Stick to the end of our Sudio Femtio review for a 35% off promo code.
The Femtio is Sudio’s foray into the bluetooth speaker market. For S$189, it offers a classy fabric design, stereo pairing, and IPX6 water resistance. But is it enough to go toe-to-toe with established options from the likes of Ultimate Ears and JBL? Let’s find out.
Sudio Femtio Specifications
- Dual 10W speakers
- Bluetooth 5.0, 10m range
- IPX6 water resistant
- 14h playback time
- Stereo pairing with two speakers
- USB-C charging
Design & build
Design of the Femtio is as classy as it gets. Compared to something like the JBL Flip or UE BOOM, the fabric on the Femtio looks less sporty and more at home in a living room. The fabric more closely resembles Google’s new Nest Audio which I recently reviewed.
The brushed metallic rim on the side of the device gives it a refined look. More importantly, the radiators pulsate to generate bass. More on that later.
The device is also lightweight enough (675g) to slip into a backpack unnoticed — it is a portable bluetooth speaker after all. It’s lighter than the Creative iRoar Go (816g) but slightly heavier than the UE BOOM 3 (608g).
Lastly, the Femtio is also IPX6 water resistant meaning that it is able to withstand powerful jets of water. That’s great news if you’d like to take the Femtio to the beach — or, more realistically in our post-covid world, the shower. Do note that it is not rated for submersion however.
Perhaps my only gripe with the design is the rectangular stand at the bottom. It breaks the otherwise seamless look of the speaker, and has surprisingly sharp corners that can easily get caught in whatever else you have in your bag.
Audio quality of the Femtio is good, but I found it to be highly dependent on the genre of music that you are listening to. It has a bright sound signature, meaning that while the highs are clear and pronounced, vocals are recessed and bass is not at all prominent.
This means that if you’re listening to classical music, R&B, or podcasts, the Femtios afford a pleasing level of clarity. But when listening to more busy rock or hip hop tracks, I found that the music gets muddy or cluttered very quickly.
The bass in particular was a disappointment. Bass was hollow and I could hardly feel it in the hip hop tracks that I tested. The S$199 Creative iRoar Go which I own provide much warmer and richer sound with far more resounding bass.
The Femtio does get loud enough that I never found a need to push the volume to the max. There is also minimal distortion at high volumes. While the volume does get loud, it is still being pushed out of a small speaker with small drivers. Even compared to something like the iRoar, the sound isn’t as full or encompassing.
Despite the cylindrical design, the audio from the Femtio is directional, coming mostly from the front. This is unlike the UE BOOM 3 which has 360 audio.
Dual Pairing is a feature of the Femtio that is heavily promoted in Sudio’s marketing materials. I had asked a Sudio spokesperson prior to writing this review on whether or not pairing two speakers together produced a stereo pair or simply two mono speakers for louder sound; I did not get an answer.
Thankfully, unlike with the Nest Audio, Sudio provided me with two Femtio units, so I was able to test this feature for myself. I am happy to report that it is in fact a proper stereo pairing.
The pairing itself is rather straightforward. Turn both Femtios on, double press the pairing button on one of them, and it will search for the other speaker. Once the two speakers detect each other, they will pair, and a green light will come on. You can then search for and connect to the speakers as a single bluetooth device. Turning one device off also turns the other device off — neat!
Stereo audio certainly enhances the listening experience and provides for fuller sound. However, that isn’t to say that my prior gripes about the audio are magically resolved. This is still a very cold and bright sound signature with recessed vocals and lacking in bass.
Thankfully, I did not notice any audio delay between the two speakers even when listening to podcasts (something which was allegedly an issue on the Nest Audio). There were however intermittent connection issues where the audio would drop off for a couple of seconds ever so often, even with the broadcasting device right next to the speakers and with the speakers no more than 1m apart. This was only an issue when in a stereo pair.
Pricing & conclusion
- Classy fabric design, lightweight
- Gets very loud with minimal distortion
- Some may like the bright sound signature for the clarity that it affords in certain genres of music
- Stereo pairing with two speakers provides fuller sound
- IPX6 water resistance means you can take the speakers into the shower or to the beach
- 14h playback, USB-C charging
- Mids and bass leaves more to be desired
- Intermittent connection issues with stereo pairing
- Rectangular base breaks otherwise seamless design, has very sharp corners
As with the Ett ANC earphones that I previously reviewed, the Femtio provides decent sound quality with a bright sound signature that I’m starting to think is Sudio’s trademark.
While this sound signature is generally good for casual background listening, I think that people expect more from a portable waterproof speaker. They expect it to get people hyped at social gatherings and poolside parties with thumping bass and a strong presence. On this front, the Femtio doesn’t really cut it.
At the retail price of S$189, I’d say that there are better portable waterproof bluetooth speakers out there. The Creative iRoar Go which I own is currently going for just $10 more and offers far superior sound. UE’s BOOM 3 is going for a more expensive S$229 but has more party-centric features like stronger bass and 360-degree audio. There’s also JBL’s widely-praised Flip 5 which costs S$179.
Then again, Sudio constantly has discounts on their devices. Right now it has a collaboration with Twenty First Tech, granting readers 35% off their cart with the coupon code TFT35 (valid 4/11 – 11/11 and 23/11 – 30/11). This applies to any item on the Sudio store, not just the Femtio. With the discount, the Femtio goes for just S$122.85, which makes the purchase more justifiable.
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.