I received an email from Sudio Sweden last week for another review opportunity of their latest True Wireless Stereo earbuds, Sudio Tolv. It was exactly a year ago that they approached me to review the Sudio Niva. Since the review, my wife had been using the Niva regularly, and along the way she has rejected all other TWS earbuds that I reviewed. The Sudio Tolv retails at S$149, available at a 15% discount when you purchase from the Sudio Singapore website with the Sudio discount code “musicphotolife15” (code is still valid as at 26 May 2020).
Unboxing and Design
The Sudio Tolv is definitely a great design upgrade from the Sudio Niva. The charging case is more compact and made of a more dense plastic and silicone coated for better grip. The earbuds are also similarly coated for the matt feel which should achieve a better traction on your ears. Also, both earbuds come fitted with microphones so you could use for conversations. The earbuds are also sweat resistant.
The earbud shape does not deviate much from the Niva, except that the button is larger and repositioned to be more centered. The eartip is also shorter which will not go as deep as the Niva. The buttons operate play-pause and track changes (double tap the left earbud to go previous, right earbud to go next), as well as starting your smartphone assistant. The nozzle tube is smaller which supports third party eartips.
The Sudio Tolv is also upgraded from the inside. Battery life is extended to 7 hours instead of just 3.5 hours on the Niva, with the casing offering 4 extra charges (up from 3). The wireless technology is Bluetooth 5 (from 4.2), the earbuds auto power up when removed from the casing, and goes into auto pairing mode when previous devices are not found or disconnected, so the days of painful pairing are over.
The thing Sudio Tolv lacks from the Niva is the battery life indicator, so you cannot tell the remaining battery life from the case. The magnetic case flap is also harder to open as it lacks a groove to lift up.
If in the uneventful incident where the earbuds got disjoined, press both earbuds for 20 seconds to reset them and re-sync.
The Sudio Tolv delivers bright treble response and the sub-bass is positioned closer for more impact. Bass lines are quite prominent but not too overpowering, while the kick-bass does not get too pushy. The vocals sizzle above all, but depending on the mix, could get sibilant and not so full, probably to prevent the overall tuning from sounding bloated. The upper frequency details are easily heard, while midrange details might be obscured by the bass. The sound staging is more compact, tighter, less spatial.
Pop genres are more enjoyable with this tuning, delivering clear impactful vocals and boomy bass. Classical and jazz genres also play well. Even on SBC codec, the audio is clean enough without distracting compression artifacts.
The volume does not reach very loud on the Tolv. At max level, the volume is only just nice, maybe I would go one notch lower for some heavy tracks. Listeners who prefer louder the volume might not get the kicks. The eartips do not isolate environmental sound that much.
The Sudio Tolv does not get away with the usual occasional interferences from the surrounding sources, but during such disruptions, the Tolv counters with prompt fade-out to prevent any sudden electrostatic spikes.
This fade-in-out effect could cause the first second of the audio track to be missed when changing tracks.
Last year when I received the Sudio Niva, I passed it to my wife because I did not enjoy the slightly dull treble. This time round, the Sudio Tolv has the sound balance that I enjoy listening to. The case is smaller, earbuds are easy to pair, the cushy bass and clear treble will win consumers over. I kept probing my wife if there are any issues with the Sudio Tolv, but she couldn’t say any. Personally, the overall tuning works in my favour for most well-mixed tracks. The highs could get a little overcooked, but it adds some excitement for daily use instead of critical listening.
Consumers who demand a more spectacular treble details might want to go for Mavin Air-X or RHA TrueConnect, but I would prefer the bass delivery of the Sudio Tolv. For a more balanced audiophile sound, go for AVIOT TE-D01b. Other considerations: Sudio Tolv is not IP-rated, weak noise isolation, and has limited volume.
Retailing at S$149, don’t miss the 15% off when you enter “musicphotolife15” promo code at Sudio Singapore online store. In addition, shoppers get a free Sudio 2020 tote bag with every earphones/headphones purchase till July 2020 or while stocks last.
Thank you Sudio Sweden for sending the units for my review. I’m pleased that the Sudio Tolv is a good enough product to recommend to all readers, and also for me to use more often.