Swedish design company Sudio offers a wide line of audio devices, from bone conduction to portable speakers to a wide range of headphone and earphone models. The Sudio A2 earphones are one of their mid-range offerings, and on paper it shows them to have good battery life, ear tips for a comfortable fit, and a easy-to-use touch interface that allows you to drive most of what you’d want while listening at home or on the go. Yet, do the Sudio A2’s live up to their promise?
Inside the white box made out of sustainable materials is the charging case, the two earbuds, replacement tips to ensure a comfortable fit no matter your ear size, a USB-C to to USB-A charging cable, and some documentation. The charging case is round and opens up like a clam, allowing the two earbuds with their dangling ‘stick’ that brings the microphones closer to your mouth to comfortably nestle within. The case feels sturdy but slightly slippery to the touch, making it sometimes a bit tricky to hold onto particularly if opening single handed. Luckily magnets hold the buds in place, and thanks to the case’s construction the occasional tumble doesn’t result in it opening up with the earphones tumbling away. The charging port is towards the back, meaning you can still hinge up the case while plugged in, a nice touch that some others that have used a similar form factor haven’t dialed into.
The Sudio A2 earphones connect to just about any Bluetooth device you’d like, from modern TVs to your mobile devices, portable players, and so forth. The codec (5.2) is one of the more modern protocols, and while the SBC codec doesn’t support some of the more robust “lossless” capabilities of Apt-X, LDAC and so forth, it does offer unrivaled compatibility along with a benefit in terms of battery life. Simply adding additional codecs for the sake of a checkbox on the spec sheet is hardly uncommon, but I applaud the engineers at Sudio for concentrating on wringing the most out of the current standard while still delivering a capable, affordable set of earphones.
Unlike some of its sister models, as of this writing the A2 is not compatible with any of Sudio’s iOS or Android configuration apps. The earphones pair using the traditional Bluetooth procedures, and all other settings, such as engaging the pairing mode, turning ANC on/off, and so on, are done via the following gestures that are listed in the documentation:
While not always the most intuitive set of touch controls, I quickly acclimated to the play/pause on either earbud, or the long-push for ANC on/off during testing.
On first listen I was immediately pleased with the sound signature of these small, yet powerful earbuds. While slightly less sleek than some other models, I found the design when placed in my ears provided a satisfying fit. Thanks to the multiplicity of different rubber ear tips I experimented until I got the best fit, and found them comfortable to listen to for hours at a time. ANC was a mixed bag, as while it gave a bit more bass punch, it did relatively little to further drown out outside noise (the rubber tips already “passively” doing a decent job), and I did experience a slight “sucking” sensation that some noise cancellation models can generate. While it’s a nice feature to have, and does give a bit of boom, I found myself disabling noise cancellation after a short while.
For music listening the earphones do an admirable job for a model of this scope. Mid-range feels slightly narrow in the sound field, but both lower bass and more treble-y instrumentation created a satisfyingly wide soundstage. Mono sessions for things like podcasts were clear and never harsh or brittle, and even super challenging mixes from classical to electronic were presented in a way that could easily recommend these for daily use. While they do not have the refinement of superior (and more costly) models, these are a decent, robust pair that manage to outperform what one may expect from this level of earphone.
While the lack of an app for things like EQ shaping may be a deal breaker for some, and for others the middling ANC performance is a major strike against, I found the fast, simple connectivity and the extended battery life with a more “neutral” presentation benefits rather than hindrances in my appreciation of this model.
Sure, the case is a bit slippery, and yes, the slightly chunky design lacks the smooth lines of other similar models, but the proof is in the sound of the Sudio A2 earphones. For everything from listening to podcasts to pop music, with all in between, you’re sure to get quite a bit of enjoyment out of these solid and capable devices.