Stick to the end of our Sudio Ett review for a 15% discount.
The Sudio Ett is a new pair of truly wireless active noise cancelling (ANC) earbuds from Swedish audio company Sudio. For S$239, they significantly undercut other truly wireless ANC earbuds such as Apple’s AirPods Pro (S$379) and Sony’s WF-1000XM3 (S$349).
But are they a decent substitute for those premium brands? Let’s find out.
Sudio Ett Specs
- Active noise cancelling
- USB-C charging, wireless charging
- Total 30h of playtime, 6h in a single charge
- Total 20h with ANC + music, 4h in a single charge with ANC + music
- IPX 5 (splash/rain/sweat proof)
- Dual mode instant connection
- Weighs 5 g per earbud
In the box
- Sudio Ett
- Charging case
- 8 pairs of eartips
- USB-A to USB-C charging cable
Let’s start with the charging case. The unit that I have is black; other colours include white, pink and a shade of army green, but the black looks best in my opinion. Whichever colour you get, the colour of the case precisely matches that of the earbuds themselves
The case (and the earbuds) are made of a matte, soft touch plastic which I am very fond of. If you remember the Nexus 5, it is exactly that texture which everyone loved. As an aside, I wish they still made phones with this material. It looks elegant, feels soft to the touch, is resistant to fingerprints, and doesn’t break unlike more expensive glass.
The case is compact enough to be chucked into a small component of your bag, or in the pocket of a pair of baggy pants. However, while it isn’t too tall or wide, it is rather thick. So if you’re wearing jeans, you will likely struggle to fit these into your pocket, and if you do, they’d make an uncomfortable bulge.
I tried fitting them into the tiny useless jeans pocket, and simply failed to do so. I wish they found a way to make the case slimmer, but this seems to be a direct consequence of the size of the earbuds themselves. More on that later.
Another complaint that I have about the case is that it can be quite tricky to remove the earbuds from the case. Furthermore, while there are magnets to keep the case shut, there isn’t any resistance in the hinge mechanism to keep the case open, so the hinge shuts readily even if you tilt it slightly whilst holding it.
On the front of the case is an engraved Sudio logo, under which are four white LED lights to indicate battery level and charging. On the left edge is the USB-C port used for charging, and on the right is a leather loop which you can use to attach the case to a bag or something similar.
Since we are on the topic of charging, let’s go through battery life briefly. The earbuds each have 50mAh batteries while the case has a 500mAh one. Sudio claims that the Ett can last for 6h in a single listen, 30h when taking into account the juice in the case. With ANC on, these numbers drop to 4h and 20h respectively, which isn’t very impressive.
Thankfully, in my personal testing, I found that the buds seem to last longer than advertised. Watching a 2.5 hour movie on the buds with ANC on brings the battery down to 70%, which, when extrapolated linearly, would suggest 8h of continuous listening even with ANC on. Of course, this is just an estimate and battery drain could very well be highly non-linear.
The point is that the battery on the buds is stellar. I have never seen the battery on the buds go lower than 70%, though to be fair I haven’t had a listening session lasting more than roughly 3 hours. And when you do take a break from listening, the case tops them off fairly quickly.
The case itself provides an additional 4 full charges to the buds, so it’ll be at least several days before you have to charge the case again.
Fit, comfort, build
The Sudio Ett comes with two different types of silicon eartips (‘parabolic’ and ‘conic’) in sizes XS,S,M,L,XL and S,M,L respectively. The default pair that comes fitted on the earbuds are the M parabolic.
I found the parabolic tips to be too shallow to provide a good seal, so I swapped them out for a pair of L conic ones which were just right. It’s nice that Sudio provides so many options.
The earbuds are extremely light, just 5g in each ear. This makes them very comfortable and I’ve had no issues wearing them for extended periods.
Being IPX5 certified, these earphones are splash proof and sweat resistant, making them a good companion for workouts. While they do stay in your ears quite well for relatively stationary workouts, they will certainly loosen up when say, jogging or running, which can be annoying.
That being said, I never managed to get them to fall off entirely. Still, it would be nice if Sudio had included some wingtip attachments to provide extra security when working out.
They do stick out of the ears quite a bit, but no more so than something like the Jaybird X2. The main issue with this is the consequently thick carrying case and the danger of getting them caught in something, yanking them out of your ear.
Controls and connectivity
The controls are enabled by a single button on each earbud, which have equal functionality. Press and hold on either of them for 2 seconds to turn ANC on or off (they are off by default), click once to play/pause or answer/hang up a call, click twice to skip a track, click thrice to go back a track.
These single-button controls are a lot less finicky than the touch controls present on some other earbuds, and having the same controls on both sides means that you don’t have to remember which side does what, again unlike some other earbuds.
One notable omission would be the ability to control the volume of the earbuds themselves. You’d have to control the volume from whatever device you are listening from.
Connectivity is good. It supports Bluetooth 5.0 and Sudio claims that you can be up to 10m away from the streaming device. In practice I experienced few drops in connectivity.
One thing that I noticed is that the earbuds have an extremely annoying tendency to turn themselves back on and reconnect to your phone after you’ve placed them back in their case. This happened quite often and I had to remove them from their case and place them back to get them to shut off for good. I don’t even know if this is something that can be fixed as there isn’t any way to update the firmware as far as I know.
Audio latency isn’t very noticeable, lip syncing isn’t an issue when watching video.
The audio quality of the Ett was hard to assess, primarily because their sound seemed to change a lot depending on which device I was listening to. They sound absolutely horrendous on my TV; voices are muffled, the soundstage and separation are shallow, and the sound lacked clarity in general. There were also audible hisses and pops in the high frequencies. And to be clear, my other pairs of earphones/headphones sound just fine on my TV.
But on my OnePlus 6T and MacBook Pro, the Ett sound decent. Soundstage and imaging in particular are notably better, as is the clarity. Voices no longer sound muffled, and the distortion in the high frequencies are less pronounced (though still there if you listen closely).
I wondered if this was an issue with the bluetooth codec. The Sudio Ett inexplicably use the SBC codec, which is basically the worst codec you can have. It’s a lossy codec that most devices fall back on if all else fails. The Ett however, have it as its only option. The popping and hissing in the high frequencies are also something that is characteristic to SBC, so it might be to blame. SBC quality also drops drastically with distance from the streaming device, and I wondered if that was why the audio from my TV sounded so bad.
As for the sound signature, these are a very bright sounding pair of earbuds. The highs are notably elevated, while the mids aren’t very pronounced and the bass in particular is extremely lacking. This means that while you’re probably fine listening to pop and classic rock, hip hop fans won’t get much of a kick out of these.
Movies and TV shows also feel a lot less immersive with the low frequencies in atmospheric background music recessed; things like explosions also have a lot less weight to them.
All in all, these are a decent sounding pair of truly wireless earbuds, but they definitely won’t blow you away. I found that they were best for casual listening. Things like watching YouTube videos or listening to a lofi beats playlist while banging out a report or essay.
The lack of bass in particular can be a rather huge turn off if you’re into hip hop and require them to keep you motivated when exercising. I just don’t feel like the Ett is enough to keep you hyped.
Active noise cancelling
I saved the headlining feature of the earbuds for last. In short, ANC works well but it is rather subtle in that it seems to only block out a very particular range of low frequencies. For example, it would cancel out the lower frequencies from the hum of a fan, but a high frequency hiss would still remain. It doesn’t keep out things like human voices or the clatter of a keyboard very well.
One notable thing which I previously mentioned is that ANC is off by default, and you’ll have to manually turn them on every time you use the earbuds. There is no app or button for you to change this.
It’s also rather obvious that Sudio boosts the volume of the earbuds when you turn ANC on, in what I guess is an attempt to further drown out noise to make you think that their ANC is more effective than it is. This seems rather dubious to me.
All in all though, the ANC works fairly well and I found myself always preferring to listen with it than without.
When answering calls, the Ett will automatically activate transparency mode such that you can hear your surroundings. I wish that transparency was a feature that you can toggle on and off at will like with the Sony WF-1000XM3. It would be extremely useful when you want to have a quick conversation with someone without having to take your earbud off.
Pricing and conclusion
Ultimately, the Sudio Ett are a decent pair of truly wireless ANC earbuds. Let’s recap some of the pros and cons.
- Active noise cancelling works well, but only for a particular range of frequencies
- Good battery life
- Comfortable fit, good seal
- Bright sound profile and decent soundstage make it good for certain genres
- IPX5 splash and sweat resistant
- Case could be slimmer
- Lacking bass
- Lossy SBC codec
- No app for updating firmware, equalizer or other settings
- Not able to control volume from the earbuds
At S$239 these aren’t exactly a steal, but they do undercut other truly wireless ANC earbuds such as Apple’s AirPods Pro (S$379) and Sony’s WF-1000XM3 (S$349). Although, while I haven’t tried either of those earphones, I’m certain that they have better audio quality than the Ett especially in terms of bass reproduction.
At the end of the day, the reason you would pick these up over potentially cheaper truly wireless buds would be for the active noise cancelling. And while the ANC does work, it isn’t particularly pronounced and only handles a certain range of frequencies.
I am rather on-the-fence about recommending these earbuds. The truly wireless earbuds segment is so saturated that it seems that the options are endless, and I’m sure you’ll be able to find a pair that sound just as good for cheaper if you did some digging. In particular, if you care about bass, this definitely isn’t the pair you’re looking for.
But ANC truly wireless earbuds are only starting to become mainstream, and if that is what you are looking for and don’t mind the lack of bass, the Sudio Ett might not be a bad option for the price.
If you do decide to purchase a pair at Sudio’s website, you can add the promo code TFTEtt at checkout to get a 15% discount which brings the price down to S$203.15. You’ll also get a free tote bag if you make your purchase before the end of July.
As always, when purchasing online, check if you can get additional cashback on your purchase with ShopBack. You can also check out our deals page for more Singapore deals.
What do you think about our Sudio Ett review? Do you need ANC in your truly wireless earbuds? Let us know in the comments below!
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