We’ve had a complicated relationship with Sudio.
Right off the bat, we weren’t that enthusiastic about their Niva line.
Then, we fell in love just a tiny bit with their Tolv earphones. It was affordable, looked excellent on the ‘gram and could last about 3 hours longer than AirPods.
So when the new Sudio Fem earphones came knocking around—it’s safe to say that we were curious as to whether or not it would live up (or exceed) expectations. Or fall in line with the less than impressive Niva buds.
The Sudio Fem comes in 4 colours: white, black, pink, and a dark blue.
We managed to get our claws on the white, blue, and pink ones though.
It’s apparent that their packaging resembles the Niva a whole lot. Albeit the Niva’s case was much larger, but Fem’s case adopts a very similar flat, circle design.
Smaller than the Niva, yet definitely bigger than the Tolv.
We can’t complain, but there’s certainly no denying that a smaller case would have been greater for portability.
I’m quite used to carrying earphones in my clutch wherever I go, and there’s not much space in there to begin with, so it was a tight squeeze.
No biggie though, as it’s still sleek enough to fit in gym bags, handbags, etc.
Anyhoo, we still had lots to unbox!
The Fem comes ready with their earphones, USB charging cable, an instruction manual, and a guarantee certificate (which is basically your proof of 1-year warranty).
How Do The Fem Earphones Fare?
Let’s get to the main attraction.
The overall design of the buds is something that immediately catches the eye. As for the truthful first impression? Let’s go with strange and a dash of futuristic.
But there’s a story behind the decision. The Fem’s shape employs an ergonomic shape, meant to fit snug into the nooks and crannies of your ears in order to minimise sound leaks.
This is true to its feature of ambient noise reduction. When we put it to the test, the Fem honestly performed quite well.
I frequent a decent amount of cafes on the weekend to get some work done, and it did an impressive job of blocking out the chatter and even mid-volume background cafe songs.
Bear in mind that my taste in music ranges from high paced bhangra (several forms of folk dance and music that originated in the Punjab region of India) to trap remixes.
When I set them to play at a high-volume, the sound starts to eventually drown together.
Nevertheless, the Fem provides a solid clarity for higher, sharp notes without having that headache-inducing frequency. It also provides a heavy thump when it comes to bass drops, which is always a good thing.
It weighs just over 5 grams/earbud. This is a whole gram heavier than the Tolv, but it’s not really noticeable or overbearing.
In terms of comfortability, it gets my vote of confidence! It might be the sculpted ergonomics or its silky silicone buds, but I’d say it’s suited for long hours of usage.
The Fem comes with 5 pairs of exchangeable eartips too. These are also made with a silicone finish.
The two smallest diameter eartips were the only ones that ended up fitting me. Using the rest had the earphones falling out whenever I got up to walk or turned my head in sharp directions.
Regardless, these were still comfortable during cardio sessions. Its IPX5 water protection keeps it wearable and functional when in contact with sweat, and all the controls worked fine.
Even with my sweaty sausage fingers.
What Are Some Other Specs?
On its packaging, the Fem boasts a 20-hour total playtime.
I wasn’t about to subject my ears to 20 hours of straight music, but the Fem did end up lasting me the entire weekend after a full charge on Friday night. I usually listen to music for 3-4 hours consecutively about 2 times a day.
When it came to controls, I still have mixed feelings. These are the existing prompts:
- Single press – play/pause
- Double press – previous track (left earbud) / next track (right earbud)
- Triple press – reduce volume (left earbud) / increase volume (right earbud)
- 1-sec press – Connect to Siri or Google Assistant
- 6-sec press – Turn off
Unlike the Tolv’s button controls, the Fem uses a touch-sensitive system instead.
Pressing once to play/pause is simple enough, but the problem presented itself when I tried to skip to the next song or go to the previous one. That was just the double-pressing, and the three taps to reduce volume was much harder.
Sometimes, my three taps to lower volume would register as just two, and I’d end up skipping the song altogether.
What worked seamlessly for me just ended up being the play/pause controls and the 1-sec long press to access Siri. Eventually, I just resorted to control volume and song playback on my phone.
Switching between devices (both my Mac and Apple device), however, was simple enough with its Bluetooth 5.0 feature though.
Once you turn on the Bluetooth for one device, the Fem immediately goes into pairing mode, and should pop up in your Bluetooth list in less than 20 seconds.
What’s the verdict?
The Fem retails at a steep RM649, which makes it pricier than the Tolv and Niva. It also stands tall as the most expensive wireless earphones that Sudio has come up with so far.
By no means is the Fem a cheap investment, so let’s reiterate the pros and cons:
|Ergonomic design, fits comfortably with the right eartip size||Touch controls are a little hard to master|
|Excellent battery life|
|Sound quality is crisp, particularly good for high notes and bass drops|
|Bluetooth pairing is simple enough|
Overall, the Fem still managed to impress us with its comfort level and capacity to perform even after long hours of use.
After a while, you start to really fall in love with its design and how modern-looking it is. It’s definitely a viable option to consider if you want something a little different from basic AirPods.
When you purchase a pair, you get free worldwide shipping as well as an 18-month international warranty.
- The Sudio Fem earphones are available online at the official Sudio website for RM649/SGD219, with free worldwide shipping and an 18-month warranty from time of purchase.
- For a 15% discount, enter the code VULCANPOSTFEM at checkout.
- Orders made online from now to February 14, 2020 will come with a free special edition CNY packaging and a crossbody pouch, and if you buy any 2 earphones you’ll get 25% off (15% from code + additional 10%) .