This week we take an in-depth look at the Sudio ETT earbuds, the latest release by the Swedish company whose stylish minimal design aesthetic takes another step forward in function and sound quality with this latest release.
In full disclosure, I was sent the earbuds for review with no obligation to write an article.
I’ve been using Sudio earbuds and earphones since 2016 and have used a variety of different models during that time. I’ve found their wireless designs great and each new generation brings significant feature and functionality upgrades.
When I received these Sudio ETT earbuds last week I was looking forward to another step forward in functionality having heard the two top items remaining on my wishlist, water resistance and active noise cancellation, were incorporated in this release.
Sudio stacks up well for its price point on function and features. In Australia, the list price for the ETT is A$199 vs the Apple Airpods Pro at A$399.
Table of Contents
A review of the Sudio ETT earbuds
Top of my list, presumably most people’s list when it comes to earbuds, is sound quality. Whether you are using them to listen to music, podcasts, movies or conversations via your phone and web sound quality matters. It’s easiest to judge and compare sound quality though when listening to music.
The tone is warm and the sound is very balanced. While there is a good robust bass which for me is essential as someone who grew up on heavy rock, I do now enjoy a good eclectic playlist and the bass doesn’t overpower the mid and high tones. While you’ll never get a surround sound effect from an in-ear device, the music comes through clear and multidimensional.
The sound quality is probably the reason I have stuck so consistently with Sudio over the years.
Comfort is my second selection criteria. Maybe I have little ears but with many earbud models my ears start to hurt after wearing them for a short time, or they fall out when I’m moving around.
This is one of the reasons I’ve kept my Vasa Bla or the updated Sudio TRE charged and handy in the basket of gadgets, they have the advantages of being wireless from my device but they stay in well and the neck wire gives confidence that if one earbud does fall out they won’t go crashing to the ground.
The Sudio ETT comes with a card of 5 additional ear cushions so you can pick the exact size and style that is most comfortable and effective for you. They have the more familiar deeper ones that you are probably used to and some people will find more comfortable and the new flatter design that is a bit counter-intuitively actually works better for noise cancellation and I now prefer these.
I’ve also found that the way these ETT sit more completely in the ear canal with the antenna in the little groove makes them very stable and secure. I’ve been quite comfortable with them staying in place on my morning walks and doing the housework with a podcast playing.
Holding a charge
There are two parts to the charge with these buds, there are the ETT earbuds themselves and the case that you carry and store them in. The case itself holds 4 additional full charges so with everything charged up you have 30 hours of listening time, which reduces to 20 hours if you have active noise cancellation engaged the whole time as you might on a long-distance flight.
I’ve only been using them for just over a week at this point so there is no fatigue in the battery but my experience with the charge has been consistent with what is published by Sudio given I use the noise cancellation only intermittently.
The case charges with USB-c which is conveniently consistent with many other devices I travel with or you can use them fully wireless charging at home if you have that option available. In the box, it comes with a very short cord which is ideal for plugged into the back of the iMac but I’d use a longer cable for travelling to give more flexibility in hotel rooms or charging stations.
When you unbox the earphones it reminds you to charge them before first use. Once that was done I only needed to remove them from the case, pop them in my ears and open up the Bluetooth setting on the iPhone. It found Sudio Ett almost immediately and once you click connect it’s there each time you want it in the future. The process worked the same on the iPad, desktop and laptop.
Taking the earbuds out of the case turns them on and returning them turns them off and starts the recharging process. To recharge the case itself, use the USB to USB-c cable.
The ETT earbuds have an IPX-5 rating. This was a big step for me, living in a humid tropical climate exercise can be a sweaty experience and you spend a lot of time around water. When I’m travelling I like that I don’t need to be concerned about a little rain destroying them.
IPX-5 doesn’t rate them for submersion, you don’t want to swim with them but for me, it gives a degree of peace of mind that they can withstand my everyday life and the environments I use them in a likely to subject them to.
What IPX-5 means is that it is tested against water jets from any direction without damage to the device, the X means it’s not rated against solid materials such as dust and dirt. I won’t rewrite the full rating guidance here but if you are interested I’ll link a simple overview of the rating charts.
Active noise cancellation
Active noise cancellation is a function of playing a balancing white noise that you don’t hear but does use battery power so when you are running noise cancellation the battery will last a little less time, around 4 hours rather than 6.
You don’t need active noise cancellation running the whole time, the purpose is to remove repetitive usually low-pitched noise, so the hum on an aeroplane, train track noise, road noise in a bus, machinery nearby etc. It’s not intended to block out a sudden and high-pitched sound like an alarm or someone shouting.
I don’t tend to use noise cancellation in my home office or when I am out walking in public, I want to retain some awareness of what is happening around me and the physical block of the securely fitted bud is significant on its own.
To set noise cancellation there is a tiny button in the middle of each bud, press and hold for 2 seconds while they remain in your ear and it will announce that noise cancellation is active.
Size, weight & appearance
One of the things that make these comfortable in my ears is that they are light with each bud weighing only 5 g, fractionally lighter than the Airpod pro that comes in at 5.4 g. They are also small enough to sit comfortably against the auricle without pressure or stretching the ear.
The carry case itself is by contrast wider than the Airpod pro slimline format. it will still sit comfortably in your jeans pocket but is fractionally less discrete.
In appearance, they are also similar to the Airpod Pro, especially in white which is my preference. They both use the stalk design to enhance the microphone’s effectiveness and I don’t mind the look although I’m aware that it can be polarizing. Sudio ETT comes in a variety of colours including white, black, pink, and green.
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