Let’s clear the air. The last time we were sent a pair of Sudio wireless earphones for review, we found a few things lacking.
Although the look and the feel of the Sudio Niva earphones were on point (as expected of Sudio and their very Instagram-friendly design), even a non-audiophile could pick up on the treble quality, or lack of it.
This time round, we received the new Sudio Tolv earphones, which promised quite a few upgrades from their last iteration.
The earphones comes in 4 colours: white, black, green and pastel blue. We got the white and black variants.
What’s In The Box?
The Sudio Tolv comes in a fairly compact box, which contains the earphones in their charging case, an extra 3 pairs of earbuds of varying sizes, a micro-USB charging cable for the case, and an instruction manual.
The earphones are on Bluetooth version 5.0 (which means that they are able to connect and play individually). Each earbud weighs 4.5 grams, according to Sudio, and have a range of approximately 15m.
In terms of battery life, Sudio promises 7 hours on their website, with an extra 4 charges in the case. This gives the Tolv a total of 35 hours battery life on one charge.
It’s also compatible with all iPhone and Android devices, as is expected.
Pairing it with our phones was easy: just lift the earphones out of the case, and search for them on the phone’s “Nearby devices” on Bluetooth.
Visually on first glance, you’d think they look like the Niva, but we found that the design choices in terms of shape and angle of the earbuds actually made a big difference.
The Tolv fit into our ears better than than the Niva, and so that meant they were more comfortable to wear for long stretches of time.
We did find that the buttons were easier to press too, and like the Niva, serves several purposes:
- Single press – play/pause
- Double press – previous track (left earbud) / next track (right earbud)
- Triple press – reduce volume (left earbud) / increase volume (right earbud)
The built-in microphones on each earpiece also means that the earphones can function as Bluetooth headsets for calls.
The new oblong charging case also looked visually pleasing, and having it smaller is a big plus point. However, a small quibble about the design would be that its oblong shape was a little confusing. You’d think it was meant to stand upright, but that wasn’t really the case (pun unintended)–instead it can only lie down flat, except when you’re charging it.
But How Does It Sound?
The Tolv features a new graphene driver which would indicate a better sound quality.
Compared to the Niva, we can definitely say that there was a big jump in terms of its audio capabilities.
The sound is fuller and more dynamic, and the volume also is also louder.
We tried it out in a few environments, including our office, a crowded café and walking around outdoors. Each time, we found that the sound remained fairly clear, and the non-too fussy among us were pretty satisfied with what we could hear.
That being said, we did find that the Sudio Tolv struggles a little on high frequencies, resulting in small cracks.
We also felt that the sound could be a little murky (lacking in detail), but again, it is much improved from the Niva. It’s also quite heavy on the low-end, which is to be expected at this range.
However, one deal-breaker that audiophiles may have is that the Sudio Tolv does not come with APT-X support. This however would not make a huge difference for an average user wanting these to work out or use for their Spotify plays.
Fun Fact: For the non-audiophiles, APT-X is a set of instructions for how to code and decode data transmitted via Bluetooth. Having APT-X is equated to having high-fidelity Bluetooth audio, which is the reproduction of sound with little distortion.
The Sudio Tolv earphones are an entry worth paying attention to from Sudio, which pleasantly surprised us in terms of the audio improvements.
If you’ve looking at it as a relatively affordable wireless set of earphones, they sound decent, if a little neutral.
Their design is visually aesthetic, and the battery life is good (7 hours on a single charge really is quite good; in comparison the AirPods only have a 5-hour listening time on one charge).
The inclusion of Bluetooth 5.0 means that you can even just one side as a Bluetooth headset/to make calls, which could be useful in situations such as when you’re driving.
We’d recommend these for everyday users looking for wireless alternatives to the Samsung Galaxy buds (and these have physical buttons, not the touch controls), and a cheaper alternative to the Apple AirPods.
- The Sudio Tolv earphones are available online at the official Sudio website for RM549/SGD189, with free shipping on all orders worldwide. For a 15% discount, enter the code vulcanpostTolv at checkout. Orders made online from May 1 to July 31, 2019 will come with a free Sudio tote bag.