No matter how expensive or affordable true wireless earphones are, I’ve felt the technology is still not quite there yet. But the Sudio Niva surprises even those sentiments of mine as it impresses against everyday rigours of use.
They offer appealing sound quality, super comfortable earbuds and wireless connection nearly as reliable as your best friend. Battery per charge is average for real-life usage, but the quick charge and large capacity charging case means you aren’t without these for too long.
Like the Sudio Tre I previously reviewed, the packing is visually minimally and matches the colour of the hardware itself – the white Sudio Niva, packaged in a white, angular box. Back of the box gives a glimpse of the charging case, highlighting some notable features I’ll touch on further down.
Inside the box, you get the Sudio Niva charging case, earbuds, micro USB cable to charge the case and three silicone earpieces for the tip. I’d like to see the case use USB Type-C for faster charging, though MicroUSB just about suffices for batteries of a smaller scale like here.
Let’s dive straight into the audio quality. Bear in mind, sound quality over bluetooth, let alone true wireless between the earbuds themselves can’t mimic the quality over wired… but these actually sound really good.
It sidles towards the treble, but has good bass levels. I enjoy deep, but not over-reaching bass and found default levels to be decent out of the box. It’s worth adjusting the music player equalizer as these can reach satisfying results for a well-rounded acoustic. Vocals sound clear in music and compared to others I’ve used, are enjoyable to use.
Sound separation between the left and right channels are very respectable, sound stage has depth, while acoustics are well-balanced, more on the warmer side.
Sudio Niva Sound Quality
The right earbud has the microphone and is the master unit, while the left channel is the slave unit. Usually the master unit is more powerful in volume which is also the case here, but the Sudio Niva is far more balanced for a better overall experience.
For calls, only the right earbud is used but I like how I only need to use one as it frees the other side to hear my surroundings or save the battery of the other. That is intended by design, though having mics on both sides offer greater flexibility and full call immersion. The upcoming Sudio Tolv is built this way which I’ll check out later on.
In crowded, noisy areas I found myself bumping up the volume higher than midway, though you’ll never really drown outside sound for better or worse. No noise cancellation or anything, though even with a good sealant in the ears, ambient sound lingers in the distant corners.
It’s rarely distracting, but does drain battery more as a result of upping the volume. In quiet areas, below halfway volume is perfectly sufficient and I was impressed with these after a bit of tweaking.
When it comes to comforts, the Sudio Niva sits comfortably inside my ear. The soft plastic is gentle on the skin and hasn’t caused any sores or earache because it’s so light. Light for regular use for hours on end, while enough to know it hasn’t dropped along the way without noticing.
Rounded edges of the earbuds make these user friendly, and I had no problem wearing these for hours at a time, pressing on the button to change tracks, end calls, or pause a song. The button requires a slight hard press, though this also did not dig into my ear. Furthermore, buttons are clicky which gives confidence to your presses.
If you’re thinking of using the Sudio Niva for activities like running, exercising or going to the gym, these work very well. These aren’t IPXX certified for any waterproofing or sorts, but I found they work great for these anyhow… just bear that in mind. Wireless freedom is liberating while in motion and the fact they are lightweight, comfortable to wear and deliver very good acoustics for true wireless speaks volumes.
Overall, I was very happy with how this holds in my ear and is definitely suitable for prolonged regular use.
It could probably still be smaller so it’s more travel compact, but this is just a minor point. You’ll be glad to know the magnets in the case secure earbuds to the charging connectors nicely, with the earbud shaped mold ensuring it doesn’t disconnect in transit.
Sudio says it quick charges in 10 minutes and fully charges in 1 hour. A 10 minute charge offers 30 minutes or so of playtime which is handy if you’re short on time, however found it fully charges above an hour. The case is said to provide 4 cycles of charge for a total of 17.5 hours, but I find it closer to 10-12 hours mixing calls and audio streaming on above average volume. A looped material built into the case allows you to attach it to your backpack inside or out, which is kind of neat.
Sudio hits a balanced sweet spot between quality, experience and value with the Niva. The earbuds are consistent with Sudio’s Swedish minimal, functional design and outputs good sound out of the box; better if you dial the equaliser. Call quality was clear and crisp, though susceptible to wind and background noise from the mic position.
Battery could be better as I find it works on average 2.5 hours, while it takes a little under 1.5 hours to charge from the case. Like all true wireless earphones, I would accompany these with a set of wired earphones or bluetooth wired earbuds which last longer. Compared to the rest, the Sudio Niva is an enjoyable experience all round and better than a wide majority on the market, even with it’s battery shortcomings and large case footprint.
Audio quality, lightness, control responsiveness and connection reliability at a respectable price make the Sudio Niva a very strong proposition to go all-in on true wireless earphones.