Update 3 Mar 2022: The Sudio Ett is replaced with the latest flagship, the Sudio E2. Visit here for the full review of the Sudio E2.
Sudio has been kind to collaborate with me since their first true wireless earbuds, Sudio Niva in 2018. Then the Sudio Tolv in 2019. Early this year, I reviewed the Sudio Fem. Now, Sudio Ett. As part of the collaboration, readers who purchases products from their official Singapore website using the discount code [ musicphotolife15 ] enjoys 15% discount.
The Sudio Ett was launched in April 2020, and Sudio Sweden reached out to a lot of influencers and tech bloggers, myself included, for social media engagement. My shipment came late so I only managed to start my review one month after the rest. By now I believe many of you would have read the reviews published by the rest of the Singapore tech sites.
Here’s a quick unboxing video to show you what’s inside.
Features and Operations
All the accessories are in matching colour, which I thought was a nice detail. I am rather surprised that a lot of readers I spoke to are very particular about the look of the tech products. That is more important than the sound quality! Somehow I got to agree with them. After reviewing dozens of earbuds, many of them have similar sound signature, but what makes me choose one over another, other than price, is the design, and of course comfort.
For the Sudio Ett, it’s got the design, it’s got the comfort. The price is a little on the high side for the target market, but that’s because of it comes with the latest true wireless earbuds features, including active noise cancelling (ANC) as well as wireless charging. Besides, you will get a 15% discount, free worldwide delivery, 18 month international warranty. They are also IPX5 water rated, with a total usage time of 30 hours and each earbud providing 6 hours play time (4 hours with ANC).
Sudio went back to click button controls, with the usual operations: click once to play-pause, click twice to skip next track, click 3-times to go back to previous track. For ANC on and off, click-hold for 2 seconds.
The ANC is a great add-on for consumers who are on regular commute on public transport or airplanes. They are not as effective as the powerhouse brands like Bose and Sony but there is no uncomfortable ear pressure effect. The low humming sounds are removed yet the upper frequency still remains, which are often the limitations of such technology. Turning on ANC will increase the volume slightly but the overall sound balance is identical.
I also find the enabling ANC may cause soft musical passages or reverb to “disappear”due to the audio gating, where audio signals softer than a certain level is blocked out. The effect is less prominent when ANC is off, but is still there. This rarely happens to other earbuds I reviewed, but if you are mostly a loud-volume modern-genre listener, this should not affect you.
As I reviewed the true wireless models from Sudio over the years, there seems to be a lack of consistency in the sound signature. I know Sennheiser sound, the Audio-Technica sound, the Sony sound, or the Bose sound. But Sudio is somewhat elusive. They might still be seeking for an identity, or perhaps this is their strategy, where they create different sound profiles for different range so that they appeal to a wide group of consumers. And I tend to believe that this is their approach.
While the Sudio Tolv delivers a more bass-friendly sound (my wife still prefers this among the Sudio models), Sudio Fem goes for a more treble-clear experience. The Sudio Ett seems to take midrange as their focal point. If you have been listening to a lot of the V-shaped tuned earbuds, the Sudio Ett would displease you with the lack of treble sparkle. Apply EQ compensation gives me improved airiness but the resolution is not as pleasant to listen to, because of the driver limitations.
When a pair of headphones, earphones or earbuds have a veiled tuning, the positive thing that usually comes out of it is that the midrange is prominent. Once a while, I come across such a product and while I do not quite enjoy them as much, listening to them as part of my review work lets me appreciate some of the tonality and instrumentation that usually gets neglected as consumer-friendly tuning puts the sub-bass and the high treble on the pedestal. And precisely because the lack of overpowering bass and distracting highs, the midrange musicality is brought out, more instrumental tracks can be discerned by my ears, without being clouded by overtones and harmonics.
The Sudio Ett enables ambient sound during a call, which I thought is really helpful. The call quality is slightly better than the Sudio Fem. The right earbud appears to be adamant as the primary mic, but when I docked it in the case, the left earbud took over. Yet when I removed the right earbud, it switches back. In most other earbuds I reviewed, the mic usually remain with the last connected earbud. During the switchover, there is a short disruption of audio.
The mic quality is actually clear and loud if placed right in front of the mouth. I thought it might be a good idea to remove the right earbud and talk onto it while using the left earbud to listen. This goes to show that these mics are generally of good quality but due to the placement – next to the ears – it is practically impossible to ensure the caller hears you as clearly as using a smartphone or the traditional wired earpiece.
Sonically-speaking, the Sudio Ett is one of the least impressive among the Sudio series. Technologically-wise, it is the most feature-packed. From a design standpoint, they are the most elegant. Given the track record, Sudio will continue to develop and improve their products, and I look forward to recommending them when they are launched.
Retail at S$199, the Sudio Ett can be a good match for listeners who prefer a more mellow audio response with useful noise cancellation feature to kill the ambient sound and respectable mic performance. Enjoy 15% discount when you purchase from Sudio Singapore website.