Sudio ETT review
At SGD 239, the Sudio ETT marks the first entry-level option in the relatively new and yet-uncontested segment of ANC true wireless earphones. Against the $379 AirPods Pro and the $349 Sony WF-1000XM3, the ETT represents quite a discount while nailing key features on paper.
That’s the thing – on paper, the ETT covers all the bases. It’s hard to believe that while costing 40% less, it still can provide flagship features like active noise cancellation, 20h battery life, wireless charging case, USB-C charging and IPX5 water resistance.
We take a deep dive, to see if these claims stack up against the real-life user experience.
Sudio ETT Durability & Build Quality
Since the 2017 Tre and the 2018 Nivå, Sudio has come a long way in the fit and finish of its products. Each new product slowly but surely catches with the design refinement and feature sets of some of the more premium options on the market.
Despite its decidedly minimalist, trendy presentation, the ETT had small quirks that reminded me of its price point. The case, although laudably compact, was clumsy to operate especially singlehandedly; the faux leather lanyard loop that looks fine but feels tacky to the touch amongst others.
Decidedly AirPods Pro-esque in design, the ETT also boasts an IPX5 water resistance over its more expensive compatriot’s IPX4 rating. The comfortable soft-touch plastic build picks up oils and fingerprints easily, too.
Sudio ETT Size and Weight
Compared to the AirPods Pro, the case of the Sudio ETT (52 x 49 x 33mm) is about 15% smaller on its longest edge (width), but measures about 10% taller and more than 30% thicker in the pocket.
Overall, the AirPods Pro (56.2g) weighs around 6.6g more than the Sudio ETT (49.8g), both with earbuds that weigh around 5g (ETT at 4.9g, AirPods Pro at 5.4g).
With such a small form factor, the tiny weight differences scarcely affected the user experience, but the overall thicker case of the ETT made it protrude awkwardly in the pocket. If you’re packing this in a backpack or a handbag, the ETT is plenty small, though.
Sudio ETT Sound Quality
For most, the sound quality on the Sudio ETT will do just fine. It has a pronounced bass end that makes for a satisfying, beefy groove. The mids and highs do just fine, but sounded slightly muffled to my ears. Sting and Eric Clapton’s It’s Probably Me seemed to lack the resonance and crispness in its percussive intro.
The lush synths in the chorus of Lorde’s Tennis Court also lacked oomph and felt rather recessed. To my surprise, the ETT reproduced the intimate raspy vocals and driving bassline on Billie Eilish’s bad guy decently.
For its average but acceptable audio performance, the Sudio ETT also lacks AAC and AptX compatibility, and instead uses the basic Sub-band Coding (SBC) codec. This means that despite an acceptable audio quality, gamers might miss out on low-latency benefits.
Sudio ETT Noise Cancellation
Truth be told, I thought my review unit was faulty on my initial use. With music playing, a long-press on the button of either channel provoked a loud, abrasive announcement that “noise cancelling” was on, yet I could not detect any noticeable difference in ambient sounds.
It is only when I thought to try the noise cancelling feature without any audio playing when I could faintly detect the ANC on the ETT. We’re still all stuck at home during this COVID-19 pandemic, so I had to resort to testing this feature by playing train noises on my speakers.
To its merit, the ETT does cancel out almost the entirety of the low end, meaning rumbling and bassy vibrations are more attenuated. However, the scraping, clanking and otherwise percussive, high-pitched noises that are usually the Achilles heel of ANC earphones don’t fare much better on the ETT, either.
Sudio ETT: Other Features
The headline features of a Qi wireless charging case, USB-C connector and IPX5 are the other features fit for flagships the ETT sports. In my time using it, I didn’t have any issues with the charging and waterproofing.
The earphones also come with a whopping eight pairs of ear tips to ensure the perfect fit. Five are “parabolic” while the other three are regular “conic” ones. The standard medium parabolic ear tips fit me just fine, but the shorter, truncated edges were rather sharp and started to cause discomfort within minutes.
Should you get the Sudio ETT?
We live in a confusing world of technology, but Bluetooth codecs and active noise-cancelling headphones aren’t created equal. On the plus side, the Sudio ETT has a very, very sleek, stylish aesthetic going for it, along with a rather compact case that allows for modern USB-C and wireless charging. The earphones themselves are understated and most (I think) would gladly wear them around town.
With that said, the ETT’s mediocre sound quality and inadequate noise cancellation are solid strikes against it. While it costs a fraction of the competition at SGD 239, that’s still enough to snag you a pair of AirPods or the Jabra Elite Active 65t – two highly-rated options that although lack ANC, smack of features and have great audio quality.