The case has a compartment to roll the cable so that it doesn’t tangle. The earphones come with two cables. One is an unbalanced cable with a 3.5mm mini-jack connector. It is connected to the IEMS by default. The other cable is a balanced model with a 2.5mm mini-jack connector and is packed in a separate bag. The Technics EAH-TZ700 also come with eight pairs of silicone ear tips ranging from size S to XL.
Technics EAH-TZ700: presentation
From the moment we picked up the Technics EAH-TZ700 IEMs we could feel how well built they are. The titanium shells are reminiscent of the emblematic Technics EAH-T700E-K headphones. The shells are specifically designed to enhance sound restitution. To do so, each shell uses titanium parts to keep the transducers perfectly in place while eliminating unwanted vibrations. The elimination of vibrations is reinforced by the magnesium diecast body. This material is used for its excellent damping properties. Technics also added an air control chamber using an Air Control Precision Structure behind each transducer. This technology ensures optimal balance between all the frequency ranges and allows the drivers to deliver their full potential.
Magnetic fluid drivers
Inside each one of the Technics EAH-TZ700 stylish titanium shells is a large driver measuring 10mm in diameter and using unique magnetic fluid technology to maximize the movement of the drive unit.
The membrane of the drivers used in the Technics EAH-TZ700 is extremely thin. It is only 5 micrometers thick and is made of aluminum alloy to ensure great rigidity and limit unwanted vibrations. Its shape is similar to that of standard drivers and it features a flexible surround for a wider excursion. The aluminum membrane ensures optimal restitution of high frequencies up to 100kHz, while the flexible surround lowers the resonance frequency and provides a better low-end.
In addition to sound optimization, the shape of the Technics EAH-TZ700 allows for a wide angle of insertion in the ear canal. The Technics EAH-TZ700 IEMs are quite comfortable, although a slight pressure might be felt over time during long listening sessions. They sit well in the ear, as long as you do not move your head too abruptly as would be the case during a workout. To ensure that the EAH-TZ700 fit all ear shapes, the earphones come with 8 pairs of different size tips (S, M, L, XL) in soft silicone. Four pairs have a classic round shape, while the four others are oval. The latter are specifically designed to enhance passive noise reduction without impacting the sound. We tested the Technics EAH-TZ700 earphones in various environments and the oval shaped ear tips were the most effective when it came to blocking outside noise. In an open plan office with a dozen people, it was as if we were inside a bubble. The sound of the keyboards, computer mice, ventilation and different discussions were completely drowned out. However, the EAH-TZ700 are a bit less comfortable with the oval tips than they are with the round ones.
Note: to benefit from the passive isolation as well as an ideal restitution, it is very important to choose the correct pair of eartips. If they are too small, background noise won’t be filtered out and will affect the sound: insufficient bass, lack of detail, etc. Eartips that are too big will cause discomfort in the ear canal and alter the stability of the earphones. Therefore, we recommend that you try the different pairs included with the Technics TZ700 earphones to find those with the best fit.
Technics EAH-TZ700: balanced and unbalanced cables
Each earbud of the EAH-TS700 in-ear headphones is fitted with a gold plated MMCX connector set with a metal ring to ensure a perfect connection. The goal of this connector is to accommodate one of the two detachable cables that come with the earphones. The first cable is a balanced model with a 2.5mm mini-jack connector, and the second is an unbalanced model with a 3.5mm mini-jack connector. They both feature high purity copper conductors in order to ensure optimal transmission of the signal. Thanks to these two cables, the Technics EAH-TZ700 IEMs can be easily connected to a wide array of sources, from headphone amplifiers to digital audio players and smartphones. Because of their high sensitivity rating, these in-ear headphones are easy to drive, even for a low-power headphone amplifier such as the Audioquest Dragonfly Cobalt.
Technics EAH-TZ700: test conditions
For this review of the Technics EAH-TZ700, we first connected them to a USB DAC using the 3.5mm mini-jack unbalanced cable. We listened to music streamed from Spotify (mp3, 320 kbps) and Qobuz (Sublime+ subscription, streaming up to 24-bits/192kHz). The 2x40mW at 32 ohms headphone amplifier built into the DAC had no trouble powering the earphones. We then connected the Technics TZ700 to the FiiO M9 using the balanced cable. With its extended frequency response ranging from 5Hz to 80kHz, this DAP was an ideal partner to fully enjoy the musical performance of the Technics EAH-TZ700.
Technics EAH-TZ700: listening impressions
The Technics EAH-TZ700 in-ear headphones inherited from the excellent sound signature for which the Japanese manufacturer is known. With the track “Money” from Pink Floyd’s album The Later Years, incredibly clear-cut percussions gave a great rhythm to the listening experience. The soundstage was high and left room for the electric guitar to fully expand. Even the highest notes were perfectly mastered and sounded very natural. These sonic properties were confirmed throughout our listening sessions. Even with a particularly complex track such as La Grange by ZZ Top, the Technics EAH-TZ700 showed no sign of weakness and managed to maintain a coherent and engaging soundstage from start to finish.
We then switched to a completely different musical genre with the track Corcovado by the iconic duo Stan Getz and Joao Gilberto. The soundstage offered by the Technics EAH-TZ700 IEMs was wide and full of details. The saxophone had room to expand throughout the space and was free to be as expressive as necessary. The listening experience was smooth and Stan Getz’s well centered voice was soothing and natural sounding.
The soundstage offered by the Technics EAH-TZ700 IEMs was wide and full of details.
The Technics EAH-TZ700 in-ear headphones confirmed their soft and melodic character track after track. With Shape Of My Heart by Sting, the British singer’s voice was perfectly centered, sounded natural, and was placed high above the instruments. It almost felt like the artist was singing right in front of us. The acoustic guitar which plays along on a large part of the song was also very well restituted and each plucking of a string could be heard. The climax of this track was the addition of the soft and textured harmonica.
Technics EAH-TZ700: compared to…
Earsonic Purple: sold for €1190, the Earsonics IEMs are 3-way models fitted with 5 drivers per earbud. Moreover, their tonal balance and impedance is variable so that they may easily adapt to different sources. The Earsonics Purple are more generous in the low end and a bit more dynamic. The soundstage is just as detailed but the highs are not quite as expansive. When it comes to comfort, the Earsonics Purple are more pleasant during long listening sessions and provide a more snug fit, partly because of the angled cable which sits behind the ear. On the other hand, the passive isolation is a bit less efficient.
Shure SE846: with a price ranging between €799 and €890 depending on the color, the Shure SE846 offer a more analytical listening experience and deeper lows. On the other hand, the Technics EAH-TZ700 offer clearer and more pleasant highs. The Shure IEMs have the advantage when it comes to comfort and fit.
Meze Rai Penta: sold for €1099, the Meze Rai Penta are fitted with no less than 5 drivers per earbud: a dynamic driver and four balanced armature drivers working in pairs in a 3-way configuration. During our listening sessions, the Meze IEMs offered a rich, detailed, and balanced sound. The sound stage is a bit wider and these earphones have a better extension in the low end. When it comes to comfort, the Meze Rai Penta also have the upper hand, thanks to their ergonomic shells designed to ensure the best possible fit inside the auricle. The tips do not go quite as far into the ear canal, which prevents discomfort, even during long listening sessions.
Technics EAH-TZ700: conclusion
For a first venture in the world of in-ear headphones, Technics is off to a good start with the EAH-TZ700. The one-of-a-kind magnetic fluid driver technology added responsiveness to the music and proved to be convincing. The listening experience was pleasant and always under control, even with very high notes. Whether you are listening to rock, pop, jazz, or any other musical genre, the Technics EAH-TZ700 deliver the sound of each instrument with great accuracy and offer a sound stage filled with details. The only criticism we can formulate against the Technics EAH-TZ700 is that we felt a slight pressure inside the ear canal during long listening sessions, but this depends a lot on the ear’s morphology. The lows would benefit from a better extension with more demanding tracks. Other than that, the Technics EAH-TZ700 will win over any audiophile looking for faithful sound restitution.
What we liked:
- The clarity of the high frequencies
- The magnetic fluid technology
- The height of the sound stage
- The beautiful design
We would have liked:
- A more comfortable design
- Deeper bass