Dubbed the earphones for the people by Sudio themselves, the Sudio Nio is Sudio’s latest entry to bridge the gap in the truly wireless earphones market. The most affordable of their product line-up, the Nio adopts a different design philosophy from their previous wireless earbuds — opting for a design that is more universal, and eerily similar to that of Apple’s AirPods.
In order to hit the lower price point, Sudio definitely had to alter some features. The case is basic in design and resembles that of the Sudio ETT but only has a singular LED battery indicator, instead of 4. It shines white if the case has more than 25% battery left and orange when it is below that. The same battery indicators can be found on each of the earbuds. They opted for a glossy finish over the classic matte finish that Sudio is known for. Personally, I disliked that as it gets dirty and worn down really fast as fingerprints and scratches show easily. While Sudio used decent quality materials for the cradle, the finish made it feel terribly cheap. The cover and the base also do not sit seamlessly in place when the earbuds are in it, which is very obvious on the Nio’s sand colour scheme. They did keep the USB-C port for charging and had cable colours that matched the earbuds. On the bottom of the cradle is a button for factory resetting the Nio should any issues arise.
The earbuds themselves has the same glossy finishing as its cradle. Besides its resemblance the AirPods, the Sudio has included removable rubber casings to ensure that the Sudio Nio fits into the ear securely. The rubber casing comes with different sized fins and while you can opt to forego the rubber casing altogether, finding the perfect fit affects the sound quality that you get from the Nio significantly. It’s a really great addition as it helps get that extra seal around the ear and is quite comfortable if you are using them for long hours at a time.
The earbuds themselves uses touch controls once again, which as I mentioned in my Sudio Fem review, is something that I am not a fan of. But this time, they have positioned it slightly below the drivers, which is represented by the matte area on the earbuds. So, when you are trying to put the earbuds in your ear you do not usually press the button. The touch controls can be used to play, pause, and skip tracks, as well as adjust the volume. The controls may be quite tiresome since they operate on single, double, and triple tap, respectively. They may also inevitably be triggered when adjusting the earbuds.
To keep the price point low, a major feature that Sudio removed was the active noise cancellation. While I would have preferred another model with the ANC feature, the build of the Sudio Nio makes it almost impossible since there is not a sufficient seal around the ear canal and having sound leaks will be unpreventable. As such, the decision to leave out ANC was a great one.
One new feature that Sudio equipped the Nio with is their adaptive dual-microphone technology which is great if you are still on a Work-From-Home/remote working arrangement as it is supposed to help you filter unwanted background noises when you are on a call. However, as the situation did not arise, I’ve yet to put this feature to the test.
The Sudio Nio also comes equipped with IPX4 rated ingress protection, which means that your earbuds will be sweat and rain resistant — perfect for commuters, runners, and music lovers alike.
At this price point, the sound quality is decent, and I am sure that you will be satisfied with it as they tuned the earbuds’ sound signature to suit the taste of most. It is warm sounding, with a punchy and bass-y low end. The midrange and female vocals are slightly underpowered and can be occasionally drowned out by the instrumentals, especially by super bass heavy songs. If you really want to be super nit-picky, it is also not as detailed, and the soundstage does sound a little more condensed. However, at the price that it is going for, I would not complain.
The battery life is on par with the rest of the models, boasting 5.5 hours of playtime with a 1.5-hour charge, with up to a total of 20 hours including the charge that is in the case. I have yet to completely run out of battery when using this, making it another good companion to take with you when you are out and about.
While the Bluetooth pairing was fairly straightforward as usual, one of the problems that I ran into while using my unit of the Sudio Nio is that the Bluetooth connection seems to drop a lot more than the other models. Sometimes the connection drops when I tuck my phone under my arm, or if I just walk 3-ish meters away. As Sudio boasts that the Nio’s Bluetooth range can cover up to 10 metres, I am not sure if my unit is defective, but it is definitely something to take note of.
The plastic case feels solid and satisfying to flip open and close one-handed, although getting the earbuds out of the case is a little difficult since they are slippery and curved.
Another problem that I ran into with the Sudio Nio is that while it was difficult to get the earbuds out of the cradle as it has a smooth finish and is curved, it also did not sit properly when you returned it to its cradle. The earbuds end up sitting loosely against the cradle’s contact point, sometimes causing the device to stay on or to reconnect to your device. This may be due to the design of the case not accounting for the rubber wingtips; however, this should not be an issue for the user to deal with.
For S$119, the Nio are Sudio’s cheapest truly wireless earphones yet, and if you are able to get a good fit, it really is a decent pair of earbuds. While it may not hit all the points for hardcore audiophiles, it does bridge the gap if you are looking for a good pair of wireless earbuds without breaking the bank.
The Sudio Nio works great on a day-to-day basis as an all-rounder pair of earbuds, especially if you are looking specifically for non-isolating earphones as it enables you to remain aware of your surroundings instead of being drowned out by music. It is also a great budget-friendly choice for workouts as it is sweat resistant with an elevated bass.
The Sudio Nio is available in 5 different colours: Black, White, Green, Sand and Aurora. If you are interested in picking up one or any of the Sudio products for yourself, do use the code “BeyondNorm15” upon checkout to get 15% off storewide and free delivery to anywhere in the world! Check them out here!