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Sudio Nio TWS Earbuds Review: A True AirPods Alternative?

Review Verdict: While the Sudio Nio does look like Apple’s AirPods, the Swedish company made sure to add extra design elements to make them better than Apple’s offering in terms of form. However, their lack of certain features makes them a tough sell—especially when you have other brands that can pack more features on their TWS earbuds for less than what the Nio retails for. 

Pros

  • Compact charging case
  • Balanced overall soundstage
  • Clever silicone sleeves for the earbuds

Cons

  • Limited to SBC audio codecs
  • A bit pricey (without the promo code)

Sudio has been a familiar name for quite a while, making 3rd-party audio products that are best paired mostly with Apple offerings. They also have their own healthy line of TWS earbuds, with the Nio being their entry-level offering. Does the Nio have more to offer over Apple’s AirPods?

Design

From afar, the Nio’s charging case reminds us a lot about the AirPods with its shape. Our review unit comes in light pink, which is arguably the best color option. You get Sudio branding in front and an LED indicator below it, a reset button at the bottom, and a USB-C port on the right side.

Opening the case reveals the buds, which take in on a similar AirPods-like form factor—save for the LED indicator and metallic accents on the bottom part of the buds and on the body to mark the touch controls. Unlike the Airpods, the Nio’s earbuds come with a set of silicone sleeves—they actually play an important role in both ensuring a secure fit and in providing for the best possible audio quality.

User Interface and Fit

Paring the Nio to your device is straightforward: you simply pop open the case and remove the earbuds, then wait for your device to detect them so that you can pair them. The process is so simple and straightforward that you can use them instantly out of the box. The button below the case serves as a reset button in case you run into problems with the Nio.

As for the controls, the Nio comes with basic functions like play/pause, answer/end calls, and forward/backward track scanning. It is pretty basic as far as under Php 4k TWS earbuds are concerned, and I wish Sudio comes up with a companion app for the Nio for better futureproofing (ie. firmware updates, mappable controls).

When it comes to fit, the addition of a silicon sleeve for the earbuds makes the Nio one-ups the AirPods in terms of attaining a secure fit. However, getting the right set of silicone sleeves (the Nio comes with 3 extra sets on top of the preinstalled ones) is crucial to ensure you get the right audio quality. During my time with the Nio, I had to change the silicone sleeves twice before I found which one gave the best possible audio quality.

Audio Quality and Battery Life

While Sudio is known for the aesthetics of their products, the Nio’s soundstage is balanced between the highs and lows. You may not get thumping bass or detailed highs, but the Nio’s overall soundstage balances things throughout the entire range. You have to be mindful, however, that you may need to change the silicone sleeves to achieve the right soundstage.

The overall volume range is typically what you expect on a pair of sub-Php 4k TWS earbuds. They may not go really loud like the OnePlus Buds Z or Tranya M10, but the Nio’s overall audio fidelity is well-preserved throughout the whole volume range.

As for overall endurance, you get around 20 hours worth of battery life with the case and up to 5 hours on a single charge, which is at par with most TWS earbuds in the market. Its battery life should be good enough for mid-haul trips once traveling is deemed safe. Charging is done via USB-C, and it takes a little under 2 hours to top it up from flat to 100% since it does not come with any form of fast charging.

Wrap up and Conclusions

Despite looking similar to the AirPods, our review shows Sudio pulled off a clever trick with the Nio by using changeable silicone sleeves for the buds for a better fit and improved overall audio quality. However, the Nio is a bit on the pricey side considering that you lack features like AAC and aptX, wireless charging, and wear detection sensorsand that its rivals offer at least one of those features at a lower price tag.

There’s no doubt that they really look gorgeous, but Sudio has to contend against a growing crowd in the under-Php 4k segment for the Nio.

Sudio Nio Review Philippines Price

The Nio is priced at Php 3,800 and can be purchased via Sudio’s online store. To get 15% off (bringing down the price to Php 3,230), make sure to include the coupon code unboxph15 upon checkout.

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