[REVIEW] Sudio Nio Wireless Earphones Features, Music & Call Quality
The WFH arrangements and virtual meetings caused my frustration with the mic quality of my current headphones.
I have been using Sudio Elva for a few months now and although I enjoyed them, I find that I need to speak very loudly so that my colleagues can hear me in meetings or virtual calls.
So, when the Sudio Nio arrived at my doorstep, I was pretty excited to test it out, mainly because the brand claims to have adaptive dual microphone technology.
Sudio Nio is the company’s latest wireless stereo earphone (TWS), the latest being Ett. The Sudio Ett and Elva will be the pairs that I will use as a point of comparison in this piece.
An AirPod clone
The headphones look like AirPods, except for the removable silicone wing tips that wrap around the heads.
We got our hands on the 4 colors of the Sudio Nio: black, white, green and sand.
The housing is simple and looks like the Et. However, there is only one LED battery indicator instead of the previous 4.
It glows white if the case has more than 25% battery and orange when it is low. The same battery indicator can be found on each of the headphones. On the right of the case, there is a USB-C port for charging, while its bottom has a factory reset button.
Sudio offers 5.5 hours of playtime on a 1.5 hour charge and 20 hours on a full charge. Bluetooth pairing was straightforward and it’s the only pair of headphones I’ve tried that instantly connected to my devices.
The plastic case is strong and satisfying for opening and closing with one hand, although it is a bit difficult to take the earbuds out of the case as they are slippery and curved.
But it’s a quick fix when its wing tips are attached, as the silicone provides better grip. The wing tips come in 4 sizes to fit different ears and they are not the regular wing tip type either.
Most headphones have wing tips that hook around the concha cymba (Google and you will know) from your ear, which makes the headphones sit more securely. The ends of the Nio wings have a simpler mold that fits perfectly to the cavum.
I think this is meant to alleviate the otherwise ‘loose’ fit that some might experience with these types of headphones that don’t fit in the ear. I actually prefer this shape because they are more comfortable for me to wear for long hours.
The silicone tips made it safer during training. I never had the impression that the Nio slipped from my ears while jumping in aerobics. With an IPX4 rating, it is also splash, rain and sweat resistant making it suitable for my workouts.
However, since they do not fit into the ear canals, they come with some sacrifices in the audio experience.
Decent but don’t block the world
To put it simply, it was a mess. With wing tips, his bass sounded muddy and muffled as if the music was playing behind a glass wall. Its highs and highs were clear, albeit metallic.
Keep in mind that my musical taste is mostly pop and musicals, so my main focus is on vocals here.
All that changed when I removed the wing tips. His bass sounded much fuller, louder, even. Midtones and highs were better balanced. The overall listening experience has become much warmer.
As for how he behaves against the Ett and the Elva, I’d say it’s pretty similar. But due to the shape of the Nio which allows it to sit right outside your ear canal, there is no noise reduction capability.
You can, of course, adjust your music volume to block out more noise with the Nio. And all of this can be done with the touchscreen controls on the headphones:
- One push – play break
- Press twice – previous track (left earphone) / next track (right earpiece)
- Triple press – reduce the volume (left earphone) / increase the volume (right earphone)
- 1 second of pressure – Answer calls
- Press 2 seconds – Refuse calls
- Press 3 seconds – Hang up.
The Nio has good tactile sensitivity and I was able to control my music easily. However, it can be a little too sensitive as it pauses my music every time I adjust the headphones.
In terms of performance with the calls, I was disappointed. The Sudio Nio claims to have “adaptive dual microphone technology that filters out unwanted background noise when you’re on a call.”
I didn’t find that to be the case as I could hear everything going on around me. If this filter is for my coworkers on the other end of the call, they shared that they could still hear background noise from my side too.
Despite this, the sound quality of the call was pretty decent and I also sounded clearly on their side. While still a bit muffled, the pickup was way better than the Elva.
Unsurprisingly, I will replace my frequent use of the Elva with the Nio from now on. On the one hand, it’s more comfortable in my ears and fits in my bag and small women’s pockets hassle-free.
I find it odd that the Nio comes without a noise canceling feature, especially when most audio tech seems to be heading in that direction.
However, I honestly prefer this pair to come without. While blocking out surrounding noise improves my focus, it’s embarrassing not to be aware of those shouting my name across the room.
Therefore, it is also suitable for those who wish to be more attentive to their surroundings. For example, a parent who needs to focus on their work while still being able to hear their children when they call.
Overall, the Nio’s biggest flaw for me is its Bluetooth range. Although Sudio claims he can cover up to 10 meters, every time I close a door behind me my connection is immediately cut.
As Sudio positions the Nio as its ‘earphones for the people’, it is priced at RM359, half the price of the Ett at RM699 when it was released.
This could be one of the reasons why there are a few features missing from Elva and Ett, but if we’re talking budget headphones, these are decent candidates.
|Comfortable for long hours of wear||Short connectivity range|
|Silicone wing tips keep them secure in your ears||Audio quality sounds muffled by the wing tips|
VP Verdict is a series in which we personally try and test products, services, modes and applications. Want to suggest something else to try? Leave a comment here or send the suggestion to our Facebook page.
- Sudio Nio headphones are available here for RM359, with free worldwide shipping, 3 years of international warranty, and a no questions asked return policy.
- For a 15% discount, enter the code Vulcanpost15 at the register.
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